On Sunday, August 1st, five Christian churches in Iraq were bombed, killing eleven worshipers and wounding and terrifying many more. They were traditional churches--Armenian, Chaldean, Coptic and Catholic- some had been there for hundreds of years. We believe no Iraqi could benefit from this act, especially not Muslim Iraqis. We will probably never learn who did it, and we will hear accusations condemning Islam for years to come. This writer does not think the facts support this, or that it is healthy for us to believe it.
Some benefit from bombing churches and they are the best suspects. One group is positively implicated in the acts. By its own words it convicts itself, regardless of who set the explosives or who made the plan. Its proponents call themselves â€˜Christian-Zionistsâ€? or â€œJudeo-Christians.â€? You will find these accomplices behind the pulpits of many American churches on Sunday. This writer has in past papers named them Enablers of war.
We are being told little about the five churches that were hit; as best as we can tell, they were attacked by booby traps and timed explosive devices. Obviously they were well organized, with modern munitions and security; the perpetrators got away clean, safe, and unharmed and remain unidentified a week later. This was a professional job. If five coordinated teams of criminals robbed five banks at the same time with all getting away without leaving behind even one clue as to who they were or why they did it, they would be professionals. The laws of probability dictates that events like this do not happen without evidence. Criminals leave behind clues that are found, that is, unless someone on the inside ignores the clues, or does not look very hard. Someone tells when this many people are involved.
On August 5th a different kind of bombing occurred. It was low tech and required little planning and no sophisticated equipment whatsoever. A lone Iraqi driver steered his automobile-powered human bomb into a police station where Iraqi policemen and their US military bosses would be killed. Five or more died tragically, including the bomber. One might call him a sacrifice bomber, and his purpose can be clearly understood from his acts. He saw the occupiers and those who cooperated with them as the enemies of Iraqiâ€™s desperate and prolonged struggle for independence. This is a crime and a human tragedy, but he is no less heroic than any other martyr honored by any people in history. Not so with the church bombers, whose targets, unlike the well-guarded and armed police stations, are undefended. No one sacrificed his life to do it; it was premeditated, cowardly murder.
Christians and Moslems manage to get along in the Mid-East. This writer observed them in Gaza. Baptists go to church next to the Mosque, and when they are not in church, members seem to work together as best they can. Churches are not a historic enemy to Islam in Iraq. Coptic, Catholic, and Orthodox churches often date back to Roman times, still standing with Christian cemeteries around them, undefiled through the ages of Islamic domination. Christians in Iraq say they do not hate Muslims, but many Evangelicals in America practice hatred of Islam[M1] that is now manifested in destruction and death. Jesusâ€™ Words object.
The Southern Baptist Convention has had no explanation for this peaceful co-existence with Islam; its publications play it down or ignore it. The evangelicalâ€™s views of the Mideast demand both racial and religious hatred. The Baptist Mission Board even ignores its own church in Gaza, housed in a dome roofed ancient mosque. This writer documented the story of its members in a previous article. Evangelicals tell us Islam detests Baptists and would kill them on sight. Christians in the land of Islam live their lives out otherwise, and any serious observation supports their version.
In Gaza the wall in front of the Baptist church has the same anti-Israeli graffiti as does the wall in front of the Mosque nearby. Their members suffer Israeli occupation side by side. If they do not love each other, they certainly coexist in peace. We Hold These Truths receives reports from Christians and Muslims from Damascus to Ammon. There is an uneasy peace made worse by anti-Islamic statements spewed forth from evangelical Enabler churches and celebrities in America.
How would Islam benefit from bombing churches? If Christians stay home from church or emigrate out of fear, how does this make Iraq more independent? It does not.
It is sad that Iraqis would bomb other Iraqis who are hungry and desperate for work and who hate the occupation, but who take Army-funded jobs at a police station. But this can be understood in war, the Iraqis do not want a compromised, 56-year occupation as the Palestinians have.
We donâ€™t know who planted the bombs but we do know that American evangelical celebrities facilitated and enabled the act. Without the Enablers constant condemnation of Islam, there would have been no reason for the propaganda bombing of five churches, because there would be no market for the propaganda that is being distributed through the evangelicals in the USA.
