Posted by pancho from customer-148-233-78-77.uninet.net.mx (22.214.171.124) on Friday, February 07, 2003 at 7:19PM :
"Leave religion out of it, why can't you? Just talk about and do ASSYRIAN things".
What a world of unspoken assumptions and outright deceptions are contained in that innocent sounding statement. Religion is the 800 pound gorilla in the room everyone tries to ignore.
Whites told Blacks to stop bringing up Equal Rights...stop trying to change the "natural order". "Why do you people make an issue of it", they said..."just stay in the back of the bus and we wont be forced, by you, to beat and jail and lynch you."
Men told women, "why do you want to get down from that pedestal"..."don't we work for you and worship you...if you were meant to work and get equal pay God wouldn't have made you women...don't rock the boat...stop trying to change the god-given order of things...you know you WANT it."
The Church, of course...supported and profited handsomely from both "god-given" points of view and still does.
Paul Younan tells us that for the Assyrians to switch to Christ was no big thing...he says Christianity derived from Yahwism which came from Mesopotamia anyway...it wasn't "THAT" foreign to Assyrians. Well Islam came by the same route...also brought from the offspring of that same Abraham, so why should it be so damn odd that Assyrians would choose another religion as "familiar" as Christianity which was as "familiar" to them as Ashurism?
You can't live and breathe and work as an Assyrian in and around and for Assyrian things without running right smack into that big cross dripping blood in your path and some priest with a tin cup at the base of it trying to make you feel responsible. It's there...ever present, but never mentioned...not as a "problem" at least...never questioned because it's taken for granted...it's a "God-given"...it's the way things are supposed to be. You aren't supposed to be so crass and gauche as to question the basic assumption all this Assyrian-as-exclusively-Christian nonsense is based on.
Those of us who let go of Christianity lose any Assyrianism with it, or at least that's what the Christians warn us of. That's wrong...it's a damned lie, a damned "false" lie...and it shows you just how wrapped up in Christ being Assyrian has become. There isn't any way to be Assyrian EXCEPT through Christ...which is just the way the church and those who use being Assyrian as a way to score points against Muslims want it...(whether they themselves believe in Christ or not) it's the ONE thing that gives their claim to a "stolen" nation any validity... they believe it desperately and desperately hope you never question it...or else!
Our clergy will NEVER stop being "political" because that's all this "Assyrians are exclusively Christians" charade is about...it's about getting more churches built on lots of land...a bisop's residence or two...or more. It's about greatness and glory and SIZE and that can only come with a "nation" built on oil, slobering its gratitude to the United States that "took us in".
You have to be willfully, generically or genetically stupid to buy the Christian/Assyrian argument that, "Muslims are all Arabs"...that no Assyrian would DARE become one...and if he or she did they could never again be Assyrian...and that therefore the Muslims of the Mideast are usurpers all from Arabia who must go back where they came from and return the land to its rightful owners, the Christian/Assyrians.
It's not good for a person's health, or a community's, to be this stupid...it makes you infantile...makes poor parents and teachers of you, certainly it makes for rotten examples of Assyrians OR Christians...it gets in the way of other things, higher things like Culture, Art and the Humanities that your children might want to participate in...or gets you to stop others from doing so because you don't understand such things and fear the consequences of a free and open mind...it makes you into a Nimrod a Golani and a Bejan, for one thing...and more than anything it sets a precedent and even a "national" requirement for narrow-mindedness and vindictiveness because your position is SO damn stupid and insecure... so indefensible, that you get frantic to stamp out any sign of intelligence or independent thinking because you fear once the cover gets lifted on the charade...the jig will soon be up and you'll no longer have a leg to stand on.
The entire basis and raison d'etre of the "Assyrian National Movement" is a lie...a pretty stupid one at that. Of course there are Assyrians and Chaldeans and the rest of us surviving today...but we are of ALL religions and no one "usurped" anything from anyone. Islam merely came to BetNahrain through one form of conquest and Christianity through another.
Had Islam not taken Iraq and Syria and the rest of it, the Byzantine Emperors would have conquered the region, all the way down to Arabia, "For Christ"....which makes you Christians go gooey all over because you imagine the Imperial Army marching in barefoot, arms sheathed, waving palm fronds and singing, "Jesus Loves Me This I Know/ He Just Gave Me That Much Mo' "...instead of killing and raping in their turn. Heraclitus declared enough Christians heretics and you know what he, and Rome, did to those. He also forced Jews to convert to Christianity on pain of death. These were no meek and mild saviors...but another variant of the belligerant and bloody sons of Abraham...like the Muslims who merely "enlightened/stole" that region in the name of their god before the Roman Empire "saved/stole" it in the name of theirs...like America wishes to "protect/steal" the resources of that same, long suffering and brilliant People today.
