It’s been said that truth is the first casualty of war, and this seems the case as the Israel/Hamas conflict produces a fog of war, but we’re also seeing some things with more clarity.
Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #115 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.
In times of crisis, especially war, what people really believe emerges in the crucible of fear and anger.
I have been astounded—and disturbed—by some of the reactions to the Holy Land conflict that I have seen thus far.
“Hamas live-streamed their terror. Israel showed the world the pictures and videos of the terror. But many people simply denied the terror happened. It was remarkable watching progressive members of Congress refuse to acknowledge the terror. It was more remarkable to see how many antisemites came out of the shadows to cheer on the murders of Israelis while denying the murders even happened.”
“Many antisemites have taken to denying the babies were decapitated, claiming the story was debunked. The story was not debunked. In fact, reporters and military officials have all come forward as eyewitnesses to say they saw it for themselves.
But, even if the babies had their heads, they were still murdered.”
What do people really believe? Recent, rampant antisemitism, blatantly and bluntly shouted on college campuses and in street demonstrations around the world and in the U.S. is evidence.
Those of us who read or research the radical left knew this was there, but now there’s no excuse for the public knowing this kind of hate is part and parcel of leftist, godless, socialist viewpoints. What has been most surprising to me is the audacity and extent of this antisemitism, like protesters in Australia chanting “Gas the Jews.” Until now, I could not have imagined anyone but neo-Nazis chanting a phrase like that.
A new phrase is circulating in varying versions: “Palestinian babies are as precious as Israel babies.” Now what right-thinking moral person would disagree with this?
But why is this phrase circulating now, just as Israel is seeking to hold Hamas to account, which seems to suggest the phrase is speaking more to Israel than Hamas.
In any event, the phrase with associated cuteness memes is making the rounds on social media.
Another clarity: what at first was called “misinformation” has morphed into constant fears of “disinformation,” which of course does exist, but mostly is a term used by the radical left to label any comment that calls into question what’s now called the “prevailing acceptable narrative.” In the blinded minds of the radical left, they think anything with which they disagree should be silenced.
The word, “narrative” is a good word, but it’s been co-opted to mean an ideological messaging point of view. “Prevailing acceptable narrative” is a phrase used now as a bludgeon to silence discussion, on a par with “the science is settled.”
We’ve not only lost our ability to identify right and wrong, now we celebrate wrong, even evil.
This is happening because “America lacks a cohesive and coherent moral compass. In 1981, around 90 percent of Americans identified as Christian, today that number is closer to 60 percent and declining rapidly. America once debated the truth.
Now, everyone has their own truth, and anyone can be a woman. The ‘woke’ application of relativism across our institutions has banished meritocracy and undermined the rule of law with a politicized federal bureaucracy. The knock-on effects of moral decline and mediocrity are enormous.”
Decades of public education teaching moral relativism is now rearing its head in people arguing that what Israel is doing in self-defense is somehow morally equivalent with what Hamas did in a horrific infiltration resulting in mass execution.
“Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are two of the most vocal and visible terrorist-sympathizing voices on the Hill. Both have a history of anti-Semitic shenanigans, Omar with the more extensive list, including the infamous tweet about Israel having hypnotic powers over the world. Omar, remember, couldn’t denounce radical Islamic terrorists who committed the 9/11 attacks, describing it as an event where ‘some people did something.’”
Some Hamas sympathizers in the American university and the US Congress argue that the attack didn't happen at all. How seemingly intelligent individuals can embrace such provably false ideas is perplexing.
Another thing has been made starkly clear. Many people are willing to argue for and support peace at any cost.
I heard Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, say she believed all parties in this conflict wanted a de-escalation. She willingly ignores both statements and evidence of evil in the name of her version of peace. It makes me wonder whether she has read the Hamas charter, listened to them or Iranian leaders, and does she really believe Hamas will respond to reasoning? Where is justice in a peace achieved at any cost?
A guest of SAT-7’s program last week, A Different Angle, Freddy Al-Bayadi, a Christian member of the Egyptian parliament said, “Peace is tied to justice. If we are calling for peace, then we must call for justice as well. We see biases in some media agencies and governments, where they lean to one side or another regardless of what that side is doing, so they defend that side from any aggression while remaining silent about aggressions being suffered by the other side…Our role as Christians is to clarify that truth and peace come together.”
Certainly, Christians are called upon to pursue peace, God’s peace, in the lives of every individual, by grace through faith in Christ, and God’s peace in the world in which we live. (Rom 12:15-21). The challenge is how to establish a just and lasting peace and upon what values and criteria is peace established? And the bigger question is that this Israel/Hamas conflict is only ostensibly about land. What it is really about is ethnic demography and hate.
How can I say this? Look back at the Khartoum Resolution, 1967, which clarified that Arab states intended to act according to the “three NOs”: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel. The Six-Day War followed shortly thereafter in 1967.
How do you establish peace between two groups when one of them wants to exterminate the other?
Here’s a fourth issue made clear: many people quickly side with Palestinian perspectives out of an a priori choice, and in a similar way many American evangelicals side with Israel a priori. Is this choice rooted in confirmation bias or their worldview or the undue influence of media?
Christians organizations in the U.S. have quickly aligned themselves, leaning toward or firmly placing themselves on one side or the other, Israel or Palestinian.
Most of these Christian entities favoring Palestine are thankfully not endorsing Hamas terrorism, nor are they expressing antisemitic ideas. They are rather expressing concern for the Palestinian people who are trapped in either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.
Palestinian proponents say Israel is “occupying” Palestinian territories, perpetuating an apartheid state. Israel proponents say Israel is not “occupying,” only walling and blockading the “disputed” Palestinian territories because of the ongoing threat of suicide bombers (significantly reduced since the West Bank Barrier Wall was built) and, to protect against mass attack like the Hamas infiltration.
Global opinion says Palestinians are not Hamas. True, but others note that Gaza residents celebrated in the streets when they got news of the Hamas massacre. And Israel says the people of Gaza elected Hamas in 2006, and Hamas is responsible for the difficult living conditions in Gaza.
The likelihood of escalation with more state or terrorist actors getting involved is very high. This certainly should be part of our prayers, that Hezbollah does not get more involved coming out of Lebanon in the north, that Iran and Syria stay out of this, that Hamas terrorists be brought to account, and that a just peace can soon be established.
Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com.
And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.
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