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Author Topic: Syria: Christians take up arms for first time  (Read 2690 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 14, 2012, 01:14:32 PM »

Syria: Christians take up arms for first time
Ruth Sherlock, Carol Malouf in Beirut
12/9/2012

Christian communities in Aleppo have taken up arms and formed their own militias for the first time, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.

The Christian community has tried to avoid taking sides in the civil war. In Aleppo, it recruited vigilantes from the Boy Scout movement to protect churches, but as the war moved into the city and spread across its suburbs they have begun to accept weapons from the Syrian army and joined forces with Armenian groups to repel opposition guerrillas.


http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2012/09/syria-christians-take-up-arms-for-first-time/
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 01:50:46 PM »

May God grant them many victories!
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 01:58:21 PM »

Yes, God be with them, protect them and grant them victory in repelling their attackers.
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 02:07:13 PM »

God protect the Orthodox Christians, God protect the Christians, may the demonic evils be exorcised from the minds of the infidels & bring them to repentance & to spare the innocents from this horrible war. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 06:02:07 PM »

God protect the Orthodox Christians, God protect the Christians, may the demonic evils be exorcised from the minds of the infidels & bring them to repentance & to spare the innocents from this horrible war. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.

Amen. Kyrie eleison
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 07:11:52 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


(irony)

From my direct experience, whenever human beings of any persuasion start to arm themselves is when I and other folks start to get scared, and like Jules said in Pulp Fiction, "When mofoz get get scared, that is when mofos get shot." 


Lord have His mercy

I will then pray all the more about this devolving situation Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie

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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 07:27:13 PM »


O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over the barbarians, and by power of Thy Cross preserve Thy habitation!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs1mxdku-AM
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 11:48:14 PM »

Amazing that Habte is the only one here who says he's bothered by the fact that the Christians are beginning to resort to violence. I understand that it's beng done in self-defence, but it's still an escalation in violence, which is not a good thing.

What is truly appalling is the gung-ho attitude some posters seem to have toward the whole affair. This isn't a football game.
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 12:01:15 AM »

I don't think that's the case at all. Granted, I can only speak for myself, but I meant that I hope that God preserves them in repelling violence that came to them. I have way too many Lebanese friends to believe that Christians arming themselves is in and of itself a good thing, but neither will I believe that self-defense is in any way a bad thing.

Now, if the Christians in Syria (or anywhere) start roving the streets and shooting at people of opposing militias or individuals who are clearly identifiable as Muslim but not of the FSA or another Islamist militia, that's deplorable...but merely forming a militia for protective purposes is not. Remember: It is the not Christians who are trying to reshape Syria along religious lines (just like it wasn't the Christians who were doing the same in Iraq when they finally formed militias to protect their villages there, many years after the Sunnis and Shiites formed their offensive militias, sometimes targeting Christians).

Yes, I am with the Christians and I wish that God grant them victory over their enemies. I think everyone should be. I will not apologize for that.
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 12:15:21 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Its not the premise, its the method that may be making folks like myself uncomfortable.  Further, its not to say that the situation is unwarranted, but if so all the more than it should not get us caught up in a machismo high-five moment, rather a humble and fretful prayer that our brothers and sisters are pushed to such circumstance.  Its not that Christians shouldn't defend themselves, its that we should be gravely concerned that its finally gotten this bad. Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2012, 12:22:23 AM »

Nothing good is going to come of this. The fact that this minority has to arm themselves for self-defense against everyone is not an occasion for rejoicing but an indicator of how grim the situation has become. God help them.
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2012, 12:27:36 AM »

"Rejoicing"? I didn't think there was anything to rejoice over involving the situation in Syria, and if there is, this isn't it. Sad
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2012, 02:15:50 AM »


O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over the barbarians, and by power of Thy Cross preserve Thy habitation!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs1mxdku-AM

Amen!
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2012, 03:00:40 AM »

In peace let us pray to the Lord.


"Lord have mercy."



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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2012, 04:08:36 AM »

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2012, 04:44:08 AM »

Well, it's about time they protect their families from the gang of rebels.  Maybe now they will be left alone.
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2012, 10:40:21 AM »

Gotta agree with Habte with this one, for slightly different reasons. 

Of course, they ought to arm to protect themselves - lest they become impotent, especially since they're caught between warring sides and their sponsors (the Gulf countries for the opposition, Iran for Assad).   But one other recent case where this happened, the Lebanese civil war, led to vicious intra- and inter-sect fighting, and in the end I find it hard to argue that Christianity as a Gospel (as opposed to a sect) did anything but lose from the process. And even from a sectarian perspective, the Christians, perhaps inevitably given demographics, lost.   

The story of the South Lebanese Army is instructive - the former were pushed into the arms of the Israelis by Palestinian guerrillas, organized and began to fight a really dirty war, as such wars are in the Middle East.  The SLA disintegrated in the face of Hizbullah - in what I assume was an equally dirty war on both sides -  and all its members were deemed collaborators.   

"Politics" in the Middle East often is a dog-eat-dog fight where you put yourself on top, your sect below you, marginalize other sects, kill those who resist you, and play outside powers for your advantage.   Assuming that this report of Christian militias joining the government side is true, this not only makes them stooges of the government, but also invites at least partial massacres once the rebels take power (which I think IMO is inevitable - Assad and the Alawis are doomed - i.e. doomed to be ethnically cleansed - if not now then in the next decade or two). 
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2012, 02:07:39 PM »

I know I am only praying that the Christians be protected; they have armed themselves & may God protect them from harm . I pray that those who wish to harm them desist & repent for their own souls. I pray that all innocents be spared from harm. May God find our prayers to be worthy according to the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ to love God, our neighbor, & ourself & to treat others as we would want to be treated according to the standard of God.
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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2012, 08:09:27 AM »

Nothing good is going to come of this. The fact that this minority has to arm themselves for self-defense against everyone is not an occasion for rejoicing but an indicator of how grim the situation has become. God help them.

They aren't fighting everyone.  It's pretty much the FSA - the same ones who were killing and raping them months ago but the media won't say anything about.  The Christians have finally decided to defend themselves.  Both they and the Armenians have started receiving arms from the Syrian Army and the Church committees lead some of the first attacks to push the FSA out of the Christian quarter in Aleppo - which had been one of the stronger FSA positions for a while, probably in large because the Christians weren't doing anything.  Now they are and were joined by regular troops from the Syrian Army.

The demoniac genociders have repeatedly said "Alawites to the grave, Christians to Beirut".  Failure to fight alongside their Armenian Christian brothers would be evil as it would implicitly support whatever evil befell them.  Failure to fight alongside the government troops who have superior firepower and access to arms would just be stupid.

The best thing that could happen now would be for the Russians to get involved to help their Christian brothers through peacekeepers.  The US has proven in Egypt, Libya, and Iraq that it cares nothing for Christians in the Middle East.  Perhaps the Russians will actually attempt to keep the peace - and there will be no peace until the rebel-terrorists are dead or interned. 
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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2012, 09:31:40 PM »

I encourage anyone frowning on the actions of these Syrian Christians to move to Syria themselves and proclaim their Christianity.

God grant them victory over their adversaries.
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2012, 10:46:58 PM »

I encourage anyone frowning on the actions of these Syrian Christians to move to Syria themselves and proclaim their Christianity.

God grant them victory over their adversaries.

No one's frowning on their actions, and it stikes me as strange that you would read that into what people are saying. Perhaps the people who are cheering them on like this is a football game would like to go to Syria and join the war themselves.
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« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2012, 10:47:42 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Perhaps the people who are cheering them on like this is a football game would like to go to Syria and join the war themselves.

Amen  Undecided

I encourage anyone frowning on the actions of these Syrian Christians to move to Syria themselves and proclaim their Christianity.

God grant them victory over their adversaries.

Oh how cute, a  "Christianer than thou" peeing contest Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2012, 12:55:26 AM »

It strikes me as strange that one would assume I am speaking specifically about people in this thread. My apologies if it was interpreted as such.
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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2012, 01:03:02 AM »

It strikes me as strange that one would assume I am speaking specifically about people in this thread. My apologies if it was interpreted as such.

Don't worry about it.  People don't like getting called out, even if it was unintentional.
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« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2012, 01:18:14 AM »

Bullets may win earthy battles, but prayers will win the eternal war.



Selam
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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2012, 02:00:13 AM »

Yeah, but as we pray in the litanies of the twelfth hour of the Agpeya, "inside the grave, dust does not praise; and in death, no one remembers; neither in Hades does anyone give thanks." Let's not forget that these people are fighting to live, while their enemies are fighting to kill. Granted, I do believe that anyone who is just and God-fearing will not be disappointed upon their martyrdom, but neither are we to throw our lives away carelessly if self-defense would save them.
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« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2012, 09:21:37 AM »

Bullets may win earthy battles, but prayers will win the eternal war.



Selam

Thank God we can do both.
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« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2012, 09:26:47 AM »

Bullets may win earthy battles, but prayers will win the eternal war.



Selam

Thank God we can do both.

Are you sure? I find it difficult to take aim at my fellow man when my face is prostrated before holy icons. And are not all human beings icons of Christ?


Selam
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« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2012, 09:44:57 AM »

Bullets may win earthy battles, but prayers will win the eternal war.



Selam

Thank God we can do both.

Are you sure? I find it difficult to take aim at my fellow man when my face is prostrated before holy icons. And are not all human beings icons of Christ?


Selam

Not when they have your death in their eyes.
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« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2012, 10:31:30 AM »

Bullets may win earthy battles, but prayers will win the eternal war.



Selam

Thank God we can do both.

Are you sure? I find it difficult to take aim at my fellow man when my face is prostrated before holy icons. And are not all human beings icons of Christ?


Selam

I find it easier to aim sometimes while kneeling. 

When I am hungry I work to buy food.  I think God that I had the job to buy food with.  When I am attacked I draw my pistol and thank God that I had the job to buy the pistol to protect myself with.  If it ever comes to more than just drawing it I will thank Him if the bullet flies true.  If it does not...well, I'll see Him soon enough.
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« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2012, 12:09:48 PM »

Amazing that Habte is the only one here who says he's bothered by the fact that the Christians are beginning to resort to violence. I understand that it's beng done in self-defence, but it's still an escalation in violence, which is not a good thing.

Disarmed and defenseless are distinctions without a difference.

It is unfortunately that they must take up arms in self-defense, but their only other option is to lay down and hope to die as painlessly as possible.
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« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2012, 12:11:59 PM »

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.
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« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2012, 12:22:41 PM »

Christians have every right to defend their homes and churches.  Yet, when it comes to being perceived as supports of al-Assad? 2 Cor. 6:14.
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« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2012, 12:41:46 PM »

Christians have every right to defend their homes and churches.  Yet, when it comes to being perceived as supports of al-Assad? 2 Cor. 6:14.

I don't know a whole lot about al-Assad. I do know that the situation of Christians has not improved yet by an Arab Spring overthrow of a dictator. Maybe they have a good reason to support al-Assad.
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« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2012, 02:09:08 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

If it ever comes to more than just drawing it I will thank Him if the bullet flies true.  If it does not...well, I'll see Him soon enough.

Grow up please, life is not a romantic movie.  You and me both know that if "the bullet flies true" as a Christian you would fall to your knees in prayer over the guilt of having seriously hurt or killed another human being, regardless of their intentions. Go the VA, ask somebody, those folks are not happy about having to have killed or hurt people, even in the life and death struggle of war.  They are deeply effected, even if only subtly revealed.  The same is true of all this machismo bravado expressed about Syria.  Lord have His Mercy, why are folks seeming to be so excited and joyful at the opportunity to finally start potentially using weapons and violence? We don't want a war, we want to create Christian peace through the Holy Spirit.  We don't want to fight a physical battle, the battle is spiritual, even with the pistol clutched in hand.  Maybe my bias is I've grown up experiencing in a very real way gun violence and even war-zone mentality, so I know it is nothing fun or romantic, its just a bunch of painful and needless BS, a stench which I would never wish upon my worst enemies let alone my Christian brothers and sisters in Syria.  Again, the problem is that its gotten so bad for Christians that they need to arm themselves, not necessarily that they have arms Sad


VS



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habte selassie
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« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2012, 03:17:02 PM »

Christians have every right to defend their homes and churches.  Yet, when it comes to being perceived as supports of al-Assad? 2 Cor. 6:14.

