Trying to Get American Christians to See the Truth
In the 20 years since the collapse of the peace process, Israel's government has taken a turn for the worse. It's moved away from peace and towards an acceptance of the status quo, where it controls through oppression a population of nearly 7 million non-Jews.
The Muslims under Israel's control have more than enough people to speak for their rights, including many groups that only focus on the rights of Muslims.
But who do the Christians have to speak for their rights? No one.
That's ironic considering that Israel's biggest defender and financial backer is the United States, which is one of the most influential Christian nations in the world. Nearly 83 percent of Americans identify as "Christian," yet I wonder how they define that identity?
What does it mean to be a Christian in America? Does it have any meaning?
It certainly doesn't have any historical roots.
Christianity was founded in the century following the crucifixion of Jesus, the Jewish Rabbi who challenged the corruption of the leaders of his religion.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He lived as a young man in Nazareth. He preached throughout the Galilee. The Holy Land was his life, and it was his death. It was also his resurrection.
Yet so many American Christians have no real connection to those historical foundations of their religious faith.
You have to ask yourself, why? Why have American Christians abandoned the historical roots of their religion? Is it because deep down they are not really Christian at all? Is it that the see Christianity as a label and a shield in a conflict with those they hate, like Muslims. A modern day Crusader mentality? And they see Christianity less as a faith-based religion?
American Christians have turned their backs on the Christians of the Holy Land who live under the oppressive regime of the government of Israel.
How does a Christian sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem" during the Christmas season celebration of the birth of Jesus and yet are deaf and blind to the tragedy that is Bethlehem today, a city occupied by a non-Christian religious political race that is slowly crowding them out.
It's not like Christians are only brutalized by Israel.
Muslims will ferociously reject the assertions that they have abandoned the Christians, but only because they don't want to be embarrassed or shamed into acknowledging that their fight for the freedom of Palestine is an Islamic cause and no longer a sacred secular mission.
Muslims, especially in the Arab world, have been emboldened by the depreciation of the Christian presence in the Holy Land and the Arab world to attack Christians.
More violence against Christians has taken place in the last half century than in the entire existence of Christianity. Christian churches have been targeted, burned and destroyed. The rise of the Islamic State has been fueled by its anti-Christian philosophy that views Christians as infidels, along with Muslims and Jews who do not embrace a radicalized teaching of Islam.
And maybe that's why American Christians are so apathetic about their own people and their own religion. Maybe that's why American Christians, with only a few exceptions, have turned their backs on Christian Arabs in the Holy Land.
American Christians have a selfish fear of Islamic extremism. They are willing to see Christian Arabs sacrificed, rather than not the modern day Christianity that is built on an idolatry driven by monetary greed and political power.
How else can you explain the fact that American Christians are doing nothing as their Christian brothers and sisters are oppressed?
If Bethlehem were turned into an illegal Jewish-settlement, most American Christians wouldn't care.
They always have their little picture frames of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" on their walls and hanging from their Christmas trees. Who needs the real Bethlehem with all of its troubles, when you can have a picture to make you feel good?
American Christians need to wake up. They need to put their faith above their politics. They need to be like Arabs and Jews who have made their religion their priority.
The priority of Israel is Judaism. The priority of the Arab world is Islam.
When will American Christians make their Christianity their priority, too?
Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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