44. The Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie

“The Universal Soldier” by Buffy Sainte-Marie
(click here to listen)

He’s five foot-two and he’s six feet-four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He’s all of thirty-one and he’s only seventeen
He’s been a soldier for a thousand years
He’s a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jane
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
And he knows he shouldn’t kill
And he knows he always will
Kill you for me my friend and me for you
And he’s fighting for Canada
He’s fighting for France
He’s fighting for the USA
And he’s fighting for the Russians
And he’s fighting for Japan
And he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way
And he’s fighting for democracy
He’s fighting for the Reds
He says it’s for the peace of us all
He’s the one who must decide
Who’s to live and who’s to die
And he never sees the writing on the wall
But without him, how would Hitler have condemned him at Liebau?
Without him, Caesar would’ve stood alone
He’s the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war
And without him all this killing can’t go on
He’s the universal soldier
and he really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from here and there
and you and me
And brothers, can’t you see
This is not the way we put the end to war?

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Buffy Sainte-Marie
Universal Soldier lyrics © Peermusic Publishing


It is hard to know from the Gospels what Jesus thought about an ‘End Time’.  The Gospel writers recorded his use of apocalyptic language (Matthew 24–25 , Mark 13 and Luke 21), but ‘apocalyptic’ was a literary form, full of symbolism, used by people in his era to speak of events in the present day and near future. Reference to consequences was part of Jesus’ emphasis on calling people to personal responsibility. Yes, an ‘end time’ would come when the ‘chickens come home to roost’, but it is a personal end rather than a world-ending event. However, this personal ‘end time’ is not to be understood as a judgment by God at the time of one’s death.  We have no idea what Jesus thought about life after death.  In fact, I am quite sure he wasn’t the least bit interested. His notion of judgment had little to do with God, whom he considered infinitely forgiving; rather, judgment was akin to the Buddhist idea of karma: the idea that your actions would bounce back to haunt you, thus bringing a personal judgment in the form of suffering consequences. Read more by  clicking here to see “Judgment” under “Words of the Word” on this website.

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