Sunday, August 12, 2012

Christian winter

William Dalrymple has an insightful essay on the increasing repression of Christians in the Middle East.
 
Excerpt:

Wherever you go in the Middle East today, you see the Arab Spring rapidly turning into the Christian winter. 
The past few years have been catastrophic for the region's beleaguered 14-million strong Christian minority. 
In Egypt, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood has been accompanied by anti-Coptic riots and intermittent bouts of church-burning. On the West Bank and in Gaza, the Christians are emigrating fast as they find themselves caught between Benjamin Netanyahu's pro-settler government and their increasingly radicalised and pro-Hamas Sunni Muslim neighbours. Most catastrophically, in Iraq, two thirds of the Christians have fled the country since the fall of Saddam. 
It was Syria that took in many of the 250,000 Christians driven out of Iraq. Anyone who visited Damascus in recent years could see lounging in every park and sitting in every teahouse the unshaven Iraqi Christian refugees driven from their homes by the sectarian mayhem that followed the end of the Baathist state. They were bank managers and engineers, pharmacists and businessmen - all living with their extended families in one-room flats on what remained of their savings and assisted by the charity of the different churches.

"Before the war there was no separation between Christian and Muslim," I was told on a recent visit by Shamun Daawd, a liquor-store owner who fled Baghdad after he received Islamist death threats. I met him at the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus, where he had come to collect the rent money the Patriarchate provided for the refugees. "Under Saddam no one asked you your religion and we used to attend each other's religious services," he said. "Now at least 75 per cent of my Christian friends have fled."

Whatever leeway Christians in the Middle East had under the boot of the Religion of Peace is slipping away. The Islamist revolutions are drawing the curtain of Islamic totalitarianism over beleaguered religious minorities. Jews are already nothing but targets as far as Islamists are concerned, and Christians are heading into that category.

I think that our invasion of Iraq was a serious mistake, although I supported it at the time. We tipped that balance of power to the radical Islamists-- as evil as Saddam was, he was no Islamist. I believe that the "Arab Spring" is just a ridiculous idiot liberal phrase for an Islamic totalitarian awakening.

Islam is not the threat to mankind that Communism was, but it is a threat, and it must be confronted. I don't believe that military confrontation is generally the best choice, although Islamic military prowess is a joke. They are no match for the West in military conflict, and have not been since Vienna and Lepanto.

Islam, in conjunction with the boot-licking secular left, is an enormous cultural, political and demographic threat to the West.  I believe that a full-throated political, economic, and cultural confrontation of Islam by Christians is needed.

Christian culture is far superior in every way to secular and Islamic culture, and we need to say so unabashedly. And we need to fight for Christian culture with every peaceful means at our disposal.

Please pray for our Christian (and Jewish) brethren in the Middle East, in this time of great peril. 

12 comments:

  1. I can't wait to hear from KW how this is actually our fault.

    TRISH

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  2. Ok, I’ll bite,

    The big problem with a Christian confrontation of Islam is that this is just more religious conflict. Christians are suffering in the Middle East precisely because of this attitude. The Islamic religious fundamentalists see Christianity represented by invading Christian armies and the animus thus generated finds an outlet oppressing powerless Christian minorities.

    A Christian based confrontation won’t work and will only lead to more hate and violence. Christians are at a disadvantage in a confrontation with Islam because they can’t use the obvious criticism of Islam’s reliance on faith and revelation to guide their actions. Legitimate criticism of Islam is also criticism of Christianity, so all Christians are left with is “our God is bigger than your God”, and “We’re better than you are”; two attitudes that have never lessened conflict.

    We have to be smart in our confrontation with Islam. Conservative Christians bring nothing to the table and only make the situation worse.

    -KW

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    1. KW:

      [The big problem with a Christian confrontation of Islam is that this is just more religious conflict.]

      You're engaged in "religious conflict" on this blog. There's nothing wrong with debating religion and its impact. Violence is usually wrong. Debate usually good.

      One problem with Islam is that debate is often cut short by violence.

      [Christians are suffering in the Middle East precisely because of this attitude.]

      Christians are suffering in the ME because of Muslim hate against them. These ancient peaceful Christian communities pose no physical threat to Islam.

      [The Islamic religious fundamentalists see Christianity represented by invading Christian armies and the animus thus generated finds an outlet oppressing powerless Christian minorities.]

      All Christian "invasions" of Islam followed the spread of Islam, which was entirely by invasion and violence. Islam was founded in war, has spread only by war, and continues to use war as an instrument. Christian war against Islam is defensive, either to rescue occupied populations (the Crusades) or to defend itself (Tours, Lepanto, Vienna).

      [A Christian based confrontation won’t work and will only lead to more hate and violence.]

      The only reason you are not currently worshipping Allah is because of Christian confrontation. For 1400 years, Christians have confronted Islam and kept it from making the entire West Islamic.

      Christian confrontation saved your ass, and still saves your ass.

      [Christians are at a disadvantage in a confrontation with Islam because they can’t use the obvious criticism of Islam’s reliance on faith and revelation to guide their actions.]

      Yea. Idiot atheist arguments are so much more effective against Muslims. They're helpless against "Who caused God" and "Everything came from nothing".

      [Legitimate criticism of Islam is also criticism of Christianity, so all Christians are left with is “our God is bigger than your God”, and “We’re better than you are”; two attitudes that have never lessened conflict.]

      What is good in Islam is what has been borrowed from Christianity and Judaism, which is much. What is bad is the violence, the hate, some of the idiot theology, etc.

      What are the atheist criticisms of Islam? You have yet to account for the totalitarian mass-murdering behavior of your fellow atheists when they grasp political power.

