Catholics in Bethlehem

Posted by Censor Librorum on Dec 28, 2007 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

For the last several years I have wanted to go to Bethlehem for Christmas. I have it in my mind to make a pilgrimage to Israel sometime before I’m too old to travel.

I would like to walk with other pilgrims in the Holy Land; where Jesus, St. Paul, and my crusader ancestors walked; but mostly I want to go to see the situation of Catholics in Bethlehem for myself. I don’t believe any of the news media – they seem to me either too naive, biased or religiously strident.

I read a news item last week about Palestinian Christians who had their property confiscated by Jewish settlers. The settlers plan new housing on the site. They were partially financed by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a Chicago-based Christian Zionist group.

Christian Zionists are largely fundamentalist Christians whose commitment to the restoration of Greater Israel to the Jews is based on their belief this is necessary to facilitate the Second Coming of Christ.

Large numbers of Christian Zionists also believe the conversion of the Jews (and the death of the rest of them) is also part of the equation…but obviously they’ve papered-over that little stinking pile and their Jewish members find it convenient not to press the point.

Bush’s jihad for democracy has cost the lives and property of many Iraqi Christians. No one in our government has spoken up for them.

The property of Palestinian Catholics and the church has been confiscated in Israel, and the creation of the Security Wall-while necessary to stop suicide bombers-has often facilitated a land grab and cut off many Catholics from worship, family and work. Our government has not spoken up for their human rights.

“What are you going to do for the human rights of Christians in Israel and Iraq?” That is a question I plan to pose to my elected representatives, and on the websites of both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

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