Skip to comments.Did Bush-Obama Policies Begin the End of Christianity in Arab Lands?
Posted on 08/21/2013 6:21:57 AM PDT by Kaslin
When the despotic King Herod plotted to kill Jesus by sending his agents to slaughter every boy under the age of 2 in and around Bethlehem, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him, "Get up, take the child and his mother, and escape to Egypt."
That, says the Gospel of Matthew, fulfilled what God said through the prophet Hosea: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
Now, two millennia later, we may live in a time when Christians must flee for their lives out of Egypt -- not into it. They do not fear being slaughtered by King Herod, but by the Muslim Brotherhood.
When St. Paul was still persecuting Christians, Jesus struck him down with a bolt of light as he was on the road to Damascus. Paul regained his sight in that city and began his mission of spreading Christianity throughout the world.
Today, Christians fear being struck down on the roads of Syria not by bolts of light, but by Islamist revolutionaries allied with al-Qaida.
In Egypt last week, reports The Associated Press, Islamists attacked 63 Christian churches. In Syria, rebels shot 11 people on the road between two Christian villages.
In our time, Christianity could be driven from some of the lands where it first took root.
If that dark and epochal moment comes, some of the blame for it must be pinned on the messianic foreign policies pursued by our most recent two presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
After al-Qaida attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, this nation had a just cause in punishing the perpetrators of those attacks and making sure they could make no further assaults on our homeland. That, of course, required military action in those places where al-Qaida took sanctuary -- particularly Afghanistan.
But George W. Bush had a grander -- and ill-advised -- vision. He thought it was his mission to make it America's mission to literally end tyranny in the world and implant "democracy" everywhere.
He expressed his evangelical zeal for this secular cause in his second inaugural address. "So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world," said Bush.
Obama did not reverse Bush's policy, but added another ill-advised element to it. In promoting democracy in the Middle East, he portrayed the Muslim majorities there as victims of Western colonialism and Cold War policies.
"The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars," Obama said in a June 2009 speech in Cairo. "More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies, without regard to their own aspirations."
What has happened in the Middle East during the presidencies of Bush and Obama? Bush went to war in Iraq and then tried to install a representative government there through years of occupation. Obama supported rebellions in Egypt, Libya and Syria.
In Libya, some of the Islamists Obama helped liberate from Moammar Gadhafi turned around and attacked a State Department mission and a CIA compound, murdering four of our people. In Iraq, Syria and Egypt, Christians now face potentially existential struggles.
According to the 2013 report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, "The government of Iraq continues to tolerate systematic, ongoing and egregious religious freedom violations, including violent, religiously motivated attacks."
Christians and other religious minorities, says the commission, "have fled the country in recent years, threatening these communities' continued existence in Iraq."
The State Department's 2012 report on religious freedom said that "due to emigration as Christian flee the country," Syria's Christians may have dropped from 10 percent of that nation's population to about 8 percent.
The Central Intelligence Agency estimates 10 percent of Egyptians are Christians. But with their systematic attacks on Christian churches, Egyptian Islamists are now sending a message to Christians who still live in that land where Jesus once lived: Get out.
The Bush-Obama policies were rooted in two great errors. Their job was not to change other nations, but to protect the liberty, security and prosperity of this nation. And the greatness of this nation has ultimately been rooted not merely in the admittedly felicitous form of our government, but in the popular embrace of moral truths -- expressly taught by millennia of Judeo-Christian tradition -- that make all freedom possible.
In a word: YES
I think as time passes history will start seeing the time period from Jan 1989 on as a disaster for the United States.
Absolutely, yes. It would have been better to allow Saddam Hussein take over Saudi Arabia and the entire Middle East to create his secular dictatorship.
I think the big problem was that Bush permitted Iraq and Afghanistan to enshrine Islam in their constitution - at a time when we controlled them and could have removed that from their proposed constitutions. Had he gone for a secular state, it might have worked, or at any rate, better than it has.
It is questionable that one can install a US type of government in a Middle Eastern country, which is fixated on the Great Leader. But permitting Islam to be part of it in an official way killed the whole concept from the start.
The problem with Bush in this respect was the same problem that he had with everything he did: he bent over backwards to show how “fair” he was and prove that he was not biased in favor of Christianity or capitalism or anything else that the Democratic party considered evil. So in a sense, I see his big error in the Middle East as basically the same as his big errors in US government: being too intimidated by the opposition party and too desirous of proving his “fairness” to actually stake out any positions of his own.
