But how is it that he, like so many others, fails to notice that world events in the last few yearseven decadeshave had as their main catalyst tens of thousands of evangelical Christians with a "messianic" mentality who believe that apocalyptic destruction of all but their beloved Israel will be "a precursor to global salvation"?
What a false-hearted statement. No Christian believes that he can accelerate history, no Christian believes that all people will be apocalyptically destroyed except Israel and no Christian believes that Israel will be unscathed by the apocalypse.
"Nuclear-armed Iran"? How about the Israeli jet planes that are bombing, as I write, my country and its population, my sisters, my brothers, my fathers and mothers and grandfathers, my children and nieces and nephews?
How about the Katyusha rockets that are bombing, as your write, other people's relatives?
Why are Hezbollah allowed to use the most powerful weapons at their disposal against Israelis and Israelis are somehow not allowed to retaliate using a portion of their capabilities?
According to the Lebanese health minister,
You mean Shi'ite Muhammad Jawad Khalifa? Might he be biased?
Israel is even using phosphoric bombs, which are forbidden under international conventions!
Are my people to consider Iran more dangerous than this? Are we safely in good hands with such actions?
President Ahmadinejad has said that nuking Israel would be a solution to the problem. Would you consider nuclear fallout a threat to Lebanon, Marty?
Come with me to Beirut and see how inoffensive Israel is. Ask the thousands of Western nationals that are presently being evacuated by the shipload. Ask the hundreds of U.S. and other Western missionaries that are running for their lives from Lebanon as you read this, through the most dangerous routes.
Would any of these people be refugees if Hezbollah had not invaded israel and started its rocket-launching campaign?
Ask them whether weapons of any kind are in safe hands in any bloodthirsty human hands. And if they were not bloodthirsty, why would they have them? Why would anyone have them?
Marty, have you heard of the American Second Amendment? Is self-defense an attitude that only the "bloodthirsty" have?
In the past, tit for tat has been the only way for any Arab country or armed group to get anything from Israel.
What do they want from Israel that necessitates violence? Trade reciprocity? A broader visa policy? Tax rebates for their citizens?
Or do they want to take land and blood from Israel?
So once more last Wednesday, Lebanon's Hezbollah ventured into kidnapping two Israeli soldiers in order to force the hand of Israel into a prisoner exchange.
And which other countries tolerate this kind of behavior?
Talk about an understatement to describe a one-weekand still goingmachine of annihilation that has destroyed in days what had taken 15 years of reconstruction.
How long did it take to build the communities that Hezbollah is ravaging with rockets?
Civilians "killed accidentally"?! Explain that to the young mother squatting right now at my parents' home in Lebanon, having just heard her husband was torn into pieces by an Israeli bomb as he was carrying out civil relief in villages of South Lebanon!
It's an easy explanation: he went into a warzone at great personal risk to himself and he died.
But of course these civilians were at fault, since they had been warned by Israeli flyers to evacuate their villages the previous night. But to go where? To my father's living room?! They are welcome, but it's getting really full.
What a Christian sentiment, marty. Good thing there are no hurricanes in Lebanon with Christians like these.
And then this wish: that "our own government will undertake policies to help foster a reduction of tensions in the region." Oh what wishful thinking! When did it ever?! When did the U.S. ever use anything other than its veto power at the United Nations, precisely in order to prevent policies and resolutions that might potentially have been helpful to my people?
Ah, America-bashing for America-bashing's sake. What policies and resolutions concerning Lebanese Christians has the US vetoed, exactly?
Please, Christians! Let's grow up and get over our childish wishes. If, like me, you had lived through the 17 years of Lebanese civil strife from 1975 to 1991 and were presently facing the real and gruesome prospect of another extended conflict, you'd be far from hoping and believing in any benevolent and sincere peace efforts of any external broker, supposedly neutral.
It's really simple, Marty. If you and your fellow Christians in Lebanon collectively refuse to permit terrorists to operate in your midst, on your own soil, the US will help you to help yourself. As long as you turn a blind eye to terrorists and shelter them, you will have to deal with the consequences.
