Semper Fidelis Est Deus Noster

Happy Birthday, Marines. Semper Fi.
Happy Birthday, Marines. Semper Fi.

Today is a special day for anyone claiming the title of United States Marine. On this date, back in 1775, the Second Continental Congress commissioned the organization of two battalions of Continental Marines. So, in a local bar known as Tun Tavern the recruiting began and the Marine Corps was born.

Over the past 2.4 centuries, November 10th has evolved (by means of intelligent design) into a day of celebration and revelry.

However, on this occasion marking the 241st birthday of our beloved Marine Corps I find myself more troubled than joyful.

A Warrior’s Full Armor

full-armor-of-godThere has been an increasing number of stories related to how our decision makers are choosing to send our servicemen and women into every clime and place without the advent of a spiritual covering.

Now, I am not looking to get into a debate over shepherding. My concern is not with whether one should be considered a shepherd or should seek out a shepherd. That argument shall be left to individuals with much more knowledge.

My dilemma is with whether those that serve are being sent into harm’s way without the comfort of knowing that they are on God’s side–that they have His protection.

Consider the following articles:

1.       A Navy Chaplain is ordered not to pray in the name of Jesus.

2.       A Marine is court martialed for refusing to remove a quote (only loosely based on scripture, mind you) from her desk.

3.       Veterans are banned from saying “God” and “Jesus” at military funerals.

I am sure most would understand how reading each article (and an increasing number of like articles) increased the amount of conflict in my mind.

The Battle is Already Won

Now consider the three versions of 1 Corinthians 11:4 below:

1.       Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. (NIV)

2.       Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. (KJV)

3.       Every man who prays or [a]prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head [and the One who is his head]. (AMP)

As I have told my students and players in the past, “I may be completely wrong.” Or, like my pastor would often say to his flock, “I might be a false prophet.” Regardless of that fact, I did find some comfort in reading this passage and would like to briefly share my thoughts as to why.

I believe that Paul was foreshadowing the much later arguments of Martin Luther in that our spiritual covering is dependent on our own unique relationship with the Almighty and not in any way dependent on the spiritual covering that may or not be provided by an earthly entity appointed over us.

That interpretation of the verse has helped ease my heart when thinking about those whom are laying it all on the line for us every single day. And being that tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, let me be sure to include all the marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen, and coastguardsmen, as well as all our first responders.

Of course, it sure would be nice if we could once again get everyone (decision maker, civilian, and service member) in agreement that God’s blessing is vital to the health of our nation. Because despite what many might like to assert (which includes the folks at the National Archives in charge of putting forth an interpretation of the first amendment), the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution-which our servicemen and women are sworn to defend-provides for freedom of religion and not freedom from religion.