100 days – Day 91: With God on our Side
100 days – Day 91
Gott mit uns (meaning God with us) is a phrase commonly used on armour in the German military from the German Empire to the end of the Third Reich, although its historical origins are far older
Does believing that “God is on our side” make it easier for us to inflict pain and suffering on those perceived to be our enemies? If we think God sanctions violence, are we more likely to engage in violent acts?
The answer to both those questions, according to new research, is a resounding “yes,” even among those who do not consider themselves believers.
Social psychologist Brad Bushman of the University of Michigan led an international research effort to find answers to these questions, and said he is very “disturbed” by the results
“I think many people use God as their justification for violent and aggressive actions,” Bushman said. “Take the current conflict in Iraq as an example. Bush claims that God is on his side. Osama bin Laden claims that God, or Allah, is on his side.”
History is replete with other examples of wars fought in the name of God, involving nearly every religion on the planet.
His own research shows that whether people consider themselves believers or not, they are more likely to be aggressive, perhaps even willing to start a war, if they think God is on their side.
“What worries me is when people use God as a justification for their violence. There are scriptures that say you should not take God’s name in vain. This is the most extreme version of taking God’s name in vain,” he said.
from ABC News – March 27, 2007
According to the headlines of local newspapers in Israel, the Jews under attack by Hamas rockets also have “God on their Side”
The Jewish Telegraph opens with a quote from David Ben Gurion, who once said, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” The article claims that even the Hamas have become frustrated with Israel’s miracles:
“[T]he Talmud Yerushalmi tells us that in no way are we to depend on miracles. It argues that we must not desist from our obligations and must not wait for miraculous intervention from the Supernatural. How perfectly relevant are both of these views today. We witness hourly miracles. As one of the terrorists from Gaza was reported to say when asked why they couldn’t aim their rockets more effectively: ‘We do aim them, but their God changes their path in mid-air.’ Amen! And when our God is not busy doing that, He is ensuring that the high-tech brain power of our ‘start-up nation’ is working overtime to produce yet another Iron Dome battery to help protect our cities and us.”
The theme of miracles protecting Israel during the Gaza war is not limited to this newspaper. Another news source called Arutz Sheva reported earlier in the month the importance of miracles to the Jewish people:
“The Jewish nation’s existence for six millennia is a miracle. There is no single Jewish life without a miracle. Miracle is an essential part of our belief; it is a gem of Jewish folklore. It is a source of our hope in the dark, and it is a gift of our dreams. And we know why – because these miracles are true.”
“What worries me is when people use God as a justification for their violence. There are scriptures that say you should not take God’s name in vain. This is the most extreme version of
taking God’s name in vain”
(Brad Bushman – above)