I'll tell you, if you care, what I think those governments will help foster. I think that some pseudo-biblically motivated Christians with decision power, who believe "that apocalyptic destruction is a precursor to global salvation," are presently working toward provoking a Middle Eastern conflict of regional significance in order finally to settle accounts with Hezbollah- and Hamas-supporting Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and Palestine, who have committed the crime, as Gushee put it, of making their hatred for Israel "crystal clear."
Must be nice to be martin Accad, he gets to lie about and slander other Christians and still is welcomed to write in Christianity Today.
And how dare they, since the said state has only been acting as an aggressor and racist colonial state with neighbor-exterminating tendencies from the moment of its inception?
Let's unpack this vicious and hysterical sentence. Israel is an "aggressor" - I guess a clever team of Israeli saboteurs forced Nasser at gunpoint to invade Israel. "Racist colonial state" - "Racist"? - Israel welcomes people of all races and religions while various Arab nations ban Jews and deprive Christians of civil liberties. "Colonial"? - Of which power is Israel a colony? The UK? China? "Neighbor-exterminating tendencies"? Which neighbor has Israel exterminated, exactly?
(Of course, I will be accused of being an anti-Semite because of such words.
Classic anti-Semite line. "I'm just telling the truth - you only think it sounds anti-Semitic."
But I will just shrug and sneer at that accusation and say: "What makes you a Semite anyway?"
Then the Arab anti-Semite bait-and-switch - "I am ethnically Semitic so I can't really be anti-Semitic" when everyone knows that anti-Semitism means Jew-hatred.
Having just read the holocaust account of Elie Wiesel's Night with tears and deep empathy, having Jewish relatives on my Swiss mother's side who fled Germany to Switzerland during the period of the rise of Nazism, being an Arab Christian with Lebanese paternal ancestry, I have more Semitic DNA in me than most who will be reading this.
And the final non-sequitur - because I claim to be at least partially Jewish I can say whatever nasty things about Jews I want.
My ethnic heritage may be a mess, but I can still recognize ethical wrong when I see it!)
Ah yes, marty, your high ethical standards are evident for all to see. You are on record as saying that it is OK to kidnap people.
As an academic with a Ph.D. from Oxford University and specialist in Christian-Muslim and East-West relations, constantly seeking creative models of conflict resolution and better understanding, all of what I have just written is written in a manner far from what I would normally write or say with a cool head, far from what my Swiss-blood-flowing veins would normally permit me to utter.
Ah, so much vanity and nonsense packed into such little space!
But then, perhaps academics sometimes owe their readers more genuine feelings, skin-level emotions gushing out of a deeply hurting, frustrated, desperate, and hopeless soul that has had enough of human arrogance and injustice.
We already see that the real you is very, very ugly, marty. We get it.
Having come to the U.S. at the wrong time to teach a course for two weeks, I find myself at the wrong place at the wrong time, stranded after my country's airport was sent up in flames by Israeli jets. There are two Israeli soldiers imprisoned by Hezbollah hands, 10,000 Arabs in Israeli jails, and one poor soul imprisoned in the U.S. by human madness and bloodthirsty governments.
Oh, you're "imprisoned" in America? Oh, you poor little baby! Millions of refugees try to escape "Prison America" every day! America has zero immigrants.
I am angry at self-centered Hezbollah, which has done the inadmissible of taking a unilateral war decision without consulting the Lebanese government of which it is part, never giving a second thought to the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of Lebanese who will perish as a result of its selfish decision.
LOL! Israel is evil, bloodthirsty, exterminationist, kills innocent women and children. But hezbollah is selfish. Israel is pure evil, but Hezbollah is the jerk who takes two free samples from the tray in the supermarket aisle.
I am angry that citizens of a nation like Israel, who have so suffered at the hands of others, would allow themselves such an out-of-proportion reaction, oh-so-far from the "eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a-tooth" principle that we might have forgiven them.
Behold, a Christian who believes he gets to pick and choose whom and under which circumstances he will extend forgiveness.
By both sides, I would be lynched for what I have just said, if they had the chance.
Uh-huh. That's right, Marty. All those anti-war leftists in israel are regularly lynched in the streets. OK.
What a slimy, repulsive little assclown. I hope he gets a flight out of the US soon.
Absolutely BRILLIANT analysis, sir! I couldn't have said it better myself!