THE WAR (Ken Burns' Vietnam Documentary; professor James Byrd; rapture paintball)

This week we attempt to watch Ken Burns’ epic ten-part Vietnam documentary, and allow ourselves to get extremely depressed at the futility of war while asking: Is there some sense in which we need war? Are Americans, in particular, fond of the notion of “holy war”? Can there ever be a purely “secular war”? Is America headed for another Civil War? We interview Dr. James Byrd, professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt Divinity School, on the religious imagery of battle and America’s holy war tradition. In the Kitsch Corner, we vainly attempt to lighten the mood by analyzing a poster that advertises a Rapture-themed paintball game.