Thirty-five miles northeast of Damascus is a small Christian village built into the mountains of Syria. Until yesterday, the most interesting thing about this town called Maaloula was that its 6,000 residents are among the last in the world who still speak Aramaic – the language Christ spoke as a boy in a carpentry shop, as man giving a sermon from a mount, and on the eve of his death and resurrection when he broke bread and poured wine and said, "This is my body…. This is my blood."
Yesterday, according to reports by eyewitnesses, the Christians of Maaloula were attacked by a vicious army with no respect for human life and a special hatred for the Christians it calls infidels. They were driven from their homes. They were murdered in their streets.
Based on the recent rhetoric from President Obama and his administration, you might at first assume that the Syrian dictator and his army were responsible for this hate crime against the innocent Aramaic-speaking Christians of Maaloula. But the truth is quite the contrary. As has been the case in many prior attacks on Syria's Christian minority, the culprits were al-Qaeda-linked rebels – the very same rebels Mr. Obama is preparing to help by bombing the Assad regime.
This past Sunday, as President Obama and his administration ratcheted up the usual media spin machine to promote their agenda, I was hoping pastors across the United States would stand up with moral courage and tell their congregations the truth about the ethnic cleansing of Christians in Syria. I was hoping that they would ratchet up the calls for the truth about who our enemies are. However, this administration and their media puppets have done such a good job of confusing the situation, many of those pastors have no idea who our enemy is.
Let's be clear: Our greatest enemy in the world is al Qaeda. It's the same al Qaeda that attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, that blew up American embassies in Africa in 1998, that attacked the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, and that murdered 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. It's the same al Qaeda that fought us in Iraq and that is still fighting us in Afghanistan.
It is also the same al Qaeda that has declared war on the Christians of Syria and believes it has been charged by God to ethnically cleanse the land of all men, women, and children who dare to believe in Jesus Christ. To date, the rebels have burned down more then 30 churches, and they have tortured and murdered countless Christians. Earlier this month, more than nine innocent Syrians celebrating a Christian feast were brutally shot at their dining room table. On June 23rd, a Catholic priest was beheaded while trying to defend his sister nuns at the monastery of St. Simon. Just this past weekend, a video was released of a young Christian girl being mutilated and butchered while still alive.
What President Obama has not told you about his plan to bomb Syria is that it will make us allies of these butchers of Christians, because many of the rebels our bombings will help are linked to al Qaeda.
Where is the outrage from the Evangelicals, Catholics, and other Christians across this country as our brothers and sisters in Christ are being murdered and our President is about to strengthen the terrorists who are killing them? Our Pastors need to be preaching from the pulpit, encouraging their congregations to tell their members of Congress not to vote for the President's proposal to make our men and women in uniform involuntary allies of al Qaeda.
This is not the time for Christians to just sit back and eat their Chick Fil A sandwiches, wear their WWJD bracelets, or stick an extra fish on the back of their minivans. This is the time when our faith has called us to stand up, speak out, and demand that our country not align itself with a terrorist organization sworn to murder our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In our Lord's Sermon on the Mount, he promised (in Aramaic) the kingdom of heaven to those who are persecuted, like the victims of al-Qaeda's jihad against Syria's Christians. My faith leaves me with no doubt those those of them who have died now live in a better world. My hope is that we do nothing to aid the persecutors who cut short their lives in this one.