Reflections On Assyria

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Posted by pancho from ( on Thursday, February 06, 2003 at 6:11PM :

Because the likes of Andreas mirror your own prejudice towards Christianity they and he dont need to explain themselves beyond dropping a few code words and phrases that touch the same Christian nerve in the rest of you. Phrases such as..."the real Christian"..."true Christianity"... and others that trigger a Pavlovian cascade of righteous drool accompanied by inner murmurs of, "he's right"...yes of course, a TRUE Christian is like this...a REAL follower of Christ is a wonderful thing...we need even MORE Christians", and so forth.

You could as easily have been raised Hottentots or Cannibals and you'd be as devoted to and defensive of Hottentotism or Cannibalism as you are of Christianity... just as likely to believe that you practised REAL Hottentotism and TRUE Cannibalism, going to your deaths convinced of the virtue and rightness of each. If you can't bear to question and test...even to the point of trashing, your pet ideas...all of them shoved down your throats at the same time your bottoms were being wiped for you... and even later still when in your "National Diapers"...then it isn't really a mind you have but a tape recorder hooked to a car battery whose terminals end in your arse.

If it mattered not at all that believers in Ashur, for over three thousand years, turned to a Jew...then why should it matter that they turned to a Muslim 700 years later? Those Assyrians turning Jew..."Reformed" Jew or Christian if you prefer, naturally resented the Muslim Conquest... and the most reactionary among them, among whom was to be found the pig-ignorant village clergy who got their mitts on you early on, refused to participate in 1300 succeeding years of often brilliant and glorious history from then on, because it was Islamic History...the history of a "Usurper" and a "Foreigner". From that day what, if anything, "Assyrian" did the Christians OR Muslims produce? The belief in Ashur, the ritual, the cult, the practise, the coming together...were all by definition "Assyrian" things. You couldn't very well worship Ashur, or even address him, without BEING Assyrian...or doing it in an ASSYRIAN manner set down, defined, promulgated, detailed and expressed in an ASSYRIAN way.

If you came from a foreign land that worshiped a different god and you wanted to join the Assyrian could "become" Assyrian, if you adopted the religion of the Assyrians. A Jew doing so would cease to be Jewish in every meaningful way. He would dispense with Yahweh and his rituals and begin to learn and teach his children the ways of an Assyrian language...on Assyrian Holy Days...during Assyrian festivals honoring ways celebrating the gifts Ashur brought to his people...the ASSYRIANS.

If an Assyrian turned Jew, Christian or something else, he would do the same. He would gradually leave the ways of Ashur to adopt those of Yahweh or Christ or Allah or Buddha or Milcolm or Baal. Religion in the ancient world wasn't something you did on alternate Sundays when your grandmother caught you. Religion permeated your days and surrounded you from the cradle to the grave. No one took it casually.

Religion WAS WAS ethnicity when the world was made of independent city-states guarding their way of life...brought to them each by particular and peculiar gods exclusively their own... and to ward off encroachment by the Gods of their conqueror, when they couldn't avoid his soldiers and kings.

Regardless of its goodness or utility, Christianity was not the religion of the Assyrians. The question becomes, "How Assyrian can a Christian be"? By which I don't mean how kind or generous or trustworthy can an Assyrian Christian be, for these things are not the sole attributes of Christianity. On the surface of it a Christian, or a Muslim for that matter, can be as Assyrian as he or she wants to be. But what does it mean then...what is, "being an Assyrian" when you don't follow the religion of Ashur, the founding and original religion of the Assyrian people?

You certainly can be a good Assyrian with or without Christianity, or any religion. Unless...unless...unless the very definition of "good Assyrian" MEANS "Christian". And I'm afraid to Christian Assyrians that's exactly what it DOES mean. And that's why they keep yelling for an impossible Unity...that's why they keep fracturing, as they must, because they COME fractured to begin with...that's why they "betray" each other...turn "traitor" and the rest of it...because they are battling each other over RELIGION as if it was an ethnic or national entity...without giving a damn, or understnding, what "Assyrian" AS Assyrian means, or "Chaldean" and all them YoYos we have spawned, regardless and independent of whatever religion an Assyrian might be.

