An American Christian

In February 2002, Aaron D. Wolf, the associate editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and I spent a full day at the local Islamic school and mosque in Rockford, Illinois. After lunch, we had the opportunity to sit down with a group of students, handpicked by the principal, to discuss their experiences at the school. Most of the students were children of prominent members of the Islamic community in Rockford, but one was a Christian child who was enrolled at the school because his mother performed IT work for them, and the school offered him a scholarship in return.

Early in our conversation, this boy proudly announced that he considered himself “half-Christian and half-Muslim.” By the time he graduated from the school (which went through eighth grade), he said, he hoped to be “fully Muslim.” When I asked him what kind of Christian he was, he seemed confused. What church do you go to? Again, a blank stare. I started listing Christian denominations: Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist…. He just slowly shook his head.

Finally, a young Muslim girl, with a broad smile on her face, announced triumphantly, “He’s an American Christian!” All of the students, including the young boy, enthusiastically agreed.

Twelve and a half years later, that scene was the first thought that came to my mind when I read the initial reports of the remarks delivered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the In Defense of Christians (IDC) Summit in Washington, D.C., on September 10. Over the last two weeks, much ink and many electrons have been spilled analyzing Cruz’s inappropriate remarks and the reaction they caused. And even more ink and electrons have been spent analyzing the analysis, mainly, it seems, “in search of antisemitism” (to recall the rather puzzling title—if antisemitism is so prevalent, why did he need to search for it?—of William F. Buckley’s 40,000-word essay published by National Review in December 1991).

In the end, though, it all comes down to that young Muslim girl’s perceptive words: Ted Cruz is an American Christian, with everything that the phrase implies: an unconcern with theological distinction (between stripes of Christianity; between varieties of Islam; and even between Christianity and Islam), and a subordination of the truth of Christianity and the plight of Middle Eastern Christians to the needs of domestic politics. Looking at the world from the top of our “shining city on a hill,” the dwindling ranks of Christians down on the plains of the Middle East appear no different to Senator Cruz and his supporters than the Muslims among whom those Christians find themselves.

Some have chalked up Cruz’s remarks to mere political pandering, and the sequence of events—meeting with the staff of the Washington Free Beacon in the morning, then blasting fellow participants that afternoon after the Beacon ran a story under the title “Cruz Headlines Conference Featuring Hezbollah Supporters”—would seem to support that narrative.

Others see in his words a revival of Christian Zionism, which, after reaching its heights in the 1980s and ’90s, has largely been on the wane among the rank and file of American evangelicals. And there is some truth to that idea. But the Christian Zionism on the rise today is hardly of the Left Behind stripe, much less the dispensationalism of John Nelson Darby and the Scofield Reference Bible, but rather a secularized and politicized version that has more to do with FOX News, Glenn Beck, and talk radio. (Which is why it’s just as common among, say, conservative Catholic supporters of Rick Santorum, whose silence in the wake of Cruz’s comments speaks volumes, as it is among conservative Protestants.) The new Christian Zionism is a creation of the War on Terror and a simplistic, undifferentiated view of Islam in the Middle East, a sort of New Cold War that’s all too often plenty hot, in which the state of Israel is no longer “the only democracy in the Middle East” (the narrative of the Reagan years) but “our chief ally in the fight against radical Islam.”

Or, to put it in Cruz’s words, “those who hate Israel, hates [sic] America.”

In geopolitical terms, there is some truth in the idea that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and the United States has often had—and still has—good reasons to ally herself with Israel. But that same maxim means that the various beleaguered populations of Christians in the Middle East may find reason to ally themselves with one Muslim faction against another—to regard, say, the largely secular Alawite Assad of Syria as infinitely preferable, at the moment, to the Salafist ISIS. And even though Israel herself may be able to do little or nothing to stop the slaughter of Christians, the claim that Middle Eastern “Christians have no greater ally than the Jewish state” and the stubborn refusal to make necessary distinctions between the various Islamic ideologies and groups can hardly be seen as a rallying cry “In Defense of Christians” to those who are forced to make such alliances simply to try to survive.

During the latter days of the Cold War and the high point of evangelical Christian influence in the Republican Party, it used to be said that Israel was the “third rail” in American politics: Anything less than 100 percent support for the Jewish state amounted to a political death sentence. Cruz’s remarks may well reflect a calculated gamble that, in the era of ISIS and the War on Terror, that condition once again applies. But for those Christians in America who aren’t simply “American Christians,” who are horrified by the unprecedented slaughter of Christians in the Middle East and the possibility of the utter eradication of Christianity from the Holy Land, a simplistic view of the Jewish state and what Cruz belittled as the “nuances and differences” among Muslims in the Middle East does not serve the long-term interests of this country.

And neither does it serve the long-term interests of Israel, because this much is true: Israel has no greater ally than the United States of America, and whatever uneasy relations various Christians in the Middle East may have with the Jewish state, the elimination of the remaining populations of Christians in the Middle East can serve only as a prelude to the eventual destruction of Israel herself. Were Ted Cruz an enemy of Israel rather than a supporter, he could hardly have chosen a better way to show it.

 (Photo credit: Molly Riley / AP)

Scott P. Richert

By

Scott P. Richert is the Senior Content Network Manager for Our Sunday Visitor and Editor at Large for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

  • James Bodine

    political hit piece.

    • Scott Richert

      Mr. Bodine, please enlighten me: On whose behalf have I written this “political hit piece”?

      • DE-173

        It is not necessary to be writing on anybody’s behalf to write a political hit piece.

        • Scott Richert

          By definition, a “hit” is carried out at the behest of someone. Otherwise, it’s a “random murder.”

          • DE-173

            Unless one does it for their own gratification.

            Of course, it’s not random, since you have an intended and exclusive “target”.

  • Rock St. Elvis

    Note to the author: next time begin with quoting the offending quote, then dissecting its errors. The reader will be able to follow along rather than just wondering what in the world you are talking about.

    • lifeknight

      Everyone writes differently, but I must agree that it is confusing.

      • BillinJax

        I’m as confused as a right wing liberal at a Tea Party rally with Nancy Pelosi as the quest speaker.

    • Scott Richert

      Since Senator Cruz’s remarks have been extensively discussed for two weeks now, the editor and I assumed that anyone reading this piece would already be familiar with both the remarks and the controversy, so there would be no need to rehash either. We also assumed that anyone who had been living under a rock for the last two weeks could spend 30 seconds searching and find Cruz’s remarks.

      I apologize for overestimating your level of awareness of current events and your ability to use Google.

      • DE-173

        “I apologize for overestimating your level of awareness of current events and your ability to use Google.”

        So are you this gratuitously condescending and obnoxious to your personal acquaintances or just commenters who disagree with you?

        • Scott Richert

          I have no problem with commenters who disagree with me, just with commenters whose own remarks are “gratuitously condescending” (“Note to author”) and “obnoxious” (“rather than just wondering what in the world you are talking about”). Since Rock St. Elvis can dish it out, I assume he can also take it.

          • DE-173

            “I apologize for overestimating your level of awareness of current events and your ability to use Google.”

            RSE addressed your opinion, with a simple request for citation and placement. That you find or attempt to infer offense from the salutation “Note to Author”, is quite frankly as troubling as it is revealing.

            Your quote above is an unwarranted general indictment.

            • Scott Richert

              “Note to Author” is a a common internet meme meant to express disdain. I guess this is simply the first time you’ve run across it.

              • DE-173

                You can’t be that thin skinned, even if it is a “common internet meme” (LMAOROTF). In the best case, you had a kid poke you in the back and you decided to punch him in the mouth.
                It’s pretty clear that most readers find the essay confused and or biased. Accept the criticism and stop contriving indignities.