As for Obama, the secret is simply that he’s hostile to Christianity and does everything possible, both domestically and in foreign policy, to make life difficult for Christians.
People throw around the word ‘democracy’ like they really know what it means.
What we have in the Middle East today IS ‘democracy’, i.e. ‘MOB RULE’. That is essentially what true ‘democracy’ is.
What people really mean, though most don’t know it, is REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC, where everyone has a say in what their government is and does, via their elected representatives in the legislature of whatever type they choose.
The countries of the Levant, with the exception of Israel, does not have a history of any sort remotely involving representative republican type of government, but they do ‘democracy’ rather well.
The mob rule that is sweeping the Middle East these past four years is just the latest version of ‘democracy’ to be presented to the world under the rubric of ‘reform’. What it really represents is just ‘same-o same-o’............
Perhaps it is time to bring back these guys. If I'm not mistaken their first purpose was to protect Christians in Muslim lands. Of course now they'd be armed with M4's and kevlar body armor. I think the white tunics with red crosses would send a message that the era of pushing Christians around is over. Who do we need to call to set this up?
After supporting Croatias large scale ethnic cleansing in Bosnia , the Clintons provided military and intelligence advisors as the Croatian government carried out large scale ethnic cleansing of the Serbs population in Croatia itself. This Croatian ethnic cleansing of 250,000 Serbs in the Krajina district was one of the worlds greatest war crimes. Indeed, the UN is now prosecuting three Croatian generals for war crimes based on this ethnic cleansing. The Clintons, however, have yet to be investigated for their support for Croatia in this tragic affair
[T]he Clintons [should] reveal the details of their cooperation with Senator McCain on behalf of Croatian extremists and the KLA. The Clintons and McCain have been in lockstep in support of Croatian and Albanian extremists for a decade or more. This Clinton-McCain collaboration with the Croatian and Albanian extremists is the real crime .
All that seemed crazy conspiracy theory is beginning to suspiciously resemble reality.
Amen - Bush 1 realized that, but somehow he forgot before he remembered how much money and arms we gave Saddam to fight Iran/Khomeini. Saddam knew that Saudi Arabia’s Royal family was funding international terrorism by the Wahabistsas a quid pro quo to stay in power.
I have come to the conclusion that all we need to know is in plain sight. Our Govt. has sold us out for the NWO destabilization plan in the Middle East and unending unproductive wars around the world to feed the Big PIGGY BANKSTERS AND CRONY CORPORATISTS. I just don’t want to play any more, don’t want to support my Govt’s obvious aggression in this process.
You are absolutely correct!
Christians have been persecuted in the Middle East for over a millennium.
Would Obama and his ilk like to see Christianity wiped out of the Arab world? Absolutely. But is this the beginning of the end? No.
One of the many great lessons of the crucifixion is that Satan, working through men, cannot overcome that which is of God. Christ’s Church does not weaken in the face of persecution, but rather grows from the smallest of seeds into the greatest of trees when watered with the blood of martyrs. We are all called to lay down our lives for our professions of Christ when it comes to that. When we do so, Christ’s Church is strengthened, not weakened.
As Christians we should do all that we can to aid our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. But the one thing we must not do is despair for the Church in their lands. Strike down Christ’s Church in one land and it returns stronger than ever. Man has no power over that which is of God. I predict that the Church in the Arab World, rather than be wiped out, will become more influential than ever by the time this is over with.
As soon as George HW Bush took the Oath of Office the decline began.
Yep, and President Bush, who claims to be Christian, doesn’t appear to know the Bible (or human nature) very well. We aren’t going to have world peace until Christ returns. As far as human nature goes, you can’t help people who are unwilling to help themselves. While it’s true the French helped us during our revolution, the French couldn’t have freed us on their own power. We had to want it ourselves.
And it should be “Bush/Clinton(Bush’s “Other””Son:)/Bush/Obama timeframe.
U got that right - A country cannot have “pure democracy” and Rule of Law at the same time because mob rule will overcome the laws they don’t like and chaos ensues. A stable country doesn’t change their laws every 20 seconds or railroad laws through that the majority of the people won’t respect (listen up, Harry Reid & John Boehner). As John Adams warned us, a representative republic only works in a country with a moral Christian people.
erm...no. I think radical Islam and 9/11 were the leading indicators that this was going to happen. This didn’t “just start now”.
