Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HOMOSEXUAL HUSBAND TAKES CHILDREN


Her essay at Public Discourse has more than 48,000 Facebook shares and 2,600 Tweets. It is the anguished cry of a woman, a wife and a mother who has been deserted by her husband who took her children with him into that dark gay world.
Janna Darnelle, a pseudonym, tells the story of her ten-year marriage disintegrating when her husband decided he was sexually attracted to men. She says, “In an instant, the world that I had known and loved—the life we had built together—was shattered.”
Janna says she tried to get him to stay, appealed to him as a matter of vows and of honor and of fatherly responsibility. She and her children, though, had become “disposable … being gay trumped commitment, vows, responsibility, faith, fatherhood, marriage, friendships, and community.” We discover later, on a gay website, that her husband was a Christian pastor, but more on that in a minute.
She says the judge legislated from the bench and tried to right all the wrongs against gays historically on the back of her and her children. She says the judge told her husband, “If you had asked for more, I would have given it to you.”
Janna’s husband went on to marry, first illegally, and then legally when her state made same-sex marriage legal. She said in “both cases, my children were forced—against my will and theirs—to participate.” In the second “marriage,” when her husband’s faux-marriage became among the first in her state, USA Today was there to take pictures including of her children. She said she was not allowed a voice in whether her children would be used as “props to promote same-sex marriage in the media.”
The response, as always expected and largely orchestrated, was oh what a happy family this new gay family. How happy they are! See! Janna points out that in any picture of the new happy family that someone is missing and it is the woman who made it possible.
There is not one gay family that exists in this world that was created naturally. Every same-sex family can only exist by manipulating nature. Behind the happy facade of many families headed by same-sex couples, we see relationships that are built from brokenness. They represent covenants broken, love abandoned, and responsibilities crushed. They are built on betrayal, lies, and deep wounds.
She goes on to condemn assisted reproductive technologies used by gay couples to have children. She considers this yet another form of exploitation and that “wholeness and balance cannot be found in such families, because something is missing. I [the mother] am missing.”
Her children were thrust into a deeply gay world. Her husband and his gay lover took the children to live in a gay-only condo where one of the men has a 19-year-old male prostitute “who comes to service him” and where a man in his late sixties has a boyfriend in his twenties, and where her children are taken to gay parties, “transgender baseball games, gay right fundraisers, and LGBT film festivals.”
I had missed this column but was alerted to it because of the great and brave Robert Oscar Lopez, who famously came out a few years ago as a man who was raised by lesbians and how harmful that was to him. He has subsequently become a global leader for children’s rights. On his Facebook page, Lopez said this woman was under attack from the gay bullyboys for something she had written on Public Discourse.
I discovered a cabal of pernicious gay bullyboys who are dedicated to tracking down and ruining the lives of anyone who steps out to tell their own story.
We are often told that we live in a narrative age and that no stories may be discounted. Read the response to Janna and you can see that not all stories are welcome. Most especially unwelcome are stories that do not march in step with this particular brand of sexual anarchism.
The first thing to note is how careful Janna was in her column. She used a pseudonym to protect herself, certainly, also her family and even the privacy of her husband. Among the very first things the gay bullyboys did was to discover her identity and announce it to the world.
Jeremy Hooper, who works with the thugs at GLAAD, runs a site called “Good as You,” went after Janna but the real action was in the comment section. In fact, among the first commenters was the pseudonymous Janna’s husband who promptly told everyone her full name, all the better to stalk her with. He did more than that, he published a photo of him with his lover and his children, obviously at some LGBT event because in the background are other gay men with their lovers lounging on the grass.
When you look at the picture, I think you can see pain in the eyes of their son. He seems embarrassed to be there with his father and his father’s lover and all the gay men around. The girl seems happy enough, she’s smiling. We are told that Lopez and others raised by gay parents also had smiling faces, but their smiles masked real pain and confusion at being thrust into the gay world.