              • Rock St. Elvis

                Note to author: Persuasiveness rests largely on how you lay out the facts so that a reader can then follow your analysis. I intended my remark simply as constructive criticism, as you didn’t set up the subject in a way that the reader could follow easily. I can’t express agreement or disagreement with whatever your point is, because I have no idea what you are talking about. Making the reader consult some external source to figure it out is poor briefing, especially when you purport to criticize only some portion of a larger speech. What portion would that be? How is the reader – even one familiar with the speech – to know for sure? It’s your job as a writer to make it plain to the reader what quotes you find problematic.

                I have never heard of “note to author” being a “common internet meme,” whether to express disdain or otherwise. So I guess that makes two rocks I live under. I was simply trying to make it clear who my remark was directed at. To borrow your snarkiness, my apologies for not realizing ahead of time that you find clarity in your work or mine to be some sort of affront.

                • Scott Richert

                  My sincere apologies for misunderstanding the intent of your comment. And my apologies to all of those who were truly confused because they had not seen reports of Senator Cruz’s remarks and the controversy surrounding them. The editor and I both clearly misjudged the average Crisis reader’s familiarity with the story. It would have been quite easy to recapitulate Cruz’s remarks and the range of reactions at the beginning of the article; we made a mistake in regarding that as unnecessary.

                  • Rock St. Elvis

                    No worries.

              • Objectivetruth

                Dude……quit while you’re behind! I also had no idea what Ted Cruz quote you were referring to and now your responses in the com boxes are revealing a flippant arrogance!

                Or maybe I just won’t read your articles.

                • Bucky Inky

                  I think you mistake the careful measuring of his apology and clarity in just exactly what he is sorry for, which is very appropriate under the circumstances rather than a blanket mea culpa, as flippant arrogance.

                • Augustus

                  You should read what the author said before attacking him for what he didn’t do. He already explained the morning the article appeared why he wrote the column the way he did and why he thought he did not need to rehash the entire episode since it was widely reported in the media. If people are going to pile on, don’t be offended or surprised if he defends himself against superfluous, even gratuitous, attacks.

          • Catholic pilgrim

            I liked your article, but I’ve got to agree with DE. Did you have to be so darn elitist? Why not just accept the advice & move on? You’re a writer for Crisis Magazine, act with Christian grace. Your “an commenter made an obnoxious remark, so I must make an obnoxious remark” mentality has no room in Christian principles. “Love your enemies” is the ideal- not the pagan/Legalistic “an eye for an eye”. Mr. Richert, time to apologize, end of story.

            • Bucky Inky

              I realize these Disqus discussions are sometimes difficult to follow, but didn’t you see this?

          • hombre111

            You can safely ignore anything DE-173 says. Snarky comments are his stock in trade.

            • John200

              Hi Father hombre,
              Welcome back. Your snarky comments …

              oh, what’s the difference — welcome back.

  • Miketom

    Rock St. Elvis, I couldn’t agree more with your comments!

  • publiusnj

    This is not a political hit piece. Cruz showed little interest in–and even insensitivity to–the plight of the Christians of the Middle East. Christians, who actually outnumber Jews in the Middle East, were looked upon as unimportant save as potential allies for Israel by Sen. Cruz, who apparently was working from an apocalyptic vision of the End Times Battle that many fundamentalists make out of the current struggle between Israel and its enemies. Because apocalyptic scriptures did not distinguish between Jews and Christians, neither did Preacher’s Kid Cruz.

    Yet, whether the current struggle is the End Times or not, Cruz was glossing over practical realities, not the least of which is that the Christians find themselves minority populations in Muslim-majority states where they have survived for almost 1400 years now mainly by minding their ps and qs. So, for Cruz to say that their task was to line up with the Muslims’ nemesis seemed like a lack of concern with the Christians’ real world plight.

    And the author is right that that may well be due to Cruz’s peculiar view of Christianity. Could it be that Cruz didn’t think that those Middle Eastern Christians sounded much like the Christians Cruz knew in his father’s church. Does he consider them too liturgical or not biblically-based enough? (Indeed, some of them may believe the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the sight of Christ’s burial rather than the Protestants’ favorite, the Garden Tomb). One thing is for sure, he wasn’t too concerned with their plight if they didn’t come firmly down on his side of the End Times.

    • AnneM040359

      I do not believe Sen. Ted Cruz was actting rude. Rather he was expressing concern for the Christians of the Middle East, but also telling them that the only real free country over in that part of the world that WILL give these Christians FREEDOM to practice their faith in peace is Israel.

      • publiusnj

        The Christians of the Middle East know FULL WELL what kinds of religious restrictions they face in their home countries. They have known that for the past 1400 years of Islam. Are you –naively–suggesting that christians would be permitted to make “aliyah” to Israel with some “right of return” for Christians? Don’t know what the Israelis would think about that. If not, then the fact that Jews don’t treat christians as poorly as Muslims do is nothing the Middle Eastern Christians needed the at times supercilious Ted Cruz to tell them.

        The reality is that Christians have lived in the countries now known as Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt since before the Ottomans killed off millions of Christians in what is now called Turkey and Northern Iraq during and after WWI (without significant protest from the USA, btw). Indeed, Christians had lived throughout the Middle East even before the US was founded, even before the Reformation, even before the Ottoman Empire; even before Islam or the Hegira; even before the Fall of the Roman Empire. They would like to survive IN THEIR ANCESTRAL HOMELANDS and be able to practice their religion as they have done until very recently. Cruz sought to use their plight to make US political points. They were simply protesting another US politician ignoring their very desperate plight, as they are being persecuted by jihadists.

        • AnneM040359

          Give Israel CREDIT where CREDIT is due. The country of Israel is simply helping its Christians restore its historic connections and to throw off or liberate them from the imposed “dhimmitute” that came from centuries of Muslim rule. Plus give those Christians who had to FLEE for their very lives an opportunity to come to a safe place to live their Christian in peace.

          • publiusnj

            The US is safe? Dream on. What a “religious freedom haven” we are today. Gay Marriage is a “right’ but religious conscience is almost totally disrespected. Even christians here for the past 200+ years are seeing themselves deprived of religious freedom.

            And if you think Israel will allow a bunch of Christian Arabs to become a ticking demographic time bomb, you don’t understand the meaning of the “Jewish State” concept.

            • AnneM040359

              I got good news, in the USA, you can still practice your Christian faith in peace despite the setbacks. Also a major midterm elections season has started, so keep an eye on early November 2014, good could very well come.

              In regards to Israel, this will be of interest to you. The person who got that made into reality is a Greek Orthodox priest. God Bless him. http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/44120-140917-israel-recognizes-aramean-as-nationality

              • publiusnj

                This new category of Arameans sounds somewhat like the Cape Colored category established in White-ruled South Africa for certain mixed race blacks. Unkind people speculated that the dominant whites were looking to split the native population into potentially warring minority groups. Nothing new: the Romans called it: “Divide et impera.”

                In all events, whatever the intent of this very limited “right,” it hardly is the equivalent of Israel offering the christians of the Middle East some right of aliyah. Not that I think Israel has any obligation to do that. The Christians need our help not the help of a much smaller country which has all it can do to fight off the barbarians at its gates.

                • AnneM040359

                  I like the new title of Arameans. It honors the roots of the Christians living in Israel. And PLEASE it is NOT TRUE that it is an effort to “divide and conquer.” That is sounding old indeed.

        • AnneM040359

          Other then for Israel, the USA, or Canada, the only other safe country the Middle Eastern Christians have gone to, thank them also for taking them in are the Kurds.

        • AnneM040359

          I have often read the history of the Middle Eastern Christians as well as the current events, I do get it. But you have to face the sad reality in that they are gone from Iraq, never to return.