It makes a big difference as a practical matter and has for centuries to our people and heritage as a whole if you buy into this argument...this position that Muslim Iraqis are Arabs and they and their children don't belong in Iraq. This half-baked theology masquerading as history allows you Christian Assyrians to feel good about yourselves when you urge on and congratulate Uncle Sam and his moronic nephew Dubya for attacking Iraqis and killing their children...because you believe they are merely getting rid of a "cruel usurper". You think you have an argument there...a valid point...even a moral one about "rightful ownership" and "justice" for a poor, meek, gentle little "minority" that can't manage to do its own killing because they've been too busy getting killed for centuries and celebrating the fact, while they warped and crushed their children's intellect...leaving them starved for SOME thing to feel pride in as descendants of what you all claim and the world acknowledges as one of the greatest empires and People ever.
If you accept the logic that Assyrians were fed up with Ashur and turned elsewhere...and you accept that Ishmael was as much a descendant of Abraham as Christ...then there is no reason at all why Assyrians wouldn't have taken to both religions. And if that is true, then at least one argument that has spawned death and destruction for all sides back there will be ended...for all the people of Iraq, at least, will be accepted as Assyrians and we can stop this bloodlust and purging of what are essentially our own brothers and sisters. But if you believe the Christian Assyrian position, then Kurds, Turks, Iraqi Muslims and anyone else you don't approve of, is an enemy and a thief and a usurper and a Baathey and a vile and inhuman enemy to whom you can do anything and everything bloody and cruel and unjustified...like any good Christian?????
This is not just an "argument". It isn't a "point to dispute"...it isn't "relative"...and it certainly isn't inconsequential or a "waste of time", which is Peter's code phrase for, "I don't get it". So much of our ongoing misery and marginalization in the MidEast and now in the West has come as a result of this idiocy, foisted on us by the clergy and those with visions of national/political greatness for their petty selves, who for whatever reason can't bring themselves to live with or work side by side with their Muslim neighbors...as any Racist, Sexist, White Man doesn't want Blacks around him or women anywhere but under him. It explains so much about why we behave towards each other as we do in the West...never mind in BetNahrain.
To believe this claim is to make yourself and your offspring either dumb...too stupid to even frame the argument in a coherent manner except to those who believe exactly as they do...no variations allowed...or else it forces the more rational ones, the ones who COULD take our name and Heritage OUTSIDE and begin to earn it some well deserved respect to run away and hide their identity and Heritage in shame. Because if they stay...as I did, they will get exactly what I, and others, got.
You can't have it both ways...you can't geld a kid's mind...you can't feed a child a steady diet of hate-filled "national" nonsense and then expect her or him to go out into the world and be brave and brilliant. What you get are these nasty little patriots and experts and hysterians...you get a Peter and a Firas, a Ghassbag...you get people so eager to earn pity they'll make a martyr of a guy who gets lost in the snow...so desperate to be human they'll make a magazine of Zindalite and a scholar out of Ferd Aprim. But these kinds don't mind...they don't WANT this thing to go public...they don't WANT monuments and real books published by real publishers for real readers...they are content with Assyrian Star magazines and Amira BetJunglest editors and poets...and if you really ARE any good, like Aho, Bit Youssip and Daniel...they'll slime you and belittle you and an Alphonse Oddishoo will make a point of humiliating you in public by declaring in essence that anyone can write poetry..."let me read you mine".
This is the end result of years and years of being fed these preposterous "facts" and "history" by boobs and yahoos who don't meet any standard for literacy or competance anywhere and don't feel they need to because they have a great love of Assyria working "mysteriously" within them, like a bad Ghass attack...indeed who bristle and turn venomous if you point out that their head is snugly up their arse, their "knowledge" light to non-existant...as anyone would know if they dared venture out where people walk upright.
They've managed to win the day so far only because they are more willing to turn nasty and mean and vicious...like Jackie Bejan did, if you once begin to question them. It doesn't matter what Jackie really believes...if she buys into this or not...I know for a fact that she laughed all the way to her "Martyr's Fest and Champagne Brunch"...but she will use anything and above all...above ALL...she needs stupid, dumb, meek little followers easily impressed by inconsequential "achievements" or else she wont get her REAL agenda across..which isn't to win "us" anything except the privillege of saying she once spoke to us and deigned to "lead" us.
When I refused to "just sculpt and shut up", as Jackie and Lincoln Bejan, Janey and Atour "Shorty" Golani, Nimrod and a bunch of them said I should...and leave the "heavy lifting" to them...was when I became a "troublemaker" and "ill-mannered" and "greedy" and had to be shut out because..."he just wants to make money". Which is code for..."Hey! That bearded motherfucker is getting Assyrians to actually spend money on what he produces while WE have to pay to get their attention!!!" That's when the long knives came all the way out...and baby, that's exactly why I wanted Jackie to take me to court. How ELSE could I have gotten the rapt attention I have already, not to mention media covereage I'm GOING to get for this foul little secret.
I'd like nothing more than to drop religion and never hear of it again. But Christian Assyrians wont let it go. They bring it up constantly whenever you try to bring calm and peace and sanity to that poor region. If you discuss reason and moderation, goodwill and peace...you get slapped with all the uglies you'd never think a Christian would feel. They come at you with "traitor"..."back-stabber"..."Muslim or Turkish agent"...and they'll lie and cheat and steal behind your back to undo you and assault your family and children because they really and truly believe they and only they are Assyrians...that they are a "nation"...a Christian Nation...and therefore you are a traitor who should be dealt with as any government would with one who betrays a Nation.