The boys piled on after that. They hung poor Janna from a viral meat hook. One particularly creepy guy named Scott Rose even went onto her company’s Facebook page and complained about her:
This is a COMPLAINT against […], an executive assistant in […]. Under the nom de plume of “Janna Darnelle,” […] has published a horrifying, defamatory anti-gay screed on the website “Public Discourse.” The first problem would be that she is creating a climate of hostility for eventual gay elders and/or their visiting friends and relatives. The second problem would be that in the screed, she comes off as being unhinged. Her public expressions of gay-bashing bigotry are reflecting very poorly on LLC.
This is standard operating procedure for the gay bullyboys. They cannot stand even a single dissent from their march to dominance and punishment. Look what happened to Brendan Eich at Mozilla Firefox. All he did was donate to the Prop 8 campaign and the gay bullyboys drove him from his job. Here is a woman totally unknown to them, on a website that is hardly the largest in the land, and they track her down, expose her identity, besmirch her reputation and try to get her fired.
Someone came to her defense. Yet another pseudonymous writer published a column at Public Discourse explaining what had happened to Janna after she published her piece.
Rivka Edelman is a feminist writer, a scholar, a children’s right activist, who was raised by a lesbian. She rose to Janna’s defense and laid out the tactics of the gay bullyboys and lashed out at their misogyny.
Rivvka writes, “For those of you who avoid the subterranean landscape of online same-sex parenting debates, it is useful to be introduced to Scott “Rose” Rosenzweig, a virulently misogynistic LGBT activist. As soon as Darnelle’s essay was published, Rose went into action, darting from the blog Good As You to other sites in an effort to destroy her personally.” She goes further: “certain wings of the LGBT-rights movement function as all-white men’s rights groups. In our contemporary climate, these men are allowed to do great harm to women and children with impunity.” Hers is a feminist critique that social conservatives will find compelling. Robert Oscar Lopez makes the same arguments.
To gay men, women are no more than breeders to be used or parodied. “Practically speaking, Scott Rose and his compatriots have formed a men’s rights group that seeks to use women as breeders. These egg donors and surrogate mothers supply infants for a bustling market full of same-sex couples, for whom reproduction is naturally and biologically impossible.” Edelman says they are out to erase women.
Guess what happened to Rivka Edelman? They tried to crush her. They say they have found out her identity. Maybe. Maybe not. How they do this is remarkable and frightening, and they want us frightened though it is far from clear that they have found out her identity. After all, the sexual anarchists are known to tell a fib or two.
Let’s say they found out someone’s identity and, like Janna, they want to get her fired. They have dug up some aggressive comments she is supposed to have made in various comment boxes about gays and transgenders in order to show what a vicious bigot she is and how she should be punished for it. They want her. Oh do they want her. The comment boxes are full of vulgar attacks that I cannot and will not repeat.
These women are not only victims in their person lives; one was left by her husband for another man and a lesbian raised the other; they are victims here by the gay bullyboys simply for telling their personal stories.
One must believe that the likes of Jeremy Hooper and Scott Rose and all the nasties in the comment boxes are far from representative of gay culture. One hopes so. We look forward to the day when Hooper-Rose et al are ostracized for their behavior.
Just like marriage is wanted only by a tiny subset of the 1.6 percent of gay men, such bullying can only exist among a small but vocal minority. The problem, among many, is that the radicals tend to chase out the moderates. We see this in the Arab and Muslim world. We see this in many political movements. Moderates are considered sell-outs, soft, also to be punished.
So, the gay bullyboys number only a few, I hope. And they have likely waited all their lives to get even. They were teased in junior high and have not gotten over it. One of the problems is that the gay bullyboys include those at powerful organizations, the Human Rights Campaign, for instance, and GLAAD. Naturally fund-raising has a lot to do with that. HRC needs to raise $50 million a year so they have to find discrimination under every bed.
The few gay bullyboys are going to do great damage to women, children and society before they are done. The only ones to hold them off are the more sensible of the LGBT movement. Where are they? They should step in now to defend these two women who have come under vicious attack

