The Horrors of War- The Victims Left Behind- Pray For Them- Pray For Social Justice, Pray For Their Souls and Souls Of Our Country
It was a little past two in the morning. I was parked in the handicapped parking lot of St. David South Hospital watching a raccoon run around and listening to the Coast To Coast Radio Show on my local KLBJ 570 station. Yes, it was my fifth time to take my wife to the emergency room this year, and yes with COVID 19 and the rules- you are not allowed access to patients like pre-pandemic days. Life is short. Please plan accordingly. Then a news story really got me thinking. It was about the fall of Kabul earlier that day.
America’s longest war was not the Civil War, the War of Independence, or the Vietnam war. It was the War in Afghanistan. This war lasted almost 20 years and in less than 24 hours completely and utterly came to an inglorious end. There is no telling what the historians will write in the history books about this effort. Maybe we should have read some of those textbooks before getting over there in the first place? If we had we would have read that Afghanistan has been conquered many times-yet there is one constant in all of this. Each time the country or area had been conquered, the conquerors themselves eventually left on their own accord. It would also be true this time as well. Americans came and they left. Nothing had changed. The same pattern that has existed for thousands of years was working once again- this time it was much more personal.
Full disclosure- my relatives came from Kabul. They too left-back in the 12th century. Unlike other American politicians, I have read history books. The books are full of being conquered and then the conquered leaving. In essence, you are left with this question: who really won those wars? In the end, the Afghani people stay and the conquerors go home vanquished, but the emphasis is on them to go home. Several major American politicians have made a great big deal over the fact that Afghani people did not fight against the Taliban. Let me let you in on a top-secret here, are you listening closely? The reason they did not fight is that they had seen the script to this before it happened. They knew the Americans would leave and if that was the case, once they left they would not help. In other words, it would be torture and suicide to fight against the Taliban when the Americans left so why bother. It wasn’t because they did not want to and it wasn’t because they did not believe in what they had been saying for twenty years, they knew (just like we should have known) that day would come. It has come in the past and now unfortunately it has come again.
I have always been interested in Afghanistan because of my ancestors and the connection I have back to families who lived in the area for thousands of years before that. Yes, I feel akin to a region I have never visited yet a region that is rich in history and a region that was the crossroads between east and west for nearly four thousand years now. The real horror of this situation is for the hundreds of thousands of Afghani people who believed in America as the land of free and home of the brave. We were their protectors against a government that would not allow women rights, would not allow common rights to all people, and would not allow people the rights that God gave them. Governments do not give rights, only God can do that. Governments take away rights, hold people hostage from the truth, and try to pervert the idea of God in the minds of their own people. We are not free, how can we stand on moral principles here when we do not stand for moral principles in our own country?
In an odd twist of history, we are going to look at the First Book of Maccabees Chapter 1 29-40
Attack and Occupation.
29 Two years later, the king sent the Mysian commander* to the cities of Judah, and he came to Jerusalem with a strong force. 30 He spoke to them deceitfully in peaceful terms, and they believed him. Then he attacked the city suddenly, in a great onslaught, and destroyed many of the people in Israel. 31 He plundered the city and set fire to it, demolished its houses and its surrounding walls. 32 And they took captive the women and children and seized the animals. 33 Then they built up the City of David with a high, strong wall and strong towers, and it became their citadel. 34 There they installed a sinful race, transgressors of the law, who fortified themselves inside it. 35 They stored up weapons and provisions, depositing there the plunder they had collected from Jerusalem, and they became a great snare. 36 The citadel became an ambush against the sanctuary, and a wicked adversary to Israel at all times. 37 They shed innocent blood around the sanctuary; they defiled the sanctuary. 38 Because of them the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled away, she became the abode of strangers. She became a stranger to her own offspring, and her children forsook her. 39 Her sanctuary became desolate as a wilderness; her feasts were turned into mourning, Her sabbaths to shame, her honor to contempt. 40 As her glory had been, so great was her dishonor: her exaltation was turned into mourning.
Here, in this passage, they are describing the Seleucid Greeks who had conquered the Holy Lands. These are the same Greeks who had also conquered Afghanistan. Many people do not see the link here. No one likes a conqueror and after all, conquerors end up being defeated in the end. So, therefore, a book from the Bible actually explains in great detail what American politicians knew in 2001 and know today.
In essence, to millions of people in the United States if I would mention the words Left Behind they would immediately think about a multimedia franchise that started with a series of 16 bestselling religious novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins that dealt with Christian dispensationalist End Times: the pretribulation, premillennial, Christian eschatological interpretation of the Biblical apocalypse. However, I am not addressing a Protestant Community in this audience and I am not talking about that at all with my term of Left Behind. I am talking about real, live people, people are living in fear and their only crime was that they were teachers and they taught their students that God granted us all-natural rights. They taught women had rights. They taught women should go to school and become doctors, lawyers, or teachers. They could and should become anything they would like to be. They did not teach that the Government should restrict learning to one gender. They did not teach that women were second or third-class citizens. I am talking about young courageous women teachers like Leena Joya and Nil Rahmani. For the better part of five years, I have been working with these two women on different educational projects about women, women’s rights, and other such projects. I never thought that I would ever see the day that because of this work, that they would be targeted and live in fear, but it has.
See America left and left behind hundreds of thousands of Afghani people who will be put in harm's way simply because they helped out the west or taught western ideas. Brothers and sisters, the truth is the truth. We do not have a corner of it simply because we say so, rather it is the will of God that is at work. We need to do what is right and stand up for courageous people like Leena and Nil, and their families. Without their help, a generation of Afghani students would not have learned about their rights and the law. Now is the time to let your Congressman or Congresswoman know that you are sick of this foreign policy that puts our troops in harm’s way and then we withdraw leaving hundreds of thousands of Afghani people stranded and condemned to death. Stand up and be ready, write your Congressman or woman and make them take the moral stand to help Leena and Nil and their families. We could use more teachers here in the US that would teach that natural rights do not come from the Government, they come from God. Amen