Tuesday, November 16, 2004


JAMES TARANTO in Best of the Web Today wrote on the 15th about the complaints about the soldier photographed taking a break from battle with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. People were writing in complaining that this photo will encourage young people to smoke etc. He then showed a picture of a marine with a small rosary hanging from his rifle and joked that next thing, people would complain about the violation of church and state. Todays Best of the Web from WSJ reported the following.

Yesterday we noted a photo of a U.S. serviceman with a rosary hanging from the gun on his tank, and we jokingly suggested that some would complain that it violates the separation of church and state. We should know better than to joke. Here's an actual letter to the editor of the (Madison) Wisconsin State Journal from one Patty Sommer (third letter):
Your front-page photo of the soldier with the rosary hanging off his or her gun shocked and appalled me. I have been against the war in Iraq from the get-go, but I don't think anyone in this country has ever tried to justify it on religious grounds. The image just gives fodder to those who would characterize this war as another Christian crusade against Muslims.
While I hesitate to criticize our troops, that soldier should not have displayed a religious symbol on his or her weapon. Certainly his or her commanding officer should not have allowed it. Absolutely, the Wisconsin State Journal should not have published it. As an American, I am disgusted. As a Catholic, I am outraged and offended. My religion has nothing to do with President Bush's war.
The repetition of 'his or her' makes this self-parody even funnier. "

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