I was thinking about you the other evening. Manchester United and AC Milan were playing soccer on the TV. It was a great game. I enjoyed it. During halftime I fired up the interwebs and saw that 9 US soldiers had died in Iraq. ‘Oh well,’ I thought, and continued watching the game.
Then it it hit me. Young men my age are sacrificing their lives for their country whilst I get to chomp my Ikea crispbreads and enjoy the footie. It’s not fair.
Not fair for people like me, I mean.
Our grandparents happily accepted rationing, faithfully bought their war-bonds, and thumbed their noses at Jerry. Your fathers lined up to fight for freedom in Indochina. During the Falkland’s War, people in my country watched the news every night and solemnly counted our dead. But today, in this great war for freedom — the great struggle of our age — you limply ask us to support the troops and live life as normal. You asked us to shop, so we shopped. You asked us to get behind our leaders, so we did. I worry, however, that these are not real sacrifices. It is faith without real works. It is Episcopalian, and we Mormons are capable of so much more than that.
You are speaking at BYU this week, my church’s university. May I respectfully ask you to use this opportunity to enlist the Mormons to your cause. Forget the bleatings of a few gentile Mormon malcontents, and the lame protests of a handful of students who think that voting Democrat makes them edgy and cool. No, be comforted to know that the majority of American Mormons love you, your boss, your party, your Patriot Act, and your war for freedom. We believe in honoring you, sir. And more than that, we believe that the freedom you offer is God’s gift to the world, and that’s a fight we want to be a part of.
But you haven’t asked us to do anything! Mormons are do-ers. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven, you see, and we have a sneaking suspicion that simply wearing the flag on our lapels is not enough. We want to do something big, sir. That way it won’t be just all those people who join the army for selfish reasons who will be blessed for their sacrifices. We want in. We want to serve. Blessings await.
Tell us to pay more taxes to fund the war, and we’ll pay them.
Tell us to enlist, and we will.
Tell us to support a draft, and we’ll do it. Our children are your children, Mr. Vice President. (We may have to figure out how to make our missionaries exempt, but we can cross that bridge when we come to it.)
In short, Mr. Cheney, this is a war fought in our names, one which we wholeheartedly support, and we simply want a chance to put our shoulder to freedom’s wheel. Right now most of us are doing nothing for this war, and it’s so durned frustrating. Even my own Prince Harry — an Anglican of all things, and a boozer to boot — is doing more than me!
So, I very much hope you will use your BYU speech to make the call for us to serve. If you can get the Mormons to make sacrifices, you can even extend the Coalition of the Willing to all corners of the world and Alberta. The Mormons can save this war, Mr. Cheney. We’ll go where you want us to go, we’ll be what you want us to be.