Crusaders and Pillow Fights

Gun enthusiasts in the United States — in the Bible Belt, also known popularly as God’s Own Country — prefer to hold onto the Old Testament principle of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” That’s the only explanation possible for the name given to a new assault rifle on the market: the Crusader. The weapon is engraved with the Knights Templar cross and the Bible verse: “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight” (Psalms 144:1).

The irony in this smoldering cultural war has become passé in many places since the World War II era, when folksinger Woody Guthrie pasted a sticker on his guitar reading “This Machine Kills Fascists.” Gun culture and brutalization now run rampant. Even at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the nation’s elite, the annual pillow fight — a tradition following the long weeks of arduous training — has turned into a real battlefield. Some cadets now put helmets into their pillowcases, causing bloody noses, concussions and other similar injuries.

Violence — often committed in the name of God — has long since found its way into the heart of American society.

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