Christians Building Walls Instead Of Bridges

Posted on January 31, 2011


Author: Stan Moody:

In the history of walls, few have ever achieved the height, length and human misery of the “Concrete Curtain” laid in the Promised Land of Israel. Under the leadership of Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, and now Bibi Netanyahu again, the nation-state of Israel has carved out prime real estate for itself by building a twenty-seven foot concrete wall that meanders through the land and lives of four-million Palestinians, taking the best of their inheritance and compressing them into three disconnected islands of human misery.

Higher than the Berlin Wall and projected to stretch some 400 miles, the Concrete Curtain may be one of the most egregious violations of human rights in modern history, built with the complicit approval of the American government and the overt pressure of the Evangelical Christian Right. The Concrete Curtain is a political and religious statement of enormous proportions, failing to register with American Evangelicals who blissfully worship under the authoritarian leadership of tele-Zionists and preachers who not only monopolize the airwaves but who have positioned themselves as players in Republican Party politics.

“We must kill them before they kill us” is the mantra of these Evangelicals who have built their own wall of separation between the American Dream and the human misery of other Christians in far away places. While they praise God for His blessings on America, they use those blessings to fund illegal settlements on the West Bank and to lobby for the ancient national boundaries of Israel that are destined to trigger the Battle of Armageddon and force Jesus to come back on their timetable rather than that of the God they profess to worship.

Military force being an ineffective deterrent to terrorism, the US and Israel now turn to building walls to protect themselves against outsiders – Israelis in Palestine and the U.S. along our southern border. Walls built to keep others out, however, have exactly the opposite effect. They imprison the builders and embolden those outside to new and exciting challenges. Fear builds the wall, while the challenge to scale the wall becomes a metaphor of hope for the oppressed. In the Information Age, the notion that you could contain the human spirit with a wall is reflective of a medieval mindset in a nuclear age. Besides being a colossal waste of time and resources, it is lunacy of the highest order. We in America have come to accept such lunacy as national security.

I stand with President Jimmy Carter in my conviction that Israel has a right to exist within recognized borders and to be accepted by Palestinians and all its Arab neighbors. The Palestinians, as well, are entitled to the right of return to their homeland. The killing of either, however, cannot be condoned or ignored by church or government. Both Palestinians and Jews must live according to international law and conscience and must be judged impartially.

The question to Jews, Muslims and American Christians hangs in the air, “What does the Lord require of you, O man?” The answer is far removed from preparing the Mount of Olives for the descent of Christ. What is required of us is universal – “…to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8b).