          • publiusnj

            Why? Because Americans have chosen to impose a “Democracy” that is nothing but a cover for denominational supremacists, as with the Shiite al-Maliki? Which led to a Sunni reaction in Al Qaeda in Iraq which morphed into ISIL who want to kill all the christians? Now, Americans like you are apparently prepared to say: “oh well, too bad. The Christians are going to just have to leave because they are no longer wanted.”

            This is why the christians addressed by Cruz booed him. You could care less about those christians.

            • AnneM040359

              That is why once Saddam Hussein was removed, it would have been better for Iraq to have been broken up, the Kurds getting their land, the Christians theirs, etc. This would have had prevented the mess we have now.

            • cestusdei

              Yeah, we imposed democracy on Germany and Japan after WWII. What evil guys we are. You blame the victims. Muslims have been killing Christians over there long before there was an America.

              • Watosh

                The Germans and Japanese had somewhat democratic forms of government long before we came along. In fact many observers feel that pre WWI Germany had a more democratic government than Britain at the time. they had allowed more Germans to have the voting franchise than England did. I am told that contrary to British WWI propaganda the Kaiser was not an autocrat with unlimited power. We don’t have a perfect democracy, in fact according to a detailed study by academics their conclusion was what we were no longer a democracy but rather an oligarchy. Of course to many who have drunk deep of the American Kool aid these are findings are nonsense. Hitler , in fact, first came to power by a democratic election process, and took power legally. Some have argued that the U.S. laws now invite the takeover of a dictator. I am just trying to demonstrate that the word democracy is rather broad. And Japan too, had a limited form, or perhaps a primitive form of democracy before WWII. That the militarists won out eventually and established a dictatorship of sorts to conduct the war is not so different than our granting our presidents enormous powers during war. So we shouldn’t take to much credit for creating a democracy in Germany and Japan after the war. Doing so has led to our belief we can impose a democratic government on countries in which this fem of government is entirely alien.

                • cestusdei

                  Watosh, lol. Japan never had a democracy. German had one briefly, but Hitler destroyed it. So if we had lost WWII all would have been well? You have drunk some strong koolaid.

                  • Watosh

                    All I said was that Germany and Japan had some experience with a democratic government. I did not say, therefore if we lost WWII all would be well. I merely pointed out something that informed people realized. I did this to counter the impression that the democrat form of government we imposed on Germany and Japan was not something that was completely new to these countries and a form of government that was completely alien to them. Which would help to explain why a democratic form of government was able to take hold. Also of course these two countries had a relatively homogenous population. True, German was for a long time, a collection of German speaking principalities that were united under Prussia when Bismarck was chancellor. and while it had two major religions, they were Christian. Whereas Iraq was an artificial country whose boundaries were drawn up by Britain and France who wanted to establish their spheres of influence in them. They were composed of a number of different minorities who were bitter enemies, and a long history of theocratic rule. A far different environment than was prevented by Germany and Japan. I wanted to point this out to take the halo out of the idea democracy was something that we introduced to those countries which enabled them to live happily ever after. You know Bismarck introduced Social Security in Germany long before it was introduced in the U.S.

                    • cestusdei

                      Watosh, the point is that we actually tried to help the Muslims and they choose terrorism. They persecute Christians. It is NOT the fault of the Jews or Israel. Those are excuses they use to do what they always hve done. They have used other excuses in the past.

                    • Watosh

                      Well when Menachim Begin was planting bombs in the Palestine territory when it was a British mandate, and engaging in assassinations with Yitzhak Shamir and even officially designated Menachim Begin a terrorist and they put out a poster offering 10,000 Pounds to anyone who would bring in Menachim Begin dead or alive. Later in an interview Menachim begin took credit for bringing terrors into the Middle East. You, well, you wouldn’t, but an objective observer would, look at their record and say “they chose terrorism,” But terrorism worked for them. The massacre of a number of Palestinian villages sure made the Palestinians run from the Palestinian land that was to be awarded to Israel. Of course the Palestinians have little influence among in the U.S. and the corporate controlled news media echoes the Israeli line.

                      But I suppose by your logic if we just exterminate the Muslims the world will be a better place. We need evidently a final solution to rid the world of those terrorist loving Moslems to satisfy people who believe as you apparently do. According to your thinking then the Moslems are incorrigible terrorists and have always been everywhere during all of history. They, the Moslems, have always chosen terrorism and always will, In that case I suppose the thing to do is to gather them in camps and do away with them. So keep up depicting all Moslems as evil, and keep up influencing the good people like Americans that it is useless to help Moslems by taking their land, invading their land and leaving the dust from depleted Uranium shells to poison them and their children and having drones constantly droning over their kids to sporadically send down death and destruction. Oh yes we have given them a lot of help, and the rotters just don’t appreciate it. We have done our Christian duty toward them and they just have no appreciation of the help we have given them. We didn’t even ask Iraq to compensate us for the expenses we incurred in taking over Iraq, though one Republican candidate from Minnesota whose name escapes at the moment, thought Iraq should foot the bill for our invasion and occupation, We were only trying to help them after all. Ah, when ignorance is bliss tis folly to be wise. In short we are good because we are good and they are sub humans devils. The solution does become simple then. Now who else recognized this obvious solution to eliminate a foreign body that was a source of trouble? I have heard others say that all these people understand is force and bombs. And then there was Someone who said, “Blessed are the Peacemakers….” but obviously He was a liberal who didn’t understand what was needed to protect the good people from the depredations of evil. We don’t need to listen to Him, what does He know?

                    • cestusdei

                      Watosh, so 1300 years of Islamic persecution of Christians doesn’t move you? Live beheadings on TV? How about we all just convert? That’s what they want. It would avoid war. It would end the conflict. Is that what Jesus would do?

                      If I draw Muhammad a million Muslims will march and riot. They don’t do that when beheadings happen. How about we understand that they don’t think like us and that IS the problem? We should defeat Islam just as we have other such ideologies. The blood of our martyrs is worth nothing to you?

                    • Watosh

                      Well didn’t the slow starvation of several hundred Moslem children in Iraq move you? Don’t the Moslems who live in terror because of the intermittent terror from the skies that suddenly blew up people who acted suspicious which included a Moslem wedding party. Think of the Moslems blown apart by drones and compare that with the number of people the Moslems beheaded. count the tonnage of bombs that we have dropped on Moslem countries and compare it with the tonnage of bombs the Moslems have dropped on the U.S. and the EU countries. Our President and this country tells the Moslems that they will suffer for beheading an American, that we will make them pay dearly, that we will avenge the deaths they caused; well when the Muslims seek to revenge themselves for the deaths we caused them, you say “They think differently than we do. Now you suggest we should avenge the blood od long dead “martyrs.” You know what bothers me? You and others on this Catholic blog are inciting genocide. In your mind Moslems are all devils and bloodthirsty vermin that deserve elimination from the face of the earth. This is what I don’t understand. Rome had a reputation for brutality, and we won over Rome and converted Rome. The early Catholics who whir begin persecuted did not get together to advocate putting all Romans to the sword because of their persecution of civilians.

                      Our newspapers have whipped people into a frenzy hyping the Moslem threat. It sells papers, it justifies our obscene military budgets, it keeps the profits rolling in for our military industries,it helps our politicians gain popularity. It is a way for Presidents to get the people to rally around them. President Bush’s popularity was floundering after he was elected, but when the country was attacked, his popularity soared even though he was negligent in ignoring the many warnings given him. A threat of an attack unites the people around their President in the face of danger. Politicians use this.

                      The thing is the tenor of your comments about Moslems and the comments of many others on this subject amount to an incitement for genocide, and yes I think that is deplorable. Just review your comments, and some of the others on this Catholic blog. They are absolutely an incitement for genocide whether that was your intention or not. You know what Jesus did when he was dying on the cross after being cruely beaten and mocked?He said, “Father FORGIVE THEM for they know not what they do.

                    • cestusdei

                      Watosh, so the answer is “no”. You don’t care about Islamic persecution of Christians.

