Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"That's Just What We Do"

Back from NM. Pictures will be posted as soon as they come back from the photo dept. of Wally World. Thanks so much to all who prayed.

Have been trying for the past week or so to get in touch with my godfather, , as he's Lebanese. Many worried prayers (which aren't really prayers at all, I guess, as we are not to pray in such a state) were uttered and a few phone messages left in an attempt to nail down that, no, he was not in the crossfire of the current conflict between Lebanon and Israel. Tonight, God be praised, I got a call back from him.

He'd been in Lebanon just two weeks prior to the inital hostage taking and Israeli response. He was reflective, now, on how beautiful everything seemed while he was there, which only added to the surrealism he is experiencing now. He informed me that another beloved family from the parish was actually in South Lebanon until the third day of bombings, when they were able to get out. God be praised, the checkpoint that prior to their crossing had been backed up with hours of traffic was a cinch for them to get through, and they're now staying with family here in the States.

He laid the blame for all this squarely on the Lebanese government, which, as much as I tend to sympathize with Palestinian/Arabic sentiments of being dispossessed of their homelands by Israel, strikes me as the right take on this. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that, as my godfather said, plays games by building schools, orphanages, hospitals, etc -- which endears them to the Lebanese people -- but they also have rocket launchers that they use (as lackeys under orders from Syria) against Israel. They're the only militia in Lebanon that the government hasn't disarmed (in defiance of UN orders, surprise, surprise), the rationale apparently being, "better the devil you know than the devil you don't." Regardless, why the Lebanese as a whole don't finish the job -- which would entail disarming Hezbollah and cutting them off from government recognition -- is beyond me.

What really was fascinating (as well as assuring) for me to hear from him, though, was his take on how the Israeli attacks are being carried out -- specifically the destinction being made between the Muslim and the Christians. Lebanon is unique among Arab nations (with the possible-but-not-quite-as-exceptional exceptions of Jordan and Egypt) of being nations where the Muslim and Christian Arabs get along and have deep, generations-long friendships with each other, yet Israel understands that all of these Hezbollah-driven attacks are from one source and one source only: Islam. You do not see Orthodox Christian (or Melkite Catholic) suicide bombers; no little altar boys are missing from Sunday Divine Liturgy because they stepped on an Israeli bus and detonated the explosives strapped to their little chests.

(LATER EDIT: This post on the blog of a UK Antiochian priest very much disputes the above paragraph, and for good reason; it's come to light recently that, indeed, Christian sites are being bombed as well as Muslim ones)

Why is this? My godfather, I think, summed it up best when he told me what Metropolitan + PHILLIP of the Antiochian Archdiocese said in the recent clergy symposium regarding this. All we can do, Sayidna said, is be prayerful. "That's just what we do," my godfather said in response to the Metropolitan's advice. What a stark contrast to followers of the "Prophet" who work under orders of jihad and deception to further their cause; we are called to pray, repaying not evil with evil, but attempting to overcome evil with good, and trusting in our God to do this.

(Also, God be praised that there is still a bishop in the southern Lebanese Christian cities that are under the worst of it; my brothers and sisters in Christ will at least have a loving pastor to guide and nourish them with Christ as the Word of God in the Scriptures and the Lamb of God in the Eucharist.)

May God preserve His estate in Lebanon, and may Jerusalem, Beruit, and all other cities know peace soon.


Mimi said...

Wow. What an amazing story and so interesting to hear "the story behind the story".

Prayers for peace continue.

Raoul The Destroyer said...

Well said. Let there be peace.

Ian said...


Bryan Pitts said...

Ah, great post. It is interesting how different the media coverage of this is outside the United States, as I can tell you from my recent stint in Brazil.

Arabist said...

Israel may have broken international laws but they are not the only ones who do so.

The Orthodox Serbs also broke all international laws when they occupied Yugoslavia in their bid for a "Greater Serbia" and committed Europe's worst genocide that is on par with the Nazi Holocaust. These Orthodox Serbs massacred innocent humans, such as Kosovo Albanians, Bosniaks, Croats and Slovenes.

The Orthodox Church has a history of Nazism, fascism and racism, which is not much different from Israeli Zionism. Compare and contrast Zionism, with the Orthodox racist nationalism (Nazism) advocated by Serbs. Its an open secret the Serb Orthodox Patriarchate directed Slobodan Milosevic to murder Albanians, which is similar to murder of Arabs in Palestine by Jews.

Most Orthodox Christians are full of hypocrisy as they support their Orthodox Serb brethren who waged an illegal war against Kosovo Liberation Army, which like the Palestinian Liberation Organisation was resisting the occupation/colonism/annexation of Albanian/Arab land by Eastern Orthodox criminal soldiers.

OTOH, I prefer Catholic Church and Protestant Churches because they have always never been hypocrite and in fact the Vatican has always defended Kosovo Liberation Army and late Pope John Paul II called KLA "an alliance of Christians and Muslims who resist the schismatic Serb Orthodox Church"

Catholics, Evangelicals and Muslims must work together to fight the Orthodox and bring down the Great Satan, Orthodox Russia, who is occupying Chechnya.

Russian occupation of Chechnya is like Israeli occupation of Palestine and Serb occupation of Yugoslavia.

These occupations are RELIGIOUS and many Eastern Orthodox support the Russian war crimes and genocide against Chechen women and children, who are mostly non-Orthodox, such as, Catholic and Muslim.

If you say, you hate Zionism (Jewish nationalism), then you surely must hate Serbism (Serb nationalism) as it is a cancerous tumor and racist tumor that occupied illegally the lands of Yugoslavia illegally.

Praise be to Jesus our Lord and God who dismantled Orthodox Serb Emperor Slobodan Milosevic's regime and gave victory to the Christian-led Kosovo Liberation Army.