MUSLIMS CRUCIFY 17-YEAR OLD TEEN

Did you know that ISIS militants crucified a 17-year-old boy in Raqqa, Syria a few days ago?
If you follow a number of news sources, you probably read about it online. Or you may have seen the photo in your Facebook feed. But you probably didn’t see it on television news. It may have been reported on one of the news channels, but if it was, I never saw it.
I read about it in a Daily Mail article. The boy was taking photos of the Islamic State headquarters in Raqqa, and they caught him and crucified him for three days before he finally died.
I can’t imagine dying that way. I don’t even want to think about it.
The sign they placed around around his neck charged him with apostasy. I suppose any Muslim who doesn’t fall in line with the Islamic State’s extreme religious and political beliefs would be accused of the same.

Jesus willingly gave himself, and his death was part of God’s eternal plan. But the boy who was crucified by ISIS did not have a choice. If you had been in Raqqa watching this unfold, and you’d had the ability to stop it, would you have done it? Even if it meant killing his captors?
I would have.
We don’t even know the victim’s name. With ISIS, we’re dealing with a group that’s just as evil and ruthless as the Nazis were. We must intercede for these people, many who have been brainwashed and misguided by a wicked, cancerous ideology. And when we ask God to thwart evil, we should also pray that as many lives be preserved as possible.
But sometimes a spiritual battle moves into the physical realm, and defending the defenseless and preserving life means making tough choices.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

WHEN YOUR CHILD'S DOCTOR BECOMES YOUR ENEMY

When our children are young, their doctors are our partners. They guide and aid us in ensuring our children are as healthy as possible.
Unfortunately, about the time our children hit adolescence and start to look at us with a jaded eye, their medical providers are doing the same thing. All too often, we are no longer seen as useful for the healthy development of our children. We are left outside the exam room, while the doctor or nurse practitioner or physician assistant offers our children a myriad of options and the assurances that “Mom and Dad will never know!”
I know, because I have been on both sides of that exam room door.

Mother Doesn’t Know Best?

Back in the day, I accepted what the medical school taught me: Parents do not know what is best for their children, especially when it comes to their sexual health. As the doctor, only you know.
As the doctor, it is your job to take care of children in spite of their parents. Separate them from their parents so that you can get the real story and don’t tell their parents any more than you have to. Make sure the children know they can trust you, and make sure they know they cannot trust their parents.
But then I became a mother. No one loves my children more than I do. I realized how utterly wrong it is to exclude parents from important intimate decisions about their child’s health.
As a doctor, I am prevented by law from discussing sexual and reproductive health issues with parents without their child’s consent. These adolescents are too young to vote, buy beer, buy cigarettes, get a tattoo, or even get their ears pierced without parental consent; yet they are considered mature enough to make decisions about using contraceptives, which have potentially dangerous — sometimes lethal — consequences, without parental consultation.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MODESTY IN THE OFFICE


One of the things I’ve found most refreshing about Catholic culture is the understanding of the importance of modesty.

Though each woman may have different ideas about exactly what it means to be modest, there is a general agreement that putting forth some level of conscious effort to avoid looking like a backup dancer in a Snoop Dogg video is a good thing. And it’s fascinating to see the effect that it has on women’s interactions with one another.

When I was in my 20s, I worked at a startup company where there were no standards for appropriate dress. Over time, an unspoken tension developed among the females of the office. Sally from marketing showed up to a board meeting in a startlingly short skirt, then Jane the office manager started wearing shirts with lower and lower cuts. Kelly the analyst would turn heads when she breezed through the break room in jeans so tight they looked like they were sprayed on. And this kind of thing didn’t just happen in the office where I worked; though I wouldn’t have used this term to describe it at the time, immodesty was rampant in the culture of women who worked in that particular industry during the high-tech boom.

And whether or not this was the intent, wearing revealing clothing always came across as a power play, and even sometimes as an act of aggression against other women who were wearing more reasonable attire. The effect of all of this was that the female friendships in these social circles were always on rocky ground.

It’s a fact of human nature that women are judged by their physical appearances more than men are, and therefore it’s easy for a feeling of competitiveness to arise in this area. When a girl would arrive at the office wearing a tight little outfit that commanded everyone’s attention, there was an unmistakable—though unspoken—feeling that a competition had been initiated. Even among the women who couldn’t care less about engaging in office beauty contests, who even pitied the scantily-clad girl for drawing the wrong type of attention to herself, there was a vague feeling of resentment that she had tried to initiate this “game” in the first place. All of these interactions remained below the surface, but they were very much present.

