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Friday, August 8, 2014

Christians Please Read

Ilya Repin. St Nicholas Saves Three Innocents 
While Polish Jews fought their lonely battle against Nazis in the blazing Warsaw Ghetto … a large New York synagogue invited its members to a banquet featuring a well-known comedian … The death camps of Treblinka, Belzec, Maidanek and Auschwitz were operating at top capacity, while in the United States of America, Jewish social and intellectual life was flourishing, Jewish leaders met, threw up their arms in gestures of helplessness, shed a pious tear or two and went on with their lives: speeches, travels, quarrels, banquets, toasts, honors … 

If our brothers had shown more compassion, more initiative, more daring … if a million Jews had demonstrated in front of the White house … if Jewish notables had started a hunger strike … WHO KNOWS THE ENEMY MIGHT HAVE DESISTED.

Elie Wiesel said these words about the Holocaust. While he was a young prisoner in Auschwitz, Jews in the US were living comfortable lives.

Right now, I am living a comfortable life, and my fellow Christians are targeted for death and discrimination in Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Syria, and, especially, Iraq. I feel ashamed.

When are we going to do something?

When we meet our fellow Christians from the Muslim world, what can we say to them? I felt sorry for you? I prayed for you? But I was too busy, too comfortable, to do anything?

Where is the leadership?

I am Catholic and my church has an all-male leadership. What is that leadership doing? The same thing it was doing during the sex abuse crisis? Nothing that makes any positive difference?

I am Polish-American. We know what it is to be persecuted, and for our priests to be tortured to death: Maximilian Kolbe, Jerzy Popieluszko. What are we Polonians doing?

What are my Protestant friends doing? My Protestant friends often speak to me, as a Catholic, as if they have a monopoly on Christian righteousness – "I am praying that you come to know Jesus," one wrote in a recent Facebook message. How about demonstrating how well you know Jesus by helping your Christian brothers and sisters who are under attack?

Let's march. We enjoy freedom of speech. Let us use it. Let's march around mosques and embassies in the West. "Stop Murdering Christians": succinct and to the point. Why are we not marching with those signs in every state in the union?

Let's lobby our elected officials. Let's lobby our somnolent church leaders to lobby our elected officials.

Let's fast. Let's bring home to our own bodies some discomfort.

Let's declare a day of prayer where we unite: Catholics, Protestants, and anyone else who calls him or herself "Christian."

Let's fast from petroleum. One day where none of us buys gas. That could waken us up and send a message alerting the world that we are conscious and active. Let's support alternative sources of energy. On the day we don't buy gas, let's remind ourselves what we all know to be true: the funding for jihad comes, ultimately, from us, from our addiction to petroleum.

Let's welcome persecuted Christians.

Let's tell the truth about jihad. Let's tell the truth about the Crusades. Let's visit college campuses and high school classrooms, and march outside them.

Someday, in this world or in the next, we will come face to face with our Christian brothers and sisters from the persecuted church.

What will we say to them about what we did while we were watching their crucifixions on our big screen color TVs?

Please wake up and earn the title "leader."

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