How pleasant to open up CNN.com’s website this morning and see the headline story about three hostages that were rescued by our wonderful Special Forces folks over in Iraq. Up front, let me say that the rescue was accomplished while the hostages were not being guarded. I assume they were locked up, however.
THE CENTRIST has always been of the opinion that anyone who voluntarily goes to a place like Iraq or Afghanistan in their current climate of unrest, does so on their own hook. They are not there at the request of the government, not our government, nor the governments of Iraq or Afghanistan. Nevertheless, our military, and the agents of other countries risk their lives trying to rescue journalists, and missionaries who have been abducted, particularly in Iraq.
Connect the dots: their presence in Iraq invites hostage-taking. The Missionaries in particular do so because they are proselytizing for Christianity in a Islamic world. Islam is the foundation for the antipathy toward anyone from the west. At present, there is an Afghani who converted to Christianity many years ago, and held that fact a secret until recently, and is now on trial under Sharia (Islamic) law in Afghanistan, and faces the possibility of execution for rejecting Islam! All this while our Christian and non-Christian soldiers are still there fighting to help keep their country a Democracy, after having thrown out the Taliban, perhaps the most brutal and repressive, and oppressive regime since Adolf Hitler, or Joseph Stalin.
As a Christian, I rejoiced at the freeing of those three men. The men, one Brit, and two Canadians, were all members of a Christian Peacemaker Teams unit, As I read the article, however, I became at first nauseated, and then outraged by the comments from their organization. Here is a significant portion of their statement:
Harmeet, Jim and Norman and Tom were in Iraq to learn of the struggles facing the people in that country. They went, motivated by a passion for justice and peace to live out a nonviolent alternative in a nation wracked by armed conflict. They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers. We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end.
Today, in the face of this joyful news, our faith compels us to love our enemies even when they have committed acts which caused great hardship to our friends and sorrow to their families. In the spirit of the prophetic nonviolence that motivated Jim, Norman, Harmeet and Tom to go to Iraq, we refuse to yield to a spirit of vengeance. We give thanks for the compassionate God who granted our friends courage and who sustained their spirits over the past months. We pray for strength and courage for ourselves so that, together, we can continue the nonviolent struggle for justice and peace.
Throughout these difficult months, we have been heartened by messages of concern for our four colleagues from all over the world. We have been especially moved by the gracious outpouring of support from Muslim brothers and sisters in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. That support continues to come to us day after day. We pray that Christians throughout the world will, in the same spirit, call for justice and for respect for the human rights of the thousands of Iraqis who are being detained illegally by the U.S. and British forces occupying Iraq.
Read their statement at their website:http://www.cpt.org/ , or not.
Well, excuse me. THE CENTRIST is a Christian, and like the Christian Peacemaker Teams, the first thing I did was thank God for their safe deliverance, but unlike the Christian Peacemaker Teams I then thanked God for the Special Forces team that rescued them, and I thanked God that those Special Forces and their Iraqi counterparts involved in the rescue were not harmed, either.
If the Christian Peacemaker Teams thinks the presence of U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq to provide a semblance of order and stability to the country until the Iraqis can do it themselves is illegal, then why don’t they go to the World Court at The Hague, and file charges? Because they know it is an absurd concept. Instead, they put themselves and our forces in harm’s way to serve their political agenda.
Nobody from Christian Peacemaker Teams risked their lives to rescue the men. But they chose this time to politicize the event, and slam the U.S. How very Christian of them. Those men had no business there in the first place; yet they placed the lives of American and Coalition forces at risk.
These people are no different than the Islamic fanatics who blow themselves up. Like those Islamic fanatics, they are zealots, and do not represent their respective religions. Like all zealots, they justify their extremism by pointing to historical predecessors. In the case of the Christian zealots, they point back to the time of Christ when zealotry abounded in the Holy Land. And zealotry existed because the Roman Empire was vulnerable, fading already less than a century after it was declared. It was truly a time of near anarchy when Jesus walked the Earth, and there was rebellion in the air. Jesus himself was persecuted and prosecuted by more than one political entity because he threatened their power, and they feared him. Jesus is the model zealot, who gave his life for his beliefs. But there any similarities end. Jesus was gentle, peaceful, non-violent, and tolerant. Rarely did he push an issue of disagreement: at the Temple with the money-changers. He did what he did out of love – love for mankind.
The Christian Peacemaker Teams act from political agendas, and from religious sophistry. They talk a good game, but under it all is a political agenda from the extreme left. To extend out their philosophy to its logical end, the [evil] U.S. [warmongers] should free Saddam Hussein and return the keys to Iraq to him, then haul ass outta there. Then Saddam can go back to killing Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites, and Iranians, and Kuwaitis to his heart’s content.
Frankly, we ought to hang on to those three we just rescued until the ingrates from the Christian Peacemaker Teams reimburses the Iraqi and U.S. governments for the cost of their rescue. And the per diem until they pay up!
“Stamp out intolerance!” -- THE CENTRIST
"It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs." -- Albert Einstein
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