                    • Watosh

                      Look, if you want to engage in a discussion, I am willing. but if you want to engage in a lynching, I certainly can’t stop you.

                      I care about all persecutions, Nazi persecution of Jews, Israeli persecution of Moslems, Moslem persecution of Chaldeans,
                      turkish persecution of Armenians, Soviet persecution of the Ukraian Kulaks (the Holodomor, I purchased a DVD to help fund that), American persecution of the Indians and blacks, and the massacre of Moslems by Christian crusaders in the Holy Land. among many others. But I do not confine my condemnation to those persecutions trotted out by our corporate controlled press to justify another bombing campaign of whatever regime our politicians want to change. the Christians survived among the Moslems somewhat uneasily I grant you, but nevertheless theyco-existed for about 1400 years in Iraq. If pointing this out and if I don’t sign on to the incitement to Moslem genocide, if that makes me someone who doesn’t care about Islamic persecution of Christians,

                    • cestusdei

                      Watosh, it doesn’t sound that way. You seem to be working hard to excuse and minimize. To blame the victims. That only helps the Muslim persecutors. A bit like after Pearl Harbor blaming the US and saying that we should not respond because some innocent Japanese might get hurt. The genocide going on is by Muslims against Christians. I don’t see much concern from you.

                    • Watosh

                      You seem to be trapped into thinking their are only two choices, when that is an artificial construct. Also you translate my attempt to look at all aspects of an issue, as an attempt to blame the victims. That is a favorite response. It, again is a way of stifling a discussion.

                      Now I am not sure that i mentioned I served eight years as an Air Force Officer in the ’50’s doing my share to protect the citizens of this country. Now nowhere did I ever say anything that might be construed as advocating not responding to the Japanese attack, simply because some Japanese civilians might get killed in the process. That is a reductio ad absurdum allegation, that pretty well describes this tactic.. No reasonable person would ever take that position. It is patently absurd.

                      Now what is not absurd is to wonder if, since some historians who have examined the background feel that it is possible that war might have been avoided by diplomatic means. I am not saying I am sure we could have avoided war with Japan if we had pursued negotiations, the probabilities were not good, but probabilities are generally never zero in practice. The Japanese militarists were ruthless, but they did gain power over the Japanese peace party when we turned down negotiations. Again my friend I am not saying that we caused the war with Japan now, easy, easy. some people just like to speculate. Like some mathematicians claim, one should work hard during the day to prove some mathematical theorem, and then one should work hard during the night to prove that your proof was wrong. It has to do with exploring all aspects, as that generally helps one establish the truth.

                      I also do believe it was unnecessary to drop nuclear bombs on Japan. Now many claim this resulted in the Japanese surrender and saved hundreds of thousands of American soldiers lives as well as the lives of countless civilians. They get mad and accuse anyone of denying this as well for one thing not begin concerned for American lives. At the same time many military experts agree, people like General Eisenhower and Admiral King. Japan had been sending out feelers for surrounding. They were utterly beaten, our submarines had cut the home islands off from raw materials and food. The only terms they asked for peace earlier was to be able to retina their emperor. We turned that down, insisting they surrender unconditionally, and this prolonged the war a little. When the Japanese eventually agreed to surrender unconditionally we agreed they could keep their Emperor. I try to be a realist. Some civilian casualties are inevitable in war, thought the trend in recent wars is to target civilian centers., part of the total war that we now wage. I say we have more choices that all or none. That I regret unnecessary civilian deaths on either side of any conflict in no way can be construed as not being concerned with the deaths that occur to people on my side. I think you are taken up by the war propaganda of our media. They lied to make people believe we had cause to invade Iraq, for one thing and the majority of Americans supported the invasion. Charles Lews a respected reporter, and one time producer of videos for Sixty Minutes, has written a book titled “395 Lies.” He documents a number of lies we have been told by those in authority. Yet many will not read this book, as it would create a disconnect between their understanding and of the real reality. Now we have Scott Brown running for Senator saying, “Radical terrorists are threatening to cause the collapse of our country.” To someone like myself who remembers the threat posed by the war machine of Germany and Japan, a statement like this is patently ridiculous. Especially when you consider that we are the most powerful nation on the planet and spend more money on our military than the next ten biggest military spenders made by other large countries. That I find this statement ridiculous does not mean i have no concern for Americans who might possibly be killed by some terrorists. Is that hard to understand my friend. I write this reply because i want to believe you are a sincere rational person. I would not go to such lengths to convince some ideologue or some provocateur. I am just assuming you are a sincere decent type who can tell truth from error when it is presented.

                    • cestusdei

                      Watosh, how hard can it be to recognize that Muslims persecute Christians in EVERY country where they are the majority. They are the major source of terrorism in the world. It is NOT our fault. If you are rational you will agree.

                    • Watosh

                      Now who benefits most from creating animosity toward Moslems I wonder? Who benefits most from constantly portraying the worst side of Moslems? Who benefits most from sounding the alarm that the Moslems are coming, the Moslems are coming, like some alarmists who said during the cold war, “The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.” One can’t help but wonder at the same people who keep waving the bloody shirt during these discussions? Who benefits the most by whipping up fear and loathing of Americans toward the Moslems of the world? Catholics were persecuted by the English and by the German government during Bismarck’s tenure, by the Nazi’s, by the Spanish liberal government in the early ’30’s, and by the Japanese pre-war government to name a few persecutors, (Moslem persecution of Catholics is not unique.) should we have bombed them? And of course though we have dropped a lot of bombs over Moslem countries in the last fifty years. are you implying that it is then rational to say Muslim reprisals were not called for and not our fault for causing. When I was in the sixth grade I realized that if I punched somebody in the nose, they would then try to punch me back, even if I had good reason to punch them in the nose. Perspective, perspective, balance, balance is needed unless there is some hidden agenda at work here. to sick the vast military forces of the U.S. on the Moslems in the Middle East. Now that would provide some rationality for your views.

                    • Benjamin Netanyahu

                      The United States and Israel are by far the greatest terrorists today. The Muslim terrorist threat is a hoax. Muslims had nothing to do with 911. It was a false-flag.

                    • Rob B.

                      In Watosh’s defense, Germany was, at least, a Western nation with a Western way of doing things. As for Japan, it had been Westernized since the Meiji era. The Middle Eastern nations we are dealing with have none of those advantages.

              • publiusnj

                To compare the situation in OCCUPIED Germany or OCCUPIED Japan with what has been going on in the MidEast suggests ignorance. Democracy in the UNOCCUPIED Middle East means the Muslim Brotherhood and raped women in Tahrir Square or Shiite Supremacists in Iraq once the US pulled out.

                • cestusdei

                  The OCCUPIED MidEast was invaded by Muslims who have been persecuting Christians for centuries. There is only one real democracy in the region, Israel.

                  • publiusnj

                    You are being, I should think, intentionally dense. The occupation of Germany and Japan by the World’s Leading Democracy (the USA) was a causative factor of the development of Democracy in those two countries. Islam, by contrast, has never been known as a spreader of Democracy. Indeed, ISIS wants a world-wide caliphate.

                    • cestusdei

                      We should defeat Islam just as we did other such evils.

                    • publiusnj

                      As bold a call as Urban’s at Clermont, but less likely to be heeded, I should think.

