Between Barbara Seaborns June 22 column (Our brothers keeper?), and P.K. Fitzgeralds June 25 letter (Reject plan for Israel to "cough up so-called Palestinian state), I dont know which is worse.
Seaborn takes a snapshot of events in the Middle East, and gives the impression that Judeo-Christians are good, Islamic Arabs are bad. She acknowledges she hasnt even read the Koran, and other than trips to Turkey, she has probably not spent much time in an Arab country. People such as her exist in the Arab world, too, only as their snapshot, they use Prime Minister Ariel Sharon leading the Israeli forces into Lebanon, and allowing Lebanese-Christian forces to slaughter hundreds of men, woman and children in a Palestinian refugee camp. Or the current Israeli attack on anything they deem Hamas. In this view, the Israeli and Christian God would be slightly different. To most of the Arab world, it is one of cruelty and death. In other words, snapshots like that are a terrible judge of who people are!
The Koran, like the Bible, has many phrases that people take out of context for their selfish gain. However, the foundation of Islam, the five pillars, is just as worthy as anything in the Bible.
About the only thing I can agree with Fitzgerald is that fundamental Islam is against Christianity and Judiasm, just as fundamental Christianity is against Judiasm and Islam, and fundamental Judiasm is against Christianity and Islam. The only common thread in the evil and terror in the world is the fundamentalists, not the religions.
The rest of Fitzgeralds letter just cries for explanation. How do Biblical statements from thousands of years ago apply to U.S. patriotism? Im a retired veteran. Even though I have 21 years of military service, am I unpatriotic because I think a Palestinian family, whose ancestors have lived in the same house for hundreds of years, should keep their land? Or that they should, God-forbid, have a say in government (which they now dont)?
I guess I missed my history course where they taught the section in the U.S. Constitu-tion that declared the Old Testament part of U.S. doctrine. And as a so-called Christian nation, we should ignore such trivial New Testament statements like we are no longer Jews and Gentiles, but one in Christ. In fact, Im beginning to wonder why Christ even came to earth, as we tend to ignore much of what he says. I guess the Old Testament gives people much more fodder for hostility, racism and wars than anything Christ taught. Its so much easier to use Old Testament war cries and battle lines than love thy neighbor as thyself as a way of life.
Ive been to most of the countries in the region, and there, as here, the majority of the people in all the nations are kind, warm-hearted people just trying to make a living. To try to paint any of these people as evil, or somehow inferior, is racist.
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