Friday, February 21, 2014

William Bell Riley on the Spanish-American War

William Bell Riley was a turn of the twentieth-century Protestant fundamentalist who presided over a fundamentalist empire in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.  You can learn more about him from Bill Trollinger's excellent biography, God's Empire: William Bell Riley and Midwestern Fundamentalism.

While I was checking my Facebook feed today I ran across this post from Penn State graduate student Paul Matzko:

Imagine a fundamentalist praying this prayer about a war today:

"We cannot ask Thee that our soldiers...may be victorious, for we do not believe that this is Thy will; but we do ask that their lives may be preserved and that they may return to their homes and friends."

(from William Bell Riley's opening prayer at an anti-Spanish-American War rally.)