      [We have to be smart in our confrontation with Islam.]

      Show me the "smart" atheist confrontations. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan?

      [Conservative Christians bring nothing to the table and only make the situation worse.]

      Conservative Christians have kept your ass Islam-free for 1400 years. Say thanks once in a while.

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  3. @KW: Wait, I'm confused. Is the US a secular, Christian, or religion-neutral state? Your reference to "invading Christian armies" only makes sense if the United States is a Christian nation.

    The big problem with a Christian confrontation with Islam is that Western Christianity has been drained of its potency (a radical willingness to sacrifice in love) by material comforts, secular influence, and an adulterous affair with secular political parties like the American GOP. We have bought the lie of the American Dream and convinced ourselves that the point in life is to make sure "I got mine," to be comfortable and complacent, and we've spent so long in bed with the Republicans that we've started imbibing and spewing forth again the toxic philosophies of Ayn Rand and Glenn Beck as if talk of crushing Mohammedans and spitting on looters and moochers were part of the sermon on the mount.

    Our God is the same God the Muslims worship; it's just that we know him better. Or, at any rate, we're supposed to. The power of Christianity has always been the power of meekness and sacrifice, but are busy abandoning our crucified God in favor of a golden calf and promises of worldly dominion and victory by force of arms. Nothing new under the sun. Heaven help us.

    -John Henry

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  4. I doubt you’re really confused, you know as well as I do we have a secular constitution and Christianity is the majority religion. The invading Christian armies make perfect sense from the perspective of the Muslim fundamentalists who live in the lands we have invaded.

    When people like Egnor, Glenn Beck, and General Boykin, advocate for a Christian confrontation with Islam the western audience they are trying to influence isn’t the only audience that sees their message. Hillary Clinton was protested in Egypt because of things that Michel Bachmann and General Boykin said. These things have consequences.

    You see our culture draining the potency of Christianity as a problem. I see it as the reason living in a western nation is far superior to living in a fundamentalist Islamic country. If conservative Christianity in this country had the potency of Islam in Iran then I would seriously consider fleeing in order to maintain my liberty. Fundamentalism is the problem. A more potent Christianity will only make it worse. We need to turn Muslims away from Islam, not turn Christians into more strident Christians.

    Saying “We know God better” doesn’t have the potency of a unified appeal to reason and shared human values.

    -KW

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    1. As I noted above, KW, Christianity has been quite militant and quite effective in checking the spread of Islam for 1400 years. "Conservative Christianity" is the reason that you are not living in a nation like Iran right now. We fought and bled for centuries to keep Islam at bay. Now a crop of historically illiterate fools are claiming that assertive Christianity is the problem. It is, and has always been, the only bulwark between Islam and all of the West.

      If you are claiming that atheist has more to offer, tell me what. Atheism appeared on the world political stage in late 18th century France, and has had quite a run. In the 20th century a third of humanity was governed by atheist governments.

      Care to list the atheist successes in our defense against Islam? Would you consider the anemic functionally atheist cultures of modern Western Europe success stories against the encroachment of Islam?

      Show me what atheism has done.

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    2. What’s your end-game doctor? How would you like it to play-out? With your approach I see the 1400 years of religious conflict continuing much as it has. If you get your way Dr., the cycles of hatred and violence are likely continue fur many hundreds of years. Religion is the problem, not the solution.

      -KW

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    3. "Conservative Christianity" is the reason that you are not living in a nation like Iran right now.

      Conservative Christianity have opposed, and continue to oppose, just about every measure that expands or liberty. Liberal Christianity on the other hand has been much more progressive. Again, it’s the fundamentalists of any religion that are the problem.

      -KW

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    4. @KW:

      [the cycles of hatred and violence are likely continue fur many hundreds of years. Religion is the problem, not the solution.]

      An atheist, an ATHEIST, is lecturing me about violence and ideology? This is lol funny. Atheism in political power is the most violent totalitarian movement in history. It makes militant Islam look like Quakers. You own Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the NK Kims, etc. Atheism in power in the 20th century killed 100 million people.

      Spare me your crap about violent religion.

      The answer to violent Islam is to stop the violence, with words and peaceful actions where possible, and (rarely) with war if necessary.

      Atheism has nothing to offer, and in fact the world would be better off if atheists spent their time trying to understand why all atheist governments have been hellholes.

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    5. KW:

      [Conservative Christianity have opposed, and continue to oppose, just about every measure that expands or liberty. Liberal Christianity on the other hand has been much more progressive. Again, it’s the fundamentalists of any religion that are the problem]

      Typical clueless liberal crap.

      Conservative Christianity has a long history of fighting oppression, from the founding of the United States (while a few founders were Deists, the overwhelming majority of Americans were quite orthodox), opposition to slavery, opposition to eugenics, and support for the civil rights movement were all projects closely aligned with serious orthodox Christians.

      Liberal/progressive Christianity is of course dying. It has associated itself with a panopoly of batshit leftist agendas. Its most notorious advocacy was for eugenics in the early 20th century. Progressive Christian churches gave massive support to the eugenic movement (see Christine Rosen's superb "Preaching Eugenics"). Eugenics was opposed by Catholics and conservative Christians.

      The first progressive liberal Christian president was Wilson, who was a raving racist and eugenicist.

      Learn some history.

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  5. Excellent post, Dr Egnor.
    Points well made.
    Sorry my comments have been sparse of late.
    I am totally absorbed by a very engaging duty at the moment.
    But, still reading your blog when I get the chance.
    This one is SPOT on.

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    1. Thanks crus. Your comments are missed! Join again when you have time.

      Blessings.

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