May 16, 2009

"God watch over our troops."

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Backroads mural. Southern Ohio.

Detail:

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35 comments:

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

And our chins, while he's at it.

Bob Sacamano said...

Those are the Clingers BHO told us about.

sean said...

Wow, don't put this photo up on your office door. This is basically the opposite of everything the law faculty at Wisconsin wants, hopes or believes.

Cedarford said...

Gott mit uns was a German slogan used since the 17th Century. "God with us". Most recently by the WWII Wehrmacht, which had it inscribed on their belt buckles.

Didn't help the Germans, much.

The Christianized Romans and Byzantines started it earlier, with Vobiscum Deus - "God is with you" told to their troops.

Of course, the Islamoids have their own war cry of "Allah is with us."

Again, it doesn't seem to work as well as a Hellfire missile sent up their asses..

Will Cate said...

Such an interesting, expressive face Mr. GunsBibleClinger has here. The care-worn lines. Really quite exquisite folk-art.

Ann Althouse said...

It never occurred to me that "God watch over our troops" meant the same thing as "God is on our side."

Presumably, God watches over all of us.

I think it did the Germans good to lose WWII. God can watch over you in ways that do not lead to victory.

Ann Althouse said...

@Will Cate Yes, I agree.

chuck b. said...

That's v. cool.

EDH said...

The portraint seems to represent a blue-eyed malado.

Should an ethnic interpretation be expected given his atypicality and prominence in the piece?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Really quite exquisite folk-art.

Yes, very much so.

Someday in the future on Antiques Road Show circa 2050...wow.. watch out. Big Bucks.

rhhardin said...

The subjunctive mood is used for sparring for time (``What if he were?'') and posturing (``If there be justice''), according to Thurber,
Ladies' and Gentlemen's Guide to Modern English Usage.

The fight starts when one of the parties goes into the indicative.

traditionalguy said...

The God of the Hebrews was said to "ride on the heavens to help them, and on the clouds in his majesty...and drive their enemies out before them." Maybe this farmer from Ohio cares enough to ask for help from a God mighty in battle. The Presbyterian Scots-Irish settlers of western Pa and Ohio were reputed to be either your best friend or your worst enemy in time of battle.

knox said...

rh, I'm going to have to write that comment out in longhand before I can fully absorb it.

bearbee said...

@ Will Cate and Althouse, also like it, but curious of the artist intent and outlook.

Careworn face of a patriot with small forehead, large nose and chin, small dull eyes.

Backbone of the country, or land of the slow-witted?

Respect or ridicule?

Eight stars signify?

Bissage said...

Hex signs have come a long way.

Bissage said...

Maybe it's Claude Akins.

bearbee said...

It never occurred to me that "God watch over our troops" meant the same thing as "God is on our side."My niece hates "God Bless America." Interprets its intent as asking God to bless America to the exclusion of everyone else.

knox said...

It does look like Claude Akins. And Claude Akins looks a lot like Ronald Reagan.

John Burgess said...

Cedarford: No snark, but can you cite an instance of 'the Islamoids have their own war cry of "Allah is with us."'?

I'd be very interested in seeing a cite as that sentiment isn't quite theologically sustainable in Islam. I'd like to know which faction is using it.

rhhardin said...

The sign is in the subjunctive. The indicative would be ``God watches over our troops.''

In WWI German it's in the indicative, ``Gott ist bei uns.''

I have forgotten college German, but I think the subjunctive would be ``Gott sei bei uns.''

William said...

I can't figure out whether it was made by sophisticated artist to mock the sentiment expressed or by a naive artist to simply express the sentiment. Art flourishes in ambiguity, in the interstices between the lines. Part of the ambiguity is our ignorance of the artist. This would be a different picture if we truly knew what his aim was.

Fen said...

Hmmm. I see it as a farmer with a son/daughter serving in the military. Probrably because most of my Marine bros hail from Red States or similar communities.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: SFB cedarford
RE: Slogans

"Cedarford said...

Gott mit uns was a German slogan used since the 17th Century. "God with us". Most recently by the WWII Wehrmacht, which had it inscribed on their belt buckles." -- cedarford

And "In God We Trust" is enscribed on our currency.

What's your point, BFer?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The gloves are 'off'.]

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: SFB cedarford
RE: Slogans

"Cedarford said...

Gott mit uns was a German slogan used since the 17th Century. "God with us". Most recently by the WWII Wehrmacht, which had it inscribed on their belt buckles." -- cedarford

And "In God We Trust" is enscribed on our currency.

What's your point, BFer?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The gloves are 'off'.]

Tom W. said...

It never occurred to me that "God watch over our troops" meant the same thing as "God is on our side."Well, because it doesn't.

Your problem is that you're rational.

bearing said...

Now hold on. If I tell someone, "God bless you," does that mean "God bless nobody else but you?"

Hardly.

And really, isn't "May God be with us" the same as "May we be with God?" As in, may we be on the side of goodness and right?

That doesn't sound so bad.

mockmook said...

Unless I see contrary evidence, I refuse to believe this was not meant to be respectful.

It is too "genuine" to be ridicule.

Don't ask me how I know; but I know.

howzerdo said...

It's wonderful. It reminds me of my sister's folk art. I know she would not intend any of her work to be disrespectful.

Michael said...

God only blesses my sneezes. The rest of your sneezes are damned for all eternity.

Anyway, the best comment on asking for God's help in wartime belongs, unsurprisingly, to Lincoln: "Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side."

John S said...

Fitting and well said, Michael.

kwood said...

God can watch over you in ways that do not lead to victory.Yes and yes again. Well said.

John S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay Kactuz said...

What, John Burgess here?

I never imagined that John would be an Althouse reader.... Oh well, quality attracts quality.

Let me say that John's "Crossroads Arabia" blog is a must for those interested in a very important part of the world (even if he is much too kind on Islam for my taste).

John is right. Muslims say "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest), not "Allah is with us." This is the standard battlecry used by Muslims when attacking infidels (or even other Muslims) since the days of Mohammad.

Regarding the art, I am not sure ... It may represent "everyman", that is why is is so crude (but intriging).

Kactuz

Skookum John said...

Anyway, the best comment on asking for God's help in wartime belongs, unsurprisingly, to Lincoln: "Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side."Interesting. This discussion and the quote from Lincoln parallel quite precisely a small flap that you may remember regarding Sarah Palin's invocation of God's blessing at a service for some departing troops.

Charlie Gibson, who knows the difference between subjunctive and indicative moods, deliberately misquoted Gov. Palin in the indicative, when she had unambiguously spoken in the subjunctive. When she protested at being misquoted, his exact words were, "Exact words." But this was a damnable lie, the first of many.

Sarah Palin even referred to the Lincoln analogy later, which makes sense because she had said essentially the same thing as Lincoln. For this completely valid, logical, and accurate attempt at explanation, she drew even more media vilification in the vein of "You're no Lincoln, chickie."

I'm not saying that she distinguished herself in the Couric interviews, but from my perspective she did just fine in the Gibson interview.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: The Artwork

Regarding the art, I am not sure ... It may represent "everyman", that is why is is so crude (but intriging). -- Jay Kactuz

I agree. It is, in my opinion, deliberately 'crude'. Like that form of artwork popular some time ago, known as 'naive'.

And I also agree that it represents 'everyman'. Not some meterosexual, coiffed girlie man. The simple salt-of-the-earth man who honors this country....despite the meterosexuals and such.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. Indeed....

....God watch over our men and women who protect US from the 'tigers' of this world.