Posted by pancho from adsl-64-165-199-47.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net (18.104.22.168) on Monday, February 18, 2002 at 2:02PM :
Peter hates Muslims. Muslims are seen as having switched religions under duress, not holding out, not tolerating watching their children's throats slit for Jesus. It strikes us that they must have been opportunistic, afraid, seeking worldly gain etc.
Christian Assyrians on the other hand...yes that famous "other" hand, held out, remained faithful to their Jew Lord and caught hell for it...remained uneductaed and unable to send their children to college, or get the kinds of jobs that would have allowed them to broaden the horizons for their children, had the funds to send their kids to fine schools or to the West to expand their frontiers a bit, get them out of the narrow village life, perched on some mountaintop somewhere with a mud church at the center of their lives.
If Assyrians switched to Islam in order to preserve their children's lives and their wives and mothers and daughters and sisters from violation and worse...and in order to avoid the barriers and obstacles that ringed the lives of those who did not switch...then what was the justification Assyrians had for switching to Christianity? It's true there was no opposition to their making the change, not when their own King showed them the way...as by becoming Christian, Constantine gave the royal stamp of approval to the new religion.
It would seem that Assyrians became Christian in order to benefit up there in the sky...for eternity and eternal life. That's pretty clever of them. As long as there was no danger in being Christian here on earth, and everything to gain after death, it was worth it to be Christian.
After Islam, when there was some liability in being Christian...many changed over in order to get what benefits they could here on earth...let the afterlife wait till this one was successfully negotiated. But not Assyrians who had made the switch already...their eyes still greedily sought the promises of that life to come...and they turned their backs on this one...and on their children's screams and the long history of neglect and abuse and second class citizenship this meant for them.
Of course the kinds of Muslims who did these things were to blame. But if you are switching religions in order to benefit yourself...why not benefit yourself here on earth as well?
Maybe that's why "real" Assrins can tolerate the idea of children dying of starvation and disease in Iraq...because we grew up on stories of parents turning a deaf ear to their children's screams as they were raped and killed for Jesus. Let these children die now to make up for "ours" who died in 1245 and 1745 and 1833 and 1933.
Turns out both Assyrians who switched to Christianity and remained faithful to it...and Assyrians who switched to Islam and remained faithful to it...were out to get something for themselves their ancient religion could not deliver...and never tried to deliver. The religion of Ashur was for people intent on doing their utmost to prove themselves worthy to their Lord on this earth...in ways that would bring what was considered to be "glory" back then to the God and his people.
Definitions changed...but not basic human self-interest. Christian and Muslim Assyrians were looking for something better, here on earth or up in the sky. And meanwhile the Jews got Israel.
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