                • Watosh

                  I agree, the situation in Germany and Japan was different. There was not one attack on an American soldiers by a Japanese during the occupation, and I believe attacks on American soldiers who occupied Germany received very few attacks by Germans. I do believe there were some rapes of Japanese women and German women by U.S. soldiers during the occupation. I say this because you suggested democracy in the Middle East means the Moslem Brotherhood and raped women in Tahrir Square, and I don’t believe rape is something unique to the Moslem Brotherhood. Further I don’t know that the rapes in Tahrir Square were performed by someone in the Moslem Brotherhood or the Armed Police, but maybe it is true someone in the Moslem Brotherhood was responsible, unfortunately this happens in chaotic situations, and is deplorable and inexcusable in any event. I gather the Moslem Brotherhood has been depicted unfavorably by its enemies, but again, enemies do that, we have pictured Russia very unfavorably when they reacted after a coup we engineered that brought the Ukraine into the EU, remember how we threatened a nuclear war when Soviet Russia put missiles in Cuba. Besides the largest Ukrainian Gas company wanted to add Joe Biden’s son Hunter to its board of directors. Perspective, perspective, to aid in determining reality. I will grant you the Moslem Brotherhood is not composed of members like the members of an American PTA, but I don’t believe they constituted a threat to the U.S. They did seem to be concerned about the plight of the Palestinians, which constitutes criminal behavior in some quarters. But if you didn’t hear it on Fox news or the other corporate controlled news disseminators it can’t be true. Our news media has never fabricated the news, have they?

                  • publiusnj

                    This is going even further afield from the subject of the article: Cruz’s speech. So, I won’t comment on these points.

            • Vinnie

              How much less could she care?

    • AnneM040359

      Found this online on the online edition to the Jerusalem Post allowing the Christians in Israel to register as Aramaic Christians:http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Christian-Arabs-can-now-register-as-Aramaic-Christians-not-Arabs-375646

      • Scott Richert

        Thanks for posting that, Anne. That’s very good news, especially if the different status results in different official treatment.

        • AnneM040359

          You are welcome and God Bless.

  • AnneM040359

    God Bless Sen. Ted Cruz, he takes his Christian faith serious!

    • publiusnj

      But not the Christian Faith of the Middle Eastern Christians, apparently.

  • Tom Piatak

    An excellent piece.

  • sybarite123

    Yes, the ME Christians do have to choose the ‘lesser of two evils’. Recently I had a conversation with a young man who had been born in Kuwait and had lived with his family in Libya until the year 2000. His mother, a Belgian, had told him that the Christians in Syria “loved Assad”. The secular leader in the Islamic world is the protestor of minorities, especially Christians, or so it seems to me.
    However, the ME Christians who mimic their Muslim neighbors in hating Israel, IMO do so because they have internalized their dhimmi status. They have taken unto themselves the attitudes of their ‘captors’. Dhimmitude is destructive of both the oppressors and the oppressed. ME Christians suffer from the effects of dhimmitude. From Canada.

  • Vinnie

    “Christians have no greater ally than the Jewish state.” I agree with that 100%, including for Middle Eastern (ME) Christians whether they can publically acknowledge it or not. That’s half the problem we have today, though Ted Cruz doesn’t, everyone kowtowing to the Islamists. Though I can see the point of view of those ME Christians who see themselves between the proverbial rock and a hard place if in the ME but those in Cruz’s audience were in the U.S. I don’t think it is necessary to make “distinctions between the various Islamic ideologies and groups.” Parsing all this is just digging a deeper hole, creating more of a whirlwind.

    • AnneM040359

      That is how I see it. Sen. Cruz is simply is saying,that both Jews and Christians must come together because we are both are under attack. That is the REALITY on the ground.

  • JP

    Chaldean Catholics supported the Baath Party and Saddam Hussein. Terek Aziz, Saddam’s last foreign minister and prominent Baathists traveled to Assisi in the run up to the Iraq invasion of 2003. And many Christians supported his “peace” efforts.
    But, before we condemn Chaldean Catholics, we should remember that all religious minorities have spent 1500 years trying to survive under triumphant Islamic rule (sometimes “benevolent”, and other times terrifyingly viscous). When TE Lawrence entered Baghdad in 1917, the majority of its residents were Jewish. In 1900, Coptic Christians made up the majority in Cairo; and in Lebanon in 1972, Maronite Christians made up a majority. Up until the 1960s, tens of thousands of Jews lived in Yemen, and Nestorians had a large population of believers in Jeddah as late as the 6th Century. Survival is everything; as the saying goes, the future belongs to those who show up. One cannot have a future if one is dead. Living under the thumb of Islam is not for the weak; religious minorities survive many times simply by allying themselves with the strongest horse. From 1950-2003, this meant allying ones religion with brutal, secular Arab leaders.

    • pja

      Excellent point. And the future of Christians in the Middle East – if they are to have one – will mean aligning themselves with Israel. (props to David Goldman at PJ Media).

      • publiusnj

        What are they supposed to do? Vote for Israel in the next Al Jazeera poll to tip the balance of public sentiment into being favorable to Israel? Hardly likely. The Christians of the Middle East have survived 1382 years of Islam by minding their ps and qs. At a time when the West’s views are being given less and less credence throughout the Middle East, the idea that the Christians just need to choose their side and speak up for it is so naive as to be bizarre.

        In fact, the Christians of the Middle East have no significant political role re relations with Israel, except perhaps in Lebanon, where some militias may be able to cooperate with the Israelis (and have done so in the past). If the Copts of Egypt (10% of the population) decided to go out into Tahrir Square with a demonstration supporting Israel, their fates at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood likely would make Lara Logan’s treatment look gentle (no minimizing the grave mistreatment to which Ms. Logan was subjected is intended). Likewise, if the remaining Christians of Northern Iraq greeted ISIL’s flying column with demands for a volte face on the subject of Israel, the bemasked head of the Islamic Force might well order an immediate beheading of the protestors…or better yet a one a day beheading policy done in conjunction with ISIL’s propagandist.

        • mollysdad

          It’s just as well that Israel has the means and the chutzpah to slaughter God’s enemies in the Islamic Caliphate when the time comes.

          • publiusnj

            Israel will defend its territory; it will not go on a “crusade” (or “mogen-ade”) to liberate the region’s Christians absent such an attack.

            • AnneM040359

              ….And in which Israel has done very well in regards to standing this past summer to HAMAS.

              • publiusnj

                We know you are very concerned with israel’s well-being, but the question that Cruz didn’t answer: what about the MidEast Christians?–is one you too are ignoring. The Christians had called a meeting about their parlous plight. Cruz chose to ignore that question and to trot out his standard MidEast speech. Shame on Cruz.

                • AnneM040359

                  Sen. Cruz has always been concerned for the plight of the Middle Eastern Christians as is I. It was that group whom Sen. Cruz was suppose to speak to that misunderstood.

                  • publiusnj

                    Is you? Maybe it was the grammar that led to the misunderstanding? More likely his ignoring the issue of the plight of the Christians.

                    • AnneM040359

                      What can I say, he did (Sen. Cruz) what he could best do, they just did not want to hear what they needed to hear.

                    • cestusdei

                      The plight of Christians is Muslim persecution.

        • cestusdei

          ISIL will still kill Christians even if Israel ceased to exist. Muslims killed Christians long before 1948. This is just the latest in the long genocide of ME Christians by the Muslims.

    • AnneM040359

      In other words, facing the reality on the ground.

  • Fred

    What was so inappropriate about his remarks? Was it the part about defending a nation that loves life and seeks to protect it’s citizens over a brood of murderers and thugs happy to kill and be killed, including their own families, women and children to advance “their cause”? It strikes me as being unambiguously clear, but what do I know. What happened during the Arab Spring was the spread of (sham) democracy. Your story about the little boy at the school resonates though. Sadly as we drive Christ out of our society who do we expect to fill the void – why, the master of confusion of course. I don’t know a lot about Senator Cruz’s faith, I applaud his resolve in standing up to those that side with a culture of death.

    • Scott Richert

      “I applaud his resolve in standing up to those that side with a culture of death.”

      Let’s be clear: You mean you “applaud his resolve in standing up to” Christian minorities who are trying to survive, and who do so by making distinctions based on the “nuances and differences” that Senator Cruz can’t be bothered to understand. In other words, you and Senator Cruz would stand up to a “culture of death” by condoning the death of Middle Eastern Christians.

