What to pray for on the 2013 World Day of Prayer for Peace: Some facts and some perspective…

 

With the “World Day of Prayer for Peace” just around the corner, what should people be praying for?  Perhaps a few facts along with a bit of perspective will provide a better focus for answering that question.

First: some facts.

Since its inception, the State of Israel has been a social democracy and, for decades, the American Jewish community has supported both the Jewish state as well as the Democrat Party.  Noteworthy is the fact that 78% of American Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and, as reported by JTA, 69-70% did the same in 2012.

Yes, that’s down approximately 10%.  But, still, a pretty substantial majority.

Why do so many American Jews support President Obama whose support for the State of Israel during his first term was tepid, at best?  Perhaps the majority of the American Jewish community is prepared to support Israel as long as none of them has to pay the ultimate price.

"Now you listen here, Bibi."

“Now you listen to me, Bibi.”

Then, too, many in the U.S. Catholic community have for decades supported the Jewish state as well as the Democrat Party.  Like the American Jewish community, 51% of Catholics favored the President in 2012 while 54% favored then-candidate Obama in 2008.  Not as substantial a majority, but substantial enough.

Yet, among those on the American catholic left, support for the Jewish state has been declining during the past two decades, shifting to the Palestinians.  Citing so-called “human rights abuses” by successive Israeli governments, many on the American catholic left have been promoting Yasser Arafat as the poster boy for freedom fighters across the globe.

Interestingly, this pro-Palestinian bent in the American catholic left increased during the closing decades of the Cold War when the United States supported Israel and the then-Soviet Union supported the anti-Israel, Arabic world.  It culminated in  the “Arab Spring,” as many of the American catholic left supported this so-called “pro-democracy movement.”  In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak was driven from office and made the poster boy of all brutal dictators.  Many on the American catholic left rejoiced in his departure from the scene.

Second: some perspective.

With a democratically elected, constitutional, radical Muslim regime soon to be ruling Egypt, those on the American catholic left who supported the Arab Spring and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak will find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.  This new regime is likely to end up being even more unjust and violent than Mubarak’s.

How so?  Just check out what’s been transpiring in places where radical Muslims are in control and backed by Sharia law, places like Iran and Nigeria.  Pope Benedict XVI cited the latter in his 2012 “Urbi et Orbi,” calling for “concord in Nigeria” where “savage acts of terrorism [by the militant Muslim Jihadist group Boko Haram] continue to reap victims, particularly among Christians.”

A Catholic Church destroyed by the militant Muslim Jihadist group Boko Haram

A Catholic Church that was bombed by the radical Muslim group Boko Haram

Will these facts matter to the American catholic left?

Probably not.

After all, the American catholic left was pretty much silent when it came to President Obama’s nifty little war (aka, “Overseas Contingency Operation”) in Libya.  Then, too, they have been pretty much silent about the injustices being perpetrated by radical Muslims in Africa.

Third: prayer.

Sadly for those who have been suffering these horrific injustices for the better part of the past decade, what the American catholic left prioritized during those year are the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals, for which an American catholic left social justice group—the Center of Concern—published a special prayer:

Prayer for the Millennium Goals:

In a world where so many go hungry,
Let us make the fruits of Creation
available for all.
In a world where one billion of our brothers and sisters
do not have safe drinking water,
Let us help the waters run clear.
In a world where so many children
die so young,
And so many mothers die in childbirth,
And so many families
are ravaged by disease,
Let us bring health and healing.
In a world where women carry
such heavy burdens,
Let us recognize and restore
the rights of all.  (by Jane Deren)

Noble humanistic concerns, but far short of the mark during a period when Catholics  are being brutally terrorized and murdered by radical Muslims under the disguise of democratic reforms.

In seeking to right the injustices caused by man’s inhumanity against man, what Catholics and all people of good will should be concerned with is true and abiding peace which is pure grace, God’s gift to mankind.  This grace should be the focus of prayer this 2013 World Day of Prayer for Peace.

