You see, on our little island, there is a famous ritual. Every Sunday, in the main square, there are four corners where demonstrators take up positions. There is one large corner that is "pro American." The other three corners are made up of three smaller groups with some aspect of anti-war, peace, human rights.
Back when my Egyptian friends were marching, peacefully, on Tahrir Square I felt a kindred spirit. It wasn't a political feeling. It was empathy. Me feeling what they feel. People created in God's image, who wanted the same freedoms that I enjoy. I would have felt the same way during WWII when the Jews were being persecuted. It doesn't matter to me what color their skin is or what language they speak nor even what god they worship. A "fundamental" Christian belief of mine is that we are all created in God's image and in the more perfect universe, we all deserve the freedom, dignity and love that God intended for us.
I ordered my Egyptian flag when the protest was at its zenith in Cairo. It came last Monday. So after church today, I decided to go down and stand with my Egyptian flag and a sign, in English and Arabic, supporting democracy, or at least human rights. I didn't think I would be doing anything offensive to anyone.
I did pick a "peace corner" to stand in because I thought I would fit in better. The "Pro-American" corner had about 10 American flags, guys in quasi-combat uniforms. Then, that loudest corner, had music playing with the volume turn to the max and a guy giving commentary over a loud speaker. The music they play is all God Bless America stuff. That one country and western song, "I'm proud to be an American . . ." was played over and over. The Pro-American corner often plays Gospel Hymns as well. I know a lot of church people who honk and give that corner a thumbs up. I've seen some fellow Christians standing on that corner with their flags, and sometimes crosses.
I'm really non-political. I hate rhetoric regardless if it is from the right or left. I can't stand Fox News or MS NBC. But the thing I wasn't prepared for was the insults that I heard directed just at me. The guy on the loud speaker said (so the whole town could hear) for me to get that "shitty flag out of here and hold up an American flag!" Then they called me an "asshole."
I am naive. I don't understand where the hostility is coming from. There are some on the "peace corner" who do hold up provocative signs. Things like "George Bush Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes!" Now I could understand the Pro-American/Gospel corner yelling profanities at them or at the signs that said "Sarah Palin is an idiot!" But why does a sign that says, "Support Arab and Iranian Democracy!" make them mad as hell? I honestly thought that was the "American Way" (which Superman talked about). That is the spreading of democracy around the world, and all the better if it can be done peacefully.
Anyway, I'm still scratching my head. I certainly don't want to make this blog a political statement it was more of a human nature confusion of mine. I think Obama is a decent man, but I don't agree with everything he does . . . and I held the same views of George Bush. I always see it a dangerous thing when you mix nationalism (of any country) with your Christianity.