      Of course “the Arab Spring was the spread of (sham) democracy”; no publication has been clearer on that than my own (Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture). But the fact that you think that the Arab Spring has anything to do with this shows that you understand as little about the situation on the ground in the Middle East as Senator Cruz apparently does.

      • Fred

        In the ME everything has to do with everything and there is really no clarity other than the bodies of the innocents which continue to pile up. Many Christian bodies today, but Muslim’s killing Muslim’s for centuries. The predominant religion is full of contradictions and confusion because nobody is wrong whether they chose to quote only peaceful passages or whether they chose to murder infidels or somebody’s nose is bent out of shape over the dirty details of power transfer in succession after their beloved prophet passed. I don’t think you give the good Senator enough credit for his depth of understanding, more than can be conveyed in short sound bite response at one conference. I think everyone recognizes that symbiotic alliances exist in communities who value life over death

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        “you and Senator Cruz would stand up to a “culture of death” by condoning the death of Middle Eastern Christians.” This is a disgusting comment. I am not a Republican and have no particular affection for Senator Cruz. But to wring this twisted meaning out of his rather bland and conventional remarks about Israel is nothing less than perverse. It tells me much more about you than about the senator.

        • Scott Richert

          If Cruz’s remarks were “bland and conventional,” why did they set off such a wide-ranging debate?

          Cruz’s last words to his audience—a group of Christians gathered to try to save the lives of Christians in the Middle East—were “I will not stand with you.” He set conditions on his support for Christians who are being slaughtered. And then he made it clear that he does not believe that they met the conditions that would merit his support.

          • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

            Wonderful. You quote out of context from the parting remarks by a speaker who was not permitted to give his speech. And this is evidence? I think I’m beginning to see a pattern in your style of journalism.

          • Major914

            “If Cruz’s remarks were “bland and conventional,” why did they set off such a wide-ranging debate?”

            In large part because some people make their living generating apparent controversy on television and the internet; secondarily because various forms and shades of leftists can’t miss an ‘opportunity’ to asperse Israel and prominent conservative politicians, whether subtly or more directly.

            • Augustus

              Conservative opinion is much more diverse than you think. There are many shades and many schools of thought, but you would not get that impression if you only consume establishment news sources. The author represents a particular point of view that is also echoed in publications like The American Conservative magazine. This piece in Business Insider will give you a flavor of how some conservative critics reacted to Cruz’s comments: http://www.businessinsider.com/conservatives-ted-cruz-israel-speech-booed

              • Major914

                Conservative opinion is much less diverse than you and they apparently think.

                • Augustus

                  Now you’re changing the argument. You portrayed genuinely conservative views as leftist views. All I needed to show was that there are a variety of conservative views. I did not deny there was a dominant neoconservative consensus represented by the establishment media. All you are doing is confirming what I said while at the same time denying what I didn’t say.

            • Scott Richert

              Major914, that doesn’t answer my question. Views become “conventional” because they are repeated frequently and widely. So if what Cruz said is “bland and conventional,” why would anyone have taken notice? Or, to put it another way, why aren’t people constantly up in arms about others saying these “conventional” things?

              • Major914

                Yes, I did answer your question–and you’re at it again.

                Even the comparatively hierarchical and cohesive Catholic Church is wracked by hollow controversy over what should by definition be conventional–sound and fury signifying nothing.

                Some people see themelves as having an interest in ‘wide-ranging debate’ based on surreptitious political and/or economic motives–for a variety of reasons they find the back or side door more convenient then the front, to accord them credibility in setting the frame of reference would be in effect even worse than to accept a heckler’s veto.

  • Sam Scot

    The incoherent assertions and asides that dribble off the page of this article are too many to keep track of. There is a largely unexplained bitterness against Ted Cruz (how has he offended, again?); another is an sniffy resentment against Israel and its supporters. But to briefly address the core issue: Should Mideast Christians consider themselves allies of Israel? You would think so; many regional Moslem powers are trying to eradicate both the Christians and the Jews, and Israel is the only armed power in the region directly opposing them.
    And contrary to what the article asserts, Israel has indeed formed tactical alliances with Moslem rulers who are not intent on Christian or Jewish genocide, including Assad, Mubarak (before Morsi), and the current government of Egypt. This is sensible. What doesn’t seem sensible is the hatred many Mideast Christians I have met express for Israel and Jews in general—even when they are safe in America. It seems like the Stockholm Syndrome—where you unthinkingly acquire the attitudes and opinions of your oppressor.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    This article strikes me as being nearly as confused as Senator Cruz’s ill-conceived decision to trumpet support for Israel at a conference about persecution of Christians. In particular, this comment is outrageous: “Looking at the world from the top of our ‘shining city on a hill,’ the dwindling ranks of Christians down on the plains of the Middle East appear no different to Senator Cruz and his supporters than the Muslims among whom those Christians find themselves.” I would have to have a great deal more evidence before accepting such a blanket condemnation of the senator and his supporters.

    • Scott Richert

      Dr. Williams, if you need more evidence, simply read the transcript of Senator Cruz’s remarks. The problem isn’t that he is unclear about where he stands, but that he’s all too clear.

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        I’m not sure what remarks you are referring to, since the senator was unable to give his remarks due to the hostile reception. This is what Cruz said later: “I’d intended to talk tonight about Pastor Saeed Abedini, wrongfully
        imprisoned in the nation of Iran for practicing his Christian faith. I’d
        intended to talk tonight about Mariam Ibrahim, wrongfully imprisoned
        and sentenced to torture and death for her Christian faith,” said Cruz.
        “I had intended to talk about the three Jewish teenagers who were
        kidnapped and murdered by Hamas simply because they were Jews.” You make it sound as if the choice is between a bizarre “Christian Zionism” or anti-Semitism. I have yet to see any evidence that Cruz has such extreme views.

        • Scott Richert

          I’m referring to the remarks he did deliver, which are widely available online. Here’s one transcript: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/coppage/ted-cruz-crashes-defense-of-christians-summit/

          “You make it sound as if the choice is between a bizarre ‘Christian Zionism’ or anti-Semitism.”

          Antisemitism? Would that be because I say that “the United States has often had—and still has—good reasons to ally herself with Israel”? Or because I point out that “the elimination of the remaining populations of Christians in the Middle East can serve only as a prelude to the eventual destruction of Israel herself”?

          Yes, Christian Zionism is bizarre, historically, and even more bizarre now that it’s become secularized and removed from its roots in evangelical dispensationalism. But I suspect that your use of “bizarre” and the quotation marks around “Christian Zionism” is rather an attempt to suggest that such a thing does not exist. If so, I would suggest reading Aaron Wolf’s chapter on Christian Zionism in Peace in the Promised Land: A Realist Scenario (Chronicles Press, 2006), the single best treatment of the subject I’ve ever read.

          • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

            I have read the transcript several times, but clearly, I do not read it in the same manner as you. I agree that the thrust of the senator’s remarks was ill-advised, misdirected on this particular occasion. But I would be very interested to know PRECISELY which comment he makes that you object to. Given in another context, there is nothing even debatable in what he implies: “radical” Islam (if indeed there is any other type) hates Christianity; radical Islam hates Judaism. Thus, we have a common enemy. As for “Christian Zionism,” yes I do believe it exists. But I do not believe you have made a link between it and Senator Cruz. If you have some evidence, let’s see it.

            • Scott Richert

              And there we have it, in a nutshell. Like Cruz, you dismiss any “nuances and differences” among Muslim ideologies and groups—nuances and differences that the various Christians of the Middle East regard as very important, because they mean quite literally the difference between life and death for them.

              • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                Oh yes, they are all endorsing Islam, as in shouts of “Give us dhimmitude or death!” Please go live in a Muslim majority country for a few years before you do any more writing on this issue.

