The video above shows raw emotional pain. I could have chosen worse, but I wanted only to convey the distress our brothers are in without exalting the power of the enemy. As it is, it is hard enough to take.
The two year old “Arab Spring” was much-heralded in the western press. It began in Tunisia, which is ironically one of the less oppressive Arab nations, when a street merchant immolated himself to protest government corruption. Such is the human thirst for freedom. These people have access to the Internet now, and they see how westerners live. How you gonna keep them down on the farm?
For many years whenever I would hear that a nation didn’t have the cultural underpinnings for democracy, I thought that was absurd. Self determination is hard-wired in our psyche, I reasoned. But I was naïve of spiritual strongholds that repress truth and freedom. Since then I’ve learned the bitter truth.
As I studied the history and foundations of Islam, I became aware that the faith was spread by the sword and does not support precious rudiments that we take for granted, such as freedom of conscience and of worship, and even the most basic human rights.
Islam has the middle east in a vise, and its grip is tightening. When Mubarak was deposed in Egypt, we were told democratic elections would ensue, and human rights would be the top priority. The Muslim Brotherhood promised it would not field a candidate for the presidency. But it did, and won. He had promised he would appoint a Christian and a woman as vice presidents. That promise was forgotten, as a fellow traveler Islamist was instead chosen. And quickly, president Morsi has deposed the secular generals and replaced them with Islamists. The Islamic takeover of Egypt is nearly complete (parliament is disbanded, all that remains it to pack the judiciary). It was done in a few short weeks, without a shot being fired. The goal is to impose Islamic law on the nation, in preparation for the dominating worldwide caliphate rule the Muslims hope for.
In all this, the Copts have been severely distressed, being outnumbered 9 to 1 by Muslims. With all Mubarak’s faults, at least under him the Copts had some minimal protection. Now they have virtually none. Every day they are driven out of their homes, they are killed, their daughters are abducted. The police could hardly care less. There is no one to turn to. Egypt is on its way to becoming another Pakistan.
Who will help? Obama? He’s the one who let the Iranian patriots twist in the wind when we had a golden chance to get rid of the worst regime on the face of the earth at minimal cost. He’s the one who occupies himself with celebrating Islamic feasts in the White House, and apologizing for America to the Muslims on their soil before he was even inaugurated, and who couldn’t bother to fill the post of advocate for religious rights for two years. Look at what this Christianity-professing man does, not what he says.
The Copts seem to be on their own. Most of those who can are leaving Egypt. The rest are stuck.
All I can say is that we need to hold these people in our hearts before the Lord. For as the Bible says, we too are “in the body”, as susceptible to abuse as are they. I look at the current scene and I marvel at how much has changed since my early days. I never would have thought American society would become so morally dumbed-down, hardened and coarse; that the media and all our institutions would become so cravenly biased against truth and human rights, the very foundations of our freedoms. But it is indeed upon us.
If we don’t turn this thing around very soon, it will be too late. As the beneficiaries of free will, God let’s us have our way when we insist. But we do not get to separate consequences from choices. We have fallen to this low estate because as a nation we have spit in God’s face. It has been a progression for many decades, but it has been accelerating more and more, until now we are almost out of control. We are falling apart on the inside, and cannot stand before our enemies on the outside. The Bible word for that is judgment. It may be reversible, but the window for doing so is open only for a short time.
I’ve been watching the news from Egypt with a mixture of hope and apprehension, but mostly apprehension. Mubarak finally has stepped down, and he has handed the government over to the army. It is a sad commentary, indeed, that the military is the only institution strong enough to hold the nation together.
What might have been had the US used its influence not merely to keep a brutal dictator in its corner, but to advocate for democracy? We will never know. In letting this thugs brutalize the people, Mubarak poured gasoline on the smoldering fumes of Islamic fundamentalism, and that in turn set the Muslims to terrorizing the Copt Christians.
In short, the nation was falling apart and was doomed to the rule of a strongman. The only question was whether that strongman would be from the military or from the Islamic radicals. We don’t have our long-range answer yet.
It’s a huge opportunity lost. Thirty years of aid, at about $2B a year, and all we bought was delay. But the money spent is not the worst of it. Our lost respect is more expensive. The last two weeks, in particular, has shown the White House stumbling all over itself, not knowing a thing about what was going on, getting its news from the TV, sending its chief intelligence specialist to make an open show of his utter incompetence before Congress.
The key ingredient that could have brought about a different outcome is leadership. Moral leadership. Jimmy Carter professed to be a big advocate of global human rights when he was president. Maybe he was, but he did not back it up with the one thing dictators respect – strength.
The man who did champion human rights, and who also backed it up with strength, was Ronald Reagan, whose centennial we celebrated this week. It’s in vogue to laud Reagan now, but in his time he was derided by the same liberal elites that now praise him.
Reagan made mistakes, such as allowing Hezbollah to survive its bombing of our Marine peacekeepers in Lebanon. But he got the big picture right – something we haven’t done terribly well since. It’s a shame that we suffer with such poor leadership, but then, we essentially get the leadership we deserve.
John Adams said that the Constitution was designed for a religious and moral people; that none else could sustain it. Because our moral foundations are disintegrating, we have lost discernment and opened ourselves up to any sweet-talking shyster with big promises. If we want better government, each of us needs to commit to personal moral and spiritual revival. Jesus promised that if we would clean the inside of the cup, the outside would be clean as well.
I pray that the Middle East can overcome the political strongholds, many of them rooted in religion, that have bound it so long. I also hope that we can overcome the progressing humanist strongholds that keep us from being the witness we are meant to be. The world is crying out for moral leadership. First in Iran, and now in Egypt, the nation and the man that so many had placed their hope in has merely voted “present”.