What sane, rational, gifted, talented, capable man or woman wants to stick around and be treated this way...for what? For merely asking questions? And these Christian Assyrians have perfected this form of character assassination, these lies and doubts spread behind our backs because it works! It HAS worked at least because the rest of us were just too civilized and rational to get down in the mud pits with them...which is why I came on the way I did...why I addmitted that Fred Aprim and I had been caught French kissing in a toilet...when he threatened to tell the "truth" about how I raise my children...there's a "scholar" for you. Guy can't even kiss right. It doesn't take much to send them running. Hell any ten of us could rant all over Jackie and silence her forever because she doesn't have enough money to whitewash her character by suing all of us. These people, these Jatous and BetJizzms and Ghassbags and Dinkhas are nothing, nothing at all...easily dispensed with...it just takes a little effort and we can clear the rotted foundations of this structure that's gone nowhere and try to build again.
I'm sure now that this was at the heart of Jackie and Golani's reversal about me, my work...appearing at the convention and most importantly of all...not receiving any more exposure as a representative of the Assyrian Heritage. There was beginning to be too much attention paid to my work, too much controversy...not about the quality of my work or my manners or lack of, or my "cheating" people...but I was making our Leeders and the clergy, those who base their identity and a claim for reparations on this Christian business, nervous...as I think I am even more now. It's the same reason Blacks and women were denied even basic education...once you begin to question anything, to learn anything...you might question everything...insist on learning more. And that might lead to who knows what...except we know it WON"T lead us all to an AUA rally. Instead of silencing me it gave me to the green light to go all the way, tell it all... and the passport, I wouldn't allow myself, to get out of this sort of an "Assyria".
But their Assyria isn't any kind of an Assyria. It isn't a place for open and free minds...it isn't a place for brilliance, for learning, for meaningfull education, for tolerance, compassion, courage, pride... it isn't even a place for Jesus and was never a place for Shumirum...ahem. Their's is an Assyria for performing apes and dancing toadies whose claim to fame is that they USED to be somebody...but are happy and content at last to be ignored by the whole friggin world...except in so far as the world trips over them as it rushes by. You can bet your sweet arse that if Jackie had to do it again..and Golani too, they would have carried me into the hotel at San Jose. But this would have happened anyway...they just helped bring it on faster, for which I am grateful.
I've known Wilfred Alkhase since he wore little dresses back when he was 12 or so. We got along fine till I started broaching these questions. He even had my writings in his Zindalite...till one day he said he'd received a call from "someone"...all he would say further is that I was offending the sensibillities of the Church... JEEZUZ CHRIST when haven't their sensibillities been offended by anyone using his or her god-given mind? Soon after that I became "scum" and the end result was that I gave his sculpture to the Gay and Lesbian Coalition in San Francisco, in his name. And it had balls...even if he doesn't.
I have no doubt I make Narsai nervous as well with all these posts and this constant questioning of who we are...how we got that way...and if it's too late to do something positive about it for a change. But I'm not about to tailor my ideas to the fears and prejudice of other people...when did Assyrians ever do that? Hell it isn't like any of us have to face an army in battle for these ideas and the right to at least examine them...all we have to contend with are worried parents...hysterical patriots and several clergy hiding in dank corners, their knickers down around their knees whispering..."psssst...come get what Christ has to offer you little boy". There is indeed a slight but very real chance of getting a bullet in your back from some devoted follower of Jesus, but who hasn't run that risk...including Jesus?
That's why this silly belief has to be put to rest...or at the least be challenged and probed till it either makes its case convincingly or collapses under its own accumulated foolishness. You can see how unwilling and unable they are at beth or aina or anywhere else you find your basic "Assyrian" to make their case. They shut themselves up and off, refuse to discuss the issue...claim it's a waste of time when they have the most unbelieveable tripe posted there time and time again. But that's okay by them...that's comforting and reassuring because they've framed the debate that way. Silly, idiotic, juvenile Assyrians are INDEED the only kind they are used to or feel safe among. THAT is their "Assyria".
This has nothing to do with the personality or example of Christ...just as Christianity and the Church have nothing to do with him. Every kind and wise word Jesus expressed and shares with so many fine people before and after him holds true and should be respected and adored even. But not this...not this other crap foisted on the world in his name. The idea that only in a life to come, in heaven, is there anything worth anything...and that all suffering and degradation here on earth is the one sure way to ensure a great reward "up there" is foolishness promoted by the clergy and especially by kings and presidents and CEO's.
In our case it has been a devastating piece of tomfoolery. For everyone's sake...let it go. Find a better way to live as humans and as Asyrians than by committing all them same old whoredoms and fornications...laying them at the bloody feet of one of the gentlest, kindest people ever...then rushing off to do it again...and again...and yet again because god is "forgiving" and you'll still get into heaven, your "reward".
Grow up...get out of your National Diapers...try National Training Pants for a change till you know enough not to carry this shit around as if it were a legacy to be proud of.
note: Andreas, comb your head.
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