I don't know a whole lot about al-Assad. I do know that the situation of Christians has not improved yet by an Arab Spring overthrow of a dictator. Maybe they have a good reason to support al-Assad.

It seems that in general under these regimes there was more security for minority Christian populations as long as they gave at least nominal support to the dictators.  The power vacuum and destabilization caused by regime change has opened the door to periods of of sustained violence against Christians.  The world is no longer behind al-Assad and anyone supporting him today isn't likely to bode well.  It seems that the Christians there are "between a rock and a hard place".  God have mercy.
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« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2012, 03:22:11 PM »

Christians have every right to defend their homes and churches.  Yet, when it comes to being perceived as supports of al-Assad? 2 Cor. 6:14.

I don't know a whole lot about al-Assad. I do know that the situation of Christians has not improved yet by an Arab Spring overthrow of a dictator. Maybe they have a good reason to support al-Assad.

It seems that in general under these regimes there was more security for minority Christian populations as long as they gave at least nominal support to the dictators.  The power vacuum and destabilization caused by regime change has opened the door to periods of of sustained violence against Christians.  The world is no longer behind al-Assad and anyone supporting him today isn't likely to bode well.  It seems that the Christians there are "between a rock and a hard place". 

Well, it's true that when the MB or whoever takes power they won't be kind to anyone who was perceived as supporting the regime. OTOH, the FSA is already raping and murdering Christians, so I doubt at this point it'll do much good to try to make friends with them.

IOWs:

God have mercy.

Amen.
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« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2012, 04:17:57 PM »

Assad has protected the religious minorities (Alawites, Christians, Shiites) from harm. If Assad falls, Islamist politicians will take over the country which is never a good thing. Ive heard that Assad's wife,  Asma, is partially descended from both Melkite Catholic and Sunni Muslim religious heritage (but Im not sure if thats correct). May God protect the Church of Antioch and all the Christians of Syria! Theotokos of Saidnaya, Save us!

This video is a little old but its worth watching:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SieYTLsWaEM
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« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2012, 04:46:48 PM »

Bullets may win earthy battles, but prayers will win the eternal war.



Selam

Thank God we can do both.

Are you sure? I find it difficult to take aim at my fellow man when my face is prostrated before holy icons. And are not all human beings icons of Christ?


Selam
Icons aren't trying to put a 7.62 through your grape.
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« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2012, 04:51:48 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

If it ever comes to more than just drawing it I will thank Him if the bullet flies true.  If it does not...well, I'll see Him soon enough.

Grow up please, life is not a romantic movie.  You and me both know that if "the bullet flies true" as a Christian you would fall to your knees in prayer over the guilt of having seriously hurt or killed another human being, regardless of their intentions. Go the VA, ask somebody, those folks are not happy about having to have killed or hurt people, even in the life and death struggle of war.  They are deeply effected, even if only subtly revealed.  The same is true of all this machismo bravado expressed about Syria.  Lord have His Mercy, why are folks seeming to be so excited and joyful at the opportunity to finally start potentially using weapons and violence? We don't want a war, we want to create Christian peace through the Holy Spirit.  We don't want to fight a physical battle, the battle is spiritual, even with the pistol clutched in hand.  Maybe my bias is I've grown up experiencing in a very real way gun violence and even war-zone mentality, so I know it is nothing fun or romantic, its just a bunch of painful and needless BS, a stench which I would never wish upon my worst enemies let alone my Christian brothers and sisters in Syria.  Again, the problem is that its gotten so bad for Christians that they need to arm themselves, not necessarily that they have arms Sad


VS



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habte selassie
No one ever said killing another person was a happy event or that we looked forward to the chance.  You assume too much of the wrong thing.  All we ever said is it if comes down to me or them or my family and them, it's them.  Don't start a fight and expect the other person not to fight back.  Where
I come from those folks are called bullies. 
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« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2012, 05:02:05 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


No one ever said killing another person was a happy event or that we looked forward to the chance.  You assume too much of the wrong thing.  All we ever said is it if comes down to me or them or my family and them, it's them.  Don't start a fight and expect the other person not to fight back.  Where
I come from those folks are called bullies.  

 I am sorry if I misunderstood all the saber-rattling on this thread, but that is all the more why folks are best not to speak so casually about such serious matters, it leaves open a lot of room for ambiguity.  It seemed to me and several others here that there was way to much high-fiving going around that is what we are most concerned about.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2012, 05:04:52 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


No one ever said killing another person was a happy event or that we looked forward to the chance.  You assume too much of the wrong thing.  All we ever said is it if comes down to me or them or my family and them, it's them.  Don't start a fight and expect the other person not to fight back.  Where
I come from those folks are called bullies.  

 I am sorry if I misunderstood all the saber-rattling on this thread, but that is all the more why folks are best not to speak so casually about such serious matters, it leaves open a lot of room for ambiguity.  It seemed to me and several others here that there was way to much high-fiving going around that is what we are most concerned about.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
No worries.  It's easy to misunderstand on the Internet. 
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« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2012, 10:05:02 PM »

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.


Selam
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« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2012, 10:34:46 PM »

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.


Selam

I think the Syrian Christians are fighting against revolution.
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« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2012, 10:44:19 PM »

Let's continue to pray for peace.


"Lord have mercy."



Selam
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« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2012, 11:04:28 PM »

The Chrisitans have two choices: fight, or become refugees. Since there's probably not much difference between the two, they have apparently chosen to shoot and get shot at. I don't see how anyone can tell them they shouldn't be doing that. I don't know what I'd do if I lived there. But it's really, really sickening that their fate has come down to this drastic situation.
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« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2012, 08:54:46 AM »

Lord have mercy on Syrian Christians!
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« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2012, 04:28:33 PM »

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.
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« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2012, 04:36:36 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2012, 04:59:14 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Now we have some stuff we can work together on.  You say you don't want an "open ended policy on this arming".  I agree and I'll bet the Syrian army does as well.  We want there to be a definite end in this and that is victory for Assad and the Syrian army which is the only outcome that could possibly result in freedom and life for the Christians of Syria.

As for what we can do to come to this conclusion, I don't think we need to do anything.  If we are lucky the US will keep its nose out of Syria's business and the government will be able to prosecute this war to the fullest of its abilities.  The sooner this uprising is put down the sooner Christians, Armenians, and Alawites will be able to live in peace, free from fear.
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« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2012, 05:32:35 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



As for what we can do to come to this conclusion, I don't think we need to do anything.  If we are lucky the US will keep its nose out of Syria's business and the government will be able to prosecute this war to the fullest of its abilities.  The sooner this uprising is put down the sooner Christians, Armenians, and Alawites will be able to live in peace, free from fear.

When the majority of the country have lost support in the credibility and authority of the Syrian government, unfortunately in this civil war the Assad regime will never be able to regain control.  They will step down as they should have a year or more ago.  Had the Assad regime stepped down BEFORE the violence had escalated, perhaps we could have brokered a mutual compromise where something similar to the vestiges of the Assad government could stay in place while giving out concessions towards more Islamic inclined factions.  Now, alas, all is lost, and folks are no longer fighting for anything more than the sake of fighting to vent their rage and disbelief in the system.  The Syrian government had its chance, hard power will not coerce folks into supporting them, rather, one way or another that regime will have to go.  The question is now, can we as a Christian minority negotiate the kinds of concessions we had gained from our decades in involvement with the incumbency?  Syria as a whole is not as bigoted as the extremist who have hijacked the narrative, and when the fighting diminishes more rational voices will regain dominance, and the status quo will hopefully work its way back into the mainstream.  In the mean time, we have to (a) focus on solidarity and community support while (b) trying our best not burn too many bridges with other members and groups in Syrian society.  When all the dust kicked up clears and settles, Syrians will have to rejoin each other as a community, even if just by sheer proximity to one another geographically speaking. We then as Christians need to be smarter about how we chose our alliances and network our relationships.  Perhaps this is a situation where having a seat at both bargaining tables may be the most beneficial for our needs.  Simply continuing to support the Assad regime at this point may become self-defeating and counter-productive to our long term goals. Instead, we should simply support OURSELVES, and not pretend that the Assad regime or any other group sincerely cares about our interests and security, and from this solidarity amongst ourselves we can play the field so to speak in our negotiating a better settlement in the future.  If we gamble solely on Assad, then we lose when he loses, if we invest in the entirety of Syria, then perhaps we have a bit more leeway to push our necessities into the dialogue.  I fear that Christians will increasingly become seen as the enemy if we keep siding with losing warlords and dictators our of temporary and convenient alliances.  If Assad really doesn't care for us, but is pandering and posturing for political gain and sympathy, then perhaps we should reevaluate our relationship with him and think, "Its been good in the past, but is it really worth it in the future to continue this support even to our detriment?"  In other words, we should become neutral, using our weapons and organizing strictly for self-defense, and not to go on the offense for the government or the revolution one way or the other  Undecided

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #51 on: September 19, 2012, 05:49:39 PM »

Quote
Syria as a whole is not as bigoted as the extremist who have hijacked the narrative, and when the fighting diminishes more rational voices will regain dominance

Just like what happened in Iraq, right? Oh, wait...

Habte, I'm sorry my friend, but the course of the "Arab Spring" in all the Muslim-majority countries so far has shown that what you have written here is really not realistic. I have Tunisian friends who are as pragmatic, peaceful, and friendly as they come (or else they wouldn't be my friends, I'm sure), but they tell me that now, they can't imagine going back. Ever. I've heard the same thing from Iraqi friends of mine (both Christian and non). With all the blood shed taking over these places, the Islamists will not give up their new powers for anything, and certainly not in negotiations with Christians and other minorities who they naturally think they are beneath them. But don't take my word or my friends' words for it. Listen to what the Salafi sheikhs themselves have to say about it instead. That is what the Christians are fighting against, because that is what they have to look forward to when Asaad falls. It's not pretty.
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« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2012, 05:54:52 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Quote
Syria as a whole is not as bigoted as the extremist who have hijacked the narrative, and when the fighting diminishes more rational voices will regain dominance

Just like what happened in Iraq, right? Oh, wait...

Habte, I'm sorry my friend, but the course of the "Arab Spring" in all the Muslim-majority countries so far has shown that what you have written here is really not realistic. I have Tunisian friends who are as pragmatic, peaceful, and friendly as they come (or else they wouldn't be my friends, I'm sure), but they tell me that now, they can't imagine going back. Ever. I've heard the same thing from Iraqi friends of mine (both Christian and non). With all the blood shed taking over these places, the Islamists will not give up their new powers for anything, and certainly not in negotiations with Christians and other minorities who they naturally think they are beneath them. But don't take my word or my friends' words for it. Listen to what the Salafi sheikhs themselves have to say about it instead. That is what the Christians are fighting against, because that is what they have to look forward to when Asaad falls. It's not pretty.

How much as brute force and military action quelled the violence in Iraq exactly? If anything, I fear you've only proven my point all the more about relying upon authoritarian Caudillos for our security. Security by force is only temporary, and what is worse, it only further provokes antagonism rather then stopping it. Did Saddam Hussein really benefit Iraqi Catholics by divide-and-conquer pinning the against other sectarian groups in Iraqi society? No, rather he made the arbitrary distinctions evolve into concrete divisions in civil society. As we've seen from this Arab Spring, folks have been waiting for decades to vent their frustrations with the authoritarian regimes that have controlled their countries.  While it is ugly, we have to understand that we have to explore new models and strategies for success, the policies of the past several years clearly didn't work, otherwise we wouldn't be having an extended Arab Spring in the first place.  All these uprisings and violence is a symbol of the collective discontent which has finally boiled over, and much like boiling water, trying to condense it by force will only increase the pressure, not decrease it Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #53 on: September 19, 2012, 05:59:24 PM »

What guarantee/expectation is there for a political system that will allow Christians freedom to be? What should Christians be willing and ready to hand over in a "bargain" to attain this freedom?  Should Christians be sacrificing anything in such political bargains?

This verse came to mind as I contemplated the situation of Christians throughout the Middle East.  It is insanely improper for me as a slothful middle-class American to suggest anyone embrace suffering.  But I thought I'd post the verse to feed the discussion anyway.

1 Peter 4:12-19

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.[a] On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now

“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
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« Reply #54 on: September 19, 2012, 06:24:37 PM »

How much as brute force and military action quelled the violence in Iraq exactly?


