From Reinhold Niebuhr’s Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic
What makes me angry is the way I kowtow the chaplains as I visit the various camps. Here are the ministers of the gospel, just as I am. Just as I they are also, for the moment, priests of the great god Mars. As ministers of the Christian religion I have no particular respect for them. Yet I am overcome by a terrible inferiority complex when I deal with them. Such is the power of the uniform. Like myself, they have mixed the worship of the God of love and the God of battles. But unlike myself, they have adequate symbols of this double devotion. The little cross on the shoulder is the symbol of their Christian faith. The uniform itself is the symbol of their devotion to the God of battles. It is the uniform and not the cross which impresses me and others. I am impressed even when I know I ought not be.
I think he puts it well, despite the distance of time. In fact, the ability of this quote to continue to speak true tells us even more about a similarity between Christians then and now, as well as the tension and incompatibility between the State’s violent arm and Christ’s body has always existed.