Saturday, July 19, 2014

Religion and the First World War

The Imperial War Museum (London) is now open again after being closed for refurbishment

There are ground-breaking First World War Galleries which tell the story of the First World War 

One section deals with War Posters

In Total War, the State used religious imagery and sentiments in its fight against the enemy

Such imagery could never have been used in times of peace

The Irish War Recruitment poster came after Ireland had nearly descended into Civil War over the question of Irish Home Rule

It was a strange War

"Christian" nations were fighting against "Christian" nations: England (Protestant), France (Catholic), Italy (Catholic), Russia (Orthodox), Balkans (mainly Orthodox) against Germany (Protestant/Catholic), Austria-Hungary (Catholic and Orthodox)

But at the end of 1914 came the step which according to the memoirs of German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg lengthened the conflict by at least two years: the German alliance with Turkey and the Ottoman Empire which led to the Declaration of War by the Ottoman Empire on the Entente as well as the infamous Jihad

Thus Gallipoli and the Mid-Eastern conflict

However it was Abraham Lincoln who set out the proper and moral approach

During the American Civil War, when asked by some one whether he did not believe that  God was on his side, he replied, "I am much more concerned to know whether I am on God's side."