Bush is as a self-declared Christian, but nothing confirms that in his words or actions. You can be a good person, compassionate, caring and giving and still be going to Hell, no matter what you want to call yourself. He and the Pope seem to be on the same track: You can go to heaven and be with God even when you don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. That is heresy.
It was indeed "ill-advised"; but his presentation of it, bordered on the pathetic. It was a continuation of the Left-wing foreign policy of Dean Rusk, from the Kennedy/Johnson era, and that of the Clinton Administration.
For a very clear contrast of Bush's folly with the wisdom of George Washington, in their own words, see George Washington Debates George W. Bush.
For more on the "unintended consequences," including other Christians being killed as a result of our folly under Dean Rusk, see Democracy In The Third World.
In this, as in so much else, pursuing a make-believe world in which people are interchangeable, only results in more misery.
The US State Department confirms that in its report: DENIAL OF RELIGIOUS RIGHTS in the region. "Periodically, there are incidents of Christian-Muslim tension in the occupied territories. Tensions have arisen over Christian-Muslim romantic relationships or when Christians have erected large crosses in the public domain.
Christians in the Bethlehem area (birthplace of Christ) also have complained about Muslims settling there and constructing homes illegally on land not zoned for building. "During the period covered by the State Dept report, there were periodic reports that some Christian converts from Islam who publicize their religious beliefs have been harassed. Converts complained that they were mistreated and threatened.
The draft Palestinian Basic Law specifically forbids discrimination against individuals based on their religion. Assaults by Muslims on Christain Holy Sites include: On July 5, 1997, Muslim policemen arrived at the [Abraham's Oak Russian "Holy Trinity" Monastery in Hebron], physically removed the monks and nuns, and took over the site. Several of the monks and nuns required hospitalization .
During the October and November 2000 hostilities, Fatah gunmen -- members of the "Tansim"-- fired on the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo from areas adjacent to churches in Beit Jalla, most notably the Church of St. Nicholas, hoping that Israel's return fire will hit a church," reported a Christian cleric. "Then it will be front-page news for the "Christian West,' that Israel is now destroying churches."
In January 2000, police evicted five "White Russian" monks from their 19th-century monastery in the West Bank town of Jericho, handing the property over to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church
In May 2002, 13 terrorists forcibly took over the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. They stole gold objects from the monks, ate their scarce food, and urinated on the church floor.
Bob Simon's 60 Minutes segment, entitled Christians in the Holy Land-- wherein Simon, a Jewish American CBS correspondent, exposed the exodus of Christians a once-dominant community in Israel and laid it at the door of Israels policies toward all Palestinian-Christians.........and Muslims.
(CBS News---60 Minutes transcript--excerpt) The exodus from the Holy Land of Palestinian Christians could eventually leave holy cities like Jerusalem and Bethlehem without a local Christian population, Bob Simon reports. Why are they leaving? For some, life in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become too difficult. Simon states: but Palestinian Christians have been leaving in large numbers for years. So many, the Christian population there is down to less than two percent, and the prospect of holy sites, like Jerusalem and Bethlehem, without local Christians is looming as a real possibility.
Simon asks Eastern Orthodox figure Theophilos: When you first came here in 1964 what was the percentage of Christians in the old city?
Theophilos: There were around 30,000 of-- Christians living in the Old City.
Bob Simon: And now how many are there?
Theophilos: Very few. So few, some 11,000 Christians out of a population of almost 800,000 -- just one and a half percent.
Simon cites not only the occupation but also the Jewish communities: Palestinian Christians, once a powerful minority, are becoming the invisible people, squeezed between a growing Muslim majority and burgeoning Israeli settlements
Israeli Ambassador Michael Oron told Bob Simon on 60 Minutes that lessening the Christian population in Israel was necessary---b/c "Israel has to defend its own interests."
Speaking as a devout Catholic here: this Pope better watch his mouth. He is getting himself into trouble with sloppy statements. Denial of God is a mortal sin. No one with mortal sin is going to heaven. Period.
