Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pharaoh's Protection

I speak only for myself in this post.

Oh my.  It has been a terrible week in the Middle East, beloved.  Egypt's worst political violence since people started using the term "political violence." The worst anti-Christian pogroms in Egypt in over a century.  The deadliest single day in Syria's civil war so far, in the form of a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds - the worst chemical attack since Saddam Hussein's genocide against the Kurds in the 1980s.  A suicide bombing at a Sunni mosque in Lebanon that killed 27. 

There's so much to say, and so many people talking, to so little avail, that I'll let most of it pass, except for this comment: The U.S. is going to start bombing Syria in the next few weeks.  Expect it.

The likely result will be the victory of the rebel forces, the end of Christianity, Alawite Islam and the Druze religion in Syria, and all-out civil war in Lebanon and Jordan, as both of these tiny states buckle under a refugee influx in the millions.

All that will have to wait.  What I want to focus on in this post is Egypt.

Almost two years ago, I joined hundreds of Egyptian Christians in a rally at the White House after the U.S.-funded Egyptian military massacred 24 Christians in Cairo. 

Today, the U.S.-funded Egyptian military is back in power, and, as the New York Times puts it, "
In the more than seven weeks since [President Mohammed] Morsi’s ouster, security forces have carried out at least three mass shootings at pro-Morsi street protests, killed more than a thousand Morsi supporters and arrested at least as many." Mohammed El-Baradei, the civilian vice president who resigned in protest when the massacres began, is now under investigation by the military government for “betraying the public trust.”

The Muslim Brotherhood scapegoated Egypt's Christians for the killings, and unleashed a countrywide wave of violence against them, torching scores of churches, Christian homes and businesses.  During these attacks, Human Rights Watch found, the military's "security forces were largely absent or failed to intervene even when they had been informed of ongoing attacks."

 And Egyptian Christians were out protesting again in Washington DC on Thursday - holding up hagiographic portraits of the new military dictator (Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi), writing his name on their faces, calling him "our hero" and "the eagle of our flag."

"C C"=Sisi.  Get it?

Then, on Friday, a Coptic Christian youth organization I follow on Facebook, the Maspero Youth Union, shared this photo:


Point of interest: the "Maspero Youth Union" is named after Maspero Square, where the Egyptian military murdered 24 Christian protestors less than two years ago.

This group is now asking people to report Facebook friends who use logos showing support for the victims of another military massacre, to military intelligence.

I have Egyptian friends who use those logos on their Facebook profiles.  I disagree heartily with them on politics, but they are not terrorists.

GUYS - aside from the horrifying moral implications, do you really think the Egyptian military, which has proven itself only too willing to shoot Christians dead in the street if it suits their purposes, is on your side?

They are not.  Their main interest in church burnings is using them as political propaganda, not in stopping them.  And if the Brotherhood ever ceases to be a threat, they will be only too happy to use church attacks as a safety valve for Islamist violence, as Mubarak did. (The military just released Mubarak from prison, by the way.  No big deal.)

I am 100% anti-Muslim Brotherhood.  If I lived in Egypt, I would have been out protesting against the Brotherhood regime on June 30.  But removing them from power does not require a return to military dictatorship.  And the point of being a Christian is knowing that we don't have to rely on wicked, violent men for protection.

I know this is easy for me to say.  My life isn't in danger.  And this is a lesson American Christians need to learn, too.  Our political leaders, with the support of most of us - including me - invaded two countries and killed a million people in the last decade to keep us "safe."

Take it from me - it's not worth it.

"Pharaoh's protection will be to your shame." - Isaiah 30:3

 "The LORD will fight for you.  You need only be still." - Exodus 14:14

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