Gosh, I'm tired.
Posted by aogSunday, 12 January 2003 at 18:04 TrackBack Ping URL
This morning in adult sunday school the pastor spent the time going over personal stories from the West Bank. As expected, all of these involved hardship alledgedly imposed byIsraelis. Even the dire economic straights were claimed to be entirely caused by Israeli actions which were described without any context. There was the article promoting the Jenin massacre myth. At one point, after dissenting yet again from the official view, I was challenged on where I got my information and "who controls that?"". I disputed that that was relevant and that I got my infomration from a variety of sources but the challenger was unmollified. The best challenge to my claims was about the Palestinian Charter. My claim was that it had never been changed and my source was the copy I pulled off the UN mission of the Palestinian Authority website. The counter was that the US State Department claimed that it had been changed, and who was to pick between those two sources? The problem is that if it hasn't changed, it makes the two state solution infeasible and shows that it's not the Israeli side that's the biggest violator of agreements.

The most disconcerting moment was a segue from stories about the IDF violating churches. I pointed out that Palestinian had used chuches for military purposes so perhaps this wasn't completely unjustified. We went to the occupation of the Church of the Nativity as an example. This was excused by gathered Lutherans for two reasons: the gunmen were being pursued by the IDF and they didn't actually fire their weapons from the Church. I didn't know how to respond to that. But at least this week I wasn't the lone voice of dissent - someone tried to bring in context instead of just reading sad tales.

Why the excuses for Palestinian behaviour? I think it was revealed when the pastor mentioend that things are different for those who have power and those who don't, and that the Israelis are powerful. I suppose those with this view consider it pointless to think about why it's the Israelis are powerful. Or that being powerless isn't a moral blank check. But that would require making actual judgements and that's hard. Better to leave it someone else.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
pj Monday, 13 January 2003 at 10:44

Sad that they think that way. I had an email blowup with a friend of 15 years, a very kind woman I admire greatly and mainline Protestant, who thinks Iraq is war for oil and that Bush is doing it only to reward oil buddies, and that Christianity counsels pacifism. I compared to Saddam to Hitler and asked her when, or if, it became right to resist Hitler with force: in 1937 when he arrested Pastor Niemoller? Or when he invaded Czechoslavakia, Poland, France? Saddam has killed tens of thousands of Kurds, Shiites, Christians; invaded Iran and Kuwait; sponsored terror against Israel and the U.S.; how many more people does he have to go after before it becomes right to resist? She had no answer . . .

pj Monday, 13 January 2003 at 10:47

AOG - I’m curious why, as a self-described atheist, you’re going to summer school? Do you have an interest in Christianity?

I am a Christian libertarian/conservative and would willingly address points of moral theology if you would like to discuss them.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 13 January 2003 at 16:52

She Who Is Perfect In All Ways is a Lutheran and so I try to be accomodating. I’ve actually updated my description to “agnostic”, which is probably more accurate. I don’t have a strong belief in a Creator or His non-existence. Wet noodle like, I know, but there it is. I’ve never understood the visceral hatred for religion that many atheists seem to feel. I have lots of atheist friends and they, like me, are just fine with other people being religious. In fact, I don’t personally know any atheists who’d disagree much on the Judd’s take on the “separation of Church and State”. However, I digress.

The point is that if my kids grow up Lutheran, that’s fine with me. Their mother, however, doesn’t want them to think that going to church is a “girl” thing, so I go along now and then.

But SWIPIAW is a clever person and she saw that there was going to be a five week look at the Middle East. I decided to go to be a dissenter, presuming that there would be a strong bias against Israel, which turns out to be the case. You could say I’m “witnessing” for what I consider the side of Good. I seriously believe that we are at risk of another Holocaust against the Jews, so how can I do nothing? I know it’s not much, but at least it’s not nothing. It’s actually the closest I’ve come to anti-Semitism. I used to think it was like flat earth theories or Ptomelaic astronomy - something that was a big deal in the past, but not something anyone still believed. I have, to my sorrow, learned differently over the last decade or so.

pj Monday, 13 January 2003 at 21:17

I also believed that anti-Semitism couldn’t be that common, until the recent wave of terrorism brought out all this irrational anti-Israel passion, and I was just shocked. I grew up reading Holocaust stories, and Bible stories, so to me Jews were heroes, not that I knew many.

The anti-Semitism of many “liberals” is baffling - and it certainly has no Christian basis. I wish Christianity were a more reliable indicator of good sense and goodness than it is, but we human beings are warped wood and it’s hard to make anything straight out of us.

End of Discussion