Friday, August 30, 2013


I hate our American news media. They are not impartial and give us only part of the news in the world. How many Americans know that Christians are being singled for ethnic cleansing, when in fact Christians have been a part of the middle East long before Muslims arrived on the scene?

When discussing what is happening in the Middle East, only the interests of America are taken into account and the hawks in our government and in rank and file Americans continue to want to use military might to push our own special interests. Isn't there another way?

Yes there is and we have to listen to the religious voices of reason especially in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches of the region. Have you heard anyone in the main stream press report on religious sensibilities regarding peace. Has anyone reported on what Pope Francis is saying about it? No! It is a part of the main stream media, news and entertainment to marginalize Christianity and our Christian moral perspective not only on peace, of course, but every other moral issue, especially those concerning the "pelvic" issues!

The Coptics in Egypt think that it is a good thing that the Muslim Brotherhood has been overthrown as this group has been burning Christian churches and killing Christians. The Orthodox Coptic bishop says the USA should not support the previous regime that was ousted by the military in a coup.

Now in Syria, there are rumors that the USA will go it alone and launch air strikes on Syria to flex some muscle. Is this the way to go?

I think we should listen to the Catholic bishop of that region.

Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo Antoine Audo told Vatican Radio this week that armed intervention in Syria could lead to another World War, and says he hopes that what he calls animal “instincts and anarchy” will not win out over dialogue and reconciliation.

“The duty of the international community is to help, to support…peace and reconciliation . The duty of the international community,” he says, “is not to use the (base) instincts, or anarchy. Really for us this a big question as Christians in this situation.”

Asked if Syrians themselves support foreign intervention, Bishop Audo admits his opinion cannot represent all the myriad points of view in Syria. But “as Christians, as people of the Church, generally we are wondering about this way of understanding (military intervention)… we don’t have to use (base) instincts or the anarchy of the people.”

Foreign intervention in Syria he warns, would be dangerous for the entire region. “The circle of war is without end, without solution.”

Christians, he suggests, want the international community “to be the big brother, the big father, a mother for the others and to seek a solution of reconciliation and peace.”

The Vatican and Pope Francis, Bishop Audo points out, have made very clear calls for a non-military solution to the crisis, urging dialogue and reconciliation between the different sides in the conflict.


Nathanael said...

Why would the United States listen to the Christian leadership of the region? They don’t control the economic interests the United States has in the region in the first place. The vanities of certain presidents play a role also, maybe?

And what of Syria’s mutual defense pact with the Iranian regime? Their new leadership is already in the process of formally suing the United States for the Shah – wouldn’t that make them look even better? And what of the fact that the United States knows next-to-nothing about who will replace the Al-assad regime – is the United States getting into bed with groups linked to Al Qaeda, again?

And what of Egypt? Oh wait – they are a US “ally.” Is the brutality of the Egyptian Army any worse than the Syrian regime – or the rebels? They have already seen how the US treats leaders who have done their bidding for 20 years or more (Mubarak). That former President of Egypt dropped into a long line of other “friends” of the United States: Ngo Dinh Diem, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and Ferdinand & Imelda Marcos (three Catholics in that line-up).

Maybe I am too cynical – the leadership of the United States only listens to Christian leadership when certain dates role around and they need votes and money; and they cannot compete in the money bracket, anymore, with those economic interests that drive our foreign policy.

qwikness said...

War sells newspapers. Newspapers being sold sells advertisements.

Gene said...

This country is being run by a bunch of incompetent, shuck and jive cronies who have no understanding of either diplomacy or warfare. They are like children playing with matches and it will only be luck if some international crisis is averted. Their constituency is too stupid and too immediate and self-indulgent to even know what is going on...but they will support this cabal because of the free stuff and permissive moral atmosphere this administration promotes.

rcg said...

And newspapers sell voters.

We have lost our minds.

John Nolan said...

Has the Vatican said anything specific about Islamic persecution of Christian minorities? Pope Francis at Lampedusa seemed to be encouraging illegal Muslim immigrants to invade Europe.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Gene, you're forgetting that modern-day man is too enlightened to start another world war. If we all just LUV each other, we'll be safe, because no one ever naturally thinks about harming another person. If they do, their parents abused them as a child, or they're just crazy. Our post-modern, enlightened selves are too intelligent to buy into this whole "existence of evil" nonsense.

It'd be funny only if this type of lunacy weren't so commonplace among my generation...

Gene said...

People need to wake up and see this Muslim thing for what it invasion by fanatics and primitives who want to destroy Israel, the Church, and Western culture.
We are at war with Islam and nobody even realizes it...

Anonymous 2 said...

"And Jesus wept."

Gene said...