We have made religion the basis of our "national" identity...made it interchangeable with ethnic and yes even "national" affiliation. In a true Nation, such as America or France, people can be of any number of religions...they can go their separate ways, respect each other or not...but all of them are expected to behave as loyal citizens of ONE Nation...a real one with borders and institutions and mechanisms of government and culture and education. To go against the Nation, the real, actual, physical one, makes you indeed a "traitor". To go against the best interests of your Nation-State makes you potentially a foreign "agent", "Enemy of the State"......a back-stabber worthy to be exposed, denounced, banned, deleted and expelled...even executed. We have been applying the same formula to ourselves under the pretext that we are a "nation" as exclusively Christian Nation so that anyone arguing with us over religious matters becomes a political "traitor" as well...just as if he were betraying a country. If we needed it, this is proof that we define ourselves as Christians first and behave as if we were an exclusively Christian Country that would decree death and damnation to anyone denying the validity or value of Christianity because it is synonymous with the "State" and the "People". This is an anachronism at best...a formula for a Fascist State at worst.

While Bishops and jingoist leaders, like Nimrod and Golani and that Idiot Supreme Dadeeshoo, extoll the virues of loyalty to the United States or whatever Christian land we live in...Christian Assyrians feel perfectly justified and even compelled to be less than loyal to any Muslim country they live in...which could be the main reason Christian Assyrians have been less than welcome or trusted in the one region on earth that also happens to contain our homeland...not because of Christ, whom the Muslim is taught to respect...but because, in the name of that Christ, his Assyrian followers have been eager and willing to betray their neighbors, countrymen and women...and fellow Assyrians who merely exercised a different religious preference. This simply cannot be put down to Assyrianism or Nationalism, but to stupid, blind and vengeful Christianity...and of a very low order at that, which is depressingly and increasingly becomming the mainstream from which these leaders breed.

Christian Assyrians are willing to let anyone join...if he or she turns Christian first. If you try to be Assyrian without being Christian, you are suspected, unwelcome, mistrusted and liable to find yourself skinned alive in your sleep. The only real criteria they have for being Assyrian is being Christian. They don't often come out and say it, but it's there..a sort of given that needs no explication... for, among other things, they truly believe that Christianity saved Ashur...his people at least. That all we had to do to survive was deny Ashur...switch to Christ. That would be an odd way to expect Christians to remain denying Christ.

The problem is...Christianity is a RELIGION. It should stick to being a religion and not try to substitute for an ethnic identity, not even a "Nationally Diapered" one. The term "Christian Nation" has no real meaning. For one thing there is no longer any country that is exclusively Christian...predominantly Christian certainly...but a Christian Nation? It's a contradiction in terms anyway, for no Nation can afford to behave in anything approaching a "Christian" manner. No People can either...neither can anyone seeking a job or wishing to hold onto one...and nowhere is there a "Christian Soldier" marching on to anything but rape and murder.

True Christians get just what Christ got, here on earth. They don't live long enough to pay off a Benz. The rest of you have figured out how to screw the pooch while pretending to be Christian just well enough to convince the one pretending right alongside of you... without making yourselves vomit. You can swallow your own bullshit ONLY if the guy next to you is swallowing his AND yours (which is the real reason I and others are banned...we refuse to feed at that trough). That's why Evanagelical movements are on the rise...because the copious and increasing amounts of bullshit being Christian today requires one to swallow are not only enough to make the best of you gag...but looking around and seeing others who are free of these contradictions, these impossible hyprocrasies and mounting absurdities you Christians have to shovel in...seeing the rest of us free of this bad diet, you're forced to question the need for taking another mouthful of crap (for how is it that some of us can avoid it and thrive anyway), and especially feeding it to your poor, innocent offspring. And that gets Christians to worrying that their children might profit from our example and leave off this nonsense and go eat something sensible, far more tasty and nutritous. Hence you have increasing numbers of brain and eyeball glazed-over, ranting, Christian Prostitutes, or Prosletizers...can never get them straight...increasingly frantic to not only beat you into submission with a Rod of Righteousness, but to seize the controls of government so they can bring "God into your Lives" whether you want him there or not. And not because they themselves so strongly believe in Him but, on the contrary, because they find it increasingly DIFFICULT to impossible to maintain their own fiction of being Christians when they smell the rising stench of the death and destruction their POLITICAL system is wreaking on the world and its innocent and defenseless people. The blatant contradiction of their claims to Christian values and morals is reflected back at them most uncomfortably in the sarcastic gaze and sneer with which non-Christians greet these pious declarations, pointing to the growing and obscene rift between words and actions. This is what they must stamp out...not because they "Believe"...but because it's getting harder and harder to believe, to convince themselves and their hapless children, so long as the rest of us are laughing up our sleeves, puncturing their self-righteous pretensions or, worst of all, simply ignoring them and remaining unconvinced, un-converted, un-reclaimed, "lost", beyond "salvation" and the rest of that crap...Think "Andreas".