To describe how it felt to be a woman in that culture, imagine if men walked around displaying their annual incomes on name-tags. To allow no-holds-barred competition in an area where men are particularly sensitive to judgment would inevitably poison their relationships with one another. And so it is with women.

Discussions about the benefits of modesty tend to focus on preserving the dignity of women and respecting men who are seeking chastity. Those are great points, but I think that the impact that it has on relationships among women is a huge benefit that is too often overlooked.

The other day I saw a group of young adult women chatting after a meeting at church. They were about the same age as I was when I worked at that startup, and seeing them brought back memories of that time. In contrast to the culture I remembered, all of these girls looked beautiful and stylish while observing some basic ideas about modesty—and the effect was that there wasn’t that vibe that some of them were trying to be the center of attention with their dress, unlike back in my career days. It made me smile to see how well this system works. For women to embrace modesty is to declare a truce with one another. They can still aim to look nice, but mutual agreement on of reasonable standards of dress draws the boundary lines so that it doesn’t break out into a distracting competition.

Let me hasten to add that when I say that I’m now in social circles that value modesty, I don’t mean that we show up with pitchforks and torches at the house of any women who dare to wear skirts above the ankles, or that it’s something that is ever discussed at all (the occasional internet flare-up aside).

I’m referring here to some basic ideas about how to dress that are so deeply embedded in this subculture that I doubt the average Catholic woman even realizes she’s doing anything different than women in some segments of society. As I’ve seen it practiced, embracing modesty isn’t about following a specific clothing checklist or mistaking fashion choices for holiness. Rather, it’s just a decision that women make, mostly in the back of their minds, not to make their bodies the center of everyone’s attention. It’s a small gesture, but the impact is striking. It brings an air of peace to a gathering of women that you just don’t have if a couple of gals have shown up in tiny tank tops and super-short shorts.

It’s as if we simply say to one another, “I won’t show up in hot pants to your barbecue, you won’t wear a cleavage-bearing dress to my wine tasting, and we’ll all have a lovely time.”


Friday, August 15, 2014

HOMOSEXUAL LOBBY FORCES CHURCH CHILD WELFARE AGENCIES TO CLOSE

Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) recently introduced a bill in the Senate titled the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014. Its purpose is “to prohibit governmental entities from discriminating or taking an adverse action against a child welfare service provider on the basis that the provider declines to provide a child welfare service that conflicts, or under circumstances that conflict, with the sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions of the provider.”

Here are the headlines that followed:

“Some Conservatives Would Rather Keep Kids in Foster Care than Let Gays Adopt Them”

“New ‘religious freedom’ adoption bill criticized as being anti - LGBT”

“Religious freedom bill could spur adoption discrimination”

“GOP bill would give adoption agencies the right to discriminate against same-sex couples”

And the list goes on. It’s no mystery what the liberal media think about this issue.

In recent years, some religious child welfare providers who believe that children deserve to be placed with married mothers and fathers have lost government funding and have shut down because of laws requiring them to serve the lesbian, gay, bi and transsexual (LGBT) communities,despite their contradicting religious convictions. In Illinois, unmarried heterosexual couples and homosexuals may legally adopt children and become foster parents, leading to the discontinuation of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockford’s adoption services. In Washington D.C. a similar adoption program was shut down due to another law that requires religious organizations serving the general public to provide services to homosexuals regardless of religious beliefs. Comparable cases are found in California, Massachusetts, and all across the nation—cases which offer a choice between sincere religious beliefs and punishment under law, or compliance and the forsaking of religious conscience.

Interestingly enough, LGBT adoption agencies exist all across the nation, and this bill does nothing to discriminate against their clients or services. The bill would protect the religious liberty of those adoption agencies already functioning under religious organizations while respecting the right of alternative agencies to equally serve whomever they like. Unfortunately, it may not be equality that is at stake here. Perhaps those in favor of these laws are not interested in alternative programs that respect LGBT communities and religious liberties. Perhaps they want to force religious organizations to change their beliefs—at any cost.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) state on their website that “equality is not the finish line. Simply removing discriminatory laws from the books should be the bare minimum of what we seek. The ultimate prize is not equality—it’s justice. We need laws that address the obstacles that we face as a community, instead of treating us exactly the same as everyone else. … Think about this for a moment. What would it look like if we weren’t content with simply making sure that our youth are not beat up in school? Instead, what if schools were required to teach about LGBT history?”

