May 1 - May 2, 2002
Thursday 2nd May, 2002
The New Killing Fields
Dr Norbert Vollertsen was given
unprecedented freedom to move around North Korea. He spoke to the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation of his experiences:
These are the real killing fields of the 21st century. All those refugees
are talking about mass execution... baby killing... about rape, about
torture, about biological experiments. They are using Christians and other
people in the opposition... in those so-called reform institutions... in
those concentration camps... they are using those human beings like guinea
You can read a more extended interview on
Anti-Western and anti-Israel comments by
Middle Eastern Christian leaders, reported by the
Middle East Media Research Institute, should be no surprise. These men
(it seems they’re always men) have a history of inflammatory comment,
sometimes racist, which leaves Christians such as myself in despair about
the nature of Christianity in the region and about the prospects for the
message of Jesus—of love, of reconciliation, of forgiveness—to prevail.
Here’s a précis of comments collated by MEMRI:
We – and I say this brutally, because he who remains silent is Satan – are
facing the filthy Christians of the West.…We hear that the American Congress
is demanding that Bush unleash Israel to slaughter the Palestinians. What
kind of Christian is this?!…This is Christianity of the jungle. Our New
Testament is not their New Testament, our Jesus is not their Jesus…our God
is not their God.
-Father Manuel Musalam, head of the Latin
Catholic Church in Gaza
The Western Christian, without love, tolerance, truth, and justice in his
heart, must cast away his New Testament….If I were the head of the church
where the American President Bush worships, and he came to pray, I would bar
him from entering, because he has renounced the church's moral standards.
-Father Manuel Musalam
Our Palestinian people [in the Church of the Nativity] in Bethlehem died
like a crucified martyr, on the rock guarded by the Israeli soldiers armed
from head to foot who have no compassion, love, life, or tolerance.…The Jew
has a principle from which we suffer and which he tries to impose on people:
the principle of the “gentiles”. To him, the gentile is a slave. They [the
Jews] give the [Palestinians] working in Israel only a piece of bread, and
tell them: “This piece of bread that you eat is taken from our children, and
we give it to you so you will live not as free men on your land, but as a
proletariat and slaves in Israel, to serve us…” The Protocols of the Elders
of Zion are based on this principle, and anyone who reads the Protocols
feels that we are in this period with the Jews.
-Father Manuel Musalam
I do not wonder at the deeds of the leaders of the Israeli people, as they
are the followers of Herod the tyrant who ordered all the two-year-old boys
of Bethlehem murdered so as to kill Jesus, but failed!! …They still live
with their dark and cruel hearts, rejecting all the prophecies of their
prophets. The sight of their bloodstained hands is not unfamiliar to the
-John Jirjis, Egyptian Coptic clergyman
Real Christianity means love and harmony, and it exists only in Palestine
and the Holy Land. In contrast, Western Christianity is false.
-Bishop Alex, head of the Roman Orthodox
Bishopric of Gaza
Israel knows how to mislead the leaders of
many countries, deceiving them [to believe] they have common interests with
it... It managed to drug the leaders of those Christian countries –
especially those who belong to no religion and do not know the road to
Heaven, or who take religion's name and image but are totally distanced from
its essence. They are manipulated by Israel, like marionettes, to destroy
their religion. [Israel] has also managed to brainwash some whom it
discovered to be highly susceptible because of their surly nature. Israel
planted among them the spirit of hatred and rage towards the Arabs and
Muslims…..Are you a Christian, Mr. Bush? I doubt it. Perhaps you are a
Crusader. God alone knows.
priest Marcus 'Aziz Khalil
Today, 2,000 years since the Judas affair, the same scenario repeats itself,
and the Christian rulers betray Jesus. These rulers have become the Judas of
our time. They have sold out the Messiah for their own private interests,
and so as not to anger the Zionist lobby in America.…Perhaps the Church of
the Nativity will be destroyed and turned into rubble. Bush, the head of the
Christian rulers, will be responsible for what happens to it. He is proving
to be the Judas of our time, for he has sold out the Messiah for the
American Jewish vote.
-Egyptian Shura Council [Upper House of
Parliament] member and Coptic Christian, Dr. Nabil Luka Babawi
Today the Jews shell the Church of the Nativity with artillery, and the
Copts in the Diaspora do not pressure members of the American Congress with
a demand to stop the attack on the Church of the Nativity and on Al-Aqsa
Mosque….Why are the American Copts and Muslims not demonstrating to condemn
the behaviour of the madman Sharon, who began to behave like a madman after
he was hit in 1948 in a sensitive place of his body by a bullet, leaving him
with one testicle only. This has affected him psychologically, and he has
become a crazy psychopath using power to hide his weak point.
-Dr. Nabil Luka Babawi
The Zionist movement controls European and American public opinion….For this
reason, we witness a weakness in the defence of the Christian holy sites on
the part of America and the European countries.…[Western Christians] deal
first of all with their interests, not their religion….In my view, they are
-Elias 'Awwad, head of the Palestinian
Roman Orthodox Church
Unfortunately, in the West today – Europe and America – all these [Christian
leaders] are not Jews, but are led by the Jews. This religion [Judaism] is
the enemy of God, the enemy of people, and the enemy of Christianity….There
must be an awakening among the rulers of these countries, so that they
return to punishing Zionism for its evil deeds towards all people. I hope it
will be soon.
-George Saliba, Bishop
of the Assyrian Orthodox Church of Mt. Lebanon and Tripoli
As is known, the Jews think that only they are human. Only they are the sons
of Adam. As far as they are concerned, all the [other] peoples have the
status of beasts.
