The Army of the Lord

If you wonder how someone like Ted Cruz, who drapes his politics in a cloak of godliness, can still be such an unscrupulous asshole, here’s a glimpse into how they operate.

Vic Sizemore

I was reared in the belly of the Religious Right beast, and trained at Liberty University to fight in the Culture Wars. When you get a chance, spend a few minutes with The Army of the Lord, a memoir-ish piece about it. “Army of the Lord” is an excerpt of a collection in progress–more excerpts are forthcoming in the following months. This one is up at Entropy magazine.

image, huffpost.com/gen/1819912/images/o-CHRISTIANS-GUNS-facebook.jpg

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What’s in the Water, by Vic Sizemore

Theo pulled out of the driveway in the dark, at 4:00 a.m. sharp. Becky put on The Little Mermaid before they were even out of the neighborhood, and the kids drifted back to sleep as it played. Theo stared out the windshield at the dark onrushing road as the cartoon creatures squawked and sang behind him—out they rolled from the Virginia mountains into North Carolina’s coastal plain toward Myrtle Beach. Water covers 71% of the earth, which made it seem odd to Theo that they had to drive nine hours to get to the shore—only because we rarely consider how small we are: a sport utility vehicle hurtling at seventy miles per hour would look from a satellite like a slow creeping insect making a pathetic break for open water.The car hood began to take on its daytime sage green as the sky lightened. Along the horizon to the left, a fuzzy crack of orange light split open, began to spread upward and change colors into pink and blue. Scattering molecules in the atmosphere, changing the direction of the sun’s light waves. The sun pushed up from the horizon, surrounded by diffraction rings, caused by water vapor in the air.The sea is 96.5% actual H2O, and the rest is composed of a whole lot of shit, including bacteria, plankton, archaea. Human lungs are 83% H2O—it seems odd, thinking about it this way, that we cannot breathe underwater; seems like it should be the most natural thing. Our bodies are about 65% water—only about 5% less than an actual white fish, whose body is, on average 70% water, and our bones skew the number, being only about 31% water. Our brains are 75% water. Our blood 92%. It would not be an overstatement simply to say we are water.The movie ran its course and all went quiet. Becky dozed restlessly with no pillow, or even a balled-up sweatshirt, her head against the window. Mile after mile, and the car felt as if it were floating. This was Becky’s car. When he’d first climbed in, it was all he could do not to mention all the fat greasy splats between his legs, a good start to a fast-food Mahjongg puzzle. The kids slept in back. Inside, the air hung motionless, filling slowly with the stink of their sweaty child bodies, their sleep-yawning mouths, their farts. Theo drove on for two hours without a sound other than the tires’ humming and popping against road seams.“Daddy?” baby Jen’s tiny voice called out into the car, over the tires’ humming drone.“Yes, sweetie,” Theo said, craning to see her in his rearview mirror. She was in the center, as she was the smallest, and had been sleeping folded over onto a pillow in her own lap. The afghan’s pattern was impressed on the side of her face like the pencil scribble of a leaf.Awakened, Becky straightened herself and said, “What do you need, sweetie?”“I have to pee.”“We’ll be stopping for breakfast in%

Source: What’s in the Water, by Vic Sizemore

Are Muslims and Christians Killing Each Other for the Same God?

Yes. They are.

Vic Sizemore

Two Faiths, One God?

From the “Good Letters” archive, Friday March 9, 2012

By Vic Sizemore

In 1990 and 1991 I was a combat engineer with the 5th Marines, and we were part of the invasion of Iraq during Desert Storm. I saw the nifty new technology, the almost playful ways we had devised to murder one another, and a deep sadness sank into my heart. It felt a lot like guilt; I didn’t kill anyone myself, but I sure was there. Maybe there’s something of survivor’s guilt mixed in, I don’t know.

That was over twenty years ago now. It’s difficult to explain; the experience didn’t ruin my life, and I didn’t suffer from PTSD, but that dull sadness has hung around, turned to a kind of weariness—but not one devoid of all hope. When I saw that we were leaving Iraq several months ago my spirit lifted a…

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Boys Going to War

Vic Sizemore

Kuwait or Iraqi oil fields burning after Desert Storm....another pin I put on this board so people who see it will finally realize these are NOT multiple tornadoes...

Riders on the Storm

The truth has to be told, so I’m finally going to tell it.

It was 24 FEB 91. The USS Tarawa was off the coast of Kuwait. At 0430, Gunny Reed shouted, “Drop your cocks and grab your socks.” The berthing area lights blasted on and every Marine jumped. Nylon and canvass hissed, gear popped, ALICE packs thumped on the deck. Murmured talk and laughter rose, undulating. An excited buzz was in the air, like a locker room before a big game. They were going in-country, going to get combat action ribbons.

Corporal Kline was packed. He lay in his rack and recorded everything in the journal he kept in his cargo pocket.

At 0440, they ran through the ship’s passageways and chugged up stairwells—gear swishing and thumping, rifle butts banging against steel bulkheads—and ran into the dim hangar bay and curled around the heavy bulkhead…

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