Remembering the Christmas Truce of 1914: (And Questioning Christian Participation in Homicide)

by Gary G. Kohls / December 24th, 2017

…and the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame;
And on each end of the rifle we’re the same”

— John McCutcheon, “Christmas in the Trenches”

103 years ago this Christmas something happened near the beginning of the “War to End All Wars” that put a tiny little blip of hope in the historical timeline of the organized mass slaughter that is war.

The event was regarded by the professional military officer class to be so profound and so important (and so disturbing) that strategies were immediately put in place that would ensure that such an event could never happen again.

“Christian” Europe was in the fifth month of the war of 1914 – 1918, the so-called Great War that finally ground to a mutually suicidal halt after four years of exhausting trench warfare, with all of the original participants financially, spiritually and morally bankrupt.

British, Scottish, French, Belgian, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, German, Austrian, Hungarian, Serbian and Russian clergymen from church pulpits in those Christian nations were doing their part in creating a decidedly un-Christ-like patriotic fervor that would result in a holocaust that destroyed four empires, killed upwards of 20 million soldiers and civilians, physically wounded hundreds of millions more and caused the psychological and spiritual decimation of an entire generation of young men whose spiritual care was supposed to be the…

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