I am not surprised I missed this. Not one of those things the MSM had much interest in covering. Nevertheless, Trump signed an interesting bill on December 11, 2018.
This move was a long overdue one; correcting a policy enacted by Barack Obama and John Kerry that was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. On Friday, the President signed HR 390, The Iraq and Syria Genocide and Accountability Act of 2018 into law. Vice-President Pence and US Ambassador to the Vatican were present at the signing ceremony. (continued here (nightwind777.blogspot.com))
Night Wind obviously did not think much of the Obama administration. It may be an overstatement to say that the Obama administration was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities. Nevertheless, Obama and his State Department put together a useless and feckless policy.
What coverage was there of the signing ceremony? Well, Obama’s adoring fans mostly ignored the event.
- Trump signs bill to help religious minorities in Iraq, Syria (washingtonpost.com): Here was a tidbit, an AP report.
- A Powerful Mechanism To Respond To The Atrocities Perpetrated In Iraq And Syria (forbes.com): This was the top hit in Google. The author refers to ISIS as Daesh. I wish the news media could pick an name for that sadistic bunch of killers and stick to it.
- Remarks by President Trump at the Signing Ceremony for H.R. 390, Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018 (whitehouse.gov): Here is a record of President Trump’s remarks. Naturally, the news media wanted to talk about something else. Since what Trump had to say was interesting anyway, his remarks are worth reading.
- ‘Victory for Victims’: Trump Signs Genocide Relief Act for Iraqi and Syrian Christians (ncregister.com): This is fairly detailed. Christian new outlets had most of the coverage.
- Donald Trump Signs Genocide Relief Act for Christians in Iraq and Syria (breitbart.com): Breitbart at least had the decency to cover the signing.
Think about this. Muslim terrorists have almost driven Christians out of large portions of Iraq and Syria. This is part of the world where Christianity had its beginnings, and what has the MSM been doing? Covering the story? Not exactly. For some inexplicable reason we were supposed let more Muslims into the United States and almost ignore the murder of thousands of Christians.
Did the MSM cover the atrocities against Christians? There are stories out there. Google christian refugees isis Iraq syria. What is interesting, however, is the number of reports from Christian news sources.
Here is a Washington Times report from last month, Horror of Islamic State revealed as Iraq, Syria reclaim occupied lands (washingtontimes.com). It describes a mess.
We had our troops in place. Then we pulled them out and for no good reason. All we did is leave a power vacuum, and some really awful people moved into that vacuum. Yet the MSM still wanted us to vote for Hillary Clinton, that brilliant lady who helped to instigate an Arab Spring. Perhaps that explains the MSM’s coverage.
About time the USA woke up to do something about aiding Christians in other countries.
Now if only the USA would wake up and do something about USA Christians…………
Regards and good will blogging.
Just curious. Do you classify yourself as an evangelical voter, and I mean that in that in the political, rather than the theological sense?
I am a Constitutional Conservative. I believe that political philosophy most honors the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I suppose my Christian beliefs lean most towards Reformed theology.
Guess that falls within the evangelical range.
If you want a good explanation of what I think the Bible is suppose to mean in the Christian life, try reading The Pilgrim’s Progress (https://www.gotquestions.org/The-Pilgrims-Progress.html) by John Bunyan.
Renewing Your Mind (https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/10/13/the-pilgrims-progress) has been broadcasting an explanation of the allegory every Saturday (still in progress). Derek Thomas is a scholar who has made himself an expert on the book.
Thanks. I’ll take a look.
Just based on some recent reading, it seems that the term “evangelical Christian” has taken on conservative political connotations as a self identified voting block and a leadership that spans denominations (even some Catholics self identify in this category). Because independent and individualist thinking seems to be a proclaimed value in this religio-political movement, it doesn’t really appear at first glance to have hierarchical leadership as a polity so much a several self proclaimed spokesmen, and these spokesman also claim to be the true voice of what “the Bible is supposed to mean”, not just as you say in “the Christian life”, but more directly to my question, in a political life. Your answer above would seem to identify you as part of this polity, but I was curious if you also self identify politically in this affiliation.
As you know, I recently read a line-by-line study of the Book of Jonah by the Reverend Timothy Keller. Mostly the book was a great bible study, but Keller also had some things to say about how a Christian normatively should relate to politics and political affiliation. I found it interesting that, although Keller is quite obviously an “evangelical” in the theological sense, he purposefully eschews being characterized that way because of the peculiar political affiliation that the term has come to connote.
