Monday, August 22, 2005

Good one Katherine!

Ha! Made you look.

Actually, the communis rixatrix delivers another serving of codswallop on Monday, August 22nd in the Strib. In a column titled In Iraq, Grace takes amazing hold, Katherine Kersten tells us of the foothold that Christianity has gained in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, thanks in large part to the efforts of Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. And as usual, Katie displays stunning ignorance of what the military calls the facts on the ground. As Frazier once said to Cliff, What color is the sky in your world, Katie? Well, he didn't say Katie, but you know what Spot means.

Katie tells us about an Iraqi Christian pastor who suffered under Saddam Hussein and who was so glad that the regime fell. She then tells us about all the help that the fellow has received from the evangelical Grace Church.

Katie, Spot hates to break the news to you, but there have been Christians in Iraq for a helluva lot longer than there have been Christians in, say, Eden Prairie. Yeah, it's true. Spotty is too cranky today to give you much of a history lesson, but he suggests that you take a look at this BBC piece on the BBC website. If you like to listen while you read, although Spot warns you of the dangers of multitasking, he also recommends this NPR interview.

Katie is happiest when she watches somebody grinding somebody else's face in the Good News.

Iraq is the home to many Christian sects, including Assyrian, Syrian Catholics, Armenian Orthodox and Armenian Catholics, and the Chaldeans. The latter group includes many people who still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. And here you always though He spoke King James' English! Shame on you, Katie!

Katie, did you know that former Deputy Prime Minister (when the Baathists where in charge) Tariq Aziz is a Chaldean Christian? The Baathists, as secularists, were actually reasonably good at preventing violence by Islamists against Christians. It is during the time of the punitive sanctions against Iraq after Gulf War I that the Iraqi people became more anti-Western, anti-Christian, and anti-Crusader. Whooda thunk?

If Spotty was a betting dog, which he is not, he would bet that the preacher mentioned in Katie's declamation is an Assyrian Christian. Assyrians Christians originated in the northern part of Iraq and share ethnicity with the Kurds. The Kurds, of course, have wanted the hell out of Iraq for some time, so Grace Church's protege's abuse may have had more to do with political affiliation than religious persuasion.

There is also evidence that things have gotten worse for Christians in Iraq since the fall of the Baathists. (Insert the standard disclaimer here: Saddam Hussein was a bad, bad man. Nobody wants him back. But as usual, things are a lot more nuanced than Katie will admit.) Spotty says read the linked BBC article.

Katie also mentions how Grace Church and Samaritan's Purse teamed up to do Good Works in Iraq. Samaritan's Purse is run by Billy Graham's kid, Franklin. Good ol' Franklin is one of the American preachers who lined up after 9/11 to call Islam an evil religion. Franklin Graham is one of the people who has helped make America's Crusader image much worse.

File this one under Evangelism, counterproductive.


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