Notice how this Roman Catholic rag slanders "Christianity,"
as if the Maronite Roman Catholics represented real followers of Christ.
From ............ National Catholic Reporter
March 16, 1990
CHRISTIANS WAGE WAR IN HOLY LAND
MORE THAN 900 KILLED IN LEBANON LAST MONTH
By GEORGE E. IRANI
Special to the National Catholic Reporter
GUILDERLAND, NY - Each time, it seems that Lebanon's calvary has no end.
In February, more than 900 Christians lost their lives and thousands were left wounded, homeless or urphans. In the name of Christianity wars are still being waged in the Holy Land.
The carnage took place almost a year to the day after the forces of General Michel Aoun attempted to destroy their rivals in the militias of the Lebanese forces. In February 1989, Aoun, appointed by former President Amin Gemayel as the head of a provisional government launched his "war of liberation," first against the Christian militias, then against the Syrians in Lebanon.
Last year, the internecine battles between the Lebanese army and the Christian militias lasted a week and ended with a compromise. This year, it is a battle to the finish. Already, the cost in human lives is very heavy. Catholics in America are asking why there is again bloodshed in the Land of Cedars.
The answer resides in the power struggle going on today for the absolute control of the Christian enclave. Nowhere in the world today do the political and the spiritual intertwine as in Lebanon. Samir Ja'Ja', head of the Lebanese forces, has inherited the mantle of Bashir Gemayel, the founder of the Christian militias.
Today, the Lebanese forces enjoy a vast network of social services, radio and TV stations and several military barracks. Ja'Ja's militia is wealthy and powerful. There are, in fact, more than 17,000 people on the payroll of the Lebanese forces; 10,000 are civilians.
Aoun, on the other hand, is another charismatic leader. Born in a poor Maronite family in a Shiite-dominated suburb of Beirut, Aoun reached the high echelons of the Lebanese army thanks to his integrity and shrewd mind. Early in 1989, Aoun, strengthened by his popular support in the Maronite community and armed by Iraq and Arafat's PLO, waged a deadly war against Syrian occupation of Lebanon.
By October 1989, Aoun's "war of liberation" was halted by the reforms adopted in Taef (Saudi Arabia) by members of Lebanon's aging parliament. The Taef accords gave more power to the Muslim majority in Lebanon and clipped the wings of the all-powerful president of the republic, a Maronite Catholic since 1943.
Aoun was and still is totally opposed to the Taef accords, especially concerning Syria's presence and role in Lebanon. The general's opposition constituted a significant obstacle for the normalization of the situation in Lebanon. The United States, the Soviet Union, the European community and the League of Arab States supported the reforms agreed upon in Taef. Even the Vatican gave its qualified support.
Unlike Aoun, Ja'Ja's Lebanese forces backed the Taef accords and expressed their support to Lebanon's new president, Elias Hrawi. Their stand was bound to clash with that of Aoun and his friends. This is one of the fundamental causes of the current bloodshed between Maronites in Lebanon.
Another cause is that there is today a deep identity crisis in the Maronite church and community. Since the civil war began in Lebanon in 1975, the Maronite patriarch stood alone in calling for the preservation of the Lebanese model of coexistence between Christians and Muslims.
Maronite bishops, on the other hand, became active players among Maronite political leaders. Pastoral concerns gave way to matters of politics and survival. Initially, the Maronite monks were training to defeat the PLO and its allies in Lebanon.
Last September in his apostolic letter regarding Lebanon, Pope John Paul II wrote that Lebanon was "more than a country: It is a message of freedom and an example of pluralism." The pope, however, neglected to mention that any message requires a messenger.
In this case, the Catholic church's Maronites are in urgent need to redefine their message, their identity and their faith as followers of Christ. Without this change, we are bound to see more blood spilled for political ambitions rather than worshiping for spiritual aims.
THE ARMED GANGS CALLED "CHRISTIAN" by Mr. Irani, ARE IN FACT MARONITE ROMAN CATHOLICS. THESE GANGS ARE NOT AT ALL CHRISTIAN.
THEY ARE PRIME REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BANKRUPTCY OF ORGANIZED RELIGION IN GENERAL, AND OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM IN PARTICULAR.
THIS SITUATION ALSO DEMONSTRATES THE DELIBERATE INABILITY OF THE MASS MEDIA TO DISTINGUISH SPIRITUAL TRUTH.
READ THE BOOK OF ACTS TO FIND OUT HOW REAL CRISTIANS OPERATE.
CALL ON JESUS CHRIST, AND HEED THE REVELATION.
ETERNITY IS A LONG, LONG TIME.