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Religion = Military Strength


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#18 Freddy

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 05:06 PM

Perhaps we should attempt to find some research about this subject, because no one has bothered to post any.

According to Gwyn Dyer in War the US Army was so concerned about the performance of WWII GI's under fire they commissioned a study by Colonel SLA Marshall. Marshall interviewed 400 infantry companies or 40,000 GI's and found that in this anonymous study only 15% to 25% of GI's fired their weapons or M-1 Garrands, in battle. Why would these brave soldiers stay in harms way and not fight? They were not cowards but they had been taught, "Thou shalt not kill", which was stronger than their basic training and propaganda against Germans and Japanese. Many of those who did fire their weapons said they did it protect fellow soldiers. To correct this the US Army decided to put men into 3-man cells within squads so they would build soldier relationships that would help them to fire their weapons. They also changed basic training to discount the religious doctrine and replace it with, "Thou shalt not murder", where in war killing the evil enemy is necessary and not the same as murder. In Korea Marshall claims that more than 50% of soldiers fired their weapons in battle.
However, there are detractors, who say that Marshall's research is suspect.

#19 Ahmabeliever

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 05:37 PM

Very interesting from both nutronjon and freddy.

I can see the commandment overriding the orders definately. So religious indoctrination is effective in altering troop behaviour, just leaves my theory to hang out and dry some more :confused:

Religion is used, by the infamous Billy Graham no less, and there will be scores of copycats, to gain military strength, but not in the context I proposed.

I even heard a pro-Iraq war preacher here in NZ 18 months ago. Was at a family thing and he talked about God's calling the US to war...

So Bush says God told him to go to war, the believers believe this, they tell their congregations to go off to war, and they march off to eternal glory fighting Gods fight. It happened an is still happening.

Of course this may only play a small part in the overall recruitment drive.

#20 Freddy

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 07:15 PM

Here is an article on lawsuits being filed against the US military for forcing religion on soldiers. From the article.

"On Sept. 17, the soldier and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) filed suit against Army Maj. Freddy Welborn and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, charging violations of Hall's constitutional rights, including being forced to submit to a religious test to qualify as a soldier.

The MRFF plans more lawsuits in coming weeks, says Michael "Mikey" Weinstein, who founded the military watchdog group in 2005. The aim is "to show there is a pattern and practice of constitutionally impermissible promotions of religious beliefs within the Department of Defense."
Are U.S. troops being force-fed Christianity? | csmonitor.com

#21 Logic = Confusion

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:09 PM

Religion had undoubtedly been used to manipulate the uneducated populace to die for the Divine all throughout history, that we can't argue. We also can't argue that the same doesn't still apply today. I think the good or evil that comes from religion comes down to two things, the people who lead the religion and the people who follow it. If the leaders are benevolent, the people are peaceful. If the leader is a crusader, and the people are smart, the people will disregard what the leader says and interpret the word of god for themselves. Religion has given people much more hope than grief, it's the solace of the masses. Religion is the smokescreen of money and politics, those are the real evils.

"By the way, do you know when the Pope started getting nice? When the Chruch stopped having real armies." -John Stuart

#22 nutronjon

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 10:10 AM

Perhaps we should attempt to find some research about this subject, because no one has bothered to post any.

According to Gwyn Dyer in War the US Army was so concerned about the performance of WWII GI's under fire they commissioned a study by Colonel SLA Marshall. Marshall interviewed 400 infantry companies or 40,000 GI's and found that in this anonymous study only 15% to 25% of GI's fired their weapons or M-1 Garrands, in battle. Why would these brave soldiers stay in harms way and not fight? They were not cowards but they had been taught, "Thou shalt not kill", which was stronger than their basic training and propaganda against Germans and Japanese. Many of those who did fire their weapons said they did it protect fellow soldiers. To correct this the US Army decided to put men into 3-man cells within squads so they would build soldier relationships that would help them to fire their weapons. They also changed basic training to discount the religious doctrine and replace it with, "Thou shalt not murder", where in war killing the evil enemy is necessary and not the same as murder. In Korea Marshall claims that more than 50% of soldiers fired their weapons in battle.
However, there are detractors, who say that Marshall's research is suspect.



What you are saying is, it is not our nature to kill. A relative small percent kill without special training. I don't think this is because of religion. It is against our nature to kill, unless personally attacked and we act in self defense, or it is drilled in our heads that killing is a good thing. Some cultures do make killing a good thing. Muslims can kill their own daughters, because their culture has accepted this as way to maintain morality and recieve God's favor. Some native American tribes saw war as away to prove one's self as a good warrior, kind of like having children was the 1950's way for a woman to prove she was a good woman. Columbus came upon natives who were completely gentle people. I think our basic human nature is to not kill, but under the right conditions, we can become killers. That is, we must be taught evil, before we do evil. A lot of good mothering activities must also be learned.

One more thought, Germans were Christians and Japanese were not, and I think the Japanese were more determined to kill for their emperior and their own people. Today, it is Christians fighting Muslims again, and I think this makes a difference. I think the US is more apt to go to war against Muslims than another Christian country. The Christian Right would not stand so united and strong in favor of war with another Christain country.

Modern warfare is fought by the working class paying taxes to support a very expensive high tech military force. For the US, these are industrial wars, made possible by their industry and made necessary by their industry.