Lest we forget............
Who are we praying to?
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Praying for more like. Perhaps all the service men and woman who've sacrificed so much over the last 100 years or so in needless conflicts.
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Countless wars are (or have been) fought in the name of religion, or at least religion has been used as a tool to suppress and/or mobilise the masses, which is my concern with the initial post. Since we seem to be entering an age of post-enlightenment, abstract invocations of an invisible deity will continue to inform ill-judged and damaging policies and beliefs, while encouraging bigotry, violence, and shame. Referencing an abstract deity (albeit via emoticon) in a post about the anniversary of a major terrorist attack demonstrates how religion continues to be a polarising ideological force. Presumably we're praying to the "one true God," unlike the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack?
While I have tremendous admiration and respect for servicemen/women's courage, I'm concerned that a culture of remebrance is used to legitimise (or at least distract attention from) a war that is/was not supported by the majority of the UK population, or the international political community.
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Clearly none of you enlightened gentlemen are ex-service or serving persons. It is also a day for personal recollection for those amongst that are ex service. Please do not marr this day with political diatribe or condescending statements. Those who currently serve do so from personal choice, please show respect for those choices and the people.
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It's perfectly possible to remain respectful of those killed during warfare while expressing concern about the way a culture of remebrance has been coopted by the political elite. I wasn't taking issue with servicepeople doing their jobs; nor was I being disrespectful to those that died on the battlefield in any conflict (past or present, or indeed in "service" of the rulers of different nations).
People seem to have interpreted my post as trampling on the memories of those that have died in battle, which was never my point or intention, and certainly not stated in my post. I was taking issue with the way remebrance has been used as a smokescreen for the fact that our troops should not have been deployed en masse in the Middle East.
Of course it's easy to pander to the populist view by portraying me as a bad guy, without engaging in more complex debates about the politics of remembrance, their role in current national and international discourse, and the legitimacy of current conflicts. I was also taking issue with religion's role in legitimising warfare.
No, but I come from a very military family, including a couple of cousins who are serving abroad under UN juristiction.
My adult life has been dedicated to my parents, and in 2004 I marched at the Cenotaph on behalf of my late father. Whenever possible I try and raise funds for the R.A.F.A.
Incidentally, I'm not sure why, but I thought there was a "9" in the thread title (which did strike me as odd). I'll hold my hands up and admit that I should have checked.
For the record, I stand by my position that I don't wish to denigrate the memories of fallen soldiers, I merely want to take issue with how remembrance has been used as a political tool. While I'm certainly no supporter of the nasty party, I'll also clearly observe that New Labour were more culpable in this regard while in power (and of course responsible for current British military involvement in the Middle East).
I'll respectfully abstain from future discussion on this thread.
I am of course respectful of other peoples views, but please respect that rememberance is a personal issue and for service/ex-service and their families you should repect that and refrain from utilising this day, to announce, what I have to say is a badly timed point of view.
Those at the Cenotaph today did not make a political statement as I remember it, least ways not in Portsmouth.
Could I ask that can you please note that rememberance is a personal issue and for service/ex-service and their families you should refrain from utilising this day, to announce, what I have to say is a badly timed point of view.
I had wondered about your reference to terrorism - wrong time of year for uk (July) or US (September, but presumably the confusion is from the reversal of the date - month order). Thought it might be a reference to the assassination of franz Ferdinand!
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My views used to be very similar to those expressed by Strapped For Cash, and I still respect his position, and I'm sure he is very respectful of those who have lost their lives in all conflicts.
My view has changed though, not majorly, but I now choose to honour the memory of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during WW1 and WW2 with a period of silence and reflection. I do not agree with the more recent conflicts, but the soldiers do not choose which conflicts to fight in, and which ones are just, they just serve their country, whether right or wrong. My thought are with them and their families too.
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Pretty sure there should be a "12" in there though.
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