I am just finishing a book by Jon Meacham called “The Soul of America” that encompasses various movements into what is a history of America’s reoccurring flirtation with religiously bigoted, xenophobic and ethnocentrist pathologies. And I am just starting a book called “Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelism” by religious historical scholar, Molly Worthen.
As a Christian and a political junky, this line of study fascinates me. I could be misinterpreting it, but your repost here seems (in almost apocalyptic terms) to be about Trump throwing another bone to this evangelical political movement in order to keep their core support, and despite Trump’s obvious moral deficiencies to Christian evangelism as a just a theological category.
Here are a couple of broadcasts by a historian.
They were part of a series of 70 broadcasts that ran each Saturday.
After the USSR fell, the news media started referring to the Russians who wanted a return to Communism as Conservatives. Shrug!
Since the law is a moral construct, any religious belief that includes teachings about morality has political implications. It doesn’t make any logical sense to expect otherwise.
You wrote a long comment, but you did not say there is anything wrong with the law Trump signed.☺
Sometimes it is what we don’t say that most matters.
“You wrote a long comment, but you did not say there is anything wrong with the law Trump signed.☺”
I’m not sure that I have to have an intellectual or moral opinion on everything. First of all, I just don’t know enough about it. Second of all, I have very little influence in this matter. That said, who cares what my opinion is?
As self gratifying as it is to do so, I wonder why we all feel the need to pontificate on everything. Our broad motivations, both conscious and unconscious, underlying our political opinions and objections interest me though.
For example, the person you are reposting, SW and you all seem to be approving of the Trump government’s type of interventionism and critical of Obama government’s type of interventionism, specifically with regard to Christians in foreign lands being victimized at the hands of Muslims. And yet you seem less sympathetic to government interventionism to protect innocent Christians who are being terrorized by irreligious criminals in lands just south of us, even when they flee as refugees to our own borders. Why the difference in Christian motivation toward government intervention? How does having one’s innocent family killed by hot hearted Muslims strike less at the heart of Jesus than having one’s family killed by cold blooded criminals. Is our moral sympathy truly a selfless concern about the immoral victimization or is it a more selfish concern that our identity group is being victimized. Regardless, Ivjust don’t know enough about it to have an informed opinion, but forgive me if, knowing Trump, I can’t help but doubt that Trump is doing it for anything other than selfish reasons of political survival. I you think Trump has moral ideals then you’ll you’ll have to illustrate them for me because nothing he has said or done in his whole life seems to exemplify them.
Unlike what you try to do to others here, I’m not trying to assign to you identities or affiliations that you don’t assign or express to yourself, but the contradictions do fascinate me. Perhaps we all are just a jumble of contractions, and we don’t give ourselves enough criticism or each other enough credit for those contractions so as to enlighten us to be a little less certain in both the knowledge or the moral consistency of our constant opinionating.
I agree that the law and government have complex moral, and therefore religious, implications. Both also are influenced by complex sociological and psychological motivations. There are many vectors of force influencing the confluence of our opinions, individually and as groups, and that’s before we even consider that we have neither the knowledge, the experience nor the expertise on, in this case, the vast historical, cultural, strategic, moral and religious ramifications of either doing nothing (fecklessness) or doing too much (interventionism).
Pontificate on everything? Could not do that? Not possible.
What is the difference between Trump government’s type of interventionism and Obama government’s type of intervention? Trump is not trying to flood our country with either undocumented Democrats or Republicans. That law is about assisting those people where they live.
So does that mean you are in favor of our sending American soldiers to Central America to police the criminals and protect the innocents there?
No, of course not. I am also not silly enough to equate poverty in Central America with the unstable powder kegs in the Middle East.
You think your party need to import poor and ignorant people to maintain a permanent underclass? No? Then what is this discussion about?
Well, for me it’s about an interest in motivations and contractions. And you have answered my curiosity in that regard. Thanks.
“No, of course not. I am also not silly enough to equate poverty in Central America with the unstable powder kegs in the Middle East.“
Me neither. I’m not “silly enough” to think I know many things. For example:
1. How much does economics play into problems of victimization everywhere, including here.
2. What are the complex historic cultural and sociological differences and similarities between diverse moral pathologies playing out around the world.
3. How does the recent evolution of the modern democratic state provide both a solution and a catylist for these problems.
4. What are the effects of globalization, an engine of economic prosperity, which also makes the world smaller and brings problems half a world away right to our doorstep and into our living rooms, no matter how hard we try to hide under our beds.