I think you're reading something into my post that isn't actually there. I'm not advocating brute force, I'm saying that the Christians seem to have decided, knowing the forces that are against them, that they must fight to stay in Syria, rather than join the already considerable diaspora of Syrian Christians. I don't think that is something I can judge, but I think that given the reality on the ground as it is, it is naive to say that cooler heads will prevail. They didn't prevail in Iraq, they didn't prevail in Egypt, etc. Anywhere where the Islamists move in, they generally do not prevail. May God make Syria the exception, through the prayers of the saints and the martyrs.
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« Reply #55 on: September 19, 2012, 06:32:18 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.
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« Reply #56 on: September 19, 2012, 07:17:53 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

That is simply not true, but thanks for the entirely fear based analysis  Embarrassed

How much as brute force and military action quelled the violence in Iraq exactly?


I think you're reading something into my post that isn't actually there. I'm not advocating brute force, I'm saying that the Christians seem to have decided, knowing the forces that are against them, that they must fight to stay in Syria, rather than join the already considerable diaspora of Syrian Christians. I don't think that is something I can judge, but I think that given the reality on the ground as it is, it is naive to say that cooler heads will prevail. They didn't prevail in Iraq, they didn't prevail in Egypt, etc. Anywhere where the Islamists move in, they generally do not prevail. May God make Syria the exception, through the prayers of the saints and the martyrs.

The brute force I was referring to was not necessarily the newly armed Christian militias, but rather the policies of Christians be it in Syria, Egypt, or Iraq to in the past rely upon the brute force and violence of Caudillo strong men like Mubarek, Hussein, and Assad to assure security.  As I have said, all the eruptions of violence have demonstrated effectively that this strategy did not stop violence, it was only temporarily preventing it until it could boil over so hotly beyond containment through force.  Christians have a choice to make in the future, to fall back on the strategies we've been depending on for the past 30 odd years of relying upon authoritarian governments to use military force to protect our interests as a community (which have seemingly only served in the long run to actually further alienate us from the local and regional community and appear as in cahoots with dictatorships) or to try for a new strategy which relies less on force and more on community outreach and negotiating.  After all, the day to day relations between Christians and Muslims in Syria was not maintained solely by a police-state, but social concessions on the street-level between citizens and neighbors.  Muslims, even if begrudgingly, accepted us as neighbors, which is demonstrated by the acts of solidarity between Muslim and Christians which we have seen in Egypt.  Most Muslims are not inherently in favor of violence against Christians, but if we support folks who are inherently violent against political dissent, then we only stir up further provocations and hostilities down the road.  I do not pretend to have the current solution in hand, instead I am merely trying to reiterate the obvious, that the violence we've seen in the past 10 years against Christians in the Middle East reflects the absolute failures of our previous and current strategies, and so we very obviously need to try something new in a different direction  Undecided

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 07:21:53 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2012, 09:21:55 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

That is simply not true, but thanks for the entirely fear based analysis  Embarrassed
  
It certainly is true, unless you take into account they may fight and win, but I don't think that is where you were headed.  Are you ignoring they have already been killed while NOT fighting back?  Thanks for the entirely naive based analysis.
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« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2012, 09:49:40 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It certainly is true, unless you take into account they may fight and win, but I don't think that is where you were headed.  Are you ignoring they have already been killed while NOT fighting back?  Thanks for the entirely naive based analysis.

Quote
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace
Luke 14:31-31

No, I just understand the logistics that if you are severely outnumbered and outgunned perhaps getting into shoot outs is not the most efficacious situation Sad

If we arm ourselves to defend ourselves that is one thing, if we start fighting in the forward operational sense, that would be suicide, and would risk even MORE Christian lives then it could ever possibly save. I am not being facetious or casual here, rather life and death serious. As I've express on the gun threads here, people who carry weapons make me very nervous because often they are not as concerned with the after effects on those people who are not armed.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2012, 10:40:13 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It certainly is true, unless you take into account they may fight and win, but I don't think that is where you were headed.  Are you ignoring they have already been killed while NOT fighting back?  Thanks for the entirely naive based analysis.

Quote
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace
Luke 14:31-31

No, I just understand the logistics that if you are severely outnumbered and outgunned perhaps getting into shoot outs is not the most efficacious situation Sad

If we arm ourselves to defend ourselves that is one thing, if we start fighting in the forward operational sense, that would be suicide, and would risk even MORE Christian lives then it could ever possibly save. I am not being facetious or casual here, rather life and death serious. As I've express on the gun threads here, people who carry weapons make me very nervous because often they are not as concerned with the after effects on those people who are not armed.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
It sounds as if you do not understand survival.  Most people in the world aren't wired to roll over and let someone kill them.  Because a few are doesn't make the rest of them wrong.  God has used his people to fight a number of times.  Who is to say this isn't one of those times?  There is a such thing as a last resort.
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« Reply #60 on: September 20, 2012, 07:36:51 AM »

 Christians have a choice to make in the future, to fall back on the strategies we've been depending on for the pastyea 30 odd years rs of relying upon authoritarian governments to use military force to protect our interests as a community (which have seemingly only served in the long run to actually further alienate us from the local and regional community and appear as in cahoots with dictatorships) or to try for a new strategy which relies less on force and more on community outreach and negotiating

Quote above is from post #56


30 years? They have had little choice but to try to survive for over 1300 years under varying poltical systems within a culture of an implicitly hostile religion (fortunately most everyday people never lived up to its ultimate conclusions).
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« Reply #61 on: September 20, 2012, 07:44:14 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It certainly is true, unless you take into account they may fight and win, but I don't think that is where you were headed.  Are you ignoring they have already been killed while NOT fighting back?  Thanks for the entirely naive based analysis.

Quote
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace
Luke 14:31-31

No, I just understand the logistics that if you are severely outnumbered and outgunned perhaps getting into shoot outs is not the most efficacious situation Sad

If we arm ourselves to defend ourselves that is one thing, if we start fighting in the forward operational sense, that would be suicide, and would risk even MORE Christian lives then it could ever possibly save. I am not being facetious or casual here, rather life and death serious. As I've express on the gun threads here, people who carry weapons make me very nervous because often they are not as concerned with the after effects on those people who are not armed.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
It sounds as if you do not understand survival.  Most people in the world aren't wired to roll over and let someone kill them.  Because a few are doesn't make the rest of them wrong.  God has used his people to fight a number of times.  Who is to say this isn't one of those times?  There is a such thing as a last resort.

Isn't it wonderful that so many Christians have not fallen prey to the naivete of Our Lord, Who rolled over and let His enemies kill Him.


Selam
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« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2012, 07:48:19 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam
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« Reply #63 on: September 20, 2012, 07:49:22 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Quote
Syria as a whole is not as bigoted as the extremist who have hijacked the narrative, and when the fighting diminishes more rational voices will regain dominance

Just like what happened in Iraq, right? Oh, wait...

Habte, I'm sorry my friend, but the course of the "Arab Spring" in all the Muslim-majority countries so far has shown that what you have written here is really not realistic. I have Tunisian friends who are as pragmatic, peaceful, and friendly as they come (or else they wouldn't be my friends, I'm sure), but they tell me that now, they can't imagine going back. Ever. I've heard the same thing from Iraqi friends of mine (both Christian and non). With all the blood shed taking over these places, the Islamists will not give up their new powers for anything, and certainly not in negotiations with Christians and other minorities who they naturally think they are beneath them. But don't take my word or my friends' words for it. Listen to what the Salafi sheikhs themselves have to say about it instead. That is what the Christians are fighting against, because that is what they have to look forward to when Asaad falls. It's not pretty.

How much as brute force and military action quelled the violence in Iraq exactly? If anything, I fear you've only proven my point all the more about relying upon authoritarian Caudillos for our security. Security by force is only temporary, and what is worse, it only further provokes antagonism rather then stopping it. Did Saddam Hussein really benefit Iraqi Catholics by divide-and-conquer pinning the against other sectarian groups in Iraqi society? No, rather he made the arbitrary distinctions evolve into concrete divisions in civil society. As we've seen from this Arab Spring, folks have been waiting for decades to vent their frustrations with the authoritarian regimes that have controlled their countries.  While it is ugly, we have to understand that we have to explore new models and strategies for success, the policies of the past several years clearly didn't work, otherwise we wouldn't be having an extended Arab Spring in the first place.  All these uprisings and violence is a symbol of the collective discontent which has finally boiled over, and much like boiling water, trying to condense it by force will only increase the pressure, not decrease it Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Saddam and his fellow strong men across the region were hardly stupid men. They fully understood the tribal nature underlying the cultures and history of their 'nations' - mostly paper creations made by the west following Versailles and the end of the first war- and they exploited that history, with all of the blood feuds and jealousies inherent therein, in order to maintain power. Now that being said, one could argue that a century's worth of western miscalculation about the nature of those societies, the ability of 'democracy' as we understand it in the Greaco-Roman-Anglo context and capitalism to quickly transform those societies resulted in the stagnation in the development of a more modern sense of 'civitas' in the post world war two era. (Just to poke those of you who would think that this is unique to the mideast, I remind you of the false nations drawn onto the map of Europe following Versailles as well - one imploded with deadly consequences (Yugoslavia) while another (Czechoslovkia) failed as a state as well being at the vortex of the second world war and finally peacefully dissolving upon the lessening of the hand of political occupation by the Soviets.)

I think that the idealistic neo-Wilsonians who were the backbone of the so-called neo-conservatives could not get past the belief as first articulated in the west by Wilson that the grafting of our values onto that part of the world , coupled with selective military interventions, would somehow transform it more quickly and with less pain and suffering than the west itself endured as it transformed itself from a feudal, tribal set of competing cultures through the industrial revolution into our modern world. Frankly, if oil hadn't been so essential to the 20th century, I wonder if the west would have cared at all about Islam and that region.

Anyway, as the Bible tells us there is a time for war and a time for peace, and in the end it is the peacemakers who are blessed. Let us pray for all of the innocents caught in the maelstrom.
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« Reply #64 on: September 20, 2012, 08:09:32 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It certainly is true, unless you take into account they may fight and win, but I don't think that is where you were headed.  Are you ignoring they have already been killed while NOT fighting back?  Thanks for the entirely naive based analysis.

Quote
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace
Luke 14:31-31

No, I just understand the logistics that if you are severely outnumbered and outgunned perhaps getting into shoot outs is not the most efficacious situation Sad

If we arm ourselves to defend ourselves that is one thing, if we start fighting in the forward operational sense, that would be suicide, and would risk even MORE Christian lives then it could ever possibly save. I am not being facetious or casual here, rather life and death serious. As I've express on the gun threads here, people who carry weapons make me very nervous because often they are not as concerned with the after effects on those people who are not armed.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
It sounds as if you do not understand survival.  Most people in the world aren't wired to roll over and let someone kill them.  Because a few are doesn't make the rest of them wrong.  God has used his people to fight a number of times.  Who is to say this isn't one of those times?  There is a such thing as a last resort.

Isn't it wonderful that so many Christians have not fallen prey to the naivete of Our Lord, Who rolled over and let His enemies kill Him.


Selam
Which was the entire purpose of His being here.  Different situation entirely. 
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« Reply #65 on: September 20, 2012, 08:11:21 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam

And that is ok.  I respect that choice completely.  Let's also respect the choice others have made to defend their families.
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« Reply #66 on: September 20, 2012, 09:32:37 AM »


Quote

St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam

I too heard his story also and also agree
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« Reply #67 on: September 20, 2012, 11:54:45 AM »

...we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.

When you engage a target that is attempting to kill or rape another person, if you stop shooting when the stop their attack, that's self defense. If you keep shooting, that's "eye for an eye."

BTW, if they point their weapon at you, they have not stopped their attack.
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« Reply #68 on: September 20, 2012, 12:05:41 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It certainly is true, unless you take into account they may fight and win, but I don't think that is where you were headed.  Are you ignoring they have already been killed while NOT fighting back?  Thanks for the entirely naive based analysis.

