January 4, 2004
Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, the Christian Coalition and many Evangelical Christians in the US and abroad, as well the Christian Coalition with Ralf Reed, who heads Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in the South, unabashedly declare their support for Israel by reciting a verse from the Bible: 'God will bless those who bless Israel, curse those who curse Israel.' Num. 24, 9. These Evangelical Christians love Arial Sharon's policies and support him. Over 3000 Christian-Zionists from 80 countries, in October 2003 cheered Sharon, called a man of peace, by President Bush. Sharon told those Christians, "We love you" and they reciprocated that affection back to him.
Eckstein, a leader of the Chicago-based International Fellowship of Christians and Jews said, "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the cusp of becoming, God forbid, a worldwide conflict between Jews and Muslims." In fact, the Christian fundamentalist Evangelicals nourish this hate between Jews and Muslims. These who call themselves Christian-Zionists declare their love to the God of Israel and their hate to the God of Islam; they refer to the last as "Hubal," the moon God of Mecca known as Allah. What they forget is that the Arab-Christians who preceded Islam for 600 years have always called and still call God by the name Allah. I am an Arab-American Catholic Priest and I have always refered to God as Allah. He is the same Allah, God of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. There is no other God, but one God called differently by different cultutres. We cannot pretend that the God of the Jews or of the Christians is a better God than the one of the Muslims. This is absolutely a kind of blaphemy againt the One and Only God who created us all the same and at his image, Gen. 1:27
What these fundamentalists Evangelical Christians/Christian-Zionists are doing and preaching is very frightening, their actions predict a gloomy 2004, which might create a culture clash and/or a war between or among relgions.
If President Bush is reelected, they will have four more years to inject their brand of Christian fundamentalism in the US and the world. President Bush's administration relies on them; many of them are Christian Fundamentalists. Trying to instill this brand of fundamentalist evangelical Christian-Zionist Bible interpretation into the world is very dangerous, as this type of Christianity do recognize only their own and very speciafic way to see justice, fairness, peace and truth in the world, based on their interpretation of the Bible. Those that support that type of Christianity may be then at war against both religion and humanity.
Never in modern history have fundamentalist Christians had so much power. If we allow them to go on unchecked, Christianity itself will be blamed for all of their wrongdoings throughout the world. Adherents of other religions do not see the difference between fundamentalist Christians and good and righteous Christians; just as many Western Christians do not see the difference between fundamentalist Muslims and good and righteous Muslims. Many today accuse all Christians of being "Crusaders" even though we have nothing to do with those old unfortunate wars. It will take generations upon generations before we can prove ourselves as followers of Jesus, who asked us to love, to cooperate, to forgive, and to be instruments of peace, truth and justice.
The Gospel of fundamentalist Evangelicals will be mistaken as the Gospel of the Old Testament. People will mistake our God as one who condones destruction of people by others. It will be so difficult to prove that our God is the God of Love and Justice. It will be difficult to recognize in Jesus the God who came to save the world in a nonviolent way, accepting to die than to destroy or kill.
That is why Christian religious leaders and people should immediately take a principled stand and denounce in strong terms this form of Christianity, which is not ours. It is not enough to sign a statement or a petition here and there. We need to meet, organize, seek out the media, walk the streets, make banners, distribute flyers and put ads in newspapers. The White House must hear our voices for what we are, the majority of peace loving Christians in the US: Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Quakers... We need to speak out today and not tomorrow.
2004 already seems frightening because these Christian Fundamentalists have an upper hand in the political arena of the US and the current administration and because they have a platform to speak out and represent the rest of Christianity unfairly:
1) They do not see the history of the world from the eyes of justice
and truth. They have their own agenda and their own strategy. They are
imposing their theology on us and, our country, the US, is more than ever
under their influence.
2) They see the suffering of many nations in Africa, Asia and South America as part of the history of God and their own interpretations of the Bible.
3) They feel God calling them to speak on his behalf to the world and to punish or award, to preach and impose a kind of God never known before.
4) They see all Arabs and Muslims as terrorists that should be pursued and destroyed. They do not believe that these Arabs have the right to self-defense or resistance even when their countries and homes are invaded.
5) They see in Arial Sharon and his policies the command of God of the Bible, the God-Sabaoth of Israel, to kill and destroy the so called the new "Philistines" of the Old Testament.
6) They call for spreading their faith with a Bible Belt from Afghanistan to Iraq to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.
7) They want to bring the Jews from all over the world to Israel and to subsidize the construction of illegal settlements on the Occupied Territories and on the Syrian Golan.
8) They are pushing to have the so called prophecies to be fulfilled and see the second coming of the Missiah.
9) They preach that Armageddon is around the corner and a war of religion is imminent.
10) They speak surely about the imminent power of the Messiah and the immanent second Jewish holocaust when this false Messiah will slaughter Jews who would refuse convert to Christianity in this war called Armageddon.
A war of religion nourished by these fundamentalist groups is around the corner. It seems that 2003 was a preparation for it and that 2004 will be the continuation of this same strategy, if not its last chapter.
We need to work hard to stop this.
We cannot accept as Christians being pushed to a war of religion by
these fanatics who do not see any other horizon but a military Messiah
who is an Antichrist for us all.
We cannot accept today to murder harmony between people when we should respect other religions and have interfaith contacts and cooperation.
We cannot accept to fight for the same ONE God who is called differently by others: Allah, Adonia, HaShem, the Most High, the Great Being... Enough with wars of religion.
We cannot let the sound of weapons kill love of others, the cooperation and sharing with others; this love that we worked hard to build for generations in an international effort for harmony in the world.
Christians of the world!
Listen to me, please, Muslims, Jewish, Buddhists, Hindus...will look at you, Christians, this year 2004:
Will you be worthy of your Christianity that calls for love?
Or you will be condemned for generations and generations as a religion of destruction and war because of some lunatic Christian fanatics.
What would you choose?
Christians of the USA and the wolrd! Please, wake up before it is too late.