                • Scott Richert

                  Dr. Williams, I don’t expect you to be familiar with my writing over the last 15 years or so, but if you think I’m an apologist for Islam, you’re sorely mistaken. From the late 1990’s on, Chronicles warned of the rise of resurgent Islam, and we urged a foreign policy that would have prevented the tragedy of September 11 and everything that followed in its wake.

                  But we did so from the standpoint of understanding the reality of Islam, and the geopolitical reality of the Middle East. And today, unlike those who supported a war that resulted in the utter destruction of the Christian community of Iraq—a destruction that we predicted REPEATEDLY in the run-up to the war—we continue to deal with the reality of Islam and the geopolitical reality of the Middle East.

                  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                    “… we urged a foreign policy that would have prevented the tragedy of September 11 and everything that followed in its wake.” I don’t know what this statement reveals more: an incredible naiveté, or an astounding hubris.

                    • Scott Richert

                      Or a third alternative: That everything we said would happen, did happen. That contrary to those who now say, “No one could have known what would happen,” we did know. We knew it; we wrote it; and we published it repeatedly between 1996 and 2001.

                      And then we did it again, repeatedly, between 2001 and the launch of the war in 2003. And once again, we were right.

                      And then again during the Arab Spring, when everyone was praising “democratic” revolutions that were anything but.

                      And again when we predicted what arming the Syrian rebels would lead to.

                      But I don’t want you to take my word for it: All of those back issues of Chronicles are available, whenever you decide to remove the blinders and start looking at reality. Send me your address, and I will send them to you, free of charge.

                    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                      Predicting acts of Muslim terrorism is hardly a sign of marvelous prescience. There is nothing more certain than the next horrific act of Muslim violence.

                    • Scott Richert

                      “There is nothing more certain than the next horrific act of Muslim violence.”

                      Perhaps not. But there’s one thing equally certain: The absolute unwillingness of those who supported a failed American foreign policy and an unjust war that resulted in the bankruptcy of the United States, the near-complete destruction of Christianity in the Middle East, and the revitalization of Islam in ways that exceed the wildest dreams of Osama bin Laden to ever consider that maybe, just maybe, they might have been wrong.

    • DE-173

      “This article strikes me as being nearly as confused as Senator Cruz’s ill-conceived decision to trumpet support for Israel at a conference about persecution of Christians. ”
      Good grief that was tone deaf and stupid.

  • owjw

    I was hoping I’d eventually understand the point. Glad to see others found this article difficult to grasp. Surprisingly, this is the first “coverage” I’d seen about the event where Mr. Cruz had spoken and was boo’d. It would have been great to have a comprehensive article.

    • Crisiseditor

      Virtually every media outlet provided coverage of this episode. It seemed redundant to repeat that reporting at this late date. I added some links to the above article for those who would like to read some background commentary.

  • cestusdei

    The Christians enemy in the middle east is not Israel. It is Islam. When I was there the Christians quietly told me that the Muslims treated them with disdain, but they had to pretend everything was okay.

    The woman who sent her child to a Muslim school to be converted failed him.

    • DE-173

      But it’s “free”. She handed her child a scorpion.

    • Did they also tell you how Christians cannot work in Israel or have no vote or see their centuries old churches bulldozed by the Israeli state?

      • cestusdei

        I was in Israel and Christians there could worship freely, had more legal protections, and did not show any desire to head for the West Bank or Gaza.

        • AnneM040359

          Plus also Israel has had as its policy protected the religious shrines, including Christian shrines.

          • “Israel levels Catholic Church property in E. Jerusalem” (v. goo{dot}gl/LYr2sk )

            • AnneM040359

              Question. Was that property harboring any terrorists?

            • cestusdei

              ISIS destroys churches and we don’t hear about that from you. They appreciate your support.

            • CadaveraVeroInnumero

              Dear Augustine,

              From whence & where does your hatred of the Jew come from?

              • Dear, Cadavera.

                If criticizing Israel makes me an anti-Semite, then go ahead and attach to me the label of racist, because I think that Barry has destroyed what was left of America after W wrecked it. Oh, I guess that this criticism also qualifies me as a terrorist. I’m afraid that next you’ll collaborate with the authorities to have me rendered and tortured.

                I wonder which side of Checkpoint Charlie you think you live on.

                • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                  In the Free West. I am your neighbor.

  • DE-173

    “After lunch, we had the opportunity to sit down with a group of students, handpicked by the principal”
    That’s not an “opportunity”. An “opportunity” would be to sit down with students at random or of your chosing. It corporate parlance, that’s a “dog and pony” show.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Readers needs to read Ms, McDonnell’s article (linked below). “Fair & Balance”, and all that. Especially since the author houses himself at Chronicles.

    Unity With the Persecuted, Faith McDonnell (FrontPage) Senator Ted Cruz and Author Eric Metaxas at the “In Defense of Christians” Summit..

    Yes, Christian Zionism is somewhat on the wane. (Grew up evangelical. Know the culture well.) The rise of the so-called “emergent church” movement is greatly responsible, with its Christianizing – not of American culture – but of the globalizing forces (“world citizenship”) tidal-waving across the globe. Incarnating the church within the nooks and crannies, the matrixes of post-modern multiculturalism is, on the face of it, the New Evangelism (Protestant or Catholic).

    The reducing of the Jew (in a modernized Marcionian way) is not only fashionable, but a sign that one is truly a Christianized World Citizen. It is simply fashionable these days to dismiss the Jew, to despise Israel, to push the Hebrew Scriptures through the Post-Modern hermeneutical grinder. One sees it, these days, everywhere, all the time. It is, in some cultures – even Christian ones – a permissible hate.

    In my now longish life I have entered (mostly with great joy and true fellowship) with many Christian “faith communitites”, as we say these days. Raised half evengalical, half fundamentalist in the mountains of Idaho. From there into Satanism of a Crowleyan sort (well, that certainly wasn’t very Christian of me!); from that into (by a certain reckoning) the culturally transforming Jesus People Movement; the onto High Church Anglicanism; stopping for many years in Eastern Orthodoxy (by way of the Antiochian Patriarchate); after that with great release, Catholicism. (That last would have came earlier – much wanted it to be so – but in 1978, in Walnut Creek, CA, stepped into a Catholic Parish for Mass, and the Priest was dressed as a clown.

    At each stage the perennial question surfaced – what to do about the Jew (= Israel, the Hebrew People, God’s Covenant with the Jewish People). The temptation was always to go negative. In Fundamentalism Jews, at the End of Times, are segregated onto the New Earth while the saved non-Jew enters Heaven; in Crowleyan-Luciferian-Horus Satanism the less said the better, for the Jew is not even worthy to be sacrifice on the Black Mass table; Anglicanism accepted the dismissal of the Jew in that venerable British sort of way; the Jesus People, actually, gave little thought to it (the Movement was too “spongy”, which explains the attitude of its progeny & grand-progeny such as the Emergent Church).

    As for Eastern Orthodox Church, now their Jew-Dismissal is long and deeply bred. In different ways, of course, be it Russian, Greek or Arab (Moscow, Constantinople or Antioch). The first two need little telling. I have witnessed the spit and spittle those two are capable of lobbing onto the Jew. As for the Arab, very much up close. Arab Christians (Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant) have Jew-Dismissal deeply embedded in their cultural/religious constitution. Bet Ye’or explains it well in her writings. Centuries and centuries of Dhimitude (Muslim) conditioning (more o the polint, calculated training). In spite of the horrific persecution and suffering Arab (Middle Eastern) Christians have, are, and will be subjected to, Arab Christianity has been, and remains Islamizied. Which parts of their “faith communities” (attitudes & behaviors), and to what degree, differs from region to region. But their there is an Islamizied warp which depressed and retards the flourishing of those communities. In any discussion of recovering and revitalizing Eastern Christianity that issue must be addressed.