Quote
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace
Luke 14:31-31

No, I just understand the logistics that if you are severely outnumbered and outgunned perhaps getting into shoot outs is not the most efficacious situation Sad

If we arm ourselves to defend ourselves that is one thing, if we start fighting in the forward operational sense, that would be suicide, and would risk even MORE Christian lives then it could ever possibly save. I am not being facetious or casual here, rather life and death serious. As I've express on the gun threads here, people who carry weapons make me very nervous because often they are not as concerned with the after effects on those people who are not armed.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
It sounds as if you do not understand survival.  Most people in the world aren't wired to roll over and let someone kill them.  Because a few are doesn't make the rest of them wrong.  God has used his people to fight a number of times.  Who is to say this isn't one of those times?  There is a such thing as a last resort.

Isn't it wonderful that so many Christians have not fallen prey to the naivete of Our Lord, Who rolled over and let His enemies kill Him.


Selam

Is this attitude typical of non-Chalcedonians?
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« Reply #69 on: September 20, 2012, 12:16:40 PM »

There really is no use trying to convince people, and in the end, it doesn't matter.  The people who must actually do the fighting and accept the consequences - they have already made their decision.  They that fight for their people, I ask that God be with them and keep them safe.  Those that are not Christian but all the same defend God's people, may He show his benevolence on them as well.

Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered.  As smoke vanishes so let them vanish.  As wax melts before the flame so let the wicked perish.
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« Reply #70 on: September 20, 2012, 12:34:58 PM »

Is this attitude typical of non-Chalcedonians?

 Huh
this discussion has nothing to do with that...
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« Reply #71 on: September 20, 2012, 01:03:56 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam

Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...
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« Reply #72 on: September 20, 2012, 01:19:52 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Quote
but as the war moved into the city and spread across its suburbs they have begun to accept weapons from the Syrian army and joined forces with Armenian groups to repel opposition guerrillas.

“Everybody is fighting everybody,” said George, an Armenian Christian from the city.

But Christian militia fighters told the Daily Telegraph it was they who had first attacked the FSA there.
“The FSA were hiding in Farhat Square in Jdeideh. The Church committees stormed in and cleansed the area. Then the Syrian army joined us. They claimed the victory on State television,” said George,

OP article posted

See, this is hardly "self-defense" and we shouldn't be condoning Christians getting involved in civil war in the forward operation sense.  By taking weapons from the government they've chosen sides, and this is dangerous.  By taking government weapons our people or no longer civilians, they are open combatants and in a war zone that makes them fair game to be targeted Sad  THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT IS DANGEROUS ABOUT ARMING OURSELVES, WE MAKE OURSELVES TARGETS.  If folks were arming themselves to protect themselves that would be one thing, but for folks to form government armed and sanctioned militias to go out and fight? Lord have His mercy, how can we support that?


Saddam and his fellow strong men across the region were hardly stupid men. They fully understood the tribal nature underlying the cultures and history of their 'nations' - mostly paper creations made by the west following Versailles and the end of the first war- and they exploited that history, with all of the blood feuds and jealousies inherent therein, in order to maintain power. Now that being said, one could argue that a century's worth of western miscalculation about the nature of those societies, the ability of 'democracy' as we understand it in the Greaco-Roman-Anglo context and capitalism to quickly transform those societies resulted in the stagnation in the development of a more modern sense of 'civitas' in the post world war two era. (Just to poke those of you who would think that this is unique to the mideast, I remind you of the false nations drawn onto the map of Europe following Versailles as well - one imploded with deadly consequences (Yugoslavia) while another (Czechoslovkia) failed as a state as well being at the vortex of the second world war and finally peacefully dissolving upon the lessening of the hand of political occupation by the Soviets.)

I think that the idealistic neo-Wilsonians who were the backbone of the so-called neo-conservatives could not get past the belief as first articulated in the west by Wilson that the grafting of our values onto that part of the world , coupled with selective military interventions, would somehow transform it more quickly and with less pain and suffering than the west itself endured as it transformed itself from a feudal, tribal set of competing cultures through the industrial revolution into our modern world. Frankly, if oil hadn't been so essential to the 20th century, I wonder if the west would have cared at all about Islam and that region.

Anyway, as the Bible tells us there is a time for war and a time for peace, and in the end it is the peacemakers who are blessed. Let us pray for all of the innocents caught in the maelstrom.


I'm not promoting a George Bush II style Democratization in the Arab world. I study Africa, and her history is parallel with Arab and Middle Eastern countries whose maps were arbitrarily  drawn by Europeans.  Further, I understand that "democracy" in the Western sense is incompatible with the cultures and climates and attitudes of such regions.  Lord have His Mercy, I'm not quite sure its been working out too well in Europe or America either Wink  However, my criticism is the sheer use of pure and lethal force to quell civil unrest and societal variation.  There are more culturally relevant mechanisms of negotiating, community development, and inclusion which can be implemented rather then simply crushing your opponents.  Saddam was not stupid, but he did make many criminal and genocidal evil mistakes, and he is dead and his country is in shambles because of it.  Iraq survived the Iran war, and yet didn't survive its own civil war in the 2000s.  Saddam had held to many pieces of the country together by force, in reality Haile Selassie's Ethiopia was very similar by the 1970s.  However force was no HIM sole objective, as it was with other caudillos we find in the Arab world today. These folks are not just working within a cultural system of war-lords which they inherited, they are playing the game cruelly at that.  We rightfully say you reap what you sow, and if you try to crush your own nation, even if divided they will temporarily unite to crush you.  We as Christians need to then be even smarter about the long arc push and pull factors going on.  We can't side with the strong man with sincere loyalty.  For example, here in Syria we sided with them for years, and it worked out, fine and well, but NOW the situation has changed and we can see that it won't work.  In Egypt it is the same.  No one is saying they like the Brotherhood, but lets not kid ourselves, we didn't really like Saddam or Mubarek or Al-Assad either.  We always knew they were crooks and war-criminals, we just looked the other way for our own security.  These folks no longer provide our security, its time to reevaluate our strategy. This is no philosophical or political matter, this is a pragmatic reality, at this very moment people's live are on the line Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #73 on: September 20, 2012, 02:50:07 PM »

Is this attitude typical of non-Chalcedonians?

 Huh
this discussion has nothing to do with that...

I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.
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« Reply #74 on: September 20, 2012, 03:25:39 PM »

Is this attitude typical of non-Chalcedonians?

 Huh
this discussion has nothing to do with that...

I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.

Ever read anything Hiwot's written on the subject?  FWIW, I tend to take her views on the subject much more seriously.

I would also be interested to hear Ergib's.  It would be useful information for a theory of mine.
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« Reply #75 on: September 20, 2012, 06:21:34 PM »

Is this attitude typical of non-Chalcedonians?

 Huh
this discussion has nothing to do with that...

I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.

I'm OO and I am not entirely in agreement with Habte or Gebre on this (certain aspects, sure, but I would not describe myself as a pacifist). I think you'll find a wide variety of opinions on these matters, just as you would among the EO.
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« Reply #76 on: September 21, 2012, 01:26:42 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam

Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...

St. Constantine is unquestionably a more controversial figure - even amongst Orthodox Christians - than Our Lord or than St. Moses the Ethiopian. I continue to argue that where there is ambiguity, err on the side of Life. For examplem is the embryo a person? I think so. But many think not. I say err on the side of Life. But if you think killing is the more Christian way, then I doubt if anything I can say will convince you otherwise.


Selam
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« Reply #77 on: September 21, 2012, 02:11:50 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam

Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...

St. Constantine is unquestionably a more controversial figure - even amongst Orthodox Christians - than Our Lord or than St. Moses the Ethiopian. I continue to argue that where there is ambiguity, err on the side of Life. For examplem is the embryo a person? I think so. But many think not. I say err on the side of Life. But if you think killing is the more Christian way, then I doubt if anything I can say will convince you otherwise.


Selam

How about when there is certainly a death coming, and you can choose whether your enemies or you and your wives and your children will die? Can you turn not just your own cheek, but theirs as well?
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« Reply #78 on: September 21, 2012, 02:31:57 AM »

Professor David Frost on Christianity and violence (an AFR podcast that may be of interest/relevant to this conversation)
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« Reply #79 on: September 21, 2012, 03:56:26 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam

Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...

St. Constantine is unquestionably a more controversial figure - even amongst Orthodox Christians - than Our Lord or than St. Moses the Ethiopian. I continue to argue that where there is ambiguity, err on the side of Life. For examplem is the embryo a person? I think so. But many think not. I say err on the side of Life. But if you think killing is the more Christian way, then I doubt if anything I can say will convince you otherwise.


Selam

How about when there is certainly a death coming, and you can choose whether your enemies or you and your wives and your children will die? Can you turn not just your own cheek, but theirs as well?

I have repeatedly explained that pacifism is not passive-ism. Of course we should intervene and confront evil, but we should do so with the weapons of the Spirit rather than the weapons of the flesh. And if you accuse pacifists of allowing the innocent to be slaughtered, then you condemn Christ Himself. Certainly Our Lord knew that many of His disciples would be brutally tortured and killed, and certainly He had the power to stop it. But in laying down His own life, He saved the world. So, it's a matter of perspective. Did Christ allow the innocent to be killed, or did Christ save the entire world? Do we analyze situations from a temporal perspective, and thus kill in order to preserve our own lives or the lives of others? Or do we analyze situations from an eternal perspective, and then fight nonviolently with the realization that even if we are killed we will gain eternal life through our martyrdom?


Selam
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« Reply #80 on: September 21, 2012, 09:34:51 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam

Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...

St. Constantine is unquestionably a more controversial figure - even amongst Orthodox Christians - than Our Lord or than St. Moses the Ethiopian. I continue to argue that where there is ambiguity, err on the side of Life. For examplem is the embryo a person? I think so. But many think not. I say err on the side of Life. But if you think killing is the more Christian way, then I doubt if anything I can say will convince you otherwise.


Selam

How about when there is certainly a death coming, and you can choose whether your enemies or you and your wives and your children will die? Can you turn not just your own cheek, but theirs as well?

I have repeatedly explained that pacifism is not passive-ism. Of course we should intervene and confront evil, but we should do so with the weapons of the Spirit rather than the weapons of the flesh. And if you accuse pacifists of allowing the innocent to be slaughtered, then you condemn Christ Himself. Certainly Our Lord knew that many of His disciples would be brutally tortured and killed, and certainly He had the power to stop it. But in laying down His own life, He saved the world. So, it's a matter of perspective. Did Christ allow the innocent to be killed, or did Christ save the entire world? Do we analyze situations from a temporal perspective, and thus kill in order to preserve our own lives or the lives of others? Or do we analyze situations from an eternal perspective, and then fight nonviolently with the realization that even if we are killed we will gain eternal life through our martyrdom?


Selam

That's cool, so long as I can feed the poor with food of the spirit as well.  Next time a beggar comes up to me I shall tell him 'Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled!'  I'll keep my money for myself.

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« Reply #81 on: September 21, 2012, 03:58:15 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

And are not all human beings icons of Christ?

Would icons of Christ be shooting at me and my family?

Ok then, these are not icons of Christ but icons of another master.

Please show me anywhere in the gospels where Our Lord told us who we should kill and who we should forgive. I don't see any advocacy of violence in "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and turn the other cheek." But perhaps such words were some sort of parable that actually masked a violent revolutionary message that Our Lord really came to promote. But since the Church has not interpreted His message as one of violent revolution, then neither will I.

What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter drew a sword at Gethsemane?  Did He say "Peter, what the heck are you doing carrying a sword? And how is it that I happened not to notice that you had one?"

No, He said "Now is not the time." Because he could have summoned a legion of angels to stop the soldiers if He wanted.

Now when it comes to us, witnessing someone killing or raping our bothers and sisters, I'm thinking that is the time to use as much force as is necessary to stop it. No more than that, mind you, but certainly enough.


Its not necessarily an issue of necessity rather one of efficacy.  I know the symbolic value of "going up against a tank with a shank for what you believe" but on the real, it becomes suicide, and as much as romance is nice, there is no dignity in any kind of death, noble and heroic or tragic and  painful.  I am not sure that if Syriac Christians begin taking up arms that this will solve our problems in the communities there, it may actually provoke further hostilities, antagonism, and violence.  I do not support, condone, or exonerate the raping, beating, or killing of ANY Syrians, be they Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, however, we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.  As Christians, we perhaps can find a more effective mechanism then simply joining up the fighting and choosing one side or another.  This why my lamentation is not that Syriac Christians are now arming themselves and forming community-oriented militias, rather, that is has gotten to be so drastically necessary in the first place.  That being said, if Christians are armed at this point, let us as their fellow Christian brethren not support an open-ended policy on this arming, rather, let us pray and works towards eventual conditions which support disarmament and peace.  We couldn't kill our way out of this one even if we wanted to, and I am reasonably sure that we don't Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
They have a choice.  They can die fighting or they can just die.

