Mine eyes have seen the glory . . .

They say the Devil has all the best tunes. Certainly the Battle Hymn of the Republic is a catchy march, though whether it should be used to inspire young men (or women) to lay down their lives for a political cause is more than questionable. I tell you this song should never be in a Christian hymnal. It is most anti-Christian.

Do not be fooled by its jauntiness and take heed of the message from Albert Einstein who said that the “person who marches to the sound of a military band falls below my contempt. His great brain was given to him by mistake – the spinal cord would have been sufficient.”

Lyrics were added to the tune of John Brown’s Body – that’s the one where his body “lies a mouldering in the grave” – by Julia Ward Howe, who was encouraged to write something more stirring by the Reverend James Freeman Clarke. When the words are analysed it can be seen that there is hardly anything remotely connected to the peaceful teachings of Jesus. This does not stop church congregations in America from singing them. Worse still they have spread across the Atlantic and wheedled their way into hymn books – including those of the Church of England.

I am not going to analyse this patriotic anthem for you. You can do that yourselves. You might start by asking the question, in which of the gospels can this account of the nativity be found.

“In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea . . .”

It is no more authentic than Moses being born among the bulrushes. Christmas is almost upon us. Give some thought to the true teaching – not the nonsense lyrics of war.

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