Clearly no one should be beaten up at school or mistreated for any reason. But when does one group’s concept of justice become injustice for another group? The situation in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and D.C. is one such example. In those places, the government refuses to contract with religious organizations that are unable, due to sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions, to provide a child welfare service that conflicts with those beliefs or convictions. Thus ends their “long and distinguished history of excellence in the provision of child welfare services.”

While some child welfare services are closing shop in order to maintain their religious standing and comply with government regulations, a small group’s concept of justice has become an injustice for large religious organizations with hundreds of dependent children.

LGBT issues are constantly exaggerated in the media as if in an effort to rekindle the legacy and thrill of the civil rights movement, and to smear conservatives as bigots for not agreeing with all of their tactics.

According to a Gallup Poll , U.S. adults estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian.

But reality contradicts popular estimates.

Starting in 2013, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)—an organization charged with monitoring the nation’s health since 1957—included questions in its survey to ascertain the identity component of the sample adult’s sexual orientation. The results were significant.

NHIS reports that 96.6% of adults identified as straight, only 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. The remaining 1.1% identified as “something else,” or stated that they didn’t know the answer or they didn’t answer.

That is a world of difference from the 25% that American adults have been led to believe.

With more accurate data now provided by the NHIS, Americans ought to be better informed and able to go about solving discrimination issues in a more personal, effective, and equal way. Must 1.6% of the population insist that religious institutions forsake their deeply held convictions while alternative options for child services already exist? The NHIS findings ought to raise many red flags as the government overreaches into the lives of the large majority of Americans on the pretext of protecting those who might be discriminated against.

Jace Gregory is an intern at Accuracy in Media’s American Journalism Center. For any inquiries, please e-mail info@aim.org.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CLASSICAL MUSIC DETERS CRIME ?



Many young people, especially the anti-social, dislike classical music so much that it can be played to discourage them from intimidating, harassing and robbing.

This experiment has been successful over many years in countless locations.

The earliest occurrence was in the mid-1980s, when Canadian outlets of 7-Eleven played easy listening and classical music to disperse teenagers loitering outside. After that, companies from McDonald's to Co-op, transport authorities, housing estates and shopping malls around the world have employed this method.

In the UK, the first to do so was the Tyne-and-Wear Metro system in 1997, following Montreal’s underground system in Canada.

Other British transport providers, including the much bigger London Underground, imitated the scheme. The most effective deterrents were anything sung by Pavarotti or written by Mozart.

Across the pond, whether at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal, La Guardia, Newark International and John F. Kennedy International airports, and Pennsylvania Station; at Portland, Oregon, light-rail stations; in Seattle's parking lots; or in Anchorage, Alaska, Town Square, classical music has helped even against crimes like drug dealing.

Same in Australia and New Zealand. In Queensland, it reduced vandalism and graffiti.

The evidence seems plentiful. Why, then?

The simplest explanations, in the time-honored scientific tradition of Occam's razor, should be considered first.

Teenagers, especially those with uneducated ears, don't like classical music, and they think it's not "cool" to be seen by their peers listening to it.

Still other explanations are in the nature of classical music itself. Much of it conveys a sense of order, symmetry and beauty, that conflicts with the disorder and ugliness in the minds of hooligans.

Musicologist Giovanni Bietti explains that Beethoven -- who was convinced that music could make a great social contribution -- Mozart and Haydn had a rational image of music, which is why in their works the initial contrasts are always resolved through the rules of composition, giving order to thoughts. This discourages those who don’t accept the rules.