St. Moses the Ethiopian faced the same choice. He chose not to kill. And in choosing not to kill, he actually saved his soul. I choose to follow his example, and more importantly, the example of Our Lord.

"Lord have mercy."


Selam

Yes & St. Constantine was responsible for the killing of hundreds, if not thousands.  So...

St. Constantine is unquestionably a more controversial figure - even amongst Orthodox Christians - than Our Lord or than St. Moses the Ethiopian. I continue to argue that where there is ambiguity, err on the side of Life. For examplem is the embryo a person? I think so. But many think not. I say err on the side of Life. But if you think killing is the more Christian way, then I doubt if anything I can say will convince you otherwise.


Selam

Absolutely!  But we have to be holistic in our thinking, not protestant & only think about the things that agree with us & our POV.  For example, the issue you brought up has a very healthy Orthodox response, that happens to be this sunday on the church calendar:  the Conception of St. John the Baptist.  We celebrate life from the POINT OF CONCEPTION, both for Christ (Annunciation), and the Virgin Mary, and St. John.  That's looking at the issue holistically. 

St. Constantine was glorified because he repented.  Other saints were glorified b/c they were martyred.  Others because they were confessors, others because they were righteous.  Shows that grace & holiness can be found in any walk of life, including that of a killer.  Doesn't mean that's the prefered way to do things, it just means that our Orthodox ethos has to be holistic & take into account the entire faith.  not just the parts we agree with. 
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« Reply #82 on: September 21, 2012, 04:30:58 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I have repeatedly explained that pacifism is not passive-ism. Of course we should intervene and confront evil, but we should do so with the weapons of the Spirit rather than the weapons of the flesh. And if you accuse pacifists of allowing the innocent to be slaughtered, then you condemn Christ Himself. Certainly Our Lord knew that many of His disciples would be brutally tortured and killed, and certainly He had the power to stop it. But in laying down His own life, He saved the world. So, it's a matter of perspective. Did Christ allow the innocent to be killed, or did Christ save the entire world? Do we analyze situations from a temporal perspective, and thus kill in order to preserve our own lives or the lives of others? Or do we analyze situations from an eternal perspective, and then fight nonviolently with the realization that even if we are killed we will gain eternal life through our martyrdom?


Selam

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stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #83 on: September 21, 2012, 04:58:38 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I have repeatedly explained that pacifism is not passive-ism. Of course we should intervene and confront evil, but we should do so with the weapons of the Spirit rather than the weapons of the flesh. And if you accuse pacifists of allowing the innocent to be slaughtered, then you condemn Christ Himself. Certainly Our Lord knew that many of His disciples would be brutally tortured and killed, and certainly He had the power to stop it. But in laying down His own life, He saved the world. So, it's a matter of perspective. Did Christ allow the innocent to be killed, or did Christ save the entire world? Do we analyze situations from a temporal perspective, and thus kill in order to preserve our own lives or the lives of others? Or do we analyze situations from an eternal perspective, and then fight nonviolently with the realization that even if we are killed we will gain eternal life through our martyrdom?


Selam

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habte selassie

It's an easy thing to say when you are not going to suffer the consequences of this choice.  When you both have suffered what many Christians in the Middle East have then I will take you seriously.  All I know is that I never want to see anything happen to my close friends and family that has happened to these people.  You can mock me for bravado if you want (just be prepared to accept my countercharge of cowardice) but I love those close to me and I would rather die a dozen deaths than see anything happen to them (or better yet, a dozen demoniacs die!)  I'm sure there are many Syrians that feel the same way, I only wish that God had granted them the blessing of safety that He has me.  Since He chose not to, I will never judge them for the decisions they have made.  Lord have mercy on them.
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« Reply #84 on: September 21, 2012, 05:04:21 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It's an easy thing to say when you are not going to suffer the consequences of this choice.  When you both have suffered what many Christians in the Middle East have then I will take you seriously.  All I know is that I never want to see anything happen to my close friends and family that has happened to these people.  You can mock me for bravado if you want (just be prepared to accept my countercharge of cowardice) but I love those close to me and I would rather die a dozen deaths than see anything happen to them (or better yet, a dozen demoniacs die!)  I'm sure there are many Syrians that feel the same way, I only wish that God had granted them the blessing of safety that He has me.  Since He chose not to, I will never judge them for the decisions they have made.  Lord have mercy on them.

Its easy for you assume that folks like myself have never faced life and death situations, that folks like myself have never had to worry about the safety of their friends and family from the dangers of violence.  However, in this instance, you'd be wrong.  When you have buried your relatives and friends to gun violence, when folks that attend Church with you still have bullets in their bodies from violence, perhaps YOU may understand why folks like GMK and myself are so reluctant to support violence.  That being said, it is PRECISELY from my own direct and personal experience with gun violence in my life that I found my relationship with God, which is what brought me to Orthodox Church, which is what made me come to realize that prayer beads are more powerful that weapons, and while it is not a black-white issue, we have to at least believe in our ideals to our last breath, so that if we do succumb to having to defend ourselves with violence, it is truly a matter of last resort and penultimate regret Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #85 on: September 21, 2012, 08:48:16 PM »

I'm Ok with people who can't fight back, I've fought for then before.  Just don't get in my way and slow me down during my counter charge and don't talk bad about me when I save your life. I don't ask for thanks, but a little gratitude is always nice.
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« Reply #86 on: September 21, 2012, 08:54:08 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm Ok with people who can't fight back, I've fought for then before.  Just don't get in my way and slow me down during my counter charge and don't talk bad about me when I save your life. I don't ask for thanks, but a little gratitude is always nice.

..and if because of you somebody close to us gets hurt or killed should I also be so grateful?

Lord have His mercy!

If Syrian Christians want to militarily support their government than they should join the military, not form street guerrilla militias that are glorified street gangs and run around conducting dangerous forward military operations (that is hardly self-defense is it?) while putting the entire community at risk.  Call me old fashioned, but even in civil war I'd prefer to let the professionals do all the fighting Sad


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #87 on: September 22, 2012, 12:00:49 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm Ok with people who can't fight back, I've fought for then before.  Just don't get in my way and slow me down during my counter charge and don't talk bad about me when I save your life. I don't ask for thanks, but a little gratitude is always nice.

..and if because of you somebody close to us gets hurt or killed should I also be so grateful?

Lord have His mercy!

If Syrian Christians want to militarily support their government than they should join the military, not form street guerrilla militias that are glorified street gangs and run around conducting dangerous forward military operations (that is hardly self-defense is it?) while putting the entire community at risk.  Call me old fashioned, but even in civil war I'd prefer to let the professionals do all the fighting Sad


stay blessed,
habte selassie

Like I said, just stay out of the way. 

Cause and effect is something I strongly recommend you look into.  It's not effect and cause.
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« Reply #88 on: September 22, 2012, 02:21:23 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm Ok with people who can't fight back, I've fought for then before.  Just don't get in my way and slow me down during my counter charge and don't talk bad about me when I save your life. I don't ask for thanks, but a little gratitude is always nice.

..and if because of you somebody close to us gets hurt or killed should I also be so grateful?

Lord have His mercy!

If Syrian Christians want to militarily support their government than they should join the military, not form street guerrilla militias that are glorified street gangs and run around conducting dangerous forward military operations (that is hardly self-defense is it?) while putting the entire community at risk.  Call me old fashioned, but even in civil war I'd prefer to let the professionals do all the fighting Sad


stay blessed,
habte selassie
I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting. 
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« Reply #89 on: September 22, 2012, 10:05:59 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm Ok with people who can't fight back, I've fought for then before.  Just don't get in my way and slow me down during my counter charge and don't talk bad about me when I save your life. I don't ask for thanks, but a little gratitude is always nice.

..and if because of you somebody close to us gets hurt or killed should I also be so grateful?

Lord have His mercy!

If Syrian Christians want to militarily support their government than they should join the military, not form street guerrilla militias that are glorified street gangs and run around conducting dangerous forward military operations (that is hardly self-defense is it?) while putting the entire community at risk.  Call me old fashioned, but even in civil war I'd prefer to let the professionals do all the fighting Sad


stay blessed,
habte selassie
I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting. 

For centuries common folk fought alongside their nation's armies, and really, if you think about it all a conscript is is a commoner called a professional and given the weapons thereof.  So you are right, not old fashioned.

If you read anything about the future of modern warfare, 4th Generation Warfare, so will notice the efficiency of insurgencies.  I can think of very few professional armies run by the nation-state which have been successful against insurgencies in the long run.  War is changing and until a new technology revolutionizes warfare again the globalized 'tribal' militia is adapting the fastest to the changes.

So if someone isn't old fashioned or forward thinking there is another word for this.  Wrong.

Habte, I encourage you to read as much William Lind and John Robb as possible.  I challenge you to drop the ideology and look at this logically.  I think you will see that the Syrian Christians are doing the only prudent thing.  (Oh, and the best defense is a strong offense.  This is especially true in 4th Generation Warfare.  This is called 'getting within someone's OODA loop.  You will learn about this if not in Lind than certainly in Robb.)
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« Reply #90 on: September 22, 2012, 10:15:31 AM »

I have to come down on the side of the Christian militia on some of the key points being raised here. Joining the Syrian army is unlikely to be a real option for the militia fighters. Taking a passive role is probably also not a good idea. The Christians' only hope is for the rebellion to be suppressed, and that means taking an offensive strategy. Their other option is to flee the country, which might be the more Christian thing to do, but there's no way I can blame them for taking the course of action that they've chosen. Being a refugee is a really, really bad life.

Bear in mind, however, that these militias must be tiny in proportion to the number of refugees.

The whole situation still makes me very uncomfortable, and any insinuations about Habte or Gebre or whomever someone was referring to being cowards will not make me back down.
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« Reply #91 on: September 22, 2012, 01:24:51 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

...we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.

When you engage a target that is attempting to kill or rape another person, if you stop shooting when the stop their attack, that's self defense. If you keep shooting, that's "eye for an eye."

BTW, if they point their weapon at you, they have not stopped their attack.

By the way, if you actually had read the article and the quotes you would realize that forward military operations can never be called self-defense, and you should be ashamed of instigating more violence by outright lies and manipulation of the facts.  These militias are not standing around shooting people who are attacking them, they are going out and attacking other militias, provoking the potential for even MORE violence in retaliation and retribution.  Soldiers do what their leaders tell them according to planning, militias are like street gangs, they bicker, they quarrel, they loot and pillage, they have dangerous in-fighting.  Look at Iraq or more recently in Libya and see just how successful arming the community and forming vigilante militias has been for those countries.  Now people fight each other more and more.  What, perhaps the Melkites will begin fighting the Syriac Orthodox, but instead of swinging brooms like at the Church of Nativity, they will be with weapons? Lord have His mercy!!! Sad Sad Sad



I'm Ok with people who can't fight back, I've fought for then before.  Just don't get in my way and slow me down during my counter charge and don't talk bad about me when I save your life. I don't ask for thanks, but a little gratitude is always nice.

..and if because of you somebody close to us gets hurt or killed should I also be so grateful?

Lord have His mercy!

If Syrian Christians want to militarily support their government than they should join the military, not form street guerrilla militias that are glorified street gangs and run around conducting dangerous forward military operations (that is hardly self-defense is it?) while putting the entire community at risk.  Call me old fashioned, but even in civil war I'd prefer to let the professionals do all the fighting Sad


stay blessed,
habte selassie
I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting.  

Dude, this is the 21st century, we have professional military for good reason. Those old timers and old school volunteer militias didn't operate in a world of machine guns, rocket launchers, high explosives, military aircraft, digital communications etc etc.. Its not common folks business to run off and fight wars any longer because war is different than it was then, that is what soldiering if for.  If folks like yourself are so inclined to fight, then join the service.  This is not 1863 at Gettysburg, and its not appropriate, heroic, or romantic for civilians to fall in like John Burns at the Battle of Gettysburg.  When civilians play hero, they make it dangerous for the professional soldiers on the field, and they make it dangerous for the rest of the civilian population.  When militias fight each other, that is no war at all, it is chaos.  I will reiterate it again, if Syrian Christians want to join the fighting, they should join the military, receive training, and join the organized fighting.  Otherwise, they are just vigilantes, and aside from being against international laws of modern warfare vigilantism is dangerous to the community at large Sad

By the way, I'm not as soft as you may be thinking, and if you were running around playing soldier in my neighborhood putting my family and neighbors at risk, getting out of your way is probably the LAST thing I'd so Wink





I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting.  

