Does the Middle East Need More Christians?
If the people were saying, "We're blowing you up for Jesus," we actually know pretty well where to point to in the Bible to show them that's wrong.
January 26, 2010 - 12:00 am
Now, I know some Americans are against Christianity, but some Americans are also against guns, and we still use those against the enemy, so that’s not really the issue. The issue is whether this will make us safer. And I think if we could convert many in the Middle East to Christianity, we would have a lot fewer problems with the region. First off, I don’t know of any Middle East Christians who have tried to blow us up. So if we can convert people over there, we could be removing enemies from the battlefield without violence.
Plus, it would help America and that region to better understand each other. If I may speak an uncomfortable truth, the fact that everyone is so Muslim in the Middle East kind of unnerves most Americans. We don’t really know what’s up with that. We’re told “Islam means peace” and we want to believe that, but most Americans don’t really know if that’s true, even though many Muslims live by that tenet.
But there are also a lot of Muslims who think blowing people up is the best way to express their religious devotion, and not many of us have really read the Koran and the supporting hadiths to come down on one side or the other in that debate. There are still debates in Christianity I’m trying to figure out. Who has time to learn an entirely different religion? But if the people in the Middle East were saying, “We’re blowing you up for Jesus,” we actually know pretty well where to point to in the Bible to show them that’s wrong. If they’re instead like, “We’re shooting you because you’re meddlesome,” that still doesn’t change much, but one thing at a time.
So I think it’s pretty inarguable that if there were at least more Christians in the Middle East, things would be easier for us here in America. The problem, then, remains whether merely mentioning Jesus is going to cause nothing but bloodshed over there. Saudi Arabia even has laws that basically make it illegal to even mention other religions. I don’t know if anyone has ever pressed this, though; are they really going to cut off oil exports to us and throw their whole country into chaos out of fear of the Bible? What a bunch of weird sissies.
This is where we get to the old liberals versus conservatives divide. Liberals, in their enlightened view, think some people are lesser than us, and we must patronize them and treat them as children always on the verge of a tantrum. Thus we should never meddle with the Middle East and bring up things they don’t like, or they’ll become colicky babies. Conservatives, on the other hand, have the racist view that all people should be treated equally, and if we can deal with Muslims over here spreading their religion, then we should expect the same with the Middle East and the spread of Christianity. Fair is fair.
I guess the question is: Do we expect the Middle East to always be like this? Are they always going to be the babies of the world we have to work extra hard not to upset, or can we one day treat them as equals? If we expect that they’ll someday be more open and less prone to tantrums, then shouldn’t we work towards that now by finding a way to start slowly introducing more ideas over there, not just democracy but religious freedom as well? And if not now, then when? Whenever we get that change, it’s going to help us. We do want to make it clear our conflicts in the Middle East are not about Islam, which would be pretty easy if the people we were invading over there were Christians.
Note: The company has now agreed to remove the verses from the gunsights.