Blessings are conditional. However we think of them, and wherever we think they originate, blessings are gifts – special graces – which we can accept and discard. That is in our gift. We have the right of refusal. Blessed with love, we cannot take our lovers and loved ones for granted. We cannot take without giving in return. The gift of love is not a certificate of ownership. Likewise, the blessing and gift of life is conditional. Its continuation and renewal always and everywhere depend on our generous acceptance of the gift and our loving care for the blessing.
England and the entire British political establishment are in for a hell of a shock when they realise just who these “nutters on the backbenches” are. The DUP is the often hilarious hard core of political loyalist, sectarian Ulster unionism in the conflict zone that is Northern Ireland – bearing in mind that the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, now in tatters, is only a ceasefire.
Theirs is the faith, when it is set out in plain words, of the zealot and the fanatic. By no means do I intend to suggest that they are zealots, fanatics, or indeed bad people. All that I will say is that their ideas – or some of their ideas – are fanatical and dangerous in the extreme, and in this assessment there is no exaggeration.
Of course there are passages in the Quran that read to the modern reader as primitive, barbaric, and violent. The same is true of all ancient texts – the Bible included, and few demand a revision of the Old Testament on the grounds of Israel’s primitive, barbaric, and violent behaviour in the occupied West Bank or in Gaza.
Many Jewish people and Zionists, in Israel and around the world, have found in this Christian movement an uncomfortable political expedience – “Israel’s most hate friend.” Jews and Zionists who reject it call it a new form Christian antisemitism, and it is.
Each year the thought leaders of this Christian Zionist movement issue updated religious rulings on who the ‘coming antichrist’ might be, and these constantly changing lists have an uncanny relationship with Israel’s enemies and US foreign policy.
Muslim extremists, so the popular international news media narrative goes, are the greatest threat to Christian communities throughout the Middle East. There can be no denying that it is true that Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq, as a consequence of Western military intervention, have attacked Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities in various … Continue reading Desecration of Churches in the Holy Land