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Enza Ferreri is an Italian-born, London-based Philosophy graduate, author and journalist. She has been a London correspondent for several Italian magazines and newspapers, including Panorama, L’Espresso, La Repubblica

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

IRAQ HEADS TO HUMANITARIAN HOSTORICAL AND CULTURAL DISASTER


Vatican Radio) “It is shameful that Christians are being rejected, expelled and diminished”, writes the leader of the Chaldean Catholic Church Patriarch Louis RaphaĆ«l I Sako in a letter addressed to people of good-will across Iraq’s multi-religious, multi-ethnic society ahead of an Islamist deadline to minorities in Mosul to submit to Islam, their rule or die.
During his Sunday Angelus Pope Francis told the persecuted Christians of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that he was with them in solidarity and appealed for aid for these people who have been “stripped of everything“.
Thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled Mosul to Sunni Kurdish areas up north after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threatened to kill them if they don't convert to Islam or pay tax. Extremists of the al-Qaeda-inspired group began implementing their threats by burning a 1,800 year old church in the city.
Yet in whta the Patriarch described as a sign of hope, Muslims from the capital Baghdad reached out in solidarity to their Christian brothers and sisters, joining them at the end of Mass on Sunday for a special service in the Church of Mar Girgis. Many bore signs that read “I am an Iraqi Christian”.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that the persecution of Iraqi Christians who have been driven from their homes in Mosul could constitute a crime against humanity.
In his letter Patriarch Sako writes: “It is obvious that this would have disastrous consequences on the coexistence between the majority and the minorities, even among Muslims themselves, in the near and long term. Hence, Iraq is heading to a humanitarian, cultural, and historical disaster”.
Below the full text of Patriarch Sako’s letter, english tanslation courtesy of AsiaNews
To the people of conscience and good will in Iraq and the world,
To the voice of the moderates, our Muslim brothers and sisters in Iraq and the world,
To all concerned about the continuation of Iraq as a nation for all its citizens,
To all leaders, thinkers, and human rights activists,
To all defenders of the dignity of the human person and the freedom of religions,
Peace and God's Mercy
The takeover of the Islamist jihadists of Mosul and their announcement of an Islamic state, and after days of composure and anticipation, the situation had turned negative on the Christians of the city and surrounding areas. The first signs of this reversal were the kidnaping of the two nuns and three orphans who were released after 17 days, We were encouraged by this development and we considered it a glimmer of hope, and a breakthrough. Only to be surprised by the latest developments,   the Islamic state issued a statement calling on Christians openly to convert to Islam, and either pay Jizya without specifying a ceiling, or leave their city and their homes, with their clothes only, without any luggage, and issued a "fatwa" that the homes will become the property to the Islamic state. They have marked the letter "N" on the homes of Christians for "Nazarenes"!!! As they have marked on the homes of Shiites with the letter (R) for "Rejectors". Who knows what is holding in the coming days as the laws of the Islamic state is based on what they claim to be the Sharia law, including the redefinition of identities on the basis of religion and sectarianism.
These requirements offend Muslims and the reputation of Islam, which says "you have your religion and we have ours," and "There is no compulsion in religion", and it is in contradiction of a thousand and four hundred years of history and a lifetime of the Islamic world, and coexistence with different religions and different peoples, east and west, respecting their beliefs and living in fraternity. The Christians  and in particular in our East, and since the advent of Islam, have shared together sweet and bitter memories, their bloods were mixed in defense of their rights and their land, and together they built, cities, civilization and heritage. It is shameful that Christians are being rejected, expelled and diminished. It is obvious that this would have disastrous consequences on the coexistence between the majority and the minorities, even among Muslims themselves, in the near and long term. Hence, Iraq is heading to a humanitarian, cultural, and historical disaster.
Therefore we call unto them, a warm, brotherly, urgent and serious call, and we appeal to our fellow Iraqis who support them to reconsider their strategy, and respect the unarmed innocent people, of all ethnicities, religions and sects. The Quran commands respect to the innocent,  and does not call to seize the property of people forcibly, it calls on helping the widow, the orphan, the destitute and the defenseless, and even recommend to help the seventh neighbour. We also call on Christians in the region to adopt rationality and acumen, and calculate their options well and understand what is planned for the area, and come together in love and think through together and in solidarity to build confidence in themselves and their neighbours, gathering around their church, being patient, enduring and praying until the storm passes. 
+ Louis Raphael I Sako

Monday, July 21, 2014

PSSST! IT'S NOT A WAR OF RELIGION!

