Posted by panch from pool0098.cvx25-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (126.96.36.199) on Saturday, June 29, 2002 at 10:16AM :
I don't. I simply believe that this form of it has attacked us. Anything we believed, any philosophy or affliction which rendered us just as incapable of uniting or of challenging our status quo...anything that taught us to be passive, except when fighting each other...would be equally repugnant.
Our version of Christianity, our claim that we are the "true" Christians only bodes well for us in another Life...if indeed there is one. It should give people reason to stop and think when we see other people, believing other creeds ferevntly and as stubbornly as we do...that should tell us that it IS possible to be wrong...or deluded. We just have competing faiths...competing delusions that no one has any way of testing. And that would be fine if all we stood to lose were trivial things...but this is more than gambling on a hereafter that may be the wrong one, or may not exist for anyone...it is willfully giving up on THIS life. That's the crime...I don't care which is the religion that perpetuates it.
To be true Christians means delaying the most fundamental and promising rewards...not cars and cell phones and expensive watches...hell even our priests have those. It means doing without basic pride...which is supposed to be one of the sins. Which of us doesn't know the damage that can be done to children who don't feel pride in themselves, in their families, in their Heritage? How many of you are proud to be Americans in ways you would never feel or demonstrate as Assyrians?
We suffered, not because we were Assyrians, but because we were Christians. Only in the Ottoman Empire did we pay the price we did. Only there did the Western Christians come looking for ways to carve up treasure....it wasn't the Asian parts they wanted as much in the beginning, but the Balkans, the entrance to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean...for trade, for naval expeditions.
The Tsar on one side and the Brits, Austrians and French on the other...this led to the Crimean War...which encouraged the First World War which led to the Second that planted the seeds of the Korean and Vietnam wars...and has brought us back full circle now to those Asian holdings of the old Ottoman Empire.
In that hotbed of greed and lust for power and competing national interests, religion was used as a wedge issue...and we were bound to pay hell for it...as all Muslims are being demonized in this country now by the Israelis because it suits their national aspirations for more land. Islam, two side of it...the "good" and the "bad" are being used to drive a wedge through the religion...and innocent Muslims are suffering for it. We too paid a price back then, were vulnerable because we could be divided, we already WERE divided, and these jealousies, which we still see working among us today, were exploited until our neighbors came to suspect us at the most crucial moment in their centuries long existence...as the Christian buzzards circled their dying empire.
In other parts of the world where Christian and Muslim lived side by side, there wasn't the level of conflict and hatred...there were no European interests looking for ways to destablize governments to carve up territories.
But beyond that...once out of those lands and safely settled in the Christian West, have we really benefitted by each having finally the freedom to practise his or her religion? Have we taken advantage of the peace and protection we are promised in order to unite and work for the advancement of ourselves as Assyrians? We haven't even been able to unite over religion and each has his own club and forum and political organization.
We claim the Muslims destroyed us as Assyrians, or tried to. Well where is the renaissance now that we are free and safe from Muslim depredations?
Had theyWestern Powers never sought to destabilize and rob the Ottoman Empire it would have continued on its decline, perhaps reaching some point of stability. Prior to the 18th century, conflict between Muslim and Christian was no better or worse than between Christian and Christian or Muslim and Muslim. There is conflict everywhere and over everything imaginable...what is so odd about that? In America Blacks have been oppressed and lynched and denied basic rights promised to them in our Constitution...they too were forced to pay taxes into a system that did little and nothing for them...to serve in wars to protect America's freedom while they couldn't drink from a fountain unless it was set aside for them only...and their dear and precious children couldn't play in a park because it was for whites only.
We act sometimes as if the rest of the world has enjoyed peace and prosperity...that there has been justice and good times for all people except us. That only we suffered gravely and therefore can't be expected to lift ourselves anywhere but onto each others heads and shoulders and scratch and kick and bite.
It's this crying and wailing and hunting up excuses and never taking responsibility for where we are NOW, not in 1933 or 1784...as Peter keeps reminding us...it's in this way that we either cripple our future or lose it entirely as ourt best and brightest run screaming in the night.'.
We have just about killed ourselves off...taken over for the dreaded Muslim...with this definitioon of what it means to be a true Christian and then a true Assyrian. There is no potential for growth there...none. As you can see all around us. We're still spinning our wheels, while the Arabs of this country are beginning to come together and go do their demanding where and in the ways that count...not to each other or the air waves...not in ways easily ignored in a country that is used to rigorous action in pursuit of your just demands...but downtown...right in the face of the powers that be.
We're still relieved that no one knows we even exist.
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