Dogma Alert

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Marine read Bible during sniper duty

This appears to be one of those religious feel good stories you often read about in the newspaper where a noble young soldier with a strong faith in the Almighty is struck down in his prime by an evil terrorist/insurgent, and how we should all feel so uplifted by his selfless sacrifice for God and country.

It seems this type of account is meant to stir up feelings of patriotism and devotion in the reader, and ignores the deeper question of why a so-called "Christian", or one who supposedly follows in the footsteps of Jesus, would support an illegal war by volunteering to murder another human being through the scope of a sniper rifle.

By Shia Kapos and Jennifer Taylor
Special to the Tribune
Published January 18, 2005

Cpl. Tommy L. Parker Jr. may have needed his parents' permission to join the Marine Reserves when he was 17, but he was no kid.

An experienced hunter with a strong belief in God and the hereafter, Parker became a husband, father and active duty sniper within a few years of graduating from high school.

"TJ," as he was known to family and friends, "was the type of kid who put everything into whatever he did," said his father, Tommy Parker Sr., also a Reservist.

Cpl. Parker was killed in an ambush on the roof of a building in Al Anbar Province in Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton in California.

Parker and three other Marines had been on the rooftop 24 hours a day for a few months, said Parker's father.

"He was reading the Bible when he was hit," the elder Parker said.

Parker grew up in Arkansas, where he played baseball as a youngster and basketball at Triple S Christian Ranch. His wife, Carla, had been his high school sweetheart.

Parker served in Japan and Indonesia before being deployed to Iraq. His daughter Lara is 2.

Sadly enough, the only real protection a Bible can give a person while on sniper duty is if they carry it their breast pocket and it happens to stop a bullet or a piece of shrapnel with their name on it.



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