For the first time in 1,600 years, Mass is not being said in Mosul: an ancient culture has been wiped out in a matter of weeks. It's a war crime that, strangely, no one seems to want to talk about.
Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq and the place where many Christians believe Jonah was buried. Since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) rode into town, their faith has been forced underground. Bells have been silenced, the hijab enforced with bullets. Tens of thousands fled after being offered an unattractive choice: convert, pay a religious tax, or be put to the sword. The levy was unaffordable. According to one local news agency, Isis troops entered the house of a poor Christian and, when they didn’t get what they wanted, the soldiers raped the mother and daughter in front of their husband and father. He committed suicide out of grief.
Having driven away the worshippers, the Isis fanatics are now trying to extinguish the physical legacy they left behind. A centuries-old church has been burned to the ground; Jonah’s tomb has been desecrated. Isis wants to create the Islamic equivalent of Year Zero, a brave new world with no evidence of Christianity, women’s rights, democracy or even that most subversive of instincts, human pity.
It might seem like this revolution has nothing to do with us in the West, but that's more than a little naive. The genocide of local Christians did not begin with Isis but with the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Prior to the conflict, there were 1.5 million “Chaldeans, Syro-Catholics, Syro-Orthodox, Assyrians from the East, Catholic and Orthodox Armenians” in the country – living, of course, under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, but living nonetheless. Today, their number has dropped to just 400,000. Religious violence peaked in the first four years of the invasion and then declined dramatically after the US-led surge. There was a hope that President Nouri al-Maliki would live up to his initial promise to protect religious minorities. But the rise of Sunni opposition to the Shiite regime in Baghdad sparked a second phase of persecution against Iraqi Christians.
Over the border came Isis, a particularly virulent strain of Islamism previously incubating in Syria’s civil war. Bashar al-Assad’s refusal to surrendered power in Damascus has destabilised the region yet further (the use of gas weaponry has a tendency to court opposition) and his own Christians have found themselves trapped in the middle of an internecine Islamic bloodbath: it was one year ago in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa where Isis first experimented with its instruction to “convert, pay a tax or die”. The Syrian patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has estimated that perhaps 25 per cent of his country’s 2 million refugees are Christian.
The West’s direct intervention in Iraq created Hell on Earth for its Christian citizens, while the West’s lack of action in Syria (out of deference to its failings in Iraq) has permitted a regrouping of Islamist forces and the opening of a second front against Christians. The lesson is: “either leave other countries alone or, if you must intervene, do so with consistency and resilience”. The consequences of going in, messing things up and then quitting with a weary shrug are terrible for those left behind.
Yet, having been so intimately involved in the collapse of Iraq, the West is now bizarrely silent about events in Mosul. The streets of London fill with thousands marching against Israel’s military operation in Gaza; the West rails mightily against the Russian separatists in Ukraine. But of Iraq there is nothing. Why?
It could be that no Westerner wants to return to Iraq, that politicians fear that even discussing the country will lead voters to fear yet another invasion and yet another bloody occupation. Or it could be that we feel embarrassed about the very idea of Christians as a persecuted minority. The reporter John Allen argues that Westerners have been trained to think of Christians as “an agent of aggression, not its victim” - so we're deaf to pleas for help. That opinion is supported by Ed West in an excellent e-book, and its consequences have been condemned by religious leaders here in the UK. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has compared the suffering of Middle East Christians with Jewish pogroms in Europe and reminded everyone of the words of Martin Luther King: “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” It would indeed be awful to think that the West might remain silent as violence rages purely out of a failure to recognise that Christians can be victimised, or out of a reluctance to cast aspersions on certain brands of Islam. It would make this the first genocide in history to be tolerated out of social awkwardness.
The West’s response to Mosul is worthy of contempt: if we won’t speak out for Christians, who will? But any disgust at our own moral cowardice should be balanced by admiration for the Iraqis who continue to bear witness to their faith in a land that moves closer and closer to outlawing it. Their resilience illustrates the difference between fundamentalist Islam and Christianity: the former is a religion of killers, the latter is a religion of martyrs. And for those of us who share the faith of the thousands fleeing Mosul, Jesus's own sacrifice offers hope – a reminder that victory is guaranteed for those who endure: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Whatever your faith, please pray for the Christians of Mosul