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rylstone kandos history

Kandos and Rylstone History P.18

kandos rylstone veteran servicerylstoen kandos ww1
 kandos rylstone carla archer rev

Who’s side is God on?

Presentation to Kandos High School Year 9 students by Rev Carla Archer
7/9/2000

 

Question Time:
Q. How did Christians handle killing other people? Weren’t they breaking God’s 10 commandments?
 
Carla: Yes, but because they thought of it as a holy war, they were able to convince themselves they were getting rid of evil. They were able to say, well this is evil that we’re conquering and they were able to work through it like that, and the Germans did that back the other way.
 
Q. It is commonly thought that England used Australians as cannon fodder. Do you think that this is right?
 
Carla: I think that all infantrymen were used as cannon fodder, whether they were Australians or not. Australia particularly had a reputation for being extremely daring, and so in the last parts of the war were extremely sought after to lead where other people wouldn’t go.
 
Q. Germans and British both claimed to be Christian, whose side was God on?
 
Carla: Neither. God is not on any side. He is on his own side.
 
Q. There have been many religious wars over time. Is it right to fight a war to establish Christianity as the right religion?
 
Carla: Probably no. And there certainly has been various forms of this around the world, where people say, Josh, my kind is the only kind, therefore you have to believe it or I will bash you up, and that’s where it comes from.
 
Q. Did the Kandos churches do any fundraising, cooking or knitting for the troops?
 
Carla: There weren’t any churches in Kandos in WWI, but I’m sure people did, through the Comforts fund or the Red Cross. Rylstone certainly did.
 
Q. What sort of pressure was put on people to enlist?
 
Carla: Lots of pressure, like we saw on the posters. ‘What did you do in the Great War Days’ - with guilt, guilt, guilt. You didn’t turn up, you didn’t go for us, therefore you were a shirker. This poster is of Lord Kitchener. ‘Lord Kitchener wants you! God save the King.’ Remember we spoke of Lord Kitchener, he was related to a founding family in this region.
 
Q. Why did Australians join in England’s war?
 
Carla: Because they thought of themselves as part of an empire, that if one part was threatened, it was all threatened.
 
Q. If God says not to kill, why does he seem to contradict himself in the Bible and tell the Israelites to go to war with others?
 
Carla: This is about those on the inside of the Israelite clan and those on the outside. Each side thinks, as did the Germans and the British, that God is on their side. You only get religious wars when there’s monotheism, because if there’s polytheism, who cares.
 
Q. Were there any women soldiers in the Bible.
 
Carla: Yes. Deborah, she was a general and led the whole Israel army. Gael put a tent peg through Scissera’s head. Judith cut the head off a guy. She lured him into her tent and cut his head off.
 
Q. If someone is trying to kill you, is it morally right to defend yourself?
 
Carla: I guess if you look at the golden rule from the other side you would do unto others as they do unto you. I think also that we have been given an instinct to do so, and there is usually a great truth in instinct.
 
Q. Do you think there’s any fear of religious wars today?
 
Carla: Absolutely. There are many going on today. Religious wars are everywhere.

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