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Prayers and Patton Impossiblities~

Patton's Prayer for Bastogne: 

"Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate, (rains) weather, with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle.  Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee.  That, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations."


The famous “weather prayer” of General Patton was written by a Catholic Chaplain, Colonel James H. O’Neill.  Here is his article on the incident written in 1950.

Patton was an interesting mixture of contradictions in his spiritual life.  Foul mouthed even by the standards of an army known for profanity, and much too fond of war for a Christian, he also read the Bible and prayed each day.  A firm Episcopalian, yet he also firmly believed in reincarnation.  While in command in Sicily he began attending mass, initially largely for political reasons to build a bridge to the Catholic population, but then found that he enjoyed worshiping at mass.

Other sayings that enjoy some spiritual significance:

  • “There are no atheists in foxholes"
  • "The rain falls on the just and unjust alike."
  • "Joy comes in the morning..."
These sayings are the ones, that make us think not about life but about the-- here after. The strange and off putting-- in our lives that seem to have no meaning. The so-called Patton's Prayer is what we herald as why America is a good and decent nation when fighting evil.

This American diplomacy of military might is now displayed in the dismaying event of Military Police man in the movie, Captain Philips. In the Movie Captain Philips three skinny and obvious hungry people try to take over a huge cargo boat in an attempt to make some money. The indication here is there is no hope so why not try being a pirate.
We celebrate Pirates at Disneyland and in the movies all three were box office smashes except for the fourth where well---it suxed. 

Anyways, people generally like Pirates. But when you watch the movie you get a sense that Corporations know there are problems-- but refuse to do simple things to keep their cargo and crew save.

 We see-- a labor relations backdrop to the movie where people who are not happy in the first place try to become a team to stave off the pirates. Of course to no avail---just like the Corporations planned since they were unwilling to spend the extra dollars to make pirating almost impossible and then save the worried crews traveling in very unfriendly waters. 
The problem is one of escalation where the Somalia pirate crews would just get better weapons and tactics. So to stop the problem the US military must step in to basically scare other crews away from at least all American shipping. These ideas and theme all play out where I ask the question---does a Somalia pirate have the same rights to better living than the noble US for killing three starving black men and flexing their mighty muscles. 
This is all during a liberal administration where they are seeking human rights violations and trying to abolish child slavery around the world.

Another Patton prayer---later
"Sir, this is Patton speaking. The last 14 days have been straight from hell. Rain, snow, more rain, and more snow. I'm beginning to wonder just whose side You are on. For 3 years now I have believed that this is a religious war, the Crusades all over again, except now we ride tanks instead of horses. I believe that we are here to annihilate godless Hitler so that religion and freedom can return to Europe.

Up to now You have given us Your unreserved support. Clears skies and calm seas during the Africa landings that allowed us to surprise and defeat Rommel. Good weather during the Sicily campaign that let us speed across the island and bypass the Italians. And excellent summer weather in our dash across France, enabling us to trap and destroy the Germans.

But now You have changed horses in midstream and given von Rundstedt every break in the books, and frankly, he is beating the hell out of us.

Sir, I can't help but feel that I have offended You in some way, and for that I am truly sorry. You seem to have lost all sympathy with our cause and are throwing in with von Rundstedt and his paper-hanging god, Hitler. Sir, our situation is desperate.  Fighting Your weather is much more difficult than fighting the Krauts. I don't like to complain, but my soldiers are suffering the tortures of the damned. The hospitals are full of frostbite cases, and the wounded are dying in the field because they can't be brought in for treatment. Lack of visibility has grounded my Air Force and snow and mud have closed the routes for my tanks.

Sir, without Your cooperation, I can't fight. Sir, I am not an unreasonable man; I am not going to ask You for the impossible.  I don't expect a miracle. All I request is 4 days of clear weather. Give me 4 clear days so that my planes can fly, 4 days of sunshine to dry this mud so my tanks can roll, and 4 days of fighting weather so I can send von Rundstedt and his godless army to Valhalla. I ask this through the name of Thy son, Jesus Christ - Amen."

Patton sirs the almighty with all the aplomb of a person who knows well who he speaks too. If he is praying, there is nothing left for-- him to do. Patton doesn't start out praying but does all he can before hitting the floor with testimony and doubt for his cause or other people's causes.

This is significant since Patton knows Hitler and his forces are not godless and are back up by a sizable power. This is admitted to by stating that Patton left like God threw in with the Nazi's. Patton knows the full extend of the Nazi atrocities and is probably like the rest of us not dismayed that it is going on but more like what's the point it doesn't bring honor only desperate men doing desperate things to safe their own skins.

This where Patton probably just learned that a team is needed to win the war not individuals and changed his style to fit the new era that is coming----

'Through the travail of ages,
midst the pomp and toils of war,
have I fought and strove and perished,
countless times among the stars.
As if through a glass and darkly,
the age old strife I see,
when I fought in many guises and many names,
but always me.'"
--Honor without discipline to attain it.


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