Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Here's what the occupation has done to Iraqi Christians

Chris Floyd sez:
My, isn't it wonderful that the American invasion – and the million deaths it has spawned – have allowed people to hold services giving praise to Jesus Christ….in a land where services giving praise to Jesus Christ have been held uninterruptedly for almost 2,000 years.

Yes, back when the good major's European forbears were practicing human sacrifice and looking at goose entrails for divine guidance, strong Christian communities were thriving in what is now Iraq, most of them speaking Aramaic, the language of Jesus – as some Iraqi Christians still do. Major Stockeland, a chaplain for the holy-rolling, tongue-speaking Assemblies of God, is not only ignorant of the culture he is helping to destroy – and ignorant of the history of his own religion – he is oblivious to what is actually happening to the Christians of the "liberated" land.

The reality, of course, is that Iraqi Christians were far freer to practice their religion before the American invasion. In fact, the illegal attack launched by the oh-so-Christian Coalition of George "Jews Are Going to Hell" Bush and Tony "I'm a Fervent Catholic, When It's Politically Convenient" Blair has been one of the greatest disasters to befall Iraqi Christians in two millenia. The Anglo-American bible-thumpers have empowered – and armed – religious extremists and violent sectarians throughout the conquered land, while destroying the infrastructure of secular, civic society. The draconian sanctions inflicted on the Iraqi people before the war – not only by Jews-in-Hell George and Convenient Catholic Tony but also by born-again Baptist Bill "Forgive Me, Lord, For This Here Blowjob" Clinton – had already brought Iraqi society to the breaking point, clearing the way for sectarians to step in with the solace of religion – and the public services that many of them still provide in the shattered state.

The result has been the relentless persecution of Iraqi Christians, who had once been protected from attack by Bush's own personal jihadis. Before the war, there were approximately 800,000 Christians in Iraq; now, many religious organizations estimate that at least half that number have been forced to flee the country. The Christian churches of Iraq – which have survived since the 1st century AD – are now dying out, as a direct result of the brutality, ruin, deceit – and ignorance – of the occupying forces. But Pastor Major Chaplain Stockeland can't see that -- not even when he's standing in the middle of it.

Truly, a parable for our times.
Not only are Iraqi Christians being forced to flee, but the Mandaeans (an indigenous Gnostic community that had lived and practiced their faith for about as long as the Christians) have almost completely fled. There are numerous reasons why I find avowed Christians who have been the most rabid of Iraq War proponents revolting: the destruction of the lives, livelihoods, and communities of fellow Christians is among those reasons.

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