Vital Signs

Whose Side Is God On?

Does God take sides in conflicts between men?  If He does, how can we tell?  Is the side favored by God always victorious, or can a lost cause also have been blessed?

Bob Dylan mocked the very notion of God taking sides in human warfare:

Accept it with pride,

For you don’t count the dead

When God’s on your side . . .

The Germans now too

Have God on their side . . .


You never ask questions

When God’s on your side . . .

He concludes that “If God’s on our side / He’ll stop the next war.”

Muslims believe that their own political and military interests are identical to those of Allah.  This is the boon of theocracy: With no separation of mosque and state, Allah cannot help but be on the side of an Islamic government, no matter which way it decides to jump.

At the other end of the spectrum lies traditional Christianity.  There was a time when the Christian God rode high, leading His soldiers into battle and onward to victory.  The stunning success of the Christian West in engulfing all the continents of the earth seemed...

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