Flavius, They know that if they just keep loving and voting Democratic they'll finally usher in a Heaven on earth. Who needs Jesus?

Anonymous said...

"Shuck and jive cronies"? preacher gene, you are a racist. If you had "sufficient reflection" you probably committed a MORTAL SIN!s

Gene said...

lordy, Anonymous has resorted to that favorite liberal/progressive label "racist..." possibly, along with "love," the most cliched and misused word in the language. Hey, Anonymous, have you ever had an original thought or do yours come in boxes of Granola?

Gene said...

Anon2, "...and Jesus wept..." You're kidding? Boy, how you love to take Biblical quotes out of context. Read the rest of the verse in Luke: "For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you because you did not know the time of your visitation."
Now, Jesus doesn't say anything here about what we are to do about this ominous warning...certainly we may assume that we should repent and believe on Him who was sent. But, what about the Church? Do we fight to protect her? The enemies he spoke of are already here and they are many and varied. Even as this has come about because we "did not know the time of our visitation," are we to sit back passively and let it happen? Does the survival of the Church as a viable institution matter? Or, do we want to become what the misguided prots wrongly believe the early Church was... loosely structured bands of rabble followers of Jesus wandering from place to place and having worship once in a while they probably sang Kum Ba Yah)?
So, where do we stand? There is a faction that believes we should just allow the Church to perish if that is what is necessary to maintain this "peace at any price" mentality. What would my advice be, as a devout Catholic and a student of theology and Bible all my life...well, I like that old WW II song, 'Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition (and we'll all stay free)."

John Nolan said...

Showing disapproval of the way foreigners behave to one another by popping off cruise missiles at them (at £1 million a shot) regardless of national interest, is a strange take on foreign policy. If Britain had a moral cause for intervention in recent years, it would have been in Zimbabwe, since it was we who installed Mugabe in power, and his removal would have required little expense in blood and treasure.

I hope Obama has good luck with the Frogs, whom the US administration is now gushingly referring to as "our oldest ally". Not long ago they were "cheese-eating surrender monkeys".

Anonymous 2 said...


No, I am not kidding. And trust you to choose the passage from Luke instead of the one from John 11: 33-35 (the death of Lazarus), which was of course the one I actually had in mind:

“33. When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed 7 and deeply troubled, 34 and said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Sir, come and see."35 And Jesus wept.”

Now, why did I quote it on_this_thread?

But, since you do mention the other incident of Jesus’s weeping (over the fate of Jerusalem), I will in fact adopt that one too. Now, why would I do that?

Just what is your problem, Gene? I mean it – seriously. I am worried about you.

Gene said...

For sale: One French Army issue rifle. Unfired. Only dropped once. LOL!

First item of issue to every French soldier: white flag

Gene said...

I didn't imagine you would be referring to the story of Lazarus because it had no immediate relation to the context of the discussion...Muslims and the Middle East, you know, Jerusalem and all that. So, then, you were referring to Jesus weeping over this crowning miracle that demonstrated Jesus to be the true Messiah, having power over life and death and, therefore, demonstrating that belief in Him is primary. Ok, fine. My questions still stand.

Anonymous 2 said...

John Nolan:

As a native Englishman (but naturalized American), I am as partial as the next person over there to derogatory terms for the French. Lest our American born friends on the Blog think that this is unkind, one has to be English, I think, properly to appreciate the centuries of history that lie behind this as well as the good-natured (albeit edgy) intent involved in the use of such terms.

But “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”? A term that was coined in the 1990s on The Simpsons and then popularized and propagandized by the naïve Gung-ho neo-conservatives (and especially National Review’s Jonah Goldberg) who wanted to blunt European opposition to what, rather predictably, turned out to the Iraq debacle. Oh, and don’t forget pouring out bottles of French wine (what sacrilege!) and renaming French fries “Freedom fries” in a public display of patriotic and childish fervor. From the phraseology of your comment, I believe that you are fully aware of the ironies involved in now referring to the French as “our oldest ally” (a phrase that, especially for you and me, carries additional irony as an attempted and not very subtle poke in the eye to David Cameron and the British government – how droll, ha ha!) .

Of course, it turns out that the “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” (among whom presumably must be included the Pope, also opposed to the Iraq War) had it right and the naïve Gung-ho (“Liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk”) Kenneth Adelman etc Brigade had it wrong. (BTW neoconservatives also took credit for the Arab Spring to begin with – “it was triggered by the example of Iraq etc” – until they got mugged by reality, yet again, after which they pretended they hadn’t taken credit and tried to pin the once again very predictable ensuing problems on Obama. If you don’t believe this, I have done the research and am happy to supply sources.)

It all makes one feel as if one had eaten too much cheese.

Anonymous 2 said...

