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War Prayer Response Essay

God does not choose sides. The word, choose, is listed in the dictionary as “to pick by preference.” God has no preferences. He has an all knowing and understanding, compassionate heart, which is free of any illusory appeals.

God only serves the beings on earth so as to teach them about themselves. Self-actualization is the only thing that can bring humans into full control over ourselves. Humans often do not understand what it is they hope for; if they were to fully understand the implications of it, they would be unable to continue to stand for the wrong doings they wished to be. This is observed in, Mark Twain’s, War Prayer.

In the short story, War Prayer, a messenger of god is sent to explain exactly what a mass of people is praying. The people use euphemisms, seemingly unknowingly, in their chants to ask God for victory in the Philippines, during the Spanish American war. The hymns contained phrases such as “ thunder thy clarion and lighting thy sword.” After the messenger speaks the true meaning of the words, the prayer becomes a romanticized and misrepresented portrayal of the true nature of war.

At the very end of the messenger’s address, to the people, he asks them, “Ye have prayed it, if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the most high awaits.” The people respond, or rather lack there of, with silence. The messenger is later thought to be a lunatic. Though God tried to explain to them their actions, they failed to see the truth and benevolent power than enveloped the words. The one who knows, sees, and understands all granted the opportunity of a second chance, and the humans once again took the opportunity for granted. God does not choose sides; he gives those who he wishes to learn the opportunity to do so for themselves.


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