These leaders we have and these groups and movements and political parties of theirs are all of them based on the notion that Christian Assyrians are the real and indigenous people of the MidEast. The PEOPLE of the MidEast are the real and indigenous "People of the MidEast". Their religions come from all over the place. Father Abraham and his dysfunctional family came from Mesopotamia. His wife gave birth to the people who brought you Yahwism, Christianity and Islam. All three religons are "indigenous" to the MidEast as are, oddly enough, the people in the MidEast.

Islam took root in Arabia, a few miles down the road...Yahawism in Judea, an equally short distance the other way, where Christianty grew from it. Christianity was brought to Mesopotamia through one channel, Islam through another. But because Islam was brought by "Arabs" from Arabia...all Muslims to this day are thought to be Arab invaders. This is simply absurd. They no more invaded the land than Reformed Jews from Judea did. Christianity is no more foreign or indigenous to BetNahrain than Islam is...ALL of them spawned from Judaism which itself was planted from the seed taken out from Ur of the Chaldees...(NOT, "Of the Assyrians"). So either they are all "ours", or none of them are.

Anyone intruding religion into discussions of Assyrianism in this day is merely on a Christian Crusade, attempting through subtrefuge and sleight of hand to win a point or two for Christ, get some revenge on a Muslim and hopefully get an oil well or ten into the bargain. A Christian Assyrian is only interested in being Assyrian in so far as he believes it gives him a valid claim to Iraq or some portion of it, and some reparations due from somebody.

It is simply irrelevant what religion an Assyrian is. But as far as any Christian claim to Iraq: the country is in the possession of its rightful owners, the descendants of the ancient Assyrians..the Muslim faction of which has been dominant now for over a millenium. That point has been made abundantly clear by Assyrian Christians themselves who keep repeating that belief in Christ and therefore non-belief in Ashur, makes no difference to their claim of being Assyrians. If that is true, then it follows that one can believe in Allah or Yahweh, or none of them, and be as Assyrian as the next nutcase.

To counter the implications of this unfortunate corner that Assyrian Christians have painted themselves into, they come up with a formula for "accepting" anyone who isn't Christian yet claims to be Assyrian, by demanding in essence that the person BECOME Christian first, just to show his or her sincerity...since they feel they are more Assyrian than the next guy BECAUSE they accepted Christ. The next demand they make is that this person should "talk a lot" about being Assyrian...when what they mean is that the person should become a devout Christian... adhereing to which sect of Christianity that's supposed to be the "right" one, no one knows. But whichever sect he or she chooses, there should be a good sprinkling of Assyrian code words and phrases among what will essentially prove to be a non-stop stream of Christian dogma, bigotry, racism and Hysteria passing for history. And, oddly enough, no one expects anyone to DO anything "Assyrian" that is removed from Christianty.