For centuries common folk fought alongside their nation's armies, and really, if you think about it all a conscript is is a commoner called a professional and given the weapons thereof.  So you are right, not old fashioned.


I am aware of the military successes of insurgency, but it comes with the cost of collateral damage in every country where it was successful, it also cost many civilian lives because civilians and combatants become indistinguishable. I am sorry, but as a man, I would not think it very brave or heroic to be putting women and children at the risk of air strikes and chemical attacks, simply so I can run around playing cowboys and indians with a borrowed AK-47 which was given to me by God knows who.  You bravado crowds seem to forget that (a) vigilantism and using civilian drawn militias is a war crime in the 21st century and (b) a tactic which has ALWAYS cost civilians lives, the very civilian lives just vigilante militias pretend they are protecting Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #92 on: September 22, 2012, 03:40:34 PM »

war is a sad choice not easily made for all reasonable persons involved, however the blanket pacifism statements are naive at best and hypocritical at worst. there is no rejoicing in picking up arms, however there comes a time that one has to make a choice that involves not only the self but also the community's survival and the protection of their way of life. hopefully war is the last option on that list of options yet it is an option and a valid one at that.

I am sure those who say they are opposed to all kinds of violence, will not call 911 if their kid was being raped mutilated, their wife butchered and they had the option of dialing 911 and calling the boys with the gun to do the dirty deed of stopping the crime with deadly force if necessary. or perhaps they had the opportunity of stopping the perpetrators themselves using deadly force yet they will simply look on because of their principles. I regard it as a crime but it is still a choice they have. now the Syrians who are Christians have every right to defend themselves from sensless violence, and distruction of their way of life. I am an Ethiopian, I know that war is not something one advocates easily, yet when it is something unavoidable to protect what one must die protecting then you give it your all but always keeping in mind what you are fighting for. because its not only knowing what you are killing that is important, but what you allow to live!

It is easy for the right reasons to be highjacked by the wrong ones, that is ever more present in the chaos of war, however the right reasons are important enough to fight for, that includes fighting against the highjacking of the cause of the struggle one is engaged in by forces that will replace one evil by another. so like all things it is complicated, but could also be part of the solution although it is never the only solution.

May the Lord protect the People of Syria and bring them peace out of this chaos, and Syria to be the peaceful home of all her citizens.

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« Reply #93 on: September 22, 2012, 04:27:45 PM »



I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.

I would also be interested to hear Ergib's.  It would be useful information for a theory of mine.

"When Abune Petros came to the place execution and was given to say his last words, he took his hand cross and removed the blue cloth that was rapped around it and blessed the people at the four corners of the world and said the following last words: "My country men do not believe the fascists if they tell you that the patriots are bandits, the patriots are people who yearn for freedom from the terrors of fascism. Bandits are the soldiers who are standing in front of me and you, who come from afar, terrorise and violently occupy a weak and peaceful country: our Ethiopia. May God give the people of Ethiopia the strength to resist and never bow down to the fascist army and its violence.  May the Ethiopian earth never accept the invading army’s rule.” After that a swarm of bullets from the execution platoon pierced and killed our beloved bishop Abune Petros." http://www.ethiopians.com/abune_petros.htm

I hope and pray that i will never have to face this kind of situations in my life.

When it comes to myself, i would rather be killed than kill. However, i'm not strong enough to see my family being murdered. Therefore, i will fight back only if my family are with me. This is my current view on this matter.....it could change as i spiritually grow.
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« Reply #94 on: September 22, 2012, 04:56:37 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I think a lot of emotionalism and hyperbole have distracted the discussion here. This isn't about debating the philosophies and ideals of pacifism, this is about Christian militias arming themselves.  At this point, lets get back to the OP article. It didn't say Syrians were arming themselves (i.e. individually) to defend themselves, it said Syrians had joined up militias and are conducting forward military operations.  Can we in good conscience and integrity call such behavior SELF-DEFENSE?  I can agree with so many posters concerns about defending their families, I have been in that situation before, I understand completely.  However, there is a world of difference between arming yourself to defend your families from terrorist attacks, and by going out and conducting forward military operations to attack the terrorists preemptively.  Honestly, is this the wisest decision considering the potential for collateral damage and retaliatory strikes and can we still call it defense at all?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #95 on: September 22, 2012, 07:20:56 PM »

Wow! Really??? are the Christians acting without provocation, without being attacked, are they just simply hunting those they deemed enemies preemptively (I.E. without being attacked only with assumption of threat)? Is this what we read from the article? Perhaps it's a different article that is being discussed, other than the OP. because what I read on that article says quite a different story.
So let us look at the article then for the sake of those who have difficulty comprehending the article i will rearrange the order of some of the paragraphs …

Quote
The Christian community has tried to avoid taking sides in the civil war. In Aleppo, it recruited vigilantes from the Boy Scout movement to protect churches, but as the war moved into the city and spread across its suburbs they have begun to accept weapons from the Syrian army and joined forces with Armenian groups to repel opposition guerrillas.

Quote

The Christians want to defend their neighborhoods, Shabiha regime militia are there to kill and rape,


Quote
For the past six weeks up to 150 Christian and Armenian fighters have been fighting to prevent Free Syrian Army rebels from entering Christian heartland areas of Aleppo.

Now the Area in question that had some accusing the Christians as being the area where the Christians were  attacking preemptively rather than in self defense...


This area:
Quote
the historic Christian quarter of Jdeidah.


Quote
The area, defined by its boutique shops, narrow cobbled streets and the spires and cupolas of the Maronite, Orthodox and Armenian churches, had over the weeks become infiltrated with sniper positions and checkpoints, residents said.


Quote
Last month the Syrian army claimed a ‘victory’ in removing FSA fighters from the historic Christian quarter of Jdeidah. But Christian militia fighters told the Daily Telegraph it was they who had first attacked the FSA there

Now why would the Christians attack the FSA before the syrian army does? because they were being killed and could not wait for the Syrian army to come and defend them what exactly was going on in that Christian neighborhood to the Christians living in there we may ask. Here a priest gives us his testimony so does George.

Quote
FSA snipers were on the rooftops and they were attacking the Maronite church and Armenian residents there,” said a former clergyman calling himself John, now in Beirut, who said he had witnessed the battle.

Quote
“The FSA were hiding in Farhat Square in Jdeideh. The Church committees stormed in and cleansed the area. Then the Syrian army
joined us. They claimed the victory on State television,” said George, who like many Christian refugees is too scared to give his full name. “The rebels were threatening the churches.”


The few Syrians who are Christians are making their last stand for their right to live in their motherland against jihadists and others who wish to expel them or kill them all. As the Armenian mother of four and several other Christian refugees are giving their personal account of the situation.


Quote
“They are shouting ‘the Alawites to the graves and the Christians to Beirut,” said an Armenian mother of four who recently fled the city – a claim also made by several other Christian refugees.


So now tell me, are these some war mongering lunatics who are looking for war where it has not come to their doors? Are they preemptively striking others where they have not been attacked and forced into action? How can we who read this article say in good conscience say that these are preemptive strikes and therefore not self defense and by conclusion warmongering actions? Those horrific realities they are facing are given account of by themselves; it is not a fabricated emotional hyperbole by any one of us in here. Perhaps it’s better to pay attention to what the article reports and what  the Syrians and the Armenians say before accusing them of such callous things. I wonder if this is not another example of ….NVM

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« Reply #96 on: September 22, 2012, 07:39:30 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

...we have to be careful how much we get caught up and we have to very careful straddle the line between "self-defense" and "eye-for-an-eye" and in a warzone such shades of grey are hard to distinguish.

When you engage a target that is attempting to kill or rape another person, if you stop shooting when the stop their attack, that's self defense. If you keep shooting, that's "eye for an eye."

BTW, if they point their weapon at you, they have not stopped their attack.

By the way, if you actually had read the article and the quotes you would realize that forward military operations can never be called self-defense, and you should be ashamed of instigating more violence by outright lies and manipulation of the facts.  These militias are not standing around shooting people who are attacking them, they are going out and attacking other militias, provoking the potential for even MORE violence in retaliation and retribution.  Soldiers do what their leaders tell them according to planning, militias are like street gangs, they bicker, they quarrel, they loot and pillage, they have dangerous in-fighting.  Look at Iraq or more recently in Libya and see just how successful arming the community and forming vigilante militias has been for those countries.  Now people fight each other more and more.  What, perhaps the Melkites will begin fighting the Syriac Orthodox, but instead of swinging brooms like at the Church of Nativity, they will be with weapons? Lord have His mercy!!! Sad Sad Sad



I'm Ok with people who can't fight back, I've fought for then before.  Just don't get in my way and slow me down during my counter charge and don't talk bad about me when I save your life. I don't ask for thanks, but a little gratitude is always nice.

..and if because of you somebody close to us gets hurt or killed should I also be so grateful?

Lord have His mercy!

If Syrian Christians want to militarily support their government than they should join the military, not form street guerrilla militias that are glorified street gangs and run around conducting dangerous forward military operations (that is hardly self-defense is it?) while putting the entire community at risk.  Call me old fashioned, but even in civil war I'd prefer to let the professionals do all the fighting Sad


stay blessed,
habte selassie
I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting.  

Dude, this is the 21st century, we have professional military for good reason. Those old timers and old school volunteer militias didn't operate in a world of machine guns, rocket launchers, high explosives, military aircraft, digital communications etc etc.. Its not common folks business to run off and fight wars any longer because war is different than it was then, that is what soldiering if for.  If folks like yourself are so inclined to fight, then join the service.  This is not 1863 at Gettysburg, and its not appropriate, heroic, or romantic for civilians to fall in like John Burns at the Battle of Gettysburg.  When civilians play hero, they make it dangerous for the professional soldiers on the field, and they make it dangerous for the rest of the civilian population.  When militias fight each other, that is no war at all, it is chaos.  I will reiterate it again, if Syrian Christians want to join the fighting, they should join the military, receive training, and join the organized fighting.  Otherwise, they are just vigilantes, and aside from being against international laws of modern warfare vigilantism is dangerous to the community at large Sad

By the way, I'm not as soft as you may be thinking, and if you were running around playing soldier in my neighborhood putting my family and neighbors at risk, getting out of your way is probably the LAST thing I'd so Wink





I forgot to mention I wouldn't call you old fashioned.  For centuries, common folk fought alongside their respective military or even against It.  That would be old fashioned.  And why wouldn't they?  The community is already at risk.  Think about the phrase "civil war" and tell me which part does NOT refer to professionals.  The civil part, so in a sense, it's not just professional soldiers fighting.  

For centuries common folk fought alongside their nation's armies, and really, if you think about it all a conscript is is a commoner called a professional and given the weapons thereof.  So you are right, not old fashioned.


I am aware of the military successes of insurgency, but it comes with the cost of collateral damage in every country where it was successful, it also cost many civilian lives because civilians and combatants become indistinguishable. I am sorry, but as a man, I would not think it very brave or heroic to be putting women and children at the risk of air strikes and chemical attacks, simply so I can run around playing cowboys and indians with a borrowed AK-47 which was given to me by God knows who.  You bravado crowds seem to forget that (a) vigilantism and using civilian drawn militias is a war crime in the 21st century and (b) a tactic which has ALWAYS cost civilians lives, the very civilian lives just vigilante militias pretend they are protecting Sad

stay blessed,
habte selassie
If I ever need to wage war against someone, I'm going to look for someone exactly like you.  All I have to do is show up and I've already won.  Super easy day!
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« Reply #97 on: September 22, 2012, 09:03:11 PM »

Bullets may win earthy battles, but prayers will win the eternal war.



Selam

Thank God we can do both.

Are you sure? I find it difficult to take aim at my fellow man when my face is prostrated before holy icons. And are not all human beings icons of Christ?