5. How does every action cause an equal and opposite (and often unintended) reaction. When I worked in the intel field, this is what they referred to as “blowback”. So how is the Balfour Agreement blowback for the Seven Days War blowback for the Lebanese Civil War blowback for the Iran Hostage crisis blowback for the rise of the Bathists blowback for the invasion of Iraq blowback for Isis blowback for the persecution the Kurds, of the Christians and of the Yazidis, and on and on and on. How does such blowback for the Cold War and American drug addiction and the war on drugs (which I actually fought in) contibute to the problems in Central and South America.
I could keep going, but you won’t get the point unless you want to.
So you are not silly enough? But you are.
We are not capable of policing the world. We are also not.capable of absorbing everyone who wants to come here. Yet you insist I choose one or the other?
To the extent we can, we have to pick our fights. Will we always choose wisely? No. That’s why we pray.
This is a quote form the Introduction of “Apostles of Reason” that seems to apply to what I just wrote:
“American evangelicals have a strong primitivist bent. They often prefer to think their faith indistinguishable from the faith of Christ’s apostles. But they are creatures of history like everyone else, whether they like it or not.”
This should be an interesting read.
“So you are not silly enough? But you are.
We are not capable of policing the world. We are also not.capable of absorbing everyone who wants to come here. Yet you insist I choose one or the other?
To the extent we can, we have to pick our fights. Will we always choose wisely? No. That’s why we pray.”
I agree completely.
“So you are not silly enough? But you are.”
You may start from the premise that I am a silly old man who has outlived what little relevance he had. I am learning to always start from that point and so I expect you should do so too. There is joy in accepting one’s silliness just as there is despair in taking oneself far too seriously.
So you read nonsense that confirms your biases. Then you use the propaganda you read to tell me who I supposedly am. That’s silly! That deserves the same kind of eye roll as a Liberal Democrat telling a Conservative how to be good Conservative.
You claim to be a Christian. Instead of trying me who I am, read the Bible. Find out who God is and who He says you are.
So you have no simplistic self confirming pretensions about the wrong headed beliefs of others? And you don’t constantly lecture others on how they need to be like you? Have you ever honestly considered the term projection in the first person sense? 😆
Look carefully at my blog. I don’t tell others to be like me. I point to Jesus Christ. I don’t propose to use the power of government to make others into Christians. I just defend the Christianity and Conservativism.
Do I do anything perfectly? No. That is why I point to Christ. That is why I encourage others to study the Bible and Conservative principles for themselves. That is why I support limited government.
Why do you feel the need to defend yourself to me when what you say so obviously speaks for itself? Most of the terrible conflict in the world being perpetrated by the children of the light has been to cover their own guilt and doubt rather than just embracing that guilt and doubt. We pretend that it is our God we are projecting instead of our own pride. Every religious war projects God as their first weapon, and thus the true God ends up being their first casualty.
The thing about projecting one’s shadow onto the world rather than seeing it for what it is is that few of us (myself included) actually recognize when we are doing it.
You make me the issue. Then you complain when I point out you reading things into what I wrote that are not there. Then you blame people like me for starting religious wars and wonder why I defend myself?
Before you make accusations, please think about what you are saying. I want a limited government. I don’t think government is competent to solve all our problems. That makes people like me are responsible for the mess in the world? Because we don’t want to do things the way you want things done?
Government is force. Who insists upon using more force than is needful? Just exactly who is full of himself?
“You make me the issue. Then you complain when I point out you reading things into what I wrote that are not there. Then you blame people like me for starting religious wars and wonder why I defend myself?”
I did nothing of the kind. Read what I wrote. I wrote that what you say speaks for itself, and wondered why you feel the need to defend it. I blame all of us as well meaning but unwilling to face our lack of innocence and certainty, and so cover fear and doubt with aggression and pridefulled pretense that leads to polarization of the otherwise well intentioned. . You’d think we could agree on such a common truth but instead you insist on proving my point. Are you not now, out of nowhere projecting the straw men of your own demons upon me, starting with some my supposed advocacy of Orwellian intolerant government? Next, I suppose you’ll determine that I am promoting child sex trafficking or crucifying you for Reformation apostasy?
Yes, Tom, we are all quite full of ourselves. And it is a recognition of that that has been my only point here, a point that you keep proving for me. 🙃
Check out my latest post.
not surprised in the least. about time we started caring for actual victims. they probably integrate better as well.