As far as Bush goes, he is a good man and a good Christian. But politically, he was way off base thinking that "democracy" in a Middle Eastern context would do anything but put the screws to the ancient Christian communities that lived there. We should've insisted point blank as a sine qua non of any occupation/military engagement that the Christians in these countries *would be protected and defended by law*. The minute there was *any* violence in a church in Iraq, Afghanistan, or whatever we should've been on them like white on rice.
Our apostasy is getting Christians around the world killed because we are too wishy washy to stand up for them.
The United States has been crapping on Christians abroad since Woodrow Wilson. Since McKinley if you consider the idiotic excuse he gave for grabbing the Philippines.
I do not want to get into your theological issues. But the foreign policy causation is worse than you suggest! In several very striking instances, we directly helped to enable, even fund, the persecution of Christians, during the Dean Rusk era, and in other instances, since. (See American Foreign Policy.) There can be no moral justification for some of these misdeeds; and they were never in real American interests..
And see, my reply #18, above.
The big problem is that the US has rejected Christianity. The plight of the ME Christians is just a ripple effect.
NO! The beginning of the end for Christianity in the Middle East was when Mohammed moved his rag tag band of followers to Medina.
His peaceful “preaching” in Mecca (12 years worth) was not working, so in Medina he increasingly resorted to force of arms, and Islam began to rapidly spread throughout the Middle East.
It all began in 622 AD, folks.
“Judge not lest ye be judged.”
Did you happen to notice Bush is included in the indicting headline?
You really believe Bush wanted to end Christianity in the region?
The article is misguided.
Obama’s motivation is to break U.S. ties to mid-east oil and politics.
He just does’t give a damn about the impact on Christians, as he sees them as an extention of “excess western influence in the world”.
I don’t doubt it.
I’m willing to open up the issue all the way back to 1918. Was there a good reason why, when the Ottoman Empire collapsed, the Christian nations didn’t all agree to hand Hagia Sophia back to the Patriarch of Constantinople on a platter?
I was referring to such incidents as the suppression of the Ibo (Christian Tribe in Biafra), & the people in Katanga, where we actually provided the UN forces with the air power to bomb Christian hospitals, etc..
Do I believe that Bush wanted to end Christianity in the Region? That wasn’t the premise posed. Did his administration’s policies lead to the dangerous destabilization of the Middle East that we are experiencing now on steroids under Soeotoro? Did Bush’s quest for “democracy” and free elections resulted in the Islamists running roughshod over everyone, including moderate muslims - the proof is in that pudding, don’t you think? Christians are being driven/burned out of their homes & churches as near as I can tell. This all goes so far beyond Bush or Obama - they are mere puppets playing in this insanity. Bush never wanted “nation building” but his position was overridden. So who is calling these crazy shots?
“He expressed his evangelical zeal for this secular cause in his second inaugural address. “So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world,” said Bush”
That was one of the most sterling examples of utopian idiocy ever uttered by man. Right up there with “Islam is a Religion of Peace”
“Did his administrations policies lead to the dangerous destabilization of the Middle East that we are experiencing now on steroids..?”
No, Bush policies did NOT destabilize Egypt or Syria or Libya.
As for Iraq, it was Obama’s exit approach that resulted in the instability there.
I’ve got my tin foil ready.....Who is calling these crazy shots?
Bush took us into Iraq and Afghanistan, and he didn’t fight either war to WIN, which means crushing the enemy so badly, including the civilians, that they know better than to mess with you for a very long time. In my book this means there never was any intention of winning in the first place, just dehumanizing our troops by evil ROE that don’t allow victory through intractable conflicts with no real end in sight.
There is no way to leave either country now and expect that all our “good deeds” will be maintained in kumbaya fashion by the Natives. Ask the Russians how well that worked out for them, and they were way less kind than American troops are.
If Bush could have had a 3rd term, I believe we would be in the same place we are with Soeotoro, who also doesn’t believe in fighting to win - Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria all down the hatch...Jordan soon to follow. Our Govt. is aiding and abetting the CHAOS. Why?
What our Govt. didn’t count on was the rise of the people in Egypt to expose our collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood/Saudi kings to the detriment of our own country. The Bushes, Clintons, Soeotoro are all tools and I am suprised that you can’t see that. Tools of whom? You don’t need a tinfoil hat to answer that one. Follow the money and look for those with power & cash and no allegiance to any Nation State (crony corporatists, international banksters, and treasonous politicians who have sold us out in spades).