    Which is why the readers of the article must also read its companion of Ms. McDonnell.

    REGARDING ISLAM: Islam (including the mythology of Muhammad) is, in its origins, a Christian heresy. Islam was born from an aberrant Christianity, with all the rhyme and reason of the faith wrung out of it. And more, Islam “Macionized” Christianity to perfection. The Jew is the great poison and poisoner of religion. Kill the Jew (Israel, God’s Covenant with the Jewish People, the written record of their biography with G-d) and religion will be pure. Yes, Islam is the last, great lingering Christian heresy. It must be be considered and treated as such.

  • “Christians have no greater ally than the Jewish state.” Rather rich when the greatest oppressor of Christians has been Israel. Just ask any Christian who’s lived in Israel and emigrated after seeing his life upturned. Christian Zionism is alive and well among otherwise orthodox Catholics, Palestinian Catholics and churches be damned by the Israelis.

    This article is a breath of fresh air to the magazine.

    • DE-173

      “Rather rich when the greatest oppressor of Christians has been Israel. ”

      Wow, if they’ve managed to attain that status in seven decades, overturning a rather long record of Islam over fourteen centuries, and the mechanized oppression of Communists, post-Tudor Britain’s hundreds of years of oppression, the anti-clerical flourishes in France and Mexico, that’s amazing.

    • cestusdei

      Meanwhile Muslims behead Christians on TV…

      • DE-173

        And when give the chance, defecated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

      • Meanwhile, Israelis bomb Christian children, but it’s not on TV because Israel…

        • cestusdei

          And it all began when Muslims, Hamas, kidnapped and killed 3 Israeli children. Something you forget very quickly. Meanwhile in Gaza Christians are persecuted by their Arab “brothers.”

          Btw, the boys names were: Naftali Frankel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar,

          • Ah, OK, then. In this case the Israelis are justified to bomb unnamed Christian children to smithereens… not!

    • AnneM040359

      Tell that to those Iraqi Christians who if ISIS did not kill them, forced them to flee their homes. The Christian community in Iraq is finished.

      • Aw, shucks! I feel defeated that Israel is not as bad as ISIS. Who’d think?

    • Major914

      Are you the author’s alter ego?

    • nasicacato

      The greatest oppressor of Christians has been Israel? Just plain nuts.

    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

      Fresh air that blows straws of misrepresentation and misdirection. As I suggested in a prior comment, the thread (or dirty laundry) which unites all the “faith communities” I had enter, and left, was their dismissal of the Jew and their barely concealed hatred of God’s Covenant with the Jewish People – yes, of course, always under the cover of their spit & spittle denial of Israel as a state and culture.

      Again, I refer you to the article of Faith McDonnell linked in that earlier comment.

  • Major914

    “In the end, though, it all comes down to that young Muslim girl’s perceptive words…”

    Right… A ‘young Muslim girl’ is by contrast oh-so-very-very perceptive; and Senator Cruz is just such a coarse, base, gauche, low and dumb ‘American Christian’…

    As an American, and a Christian, I’d happily take Senator Cruz, any day and in any context, over 20 like this author–even with a few ‘perceptive young Muslim girls’ thrown in to add intellectual weight to the author’s side of the equation.

  • Catholic in Exile

    I hardly know where to begin, but I do know where to end: Mr. Richert should be writing for the Huffington Post. His tunnel-vision and naivete are breathtaking.

    • Scott Richert

      Thanks for the laugh. You made my day.

    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

      The fact that Mr. Richert is associated with Chronicles, does that signify?

      The author’s act of pulling Bill Buckley’s (almost ancient) 40,000 word Anti-Semitiism piece against Buchanan into his article – without mentioning Buchanan – was a bit disingenuous. The (context-less) reference was inserted into the article for what purpose? How many readers remember (or understand) the background of Buckley’s pivotal National Review article? In that regard, how many readers remember the quite testy relationship there was between NR and Chronicles?

      In the day, the basis of that testiness was no laughing matter!

  • nasicacato

    What Cruz said had value but only if it had been said behind closed doors. The Christians of the Middle East are hostages, with knives held against their necks. In the long run, non-Muslims are natural allies against this resurgent devil cult called Islam. But in the short run, Israel cannot help them and it is in the short run that they could very well be exterminated. It was not the time to ask them for a public shout-out to Israel. Reading the transcript, it looks like Cruz was either extremely ignorant, or, more likely, grandstanding for potential voters in the primaries. He is lessened in my eyes.

  • nasicacato

    On further reflection, I think Cruz is obligated to make a speech to at least one major pro-Israel organization exhorting them to make common cause with their beleaguered Christian brothers in the Middle East. That would go a long way toward restoring his reputation.

  • wc4mitt

    Sen Cruz is an ambitious want2-b POTUS who will do anything to pursue his agenda. Just because someone is “Christian” doesn’t mean anything just as much as because someone is “Catholic” – labels are just that. It’s words and actions that prove reliable. Cruz is attempting to fulfill his ‘father’s dreams’ just like Pres. Obama – which is really scary.Check it out his dad is behind most things he says and does; a dad w/an agenda of his own. Cruz is very sporadic is what he says and does. Like Obama he is a 1st term US Sen who is making noise to further his own image and ideas. He is a dangerous man.

    • DE-173

      All politicians are dangerous men-including Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    The bitter hatred which Arab Christians exhibit towards Jews and Israel (one only needs to Jews) is something too often. It plays into the hands of Islam. Their hatred provides a service for Islam. It is their sign of humility before their Muslim oppressors.

    Arab Christian hatred of all things Jewish must be addressed – let alone confessed and repented of on their part.

    One does not find the same hatred, for instance, among Iranian/Persian Christians – for all the Death to Israel rallies in Tehran.

  • nasicacato
  • AutumnColors

    Wow. This author’s response to his thread was unjustifiably defensive. And I love how he picks on the one (ONE!) national leader who could actually win over most conservatives. I’m done with this website and I would recommend to the author talking out his aggression with a therapist for a session or two, but he would probably just torpedo me on his thread instead, so nevermind.

    • Crisiseditor

      Wow. What an unjustifiably defensive remark. So the ONLY conservative who you think could win the Republican nomination is so weak that he can’t survive a little criticism? God help the Republicans in the general election if Cruz is the nominee. And who is it that is so thin skinned that one column that challenges her world view is so traumatizing that she can’t bare to read the thousands of other columns on this site that she–shock of all shocks–would probably agree with? But someone so intellectually insecure would never take the risk for fear that she might encounter a different point of view. Why learn anything new when there is comfort in ignorance? No need to see her therapist if her preconceived notions of the world are reaffirmed all the time. Besides, thinking is hard. Too much work. I’m sure Cruz would really benefit from defenders like you.

  • 1Indioviejo1

    You criticize Sen. Ted Cruz statements, yet Islam gets a pass. In the Shahadah, recited five times a day in Muslim prayers, Mohammed is inevitably linked to their Deity as HIS prophet. Have you ever read the biography of Mohammed? It tells you about his leadership in the Battle of ‘The Trench’ were he captured the qurayza tribe and had 800 men decapitated in his presence, later he and his minions raped their women and sold them into slavery with their children. His wife Aisha was present at this genocidal action when she was all of 12 years old. This is the Aisha he married when she was but 6 years old and consummated the ‘marriage’ when she was but 9 years old.
    All Muslims know this, and aspire to follow Mohammed’s example because he is considered the ‘most perfect man’. So when you defend Muslims or Islam, when you attempt to build bridges with them, you are an accomplice to their criminal ideology, and most surely commit a sin of omission. Shame on you and all Catholics who dissimulate Islam, the totalitarian ideology masquerading as a religious cult. No wonder some church fathers were Nazis!

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