Okay, Gene, since it seems you still don’t get it, before we even attempt to answer your questions, first we weep (before Jesus performed the crowning miracle He wept). Have I made myself clear enough now?

Maybe then, we can flush enough junk out of our eyes to see clearly enough to essay an answer to the questions you ask and a host of other ones besides (yes, allusion to planks deliberately intended).

And the fact that you could not see an immediate relation between Jesus’s weeping on the occasion of Lazarus’s death and the context of Fathers post and the discussion in the thread is, I suggest, some evidence of the need to weep.

John Nolan said...

Anon 2

I'm not sure what the definition of a neoconservative is, although I have often heard it used as a term of abuse. Was Tony Blair a neocon? His background was Conservative, but he realized that he might rise higher on the coat-tails of Labour, in obvious disarray after the Thatcher years.

I was opposed to the invasion of Iraq because Saddam was no threat to the West - in fact we had him over a barrel. The rhetoric about WMDs was never convincing, and only a non-military man would put chemical weapons into this category. On the modern battlefield they are more or less useless. And no-one seemed to think beyond toppling Saddam (which was the easy part).

As for the Arab Spring, it was the liberal media over here who bought into the freedom-and-democracy nonsense. Conservatives weren't fooled.

Concerning the French, we generally respected and admired them as enemies, but they're bloody exasperating to have as allies, as was shown in the Crimea and both World Wars. That said, I am an ardent Francophile, love their country and speak their language.

Anonymous said...

I realize that this is a serious thread on foreign policy, but:

Where did Anonymous get "And Jesus wept"? (I mean the AND.) My childhood memory of King James Version has no "and." The New Revised Standard Version New Oxford Annotated Bible, which I have accessibly at hand, has no "and." The Greek, in edition of Aland, Black, Metzger & Wikgren, 1965, which I have accessibly at hand, has nothing that could support a translation "and." Indeed, it is a rather striking, "harsh" example of asyndeton, such as would have prompted from me a sort of jocular remark in an intermediate-level, classics-department course that John (who I firmly believe was the author of the Gospel, perhaps with an amanuensis) might have a suggestion from his "tenth-grade Greek teacher" that a "de" might have been a good idea.

- Ancil Payne

Gene said...

Anon 2, Jesus wept over the death of his friend. He had human emotions. I see no need to abstract from that some comment on current political entanglements or to make some hysterical, hand-wringing plea for world peace, free love, social welfare, or whatever. The verse has been badly misused and misappropriated. My grandfather used it as an oath, for instance:
Grandmother: "Westbrook, there is a roach in the pantry!"
Grandfather: "Jesus wept! Woman, can't you stomp it yourself."

He wept over Jerusalem because they didn't listen. Ironic, no?

Anonymous 2 said...

John Nolan: Real conservatives weren’t fooled over here either. I know I wasn’t. Neoconservatives were. Come to that, they still are. They are even more naïve than liberals in my view. Their problem, you see, is that they substitute ideology for wisdom. Here is more than you ever want to know about American neoconservatives (read the parts on foreign policy especially):

As for the French, well, yes, of course, there is much to admire, as there is with most nationalities (They are especially good at “taunting” =)).

Anonymous 2 said...

Ancil Payne: I admire your Greek expertise. Unfortunately, although I had seven years of Latin at school and then studied Roman Law at university, I do not have Greek. The educational progressives had by then deprived me of the opportunity to take Greek at school. However, that is beside the point. Being Catholic, I used the Revised New American Bible Online. Check out John 11: 33-35 for yourself (the source is impeccable):

If you think the translation is incorrect, please be sure to let the Vatican know.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene: Yes, Jesus had human emotions. Consider, then, the mystery of hypostatic union or if you don’t like that try Abraham Heschel’s “The Prophets” (which I am sure you will not like either).

As to your grandfather’s misuse, how is that any more relevant than taking the Lord’s name in vain?

Ironic indeed! As I have speculated before, if Jerusalem had listened, the Jews and the rest of the world would doubtless have been spared much anguish throughout history, including the current anguish and horror in Syria. Instead, of course, most of his fellow Jews failed to recognize who Jesus really was and chose the way of violence instead, ending in their defeat, destruction, and dispersal.

Anonymous 2 said...

Ancil: For the sake of completeness, also check out Luke 19:41 in the Revised New American Online:

“As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it,”

As you will note, there is yet another “and.”

Actually, I think the link I sent before was to the New American Bible. Here is one to the Revised New American Bible. But the translations of these passages are the same:

John Nolan said...

Ancil Payne

Go back to the Vulgate. John 11:35 "Et lacrimatus est Jesus". Douay-Rheims (ed. Challoner) "And Jesus wept".

We don't use Greek or protestant redactions in the liturgy of the Roman Rite.