A Muslim or Hindu may take ever so many pains to preserve the antiquities of Ashur, or establish a school to teach the language, or send food aid to Iraqi/Assyrian children...but without being Christian, that person and whatever he or she does will always be suspect and never win the support of the Christian Assyrian. Indeed if Muslims funded an Assyrian monument or other project, that alone would be sufficient to make all Christian Assyrians shun it, looking for "hidden agendas", addmitting thereby that they themselves can see no value in, or valid reason for anyone to promote anything Assyrian WITHOUT having a hidden agenda because they know, but won't admit, that their own interest in "Assyria" has behind it a big, fat, CHRISTIAN agenda.

Perhaps they are themselves the first "traitors to Ashur" and therefore trust no one else's sincerity. Indeed they may even fear any vestige of Assyrianism that is NOT Christian at its core because they only value their ABANDONEMENT of Ashur and His people... for Christ.

Our resurrection in heaven may come about through our belief in Christ and our existence here on earth as CHRISTIANS may be ensured through our adhereance to Christian dogma...but our existance as Assyrians and the promotion of the Assyrian Heritage will not be saved or enhanced or guaranteed through Christianity. I don't mean we must give up kindness, decency, honesty, love, compassion...these are not "Christian" any more than they are exclusively Assyrian, Muslim or French. I mean the notion that through Christian meekness and piety, uncomfortably wedded to intolerance, of even other Christians... will come whatever triumph we can expect on earth, because all that counts to a Christian is getting to Heaven...the entry requirements to which place a premium on how much humiliation, degradation and loss one suffered while alive. To a "real" Christian Assyrian our "Christianess" here on earth means suffering and loss, whining, moaning, pleading and begging "bad" Christians to go do our killing for us...not a single Assyrian trait or characteristic I ever heard of...would want to acknowledge, or pass on to my children.

Let heaven wait to have its day...what about here on earth...what about a non-Christian approach to an Assyrian Heritage...what about putting an Assyrian dance troupe up there with the Mexican and Israeli and Italian one...all of whom also expect to go to heaven...but who've not given up hope of dancing here on earth.

In Zindalite they're making a big deal of a conference held in Europe of "Assyrian" Youth. It would be more accurate to say "Christian Assyrian Youth", or just Christian Youth from the MidEast. Every other word from their lips, and from such "nationalists" as Youel Baaba and other "intellectuals" is that through Christ "this"...and through the Church "that"...that in Christianity will lie, "our salvation as Assyrians" and the rest of that tired old formula. Turns out these Yoots are old already...before their time, without even making an effort to examine the very forces that have brought us this "old" as our "Elder Statesmen" are intellectually incontinent... still in their National Daiapers. They have a complete ritual and belief structure to maintain themselves as Christians...but not a clue as to what to do as Assyrians. No one does.

Let's just say that the person who is afraid to ask these questions...can't, by definition and historical precedent, be an Assyrian any longer...and probably never was. If Assyrians once questioned their belief in Ashur...found him lacking in some way, even after all those centuries and the wealth and glory they'd won under his guidance, and found themselves able to leave Him to follow new paths...then an Assyrian today should at least be willing to THINK about doing the same again, willing to challenge and examine whatever belief system has been "ours" since turning Christian.

Apparently it was never in our genetic make-up or cultural experience to be one thing exclusively and for all why should we stop being as Assyrian today as we were back then... by persisting in a belief system leading implacably to our possible disappearance and death as Assyrians...clinging to something that may well not be working for us any longer. Isn't this the very reason we supposedly gave up on Ashur and chose Christ?

Turns out that blind acceptance, the sort of closed-mindedness you see in an aina or beth and the other "forums"... and in that kraut from hell Andreas, isn't typically or historically Assyrian after all. We must have been a highly pragmatic people...let's remain true to our founding principals. If Ashur wasn't good enough beyond a certain least entertain the possibility that Christ may not be good enough any longer either. BE ASSYRIAN...ask the "unthinkable" now, even as we did 2000 years ago.

The willingness to ask such difficult questions, to approach such dauntingly forbidden remain fearless in the face of what has been presumed to be the single most characteristic mark of who we are, to look our very God and soul in the face...may be the ONE characteristic, after all these intervening centuries, that may be truly and honestly and "purely" ASSYRIAN after all.

note: Andreas, tuck your shirt in.

-- pancho
-- signature .

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