Actually, it goes beyond that to the point of malign neglect. As Foreign Policy reports, last August Barack Obama signed legislation that would create a special envoy to assist Middle Eastern communities targeted by the Islamic State—but the position is still unfilled [The Real War on Christianity, by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Yochi Dreazen, March 12, 2015].
The Obama Regime is also effectively enabling violence against Christian communities with its Syrian policy. Syrian Christians were reportedly omitted from the American effort to arm “moderate” rebels, even as weapons found their way into the hands of the very extremists now attacking the Assyrians and other non-Muslims [War on Christians: ISIS Goes on Church-Burning and Kidnapping Spree in Syria, by Katie Gorka, Breitbart, February 24, 2015].
The Christians of the Middle East may actually be that rare phenomenon, legitimate refugees. But they are the one group of people in the world (aside from Europeans) that Obama will not let into the United States. The Regime has prioritized the planting of tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees into communities around the U.S. but has taken no action to admit Syrian Christian refugees [Secret planting of up to 75,000 Syrian Muslims Begins in U.S., by Leo Hohmann, WND, January 27, 2015]. Even Canada has possessed the common sense only admit Syrian religious minorities (i.e. non-Muslims) as refugees.
Obama has implemented similar policies toward other countries in the region. In another of his unilateral actions, the President eased rules designed to prevent terrorist funding and removed restrictions that would prevent Muslims who supported extremist groups from immigrating to the United States. At the same time, asylum applications from Egyptian Coptic Christians have mostly been rejected by the State Department [Obama’s new asylum decree favors Muslims over Christians, Investor’s Business Daily, February 21, 2014]. The Administration has also been strangely hesitant to accept Iraqi Christian refugees [France offers Asylum to Iraqi Christians while Obama Turns his back on them, RedState, July 30, 2014].
To be clear: admitting Middle Eastern Christians refugees not a solution to the area’s problems. The United States of America is a nation—not simply a boarding house for the world’s unfortunates. And as Ann Coulter noted in her brilliant column during the Ebola outbreak: “Any good that one attempts downstream is quickly overtaken by what happens upstream.” The core of the Christian world is still the West—and America is the most consequential power in the West. The extinction of these marginal Christian communities is a sign of weakness at the core.
But where is the U.S. Christian Right? A few leaders, like Franklin Graham (son of Billy) have condemned what they call “Muslim influence” on American foreign policy. But far more have been utterly silent [Archbishop makes desperate plea for Assyrian Christians, by Leo Hohmann, WND, March 14, 2015]. And interventionist Republicans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham are eager to bomb the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad—the one government in the region that seems actually willing to protect the Christian communities threatened by the Islamic State [Assad promises to protect Syrian Christians, CBN, April 25, 2014]
The Christian Right’s timidity is especially striking because the GOP has already shown its willingness to defy the President of the United States in the name of Israel. On the very day John Boehner surrendered on Obamnesty, he hosted a foreign head of government who is on the brink of losing his next election. Immediately following that, no fewer than 47 Republican Senators, including “noninterventionist” Rand Paul, signed a letter essentially telling the government of Iran not to trust the American negotiators in talks over nuclear weapons.
Yet even with an election on the horizon, there is hardly a whisper spoken in defense of the co-religionists of the overwhelmingly Christian Republican base.
A perfect example: the supposedly most “right-wing” of all the candidates running for the GOP Presidential nomination, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. In September 2014, Cruz managed to get himself booed off the stage at an event for Middle Eastern Christians by declaring that “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.” When the crowd started to protest, Cruz fell back on SPLC-style rhetoric, saying, “I will say this: I’m saddened to see that some here, not everyone, are so consumed with hate…If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you” [Ted Cruz booed, walks off stage, by Jonathan Topaz, Politico, September 11, 2014].
As Dave Weigel of Slate noted,
Cruz was painting a unicorns-and-rainbows picture of an Israel that does not exist…If you zoom around the paleo blogs and magazines, you will hear many of these factual arguments against what Cruz did. My cynical point (less interesting, sure, than the contemporary geopolitics) is that this does not matter. Cruz wasn't talking to paleos, or Arab Christians. He was talking to the millions of conservatives—77 percent of them, and 70 percent of white evangelicals—who take Israel's side in any dispute. For them, extremism in defense of Israel is no vice.It’s tempting to say that this is simply more evidence of big donor domination of the Republican Party. After all, Sheldon Adelson cares what Republican politicians have to say about Israel, not about the U.S. or about the faith of the overwhelming majority of the despised GOP grassroots.
[Ted Cruz’s brilliant cynicism, September 16. 2014]
Yet this is simplistic. After all, saving the Kurds and other Middle Eastern minorities is the new pet cause of one highly influential Republican donor, Foster Friess, a conservative Christian. Friess even calls himself “embarrassed” and “ashamed” to be an American because of the lack of American help given to the Kurds, who are longtime U.S. allies and de facto allies of Christian and Yazid communities targeted by ISIS [New Player in the ISIS War: Christian Gazillionaire Foster Friess, by Tim Mak, The Daily Beast, March 5, 2015]. But even Friess focuses most of his rhetoric on saving the Kurds rather than on saving the Assyrian Christians or other populations.
What really seems to be holding back the GOP: fear that aligning with the Middle East’s Christians might be seen as implicit Christian identity politics—from which the MSM and powerful forces in the U.S. would certainly recoil. After all, ISIS is said to be trying to provoke a religious war, so any effort aimed specifically at helping Christians could be accused of apparently endorsing that scenario.
But note that even the Coptic Christians recently beheaded in Libya were called “Crusaders” although their community is indigenous to Egypt and pre-dates Islam [There is a hideous irony in western-raised jihadis murdering Coptic Christians for being ‘crusaders,’ by Ed West, Catholic Herald, February 16, 2015]. Simply existing as Christians counts as “Crusading” in the eyes of the jihadis. What Americans do makes no difference.
Besides, we are already in a religious war. Barack Obama recently declared that the United States is “at war with people who have perverted Islam” [Obama says US at war with those ‘perverting Islam,’ Al Jazeera, February 19, 2015]
In other words, the United States isn’t allowed to fight in the name of Christianity—but we evidently must purge the Islamic heretics to promote the true peaceful vision of the Prophet (PBUH).
The West is not defined solely by Christianity. But it’s almost impossible to imagine any kind of revival of our civilization that would not involve a revitalization of the West’s historic faith. Yet Christian leaders seem eager to divorce the faith from any linkage with Western culture, with everyone from Pope Francis to the Southern Baptist leadership demanding that the West essentially eliminate its own ethnic and cultural identity in the name of moral abstractions and universal beliefs.
Yet without real cultures that possess both identity and faith, such abstractions and beliefs are powerless. Israel is an important issue to Republican politicians because a great number of American Jews see the defense of their ethnostate as core to their identity and are willing to mobilize in its defense. American Christians, in contrast, are rootless, on the retreat on social issues, and a plaything of foreign powers in international politics. Hence we have the absurd situation of mostly Christian American soldiers being told they are fighting to defend the correct interpretation of Islam.
If the Christian Right wants to stop losing in slow motion, it needs to work to re-establish the faith as part of the identity of the American people—which means opposing non-traditional immigration (especially from Islamic countries), opposing domestic Christophobia like the War on Christmas, and by conscious solidarity with the heritage of the West.
Only a West willing to defend Christianity as part of its own heritage can defend Middle Eastern groups like the Assyrians.
And that requires Christian leaders to start defending their civilization—instead being complicit in its destruction.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.