We have read all the accounts of the bombings. As expected, they are being blamed on an unknown Islamic group. Consider what is likely:
* If an Islamic militant group bombed the churches and wanted to terrorize Christians, they would have taken credit for it the first hour, as they have with kidnappings, and they would have promised more bombings, or asked for something. No one did.
* The groupâ€? that belatedly did claim the blame for the bombings was anonymous and unknown and did not have a formal name or spokesman. It offered no plausible reason for this significant act. It could have been created on a cell phone after the bombing or in an office in London, and it probably was. The US-appointed Iraqi â€œgovernmentâ€? did not point this out, nor did our press.
* Most Muslims who we know fear God, they do not hate Him, and would be correctly afraid to bomb a church--afraid of God, not of men. And Muslims, unlike the Israelis, believe Jesus was on very good terms with the one God, whom they call Allah. They do not challenge Allah; they fear Him as righteous.
* If secularists did the bombing, there would be Muslims who would know about It, and would tell. It was too big a scheme to keep it quiet this long.
* The churches in Iraq are traditional, not evangelical; they do not hold to the neo-evangelical interpretations that hold Israel to be a God image that must be worshiped. They do not share the â€œchosen peopleâ€? theology that enables the war on Islam.
* Islam is not anti-Christian, as we Christians are told. The Qurâ€™an says much about Jesus and Mary, and is more than respectful. One passage, (S.5.78-84) seems to be all about trust and coexistence with followers of Christ. Verse 82 reads:
* Strongest among men in enmity to the Believer wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; Nearest among them in love to the Believers wilt thou find those who say â€œwe are Christiansâ€? because amongst there are men devoted to learning. And men who have renounced the world and they are not arrogant.
Clearly this was not written about evangelical-Zionist (Enablers) who, to the contrary, openly call for genocide against Islam, even its total liquidation, and some are boldly arrogant about it.
Many untrue yarns are spun on the Internet depicting a hate filled Qurâ€™an. We Hold These Truths has investigated several and found that most are not there, or seem to be intentionally distorted. Our paper called Internet Tales about Islam details some of these. We find some statements we have been given by evangelical Enablers to be outright untrue on their face. Even the most popular story among evangelicals about the prize of ?72 virgins? for martyrs in Paradise (like the car bomber) may be a hoax. As best this writer can tell, it is not in the Qurâ€™an; we are still waiting for someone to show us otherwise.
One of the worst we have heard, Dr. Robert Morey, who calls himself a â€œChristianâ€? and who has written several books about Islam, openly preaches for the incineration of Mecca, Medina and The Dome of the Rock.
Leading Muslim clerics have condemned the bombing as cowardly and unbecoming of Islam, but christian-Zionists take denial as a sign of guilt. And prominent Christian leaders in Iraq have not suggested Muslims were responsible, and have spoken out in solidarity with them.
Who Could Have Done It?
The State of Israel and what is currently being called the US â€œNeo-Conâ€? establishment, which really controls Israel and holds absolute control over the present Bush administration and past Clinton administration as well, are the beneficiaries of wars.
Israelis would not think twice of bombing churches because they have already done it. They have also attacked mosques and killed Muslim leaders in front of at least one mosque. Israelis have even been known to damage their own synagogues to get sympathy. The State of Israel shelled two or more Christian churches in Palestine. Israelâ€™s agents are known to be operating in Iraq and are probably more likely to have bombed the churches than the CIA or Halliburtonâ€™s paid mercenaries. They are used to this kind of assassination, and they know how to keep quiet. If this is true, you can bet the incident will just die down and disappear from the press.
The tale of the church bombings will never disappear from the preaching of the evangelical-Zionist, who will blame the Arabs everywhere, with or without proof.
Who Is Responsible?
Though we will probably never know for certain who bombed the five churches, we can be sure the blood is on the hands of the Enabler reverends, evangelical celebrities, and on their willing followers. The deaths of every one of the eleven church-going Christians is their responsibility because without them there would be no reason for the bombing. Whoever did it simply obliged these evangelical Enablers by creating more grist for Israeli promoted Christian-Zionist hate mills. Hate enabled the war and the occupation; hate keeps the occupation going. Only love will end it.