Selam

Gebre,
Do you believe that war is always wrong? Was joining te Allies in WWII wrong?
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« Reply #98 on: September 22, 2012, 10:00:02 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I think a lot of emotionalism and hyperbole have distracted the discussion here. This isn't about debating the philosophies and ideals of pacifism, this is about Christian militias arming themselves.  At this point, lets get back to the OP article. It didn't say Syrians were arming themselves (i.e. individually) to defend themselves, it said Syrians had joined up militias and are conducting forward military operations.  Can we in good conscience and integrity call such behavior SELF-DEFENSE?  I can agree with so many posters concerns about defending their families, I have been in that situation before, I understand completely.  However, there is a world of difference between arming yourself to defend your families from terrorist attacks, and by going out and conducting forward military operations to attack the terrorists preemptively.  Honestly, is this the wisest decision considering the potential for collateral damage and retaliatory strikes and can we still call it defense at all?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I am going to come right out and say it . . .you have no idea of what you are talking about.  I guess a coward like you thinks that it is better to be rounded up and killed like a dog than to actually put forth any effort to your defense.  Whether my family is killed by a stray bullet or bomb, or whether they are rounded up and shot because they happen to be different than those attacking them, they are equally dead.  Also, going out and weakening the enemy BEFORE he gets to your family is a far better tactic than waiting until he is at your front door to engage him.  Where did you learn your tactics?  Obviously not from anyone who actually knows anything.  You talk about those of us who care enough about our family and friends to defend them as though we are "cowboys".  Well we are not.  On the other hand, you are a coward, and even more despicable because you hide your cowardice behind religion.

This is what I believe, and I do not care if I get a green meatball for it.  I am tired of you sanctimonious pseudo religious BS.
 You are being warned for 21 days, for being insulting & using ad hominem to make an argument.  If you would like to appeal this warning, you can PM me directly. 

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« Reply #99 on: September 22, 2012, 10:14:15 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I think a lot of emotionalism and hyperbole have distracted the discussion here. This isn't about debating the philosophies and ideals of pacifism, this is about Christian militias arming themselves.  At this point, lets get back to the OP article. It didn't say Syrians were arming themselves (i.e. individually) to defend themselves, it said Syrians had joined up militias and are conducting forward military operations.  Can we in good conscience and integrity call such behavior SELF-DEFENSE?  I can agree with so many posters concerns about defending their families, I have been in that situation before, I understand completely.  However, there is a world of difference between arming yourself to defend your families from terrorist attacks, and by going out and conducting forward military operations to attack the terrorists preemptively.  Honestly, is this the wisest decision considering the potential for collateral damage and retaliatory strikes and can we still call it defense at all?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I am going to come right out and say it . . .you have no idea of what you are talking about.  I guess a coward like you thinks that it is better to be rounded up and killed like a dog than to actually put forth any effort to your defense.  Whether my family is killed by a stray bullet or bomb, or whether they are rounded up and shot because they happen to be different than those attacking them, they are equally dead.  Also, going out and weakening the enemy BEFORE he gets to your family is a far better tactic than waiting until he is at your front door to engage him.  Where did you learn your tactics?  Obviously not from anyone who actually knows anything.  You talk about those of us who care enough about our family and friends to defend them as though we are "cowboys".  Well we are not.  On the other hand, you are a coward, and even more despicable because you hide your cowardice behind religion.

This is what I believe, and I do not care if I get a green meatball for it.  I am tired of you sanctimonious pseudo religious BS.

I am sorry you feel that way, I can only pray for us all in this regard.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #100 on: September 23, 2012, 04:34:54 AM »



I know it's a little off-topic. It's just that I've noticed Gebre and Habte have similar pacifistic or semi-pacifistic attitudes, and I can see how such might develop, given the non-Chalcedonian Church's history, and also how it makes perfect sense that EOs (Byzantines) might not have that attitude. So I wondered if such an attitude is widespread among OOs. That's all.

I would also be interested to hear Ergib's.  It would be useful information for a theory of mine.

"When Abune Petros came to the place execution and was given to say his last words, he took his hand cross and removed the blue cloth that was rapped around it and blessed the people at the four corners of the world and said the following last words: "My country men do not believe the fascists if they tell you that the patriots are bandits, the patriots are people who yearn for freedom from the terrors of fascism. Bandits are the soldiers who are standing in front of me and you, who come from afar, terrorise and violently occupy a weak and peaceful country: our Ethiopia. May God give the people of Ethiopia the strength to resist and never bow down to the fascist army and its violence.  May the Ethiopian earth never accept the invading army’s rule.” After that a swarm of bullets from the execution platoon pierced and killed our beloved bishop Abune Petros." http://www.ethiopians.com/abune_petros.htm

I hope and pray that i will never have to face this kind of situations in my life.

When it comes to myself, i would rather be killed than kill. However, i'm not strong enough to see my family being murdered. Therefore, i will fight back only if my family are with me. This is my current view on this matter.....it could change as i spiritually grow.

It is clear who the peacemakers on this thread are. I am grateful to you Ergib for his honest, humble, and Christian answer. It is very sad that some people here would use this tragic situation as an excuse to politic for their rationalizations of violence. Human lives and human freedoms are at stake, and war and bloodshed are not mere hypotheticals for philosophical speculation. As Habte alluded to earlier, violent conflict is not a sport that Christians should cheer on from the sidelines in partisan fashion. And even those who choose to pick up the sword should do so without hatred and animosity for their adversary.

Apparently there are some members of this forum who are indeed holy enough to violently kill without hatred or animosity. In fact, they are so holy that they can bear the very sword that Our Lord condemned. But I confess that I am not such a holy man. I have too much of my own salvation to work out without wasting time trying to kill my neighbor. But for those who have attained such a profound theosis that they feel holy enough to slay their brethren, then who am I to condemn them? God is the Judge, and may He be merciful to me a sinner. And if I beseech His mercy, then why would I not extend mercy even to my enemies? (Forgive me for my “false piety” here, of which some have accused me from time to time. I trust that God knows my heart, and I am confident that He will correct it.)

Now, shame on those of you who call the practitioners of nonviolence "cowards." For in condemning nonviolence, you condemn Christ Himself. And shame on you for calling our holy father St. Moses the Ethiopian - who chose to be killed rather than to kill (and also chose to allow some of his fellow monks to be killed along with him) - a coward. Shame on you for deliberately misrepresenting Orthodox Christian pacifism as a passive, non-confrontational, allowance of evil. Shame on you for insinuating that we would sit idly by as our families, friends, or brethren are tortured, raped, or killed. But for those of you that may honestly misunderstand my pacifist position, I will explain it once again so that you will not be confused or falsely malign me as others here have frequently done. (And BTW, I am only articulating my own position, not Habte's or anyone else's. Although Habte has routinely demonstrated a spirit of peace and reconciliation on this forum, and for that I truly commend him.):

1. I prepare every day to fight evil and injustice, wherever it may be found, beginning with the evil and injustice in my own heart.

2. I prepare to fight militantly with every spiritual weapon that is at my disposal, following the teachings and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ above all else.

3. I pray for the strength, courage, and grace to offer my own life in sacrificial martyrdom on behalf of the unjustly oppressed without using premeditated violence against my fellow man.

4. I prepare not to kill. But preparing not to kill does not mean that I will not instinctively react to forcefully defend myself or my loved ones if unjustly attacked.

5. If my commitment to nonviolence and my refusal to intentionally kill anyone for any reason results in my own death, the death of my loved ones, or the death of my fellow Christians, then I am confident that God will honor and preserve our souls unto eternity. However, if I slay the heathen, then I am not confident that their souls will be blessed by God for eternity. So, I tremble at the thought that in taking the life of another I may actually be condemning their souls to an eternity separated from God. As St. John Chrysostom said, "Our career is to make the dead live, not to make the living dead.”

6. If violence is ever necessary to save innocent lives, and if killing unjust oppressors is sometimes an act of Christian necessity, then certainly such justifications apply to the issue of abortion. No human beings on the face of the earth face such torture, injustice, oppression, and certain death as the unborn children that are about to be aborted. But somehow, for some reason, those Christians who defend the use of violence don’t feel any compulsion to use violence in defense of the unborn. So I ask, who are the real cowards?

Now, in conclusion...

If peacemaking is wrong, if nonviolence is the sin of cowardice, if forgiveness and love for our enemies is indeed a violation of the Christian gospel, then bring forth evidence from the entirety of the New Testament, submit clear confirmation from the Lives of the Saints, and let a tome of attestations from our holy Church fathers emerge. Persuade me that Our Lord - in offering His own life on the Cross - was the epitome of cowardice and naïveté. Persuade me that it is more honorable to kill than to forgive. Persuade me that it is more Christian to hate than to love. Persuade me that God actually turns His back on the innocent victims of unjust violence, and therefore our swords alone are their only hope of salvation. Persuade me that in killing our enemies we will somehow save our enemies’ souls. Persuade me that might does in fact make right, and that the meek shall ultimately inherit hell. Persuade me that Our Lord commanded us to turn the other cheek only so that we can reload our weapons. Persuade me that Our Lord commanded us to bless those who persecute us only so that they might drop their guard and become easier targets for our bullet. Persuade me that the Christian no longer needs to slaughter bulls and goats to attain salvation, but he nevertheless needs to slaughter his fellow man. Persuade me of these things, and I will take up arms tomorrow. But until then, I cannot take up arms, for my arms have taken up the Cross.

“Lord have mercy.”
(Do we really mean this when we pray it?)


Selam
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 04:39:12 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

“Lord, I say too many uncharitable things about people every day. I say them because they make me look clever. Help me to realize how cheap this is. I am stupid, quite as stupid as the people I ridicule. Help me to stop this selfishness, because I love You dear God." ~ FLANNERY O'CONNOR ~
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« Reply #101 on: September 23, 2012, 05:30:46 AM »

Gebre, I am actually substantially in agreement with what you say in this post, but the judgmental tone of a lot of it kind of puts me off from agreeing with you totally.

It is clear who the peacemakers on this thread are.


^ Stuff like this.

Quote
It is very sad that some people here would use this tragic situation as an excuse to politic for their rationalizations of violence.


And where is this going on? In this thread? The context we are talking about is a civil war, which is inherently political. Nobody really gets to sit it out, even if they never touch a gun. Why? The militias (of all sides) know who is who, and know what they want. It's no different than what we always get in these situations: So and so is with so and so, and against so and so, and if you don't come down somewhere, then you're prey for all factions anyway. So what do you do? Often the choice has been to flee, die, or fight. None of those are to be undertaken lightly, and I haven't seen where anyone in this thread advocated such for political (or other) reasons.

Quote
Human lives and human freedoms are at stake, and war and bloodshed are not mere hypotheticals for philosophical speculation.


Indeed. The Christians in Syria, whether they pick up guns or not, know this much better than you or I. Are you sure you want to judge them for their decision, just because it doesn't match with your viewpoints expressed from thousands of miles away?

Quote
As Habte alluded to earlier, violent conflict is not a sport that Christians should cheer on from the sidelines in partisan fashion.


This would ring a lot less hollow if you didn't just judge a whole bunch of people you don't know for coming to a different conclusion and action than you think you would, when they're the ones who have to deal with the consequences and the violence no matter what they choose or what you think about it. Last time I checked, judging people was a partisan activity.

Quote
Apparently there are some members of this forum who are indeed holy enough to violently kill without hatred or animosity. In fact, they are so holy that they can bear the very sword that Our Lord condemned. But I confess that I am not such a holy man. I have too much of my own salvation to work out without wasting time trying to kill my neighbor. But for those who have attained such a profound theosis that they feel holy enough to slay their brethren, then who am I to condemn them? God is the Judge, and may He be merciful to me a sinner. And if I beseech His mercy, then why would I not extend mercy even to my enemies? (Forgive me for my “false piety” here, of which some have accused me from time to time. I trust that God knows my heart, and I am confident that He will correct it.)

Okay, then I won't say "false piety", but...I have no way to finish this sentence...  Undecided Suffice it to say that it is not a "waste of time" to defend your family from marauders in Syria, whether it comes down to taking a life (Lord have mercy) or not. These people are not picking up guns because they're out of other things they could be doing, but because they've done everything else to avoid having to do that and it has not worked. It is indeed a terrible, and rapidly degenerating, situation. Please do not turn it into another show of how other people must be in order to be able to do this or that. None of us have any way of knowing what is in anyone else's heart, whether in a war zone or not.

