The Wisdom of James Cruickshanks

These thoughts on the sacralization of the American military were offered by Worcester, MA preacher James Cruickshanks on a Union fast day during the Civil War. They offer not only a relevant critique of an ongoing trend in American culture, but also a strong implied censure for those Christians who believe that they can be both patriots and politicians without having any blood on their hands:

If indeed God be a God of peace, and he is Almighty, we ask, why is war, with its untold evils, permitted to brood over this fair land?…In a word, the army is the people’s God. They idolize it—they worship it…We are then as a people a nation of idolaters. We are at once, the most religious, and the most idolatrous people on the globe.

The quote is taken from Harry S. Stout’s Upon the Altar of a Nation.

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