Ignoring the Obvious
While Americans burn time arguing the merits, or lack thereof, of the absurd fiction The Da Vinci Code (24 percent of its readers said the novel aided their “personal growth and spiritual understanding”), a real-time, real world war rages on.
This war murders and mutilates Christians and represents a deadly threat to all of us. Yet it is undefined and largely ignored by the majority of politicians, religious leaders, and people in the streets of the Western world. Why this is the case continues to be a mystery. Why do so many choose to ignore the obvious or simply miss the point?
Consider what took place in London, England, a short time ago, when militant Islamists paraded in the streets with vicious, anti-British banners reading, “Behead those who insult Islam,” “Islam will dominate the world,” “Freedom go to hell,” “Europe will pay. Your 9/11 is on the way,” and “Be prepared for the real Holocaust!”
As is the case in America, uniformed police stood by to protect the people announcing their determination to destroy the country.
In a lengthy, well-publicized letter to President George W. Bush, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had this to say:
Liberalism and Western-style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems….People around the world are flocking towards a main focal point—that is the Almighty God [Allah]….My question for you is: “Do you not want to join them?”
Ahmadinejad, you’ll remember, is the tyrannical boss of Iran who aspires to annihilate Israel and develop nuclear weapons that will threaten all of Europe and enhance his position in the war against America. Or, in his words to the president, cause the collapse of America—with its Judeo-Christian heritage—and pull us into the mainstream of the Islamic faith.
His words sound eerily reminiscent of Vladimir Lenin’s and his Communist comrades who, in the early 20th century, proclaimed that the West would collapse from within, eliminating the Soviet Union’s need to destroy it.
Such is the ideological essence of global, Islamic jihad. “So what?” you may ask. “Aren’t these issues wrestled with in statehouses and international forums?”
True. But there is much more to them. And if we miss the point and ignore the obvious, we turn our backs on situations that have become relevant and personal to many Christians just like you and me. The only difference between them and us is locality. And if our enemies have their way, the issues our suffering brethren face will one day become extremely personal for us as well.
On Good Friday a man entered the Mar Girgis Church in Alexandria, Egypt, stabbed a worshiper to death, and wounded two others. In an article for Breakpoint titled “The Dangers of Being Christian,” Charles Colson wrote:
He then went to another church and stabbed three other Christians….CBS News put it this way: The Egyptian government has a history of “[playing] down incidents that can be perceived as sectarian in nature.” By “sectarian,” it means violence against Christians.
For decades we have heard the horrors in the Sudan described as “sectarian” conflicts between rebel and government forces. In reality, radical Islamist killers dispatched from Khartoum are systematically slaughtering millions of Christians and others who happen to be out of favor with the Sudanese executioners.
Colson further commented that many Iraqi Christians feel there is no future for them in Iraq and are getting out of the country. No matter what government is installed in Baghdad, it will be little comfort to them and their descendants. Colson cited Lawrence Kaplan’s comments in The New Republic: “Sunni, Shia, and Kurd may agree on little else, but all have made sport of brutalizing their Christian neighbors.” Christians “routinely disappear from the sidewalks of Baghdad.” Others, Colson said, are kidnapped and held for ransom. Kaplan called them “today’s victims of choice.”
So, while Western believers bat around the imminent impact of The Da Vinci Code movie, they would do well to keep in mind that this temporary phenomenon will soon have had its 15 minutes of fame. And after it is long forgotten, Christians will still remain “today’s victims of choice.” They are real people; and for their sakes, we can ill afford to ignore the obvious.