Anniversary Post: Concerned Christians Deported

Al-Aqsa MosqueOn this day in 1999, 60 to 80 members of the Concerned Christians were arrested and deported from Israel. They were apparently part of a conspiracy to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque which is in Israel controlled Jerusalem. You all know me: I have my problems with Israeli policy. And I understand why they act as they do: keeping Israel a Jewish state is a real problem and a lot of people (me included) think that maybe it isn’t worth it. But in general, I think that Israel is part of the civilized world. It’s a paranoid country, but it has no interest in destroying Islam. So of course they would protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque and foil a conspiracy to destroy it.

Now let’s talk about the Concerned Christians. The group was formed in the late 1980s in Colorado. They were fighting mad about my good New Age friends who take a sloppy approach to religion. And they were concerned about anti-Christian sentiment, because you know how oppressed Christians are here in America that is 75% Christian. But as Christian freaks will tend to do, they quickly turned into an apocalyptic movement. And they knew that one thing standing in the way Jesus coming back and giving them all the toys and candy they wanted was that Jerusalem wasn’t totally under Jewish control. I mean: mosque! Am I right?! So the Concerned Christians were a big part of “Operation Walk on Water.”

Let me take a moment to discuss Christian terrorism for a moment. It is likely that a lot of the early Roman oppression of Christians was because of this kind of stuff. They were involved in terrorist acts that they thought would bring Jesus back. Anyone who thinks that politics and religion are separate are foolish. For the true believers, they are one and the same. We are all very lucky that most religious people don’t take their religions very seriously.

But good for the Israelis for catching these fools. Unfortunately, they are still around. And according to Wikipedia, we don’t even know where they are. They could be in Greece or Philadelphia. But I’ll bet none of them are on the terrorist watch list, even though they’ve all been part of a terror plot. But they’re Christians, so I guess they can’t be terrorists. They must be peace loving. When someone slaps them in the face, they turn their face so the other side can be slapped.

Concerned Christians!

9 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: Concerned Christians Deported

  1. “We are all very lucky that most religious people don’t take their religions very seriously.”

    This is a dangerous line that you shouldn’t be supporting. “Taking seriously” does not mean violence, nor does it mean oppressing people with different beliefs. By saying that, you’re privileging the extremists and discrediting the tolerant religious people who should be your allies. Christians who “take seriously” the message of love and forgiveness in the Bible aren’t squishy apostates, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. By saying so, you’re taking the side of the fundamentalists who insist anyone who doesn’t spend their time persecuting gays, fighting against “Muslims influence,” and protesting at abortion clinics is a phony. But who’s to say those Christians take their religion seriously? A lot of the people who talk most about these “culture war” issues are using religion as a cover for bigotry they already possessed, and their convoluted justifications involve ignoring much of the history and texts of their own faith. I’d say Christians who are more tolerant take their religion very seriously, and are offended by the way extremists have hijacked their faith to turn it into a voting bloc.

    • I liked that article. My oldest friend is deeply religious, believes in saints and miracles. I don’t believe in those things. Yet my friend doesn’t hold it against anyone who fails to share his beliefs. His take is like that of the Muslim women when I visited a mosque some years back, and the lady who went with me wore a shawl out of respect. “You don’t have to wear that,” the women told her. “If God wants you to convert to our ways, He’ll let you know.”

      I’ll agree that Christians who are tolerant take their religion very seriously. The intolerant ones don’t. It’s a joke of an identification, like the numbnuts who insist their football teams retain racist nicknames. Almost anyone with a Jesus fish on their back bumper is a clown, and could theologically be bested by the kids in my kindergarten Sunday school.

      But that kind of religion isn’t really about faith or dogma at all. It’s a very insecure faith. It’s dependent on weekly reminders that “we’re winning, but they’re out to get us” the same way teenagers check the pop charts to know their favorite bands are still cool.

      Happily, most religious people aren’t like that. They either take their faith quite seriously or they don’t think about it much; going to church is like ordering pizza or scratching one’s nose.

    • Quite right. I should have said “literally.” Even when I wrote it I knew I was putting it incorrectly because I am one of the biggest boosters of people taking their religion seriously. But it is those who take their religion literally who don’t understand the ontological and moral underpinnings of their religion who turn it into nothing but politics by another name.

      I’d write more but I’ve got to get an article out our roving gang of American terrorists in Oregon.

        • I’m far to anxious to do anything else. If I screw up, I want to admit it as quickly and publicly as possible. I’m not sure it is a good trait, but it is how I live with myself.

  2. The odd thing is how report after report by our intelligence services keeps coming out, showing that Muslim terrorists are almost always political first, religious second (if at all.) And yet Islam=terrorism. While most Christian terrorists take their marching orders straight from creepy preachers. And nobody seems spooked by this.

    • As Jurgan pointed out, I had it exactly backwards. What really happens is that, for example, people really want to hate gay people, so they grab onto that part of the Bible and say, “God said it; I believe it; that settles it.” It isn’t even about literalism, because these people are only literal about specific things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked with someone who says that the Bible is clear that homosexuality is wrong, then when I bring up Jesus cursing the fig tree, they start talking about the temple and all this metaphorical stuff. It’s literally the word of God when it allows them to hate people they want to hate. Otherwise, it means whatever.

  3. And they were concerned about anti-Christian sentiment, because you know how oppressed Christians are here in America that is 75% Christian.

    The problem is that none of the early Christians planned for being successful so no one said “yes, after you run everything, you can calm down, no one is going to fight you anymore.” Of course how were they supposed to know that 1,900 years later a bunch of ignorant people would base their world view on a series of poorly translated Bibles being preached by ignorant men?

    • I doubt 5 out of a hundred Christians know anything about their history. It’s about privilege. We see it with white men who think that if they aren’t given privileges, they are being oppressed.

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