Christians Wait for Defined Intervention
President Obama keeps talking about “rising above ideology and partisanship.” Maybe it’s time he took his own advice. More than 200 Democrats and Republicans are cosponsoring a House resolution addressing an issue they shouldn’t have to: the genocide in the Middle East. If the Obama administration were as “appalled,” “horrified,” and “concerned” about the annihilation of Christians as the White House says it is, U.S. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebr.) wouldn’t have to take the unusual step of addressing the crisis before the president.
“When ISIS systematically targets Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities for extermination, this is not only a grave injustice,” Rep. Fortenberry argued, “it is a threat to civilization itself. We must call the violence by its proper name: genocide.” The House vote on H. Con. Res. 75 comes ahead of the administration’s Thursday deadline, when Secretary of State John Kerry promised to have an answer on the department’s months-long legal analysis of the term. Genocide, George Mason University expert Gregory Stanton says, “packs moral force, and it requires action. And what we have here is a case where the administration is not ready to make the determination, because it is not determined to do what is necessary to really stop ISIS with the full force that it needs to do.”
America has lost its chance to lead on the crisis now that much of the Western world has already weighed in. But we can’t afford to be left totally behind on such a crucial issue either. Just imagine, Kathryn Jean Lopez writes, what’s happening right now to the people targeted by ISIS.
The new report from the Knights of Columbus details some of it. “Among the images that jump off of the near 300 pages: A Christian man from Mosul who committed suicide after ISIS fighters ‘brutally raped his wife and daughter in front of him.’ Or the woman who ‘was victimized so often that she resorted to defecating on herself to make herself less desirable, and had to be trained to use the bathroom again after she escaped.’ Or the buying and selling of sex slaves, including children. According to the report, ‘ISIS is estimated to have taken over 1,500 Yazidi and Christian girls as sex slaves. They are bought and sold on an open slave market, and are often raped in rapid succession by a number of fighters in a single night.'”
These are just some of the nightmares that continue during the administration’s silence. And while the word “genocide” alone won’t stop the suffering, it will certainly go a long way to sparking actions that will. Through mostly non-military means, we can bring help and hope to our Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering for nothing more than following Jesus.
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