The Bible, New York, and Time of War
During a trip to Pittsburgh for the purpose of receiving treatment at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, I had occasion to browse through some rare books in a bookstore located in an older section of the city. I came across a book, The Bible in New York, published in 1948. The terrorist attacks in New York, and the military response to those attacks, make the material in the aforementioned book extremely relevant and interesting. One of the book’s chapters, "In Time of War," tells about Scripture distribution to the armed forces during such major conflicts as World Wars I and II. Letters from presidents, generals, and other military leaders are cited which urged the troops to read the Bible and "seek from its pages strength . . . and assurance of life beyond the grave" (Fant 56).
One such letter, dated June 5, 1917, was from Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. It stated:
The teachings of the New Testament are foreshadowed in Micah’s verse: “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God . . .” “Do justly”: and therefore fight valiantly against the armies of Germany and Turkey for these nations in this crisis stand for the reign of Moloch, and Beelzebub on this earth . . . . "Love mercy": treat prisoners well; succor the wounded; treat every woman as if she were your sister; care for the little children, and be tender with the old and helpless. . . . "Walk humbly”: you will do so if you study the life and teachings of the Savior. . . . (63)
We are in a different time. Our troops are in a different war. But the same Book has the same message-Book divine in war and peace.