Friday, August 1, 2014

I Am a Nazarene

The mark shown above is a 'Nun', the Arabic letter 'N'.  In northern Iraq and Syria these days, it is being spray-painted on the houses of Christians ('Nazarenes' as they are known among Muslims) by radical Islamist thugs, to mark the house as a 'Nazarene' house.  When the spray-painted 'Nun' appears, it announces to the occupants of the house a four-fold decision, effective immediately:

1) Convert to Islam, or
2) Pay the dhimma*, and submit to dhimmi-tude, or
3) Leave, without your possessions (which now belong to Islam), or
4) Die

Nice, huh?

*The dhimma is essentially an 'infidel tax', designed to maintain the infidels in economic subjugation.  Dhimmis (those who pay the tax) essentially accept second-class citizenship.  They may not offend the eyes of pious Muslims by displaying any infidel religious symbols (eg, wearing a cross, or a nun's habit, or priestly vestments, or displaying a cross on a church building); neither may they build new churches, or repair old ones.

The very ancient Christian population of Iraq and Syria, which dates back to the early beginnings of Christianity (and pre-dates Islam by several centuries), is essentially being eradicated, as you read this.

The response of the rest of the world has barely been more than chirping crickets, and I can't begin to fathom why.

Is it because the 'victims' are Christian, and in the secular West, we think of Christians as the killjoys of the Sexual Revolution?  Or because, when we hear 'Christian', we think of obnoxious southern-accented TV evangelists, or the weird family with 20 kids?

Or is it because the thugs in question are Muslim, and we fear their irrational wrath?  Or because, somehow or other, we're stuck in a stereotype of Christians as 'oppressors' and Muslims as 'oppressed', and so, finally, the Christians are getting a little come-uppance (and about damn time)?

Or, do we tell ourselves that this is a 'religious problem', and therefore out-of-bounds for a secular state?

I really, really don't understand that Western governments (our own included) won't even issue impotent 'statements of condemnation', much less initiate any humanitarian measures on behalf of the Nazarene refugees.  And Western media will discuss the political and 'warfare' aspects of the dispute, but not the 'religious cleansing' aspects.

What in the world is going on?

By myself, I'm at a loss as to what I, as an individual, can do, concretely, to help my brothers and sisters in Christ across the world.  Anything I can do, like displaying the 'Nun' at the top of my blog as a sign of my solidarity with them, seems utterly 'token' and impotent.

But I do stand with them.  And, if I can do nothing else, I want them to know that.  I, too, am a Nazarene.

And, I will pray.  Partly because, even if I figure out how to do all manner of humanitarian good, but don't pray, I'm kind-of missing the point.  I will pray that God (Allah, as even Arabic Christians call Him), who sees every sparrow that falls from its nest, will watch over them and protect them, and deliver them from evil, and stay the hand of the evil-doer, and grant them His peace.

Oh, Lord, have mercy. . .


(edit, 13 Aug)

Here is an essay posted yesterday, making a similar point to the one I'm making, but providing more supportive documentation. . .


(edit, 21 Aug)

And here is another one. . .


  1. Thanks for explaining that Craig. I was trying to track that down as I have the symbol all over the place. I had a feeling that's what it was, you have confirmed it.

    I too pray for my Christian brothers and sisters in those forsaken lands.

    1. Thanks, Sarge. And you know, it's not like praying for them is nothing. . . Truth be known, it's likely more effective than most anything 'concrete' we could do. . .

  2. What in the world is going on?

    Apathy, coupled with both an unwillingness and a certain amount of incapability to intervene. Taking out the oppressors in this case (ISIS) would require an operation as large as "Iraqi Freedom," or larger. We (Americans) don't have the stomach for that after nearly 13 years of continuous war.

    1. (*sigh*)

      You're probably right, Buck, and I understand the military difficulty of 'taking out' ISIS. But I'm thinking we could be doing better than, essentially, 'nothing'. . .

  3. Craig, just yesterday I was reading how the militant Islam group, Boko Haram, was thrilled that the West started the whole #SaveOurGirls campaign because it brought attention to them (militant Islamists), which is what they want.

    I'm not sure if there's anything to do but warn people, like you are here, that Christianity is being attacked on many fronts. Americans need to wake up and stop worrying about gay marriage and look at the bigger picture. Have you been following the Gaza Strip bombings? I fear that our own country is turning its back on Israel. Makes you wonder if we are indeed in the final days.

    1. Those guys are essentially cowards, who make hay out of getting people to fear them. The word needs to go out that we are not afraid of you a**holes. . .

      I've wondered similar things myself. All of a sudden, in just the last decade (or less) Christianity is being attacked in ways that were unimaginable not so long ago. (And I realize it would be a minority opinion, but it's possible to view the gay marriage thing in similar terms; at the very least, it's a marker of how Christian sexual morality no longer holds sway like it did not so long ago)

    2. And the guys who are using schools and hospitals as weapons caches in Gaza will have a lot to answer for one day. . . Like I said, cowards, hiding behind their own women and children. . .

  4. Tell me again about the Religion of Peace.

    Not a word from our leaders...disgusting!!

    1. That 'Religion of Peace' has got an awful lot of blood on its hands, for an awful lot of centuries. . .

  5. Thanks for this. Keep doing what you're doing but more importantly it's time for getting politically incorrect and harassing some of the liberal folks who think this is at best none of our business or at worst just desserts.

    These are real families being murdered. Take a moment and ship off an email to your congressional and even State representatives. Sometimes action is only forced via a proverbial club over the head.

    1. The thing that gets me is we've gone adventuring all over the globe on behalf of oppressed minorities everywhere, but when it's Christians being oppressed, it's like, 'Um. . . not our problem. . .'

      Good point, tho. We do have some small amount of arm-twisting leverage with our elected reps. . .

    2. i have a reply but it is at best politically incorrect. suffice to say that this warped world thinks Christ and his followers have much to answer for, namely the sins of false teachers and evil manipulators. they'll believe a convicted felon innocent before an evil Christian.