Quote
Now, shame on those of you who call the practitioners of nonviolence "cowards."


The presentation of a good idea in a perhaps less-than-relatable way leads often to this kind of reaction. It is not cowardly to be non-violent, but just the same it is not advisable to hold to absolutes in a situation that does not directly affect you. I pray that none of us would ever take a life or experience what it is to lose someone, but unless or until you're there, all the platitudes about who is further along in Theosis to be doing this or that or whatever leave a bad taste in my mouth. I don't think you're cowardly, but I don't think you're appreciating the gravity of the situation in the first place, either, because you're not there so you can't (just like the rest of us).

Quote
For in condemning nonviolence, you condemn Christ Himself.


I'm not condemning nonviolence. I'm condemning making other peoples' struggle to live into a soapbox from which to preach the moral superiority of your long-distance certitude, whether you are for or against violence as an option when faced with conflict. My grandfathers fought the Nazis all the way across Europe and they didn't do it by dropping reminders of why violence is bad on the Germans. On the other hand, my father didn't fight the Vietnamese, but it wasn't really based on any higher principle (he just didn't want to go there and possibly die in a stupid war he didn't believe in). The world is complicated...I think Christ knows that. Smiley

So I don't condemn any of them. I'm proud, in fact, that some in my family actually put their money where their mouths were and did their small part to beat the fascists and stop the spread of their genocidal evil. It's more than I've ever done with my dumb opinions on the internet, that's for darn sure. (One of them, by the way, was a field medic...a more peaceful, Christlike profession you'd be hard-pressed to find in a war zone.)

Quote
If peacemaking is wrong, if nonviolence is the sin of cowardice, if forgiveness and love for our enemies is indeed a violation of the Christian gospel, then bring forth evidence from the entirety of the New Testament, submit clear confirmation from the Lives of the Saints, and let a tome of attestations from our holy Church fathers emerge.


Are all of these things necessarily equivalent? Is peacemaking by necessity nonviolent, or violence necessarily the absence of forgiveness and love for our enemies? To put it another way: If you break into my residence and try to kill me, I'm going to fight back, but not because I hate you, or do not wish peace for you, or would not forgive you if possible.

Quote
Persuade me that Our Lord - in offering His own life on the Cross - was the epitome of cowardice and naïveté. Persuade me that it is more honorable to kill than to forgive. Persuade me, etc., etc., etc.

Why should anyone here have to persuade you of anything that no one has claimed? You've created these ideas yourself by assuming that those who differ from your opinion on this matter are convinced that such binary/black & white dichotomies actually exist. Reality, my friend, is very rarely so clear cut. I would hope that you would know that, and not turn Christianity into demagoguery for the sake of appearing pious in the face of challenges that, after all, you yourself are not facing.

I posted this story from the desert fathers originally in another thread, but I think it fits here, too:

One day Abba Isaac went to a monastery. He saw a brother committing a sin and he condemned him. When he returned to the desert, an angel of the Lord came and stood in front of the door of his cell, and said, 'I will not let you enter.' But he persisted saying, 'What is the matter?' and the angel replied, 'God has sent me to ask you where you want to throw the guilty brother whom you have condemned.' Immediately he repented and said, 'I have sinned, forgive me.' Then the angel said, "Get up, God has forgiven you. But from now on, be careful not to judge someone before God has done so.'
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 05:33:57 AM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #102 on: September 23, 2012, 05:59:32 AM »

Gebre, I am actually substantially in agreement with what you say in this post, but the judgmental tone of a lot of it kind of puts me off from agreeing with you totally.

It is clear who the peacemakers on this thread are.


^ Stuff like this.

Quote
It is very sad that some people here would use this tragic situation as an excuse to politic for their rationalizations of violence.


And where is this going on? In this thread? The context we are talking about is a civil war, which is inherently political. Nobody really gets to sit it out, even if they never touch a gun. Why? The militias (of all sides) know who is who, and know what they want. It's no different than what we always get in these situations: So and so is with so and so, and against so and so, and if you don't come down somewhere, then you're prey for all factions anyway. So what do you do? Often the choice has been to flee, die, or fight. None of those are to be undertaken lightly, and I haven't seen where anyone in this thread advocated such for political (or other) reasons.

Quote
Human lives and human freedoms are at stake, and war and bloodshed are not mere hypotheticals for philosophical speculation.


Indeed. The Christians in Syria, whether they pick up guns or not, know this much better than you or I. Are you sure you want to judge them for their decision, just because it doesn't match with your viewpoints expressed from thousands of miles away?

Quote
As Habte alluded to earlier, violent conflict is not a sport that Christians should cheer on from the sidelines in partisan fashion.


This would ring a lot less hollow if you didn't just judge a whole bunch of people you don't know for coming to a different conclusion and action than you think you would, when they're the ones who have to deal with the consequences and the violence no matter what they choose or what you think about it. Last time I checked, judging people was a partisan activity.

Quote
Apparently there are some members of this forum who are indeed holy enough to violently kill without hatred or animosity. In fact, they are so holy that they can bear the very sword that Our Lord condemned. But I confess that I am not such a holy man. I have too much of my own salvation to work out without wasting time trying to kill my neighbor. But for those who have attained such a profound theosis that they feel holy enough to slay their brethren, then who am I to condemn them? God is the Judge, and may He be merciful to me a sinner. And if I beseech His mercy, then why would I not extend mercy even to my enemies? (Forgive me for my “false piety” here, of which some have accused me from time to time. I trust that God knows my heart, and I am confident that He will correct it.)

Okay, then I won't say "false piety", but...I have no way to finish this sentence...  Undecided Suffice it to say that it is not a "waste of time" to defend your family from marauders in Syria, whether it comes down to taking a life (Lord have mercy) or not. These people are not picking up guns because they're out of other things they could be doing, but because they've done everything else to avoid having to do that and it has not worked. It is indeed a terrible, and rapidly degenerating, situation. Please do not turn it into another show of how other people must be in order to be able to do this or that. None of us have any way of knowing what is in anyone else's heart, whether in a war zone or not.

Quote
Now, shame on those of you who call the practitioners of nonviolence "cowards."


The presentation of a good idea in a perhaps less-than-relatable way leads often to this kind of reaction. It is not cowardly to be non-violent, but just the same it is not advisable to hold to absolutes in a situation that does not directly affect you. I pray that none of us would ever take a life or experience what it is to lose someone, but unless or until you're there, all the platitudes about who is further along in Theosis to be doing this or that or whatever leave a bad taste in my mouth. I don't think you're cowardly, but I don't think you're appreciating the gravity of the situation in the first place, either, because you're not there so you can't (just like the rest of us).

Quote
For in condemning nonviolence, you condemn Christ Himself.


I'm not condemning nonviolence. I'm condemning making other peoples' struggle to live into a soapbox from which to preach the moral superiority of your long-distance certitude, whether you are for or against violence as an option when faced with conflict. My grandfathers fought the Nazis all the way across Europe and they didn't do it by dropping reminders of why violence is bad on the Germans. On the other hand, my father didn't fight the Vietnamese, but it wasn't really based on any higher principle (he just didn't want to go there and possibly die in a stupid war he didn't believe in). The world is complicated...I think Christ knows that. Smiley

So I don't condemn any of them. I'm proud, in fact, that some in my family actually put their money where their mouths were and did their small part to beat the fascists and stop the spread of their genocidal evil. It's more than I've ever done with my dumb opinions on the internet, that's for darn sure. (One of them, by the way, was a field medic...a more peaceful, Christlike profession you'd be hard-pressed to find in a war zone.)

Quote
If peacemaking is wrong, if nonviolence is the sin of cowardice, if forgiveness and love for our enemies is indeed a violation of the Christian gospel, then bring forth evidence from the entirety of the New Testament, submit clear confirmation from the Lives of the Saints, and let a tome of attestations from our holy Church fathers emerge.


Are all of these things necessarily equivalent? Is peacemaking by necessity nonviolent, or violence necessarily the absence of forgiveness and love for our enemies? To put it another way: If you break into my residence and try to kill me, I'm going to fight back, but not because I hate you, or do not wish peace for you, or would not forgive you if possible.

Quote
Persuade me that Our Lord - in offering His own life on the Cross - was the epitome of cowardice and naïveté. Persuade me that it is more honorable to kill than to forgive. Persuade me, etc., etc., etc.

Why should anyone here have to persuade you of anything that no one has claimed? You've created these ideas yourself by assuming that those who differ from your opinion on this matter are convinced that such binary/black & white dichotomies actually exist. Reality, my friend, is very rarely so clear cut. I would hope that you would know that, and not turn Christianity into demagoguery for the sake of appearing pious in the face of challenges that, after all, you yourself are not facing.

I posted this story from the desert fathers originally in another thread, but I think it fits here, too:

One day Abba Isaac went to a monastery. He saw a brother committing a sin and he condemned him. When he returned to the desert, an angel of the Lord came and stood in front of the door of his cell, and said, 'I will not let you enter.' But he persisted saying, 'What is the matter?' and the angel replied, 'God has sent me to ask you where you want to throw the guilty brother whom you have condemned.' Immediately he repented and said, 'I have sinned, forgive me.' Then the angel said, "Get up, God has forgiven you. But from now on, be careful not to judge someone before God has done so.'

I confess that my tone may seem judgmental. I will try to do better. But in all my expressions of my nonviolent convictions, I have never dared to specifically condemn individuals or groups of individuals that have used force to defend themselves or to defend the innocent. In fact, many advocates of violence have actually condemned me for refusing to personally condemn those who kill abortionists. I consistently condemn any and all acts of premeditated violence - be it offensive or defensive - as contrary to the teachings of the gospel. But I don't dare condemn individuals or groups of individuals. I, however, have been personally condemned as cowardly, falsely pious, judgmental, etc. for my pacifist views.

And I still await the answer to one basic question: If violence is sometimes necessary to save the innocent, then why don't the unborn deserve to be rescued by violent force?


Selam
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 06:00:26 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

“Lord, I say too many uncharitable things about people every day. I say them because they make me look clever. Help me to realize how cheap this is. I am stupid, quite as stupid as the people I ridicule. Help me to stop this selfishness, because I love You dear God." ~ FLANNERY O'CONNOR ~
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Faith: Serbian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: New Gracanica
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« Reply #103 on: September 24, 2012, 12:36:49 AM »


I confess that my tone may seem judgmental. I will try to do better. But in all my expressions of my nonviolent convictions, I have never dared to specifically condemn individuals or groups of individuals that have used force to defend themselves or to defend the innocent. In fact, many advocates of violence have actually condemned me for refusing to personally condemn those who kill abortionists. I consistently condemn any and all acts of premeditated violence - be it offensive or defensive - as contrary to the teachings of the gospel. But I don't dare condemn individuals or groups of individuals. I, however, have been personally condemned as cowardly, falsely pious, judgmental, etc. for my pacifist views.

And I still await the answer to one basic question: If violence is sometimes necessary to save the innocent, then why don't the unborn deserve to be rescued by violent force?


Selam

Gebre, there is no 'may' in your tone sounding judgmental.  I won't push the issue, but there it is.

I will not condemn anyone who uses force to end abortion.  I won't join them because I have too much in this life to loose.

Look at Ergib's post.  She desires peace, but does not condemn those who fight for it.  She admits that she would kill before seeing her family murdered.

See, the problem here is sanctimony.  She got her point across without it.  Our Christian brothers and sisters are suffering over there and while I may not go over there and fight the war for them I will never pompously judge them for doing what they have to do to defend their families.  You want to fight with spiritual weapons?  Here's one for you - "And for our Christ loving armies.  Lord Have Mercy.  And that the may subdue every adversary.  Lord Have Mercy."

Today in Church along with everyone else I prayed with the priest that all Christ loving armies subdue their enemies. 

If they want to convert, cool.  If they want to stay muzzie heretics but stop abusing Chrstian peeple, fine.  If God wants to send down flaming plasma from the heavens to consume them all, then Glory to God.  But if it is His will that our brothers defend their friends and families with a rifle then may God make their bullets more lethal than He did Samson's donkey-jawbone.

Selam, through superior firepower.
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One day we will talk about why people fetishize children, but for now I'll keep on the side of humanity that doesn't think the height of life is a drinking a juice box and eating a tater tot while defecating in their pants.
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