An Israeli â€œBUS19â€?, in which 11 Israeli civilians died, was imported to the US from Israel in May. â€œElevenâ€? happens to be the same number of civilian Iraqis killed in the five Church bombings. A team or speakers associated with The Unity Coalition for Israel is touring evangelical Enabler churches with the bus, giving the misleading message that Palestinians are murderers, and Islam is a religion of violence. Our account of this is called Israeli Hate-Bus Tours America.
The five damaged churches are the Iraqi equivalent of BUS19, another trophy to be displayed at churches in America. Without the insatiable desire of Christian-Zionist celebrities for more ?proof of Arab violence? there would have been no church bombings in Iraq because no other purpose was served. This writer is no longer alone among Followers of Christ in blaming evangelical Enablers for war.
As reported in the â€œNew York Timesâ€?, in a speech on March 9, 2003, former President James Earl Carter criticized his own Southern Baptist Convention for supporting the ?unilateral attack on Iraq.? Carter did not dignify the attack by calling it a war. He went on to implicate Israel in the occupation of Iraq, saying,
â€œa few Southern Baptist leaders (favor war) who were greatly influenced by their commitment to Israel based on eschatological, or final days theologyâ€?.
Christian pastor and writer Tony Campolo, speaking to United Methodist leaders in Birmingham, Alabama, on June 3, 2004, warned that too many Christians have become ?evangelical Zionists? who favor ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Middle East. This surprisingly candid statement was covered in the Birmingham News quoting Campolo:
"Some evangelicals have gotten caught up in the theology that before Christ can return, the Holy Land must belong to the Jews," and,
"They're really advocating ethnic cleansing. There's no justification for that in Scripture."
Ethnic cleansing means systematic murder! The Birmingham News further quoted Campolo:
Christian leaders such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, as well as Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins, authors of the best-selling â€œLeft Behindâ€? end-times prophecy novels, have spread the ?evangelical Zionist? theme. â€œThey're a very powerful group,â€??The evangelical community has gotten so pro-Israel that they've forgotten how to love Palestinians.
The Presbyterian Church in Americaâ€™s leaders recently condemned The Wall being built around the Palestinians, and voted by a wide margin to divest itself of all Israeli assets from its multi-billion dollar retirement fund. This is the first major church denomination to do so.
Evangelical leaders must be challenged publicly by their own members. To accomplish this Project Strait Gate was started 18 months ago, and over 35 major evangelical churches, as well as conventions, have been picketed for peace during their worship hours.
Five ladies and two men led a Strait Gate Project demonstration at two churches last weekend in Southern California, with signs reading ?NO MORE WARS FOR ISRAEL and BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS. One event was a 2004 Israel and Bible Prophesy Conference at the giant Calvary Chapel in Chino, California. Several participants reported they were pleasantly surprised with the response, not so much from the churches as from the passersby. Many responded positively to the message of the demonstration.
Strait Gate Ministries urges Followers of Christ to have their names removed from membership rolls at any churches that fail to oppose the continued war and occupation in the Mideast. We suggest you tell the Reverend you might return once the Church regains [M2]Christâ€™s admonition to love oneâ€™s brothers as yourselves. Until then, you might better serve the Lord by supporting an Armenian or Coptic Church in Iraq.
We Hold These Truths/Strait Gate Ministries plans to distribute this letter to about 100,000 Presbyterian Pastors and laymen leaders as an encouragement to them. We wish to expand this number by tenfold to other reverends in other denominations. The challenge is overwhelming, the time short and the burden is heavy. - End:
Internet Tales About Islam, by Charles E. Carlson
Take A Stand...In Front of A Church That Will Not Take A Stand, by Charles Carlson
Israeli Hate-Bus Tours American Churches, by Charles Carlson
Evangelist Warns Against Mideast Ethnic Cleansing, by Birmingham news
President Carter Speaks the Truth in Boston, by Charles Carlson
The Second American-Iraqi War, Caesar vs. Dictator, by Charles Carlson