Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm Bit Naive Myself

No, that's not me pictured. But I did participate in a "march" today . . . maybe my first.

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.

13 comments:

Jaimie said...

It's probably just ignorance. They probably thought you were supporting Egypt over America, or something. Black and white thinking. Yeesh.

Dana said...

Fear.

Dana

trevor said...

Seriously? People say things like that in your country?

I'm glad I don't live there.

Keep standing with 'the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.'

Eagle said...

MJ...don't apply to Jerry Falwell's or Pat Robertson's school. You will have a difficult time there. Sadly living in VA one has to deal with the effects of that system. For many evangelicals fear rules and guides their faith. In that process its married to government, politics and nationalism and that's where the real danger lies.

I have to tell you this story. I love trains, I'm a train nut. Last month I left DC and drove about an hour away to Brunswikc, MD and spent the day watching CSX trains. I loved it!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEHOn-W9k8I

Anyhow on the way home I made a wrong turn and was in Purceville, VA. I pulled into a parking lot to turn around. What parking lot do I turn into? No other that Patrick Henry college!!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Henry_College

It's an evangelcila school for home schooled students that's goal is to influence government and place "fundgelcials" in govenrment to wage the culture war and influence agaisnt secular values. I backed out and got back on the road but I was disgusted that such a school exsits with such a narrow focus.

But to get back to your question. Fear drives a lot of people, especially evangelical Christians.

jmj said...

Eagle, did you do the video? I do believe that trains (having had a big model train in my basement as a kid) is an art form.

We home-schooled some of our kids. Went to a conference of Christian home-schoolers. Scary. Just a millimeter and an AK47 with a RPG away from being Taliban. It was mass paranoia.

Hey, I do have some pretty cool friends (old college roommates) ho own the major, independent bookstore in Lynchburg, VA ( http://www.inklingswhitehart.com/about/about_white_hart.asp ) Jerry Falwell only came in once. I think he bought a gift item.

Anonymous said...

Both you guys are rails/model rails?

Headless Unicorn Guy

Anonymous said...

This just in, from Slacktivist:

The batshit-crazy Christian commentary is beginning. A John Mac Arthur, "pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA, and influential author of more than 150 books" has just denounced the Egyptians and Libyans for being "all in violation of a biblical command – to submit to the powers that be because they’re ordained of God." (Romans 13).

"Biblically speaking, I would have wished the American government, which has a history of Christianity, would have risen up and said “this is wrong, this is forbidden for people to do this, this is intolerable."

In the Seventies, I experienced Christians for Nuclear War. WTF is this -- Christians for Kaddafi?

Headless Unicorn Guy

Anonymous said...

P.S. Or is it that overthrowing these Arab strongmen and their hellholes would interfere with the End Time Prophecy Checklist?

jmj said...

I've lost all confidence in John Mac Arthur. No one seems to get it. How would the Evangelicals be acting if Obama treated them the exact same way these dictators have treated their people? They would be taking up arms in a "Godly" rebellion.

Who gives Christians in America the right to enjoy all our great freedoms, and then condemn people of brown skin who just want a taste of the same?????????

Anonymous said...

On the phone with my writing partner last night, I mentioned Mac Arthur's statement. He's got the same high opinion of Mac Arthur as you. Also claims that Mac Arthur is Hyper-Calvinist, i.e. Predestination Uber Alles/God Hath Willed It. I can't help thinking of your recent post re Fatalism.

But I still think the Libyan Revolution is messing up all the End Time Prophecy checklists. And those "people of brown skin" are just Orcs for the Antichrist's Horde, nothing more. "It's Prophesied, It's Prophesied..."

I really want this South Park episode we're living in to end...

Headless Unicorn Guy

Eagle said...

HUG...

Yes I love trains. Here's some of what I model and collect.

I'm into the Northern Pacific Railroad

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Pacific

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyWQGL99eHs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSx9Cbcmfnc&feature=related

And I'm also into the Milwaukee Road...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milwaukee_Road

http://www.mrha.com/index.cfm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BShIzYEIhE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNSCrW9fO_Y

Milwaukee Road 261 Steam Engine 4-8-4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWlCH8sT4eU&feature=related

But I'm pretty crazy about trains!!! 8-O

Eagle said...

John MacArthur's comments are a disgrace. When I was in the evangelical system I knew people who read, believed, and quoted him. So you can't escape it....

However according to MacArthur we never shuold have had revolted against the British and burned an ioen Our 13 colonies were living in sin!!! 8-O

Anonymous said...

P.S. Mac Arthur's mouth just surfaced over at Internet Monk.