From the human point of view, the existence of the State of Israel is an
historic sin. It is not sufficient to deem this sin the crime of the
generation; it is one of the unforgivable sins, and no means of purification
will help them.
-Coptic priest Marcus 'Aziz Khalil
These statements were all apparently made in
Arabic, and were presumably not intended for a Western audience. Not that it
matters. In any case, similar sentiments can be found in English-language
press releases and position papers from the
Middle East Council of Churches. These men are proud of their bigotry.
Devoutly Christian painter Pro Hart, one of
Australia’s most popular contemporary artists, has
at last discovered how to stop a flood of forgeries. In what is claimed
as a world first, he will mix in a swab of saliva with his paint as a
DNA-coded marker. Hart, who has said, “I don’t consider myself anything;
it’s only Jesus in me”, is noted for giving paintings and money to numerous
causes, including to one of his favourite politicians,
The chairman of the Government’s Immigration
Detention Advisory Group has
apologised to asylum seekers for the lies of our politicians during the
last election that “boat people” had tried to throw their kids into the sea,
in order to pressure Australian naval personnel into taking them on board.
No word yet on when the politicians themselves will apologise, though
given their past record no-one’s holding their breath.
Meanwhile Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi did not apologise for the war, during his just-concluded visit to
Australia. No-one asked him to and no-one expected him to. That didn’t stop
Age newspaper from moving into tabloid territory with a front-page
lead story this morning, “No apology, but Japan’s PM offers war tribute”.
Reverend Tim Costello has a
typically incisive commentary on our State Government’s disgraceful
“Labor will reduce the State Government's
reliance on revenue from gambling." This was Labor's election policy
statement in 1999. Gambling revenue as a proportion of state taxes was 16%
when [former Premier] Jeff Kennett left office. It is now nudging 20%,
elevating Victoria to the most gambling-dependent state in Australia and
arguably in the Western world….
So why did Labor make such a promise?
It was shocked when still in opposition by
Productivity Commission findings that Australia had 20.4% of the world's
high-intensity pokies and that 42 cents in every dollar that goes through a
poker machine comes from a problem gambler, someone who by definition has no
Christian Blog List – Still Climbing
I compiled my
list of Christian blogs in a hurry
yesterday morning. I called it a semi-definitive list as a joke, trying to
imply that because we can’t really define a Christian blog (a blog about
Christianity? written by a Christian? attacking Christianity?) we’ll never
really have a definitive list. But I thought I’d done pretty well in a short
time in identifying 58 blogs. I’ve since been flooded with emails, and the
list has now doubled to 116, and my assumption is that there are lots more.
Which raises a problem. A list of 116 Christian blogs really has little
meaning without some kind of comment about each, in order to guide
interested visitors. I’m working on it.
my article posted two days ago on the
phenomenon of Christian blogging I said they could probably be divided into
four very rough groups (or “clusters”, according to
USS Clueless), which I identified as Catholic bloggers, emerging church
bloggers, Evangelicals and others who comment on religion and society, and
personal diary bloggers. My emails have identified other clusters—a reform
church group and an orthodox church group. Are there others?
Wednesday 1st May, 2002
Quote of the Day
It’s still an amazing achievement to me that France is able to sustain a
wave of both anti-Arab and anti-Jewish sentiment at the same time. Who says
they’re not still a great power?
Church Attendance – Challenges Ahead
Australian church attendance has been
falling for decades, but there’d been a sense from many of us that at last
we’d hit bottom. The “Sunday Christians” aren’t there any more. No-one goes
to church unless they really want to. At least, that’s how it seemed. But
no. The Age
reports that only 23% of those aged 15-18 years and just 18% of
19-25-year-olds were very satisfied with church, according to last year’s
National Church Life Survey. Great challenges ahead.
Welcome to Alan Brandt, who’s doing some
Soulsearching at his new weblog. Among his dilemmas:
I work as if I'm working for the Lord. But I'm also working for a boss who's
a selfish penny-pincher who'll take my last drop of blood and sweat if I'm
willing to give it to him. So what should I do, according to the Apostle
Paul? Should I work and work and work, doing everything my boss tells me to
do, no matter how unjust?
Sunny Days in Heaven
When I was writing my article on Christian
blogging I sent an email to Mark Butterworth, who writes the
Sunny Days in Heaven blog. The email came back, undeliverable,
“permanent fatal errors—550 Access Denied”. I’m not sure what that means,
but when I sent Mark another email last night, in reply to his to me, it
also came back. Sorry Mark, I don’t seem to be able to make contact.
Proof That Glenn Reynolds Is Indeed Superman
Yesterday I posted on my site an article
about the growing phenomenon of
Christian blogging. I thought Glenn
InstaPundit might be interested, so I sent him an email about it, at
10:45pm (US time). Now, Glenn wouldn’t know me from a bar of soap. And I
presume he’s inundated with emails pointing him to stuff that might be of
interest. Yet he obviously read the email and then went to my site and read
the article. He then posted a comment about it on his site. At 10:57pm.
Christian Blogs - The Semi-Definitive List
Following my article posted yesterday on
Christian Blogging, there has been a little
confusion over my list of bloggers, at the end of the article. That list was
only of those bloggers who had answered my questions. I have now compiled a
more complete list of around 60
Christian blogs. (Though what is a
Christian blog? A blog that's written by Christians? That's about
Christianity? Or even that attacks Christianity? I'm not sure that I know.)
contact me if you feel you should be on (or off) the list.