The Curse of Affluence

What follows is a quote on the cover of the NY times magazine, July 26, 2015

“CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST ARE BEING FORCED OUT OF THEIR HOMES, ENSLAVED AND KILLED. WHY IS NO ONE COMING TO THEIR AID?”
www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/magazine/is-this-the-end-of-christianity-in-the-middle-east.html?_r=0

It is part of a lengthy article by Eliza Griswold. When I hear my well – meaning Christian friends, when discussing the Holocaust, say to me that you’ll never be alone, how am I to interpret the title of this article? Christianity is a faith of over a billion people and here are members of the faith looking for help and there is no one there to help them. Here are a few more quotes :

“Christianity was born in the Middle East but with the rise of ISIS and other extremist movements across the region, its very survival there hangs in the balance.”

“What we are living is anarchy, war, death, and the plight of three million refugees. We have been here as an ethnicity for six thousand years and as Christians for 1,700 years.”

This article is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of Western civilization. The fact is that the Church is sometimes reluctant to criticize persecution of Christians in Muslim countries because there are minority Christians in those countries. This in no way justifies the absence of any attempt to help the persecuted minorities and in fact gives unlimited license to continue with the elimination of Christian presence in those countries.

The question always arises: who is financing those terrorist groups, allowing them to obtain the most advanced weapons, technology, and communications? The source is always the quest for oil among the Western countries, in addition to the Southeast and others.

A recent article by Thomas Friedman in the NYTimes (July 29, 2015) is titled FOR MIDEAST IT’S STILL 1979. It is a very thorough review of the developments in the Middle East from 1979 to the present, and particularly relating to Saudi Arabia. The oil money has affected developments in the Middle East, particularly through that period by allowing the regimes of the oil producing Middle East to finance terrorist groups and also satisfy the demands of the Muslim clergy in preaching the most extreme form of Islam called Vahabism. Here is a quote from the article by Friedman:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/opinion/thomas-friedman-for-the-mideast-its-still-1979

“On Tuesday the Middle East Media Research Institute released a translation of a TV interview by the Saudi author Turki al-Hamad about the extremist discourse prevalent in Saudi Arabia. “Who serves as fuel for ISIS?” he asked. “Our own youth. What drives our youth to join ISIS? The prevailing culture, the culture that is planted in people’s minds. It is our youth who carry out bombings. … You can see (in ISIS videos) the volunteers in Syria ripping up their Saudi passports.”

This might in part explain why the number of volunteers from Western countries who reject the affluent way of life follow the most extremist trends in Islam. Some of the funding for the terrorist organizations also comes from trafficking of drugs, because of the demands for drugs from affluent countries. If I was to give a general description of all those above mentioned issues, I would call it the curse of affluence. If these developments will not wake up the Western countries and the others who are likeminded, the future of Western civilization is very troubling indeed, if not hopeless.

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2 thoughts on “The Curse of Affluence

  1. I think the ‘curse of affluence’ only part of the explanation. The other part is that many young people are not given a core set of values in which to believe, so they seek them elsewhere. At a crucial state in their development society fails them. – Andrea Novotny, Forest Hills NY

    • Moshe, Thanks for another very interesting post! Andrea, I agree with you and think this supports Holocaust Education starting with young people.

      Moshe, your post reminded me of this important quote from pastor Niemöller:
      First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Socialist.

      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

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