 

 

To access the American Jewish community’s voting record, click on the following link:
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/11/07/3111381/fighting-over-every-percentile-arguing-about-the-jewish-vote-and-exit-polls

To access the Catholic vote in 2012 and 2008, click on the following links:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/08/us-usa-campaign-religion-idUSBRE8A71M420121108

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/07/catholic-voters-heavily-favored-obama-analysis-sho/?page=all

To read the text of Pope Benedict’s “Urbi et Orbi,” click on the following link:
http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/popes-2012-urbi-et-orbi-address-open-the-door-of-faith/

To learn more about the Center of Concern, click on the following link:
https://www.coc.org/about-us 

To learn more about Catholic social justice, check out “Education for Justice” at the Center of  Concern:
https://educationforjustice.org/taxonomy/term/336

 

 

13 Responses to What to pray for on the 2013 World Day of Prayer for Peace: Some facts and some perspective…

  • The Motley Monk says:

    You might tell your priest that the UN did NOT recognize Palestine as a state. The UN granted the Palestinians “Observer Status” in the General Assembly. A state can’t be “recognized” until or unless it has recognizable borders. “Palestine” doesn’t.

  • Actually I think the UN did recognize the Palestinians as a state:

    “The resolution elevates their status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state,” the same category as the Vatican, which Palestinians hope will provide new leverage in their dealings with Israel.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/29/world/meast/palestinian-united-nations/index.html

    http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2012/ga11317.doc.htm

  • The Motley Monk says:

    What the UN did was to create a legal fiction because the UN does not have the right to create states. Palestine is a “state” de jure but not de facto.

    An analogy: The UN’s action in regard to Palestine has no more consequence than does the so-called “ordination” of women to the priesthood.

  • Well, the UN created Israel in 1947 along with a separate Arab state in 1947. The Arabs rejected the partition plan and Israel established its independence on the battlefield by fending off the attacks of all of its Arab neighbors and the opposition of most of the Arabs within Israel and the West Bank. What the UN resolution does is give the Palestinians a big propaganda victory, as well as being a barometer for how little support Israel has for its continued existence around the globe. If I were an Israeli I would not expect a peaceful year in 2013. There is a big war brewing in the Middle East and this is one more sign to the Israelis that they can depend only upon themselves.

  • The Motley Monk says:

    Sorry, your revision of history is incorrect. The facts are:

    “United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. 181 (II) of 1947 (commonly known as the Palestine Partition Plan) recommended the creation from all of the lands of Mandatory Palestine west of the Jordan River, representing 22% of original Mandatory Palestine, a Jewish state (comprising slightly less than 11% of the Land), an Arab state (comprising slightly less than 11% of the Land) and an internationally-administered greater Jerusalem.

    It is often asserted that the modern State of Israel was created by this Resolution as a byproduct of Europe’s alleged guilty conscience over its complicity in the Holocaust.

    Although widely accepted as an unassailable truism, this assertion is quite false.

    Israel’s juridical birth certificate is the pre-Holocaust League of Nations Mandate for Palestine of 1922 (provisionally operative from 1920) — not the post-Holocaust United Nations Palestine Partition Plan of 1947. Moreover, the Mandate was itself explicitly based upon the preexisting “historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country” (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 3).”

    (Source: http://www.rosenblit.com/CREATE%20ISRAEL.htm)

    They’re are those who will vehemently disagree, of course, but they don’t possess a correct legal understanding. In regard to the so-called “State of Palestine,” what the UN did was to create a legal ambiguity which contorts the mission of the UN into the Arbiter in matters of international law. Those who disagree want the UN General Assembly to be considered the de facto Supreme Court of international law. This premise is completely unacceptable, as it denies national sovereignty.

  • The Motley Monk says:

    In this sense, the post “What to pray for on the 2013 World Day of Prayer for Peace: Some facts and some perspective” is an affront to those whose goal is to make the UN something it is not.

  • “Sorry, your revision of history is incorrect.”

    Wrong MM, the historical facts are precisely as I stated them. The problem in the Holy Land is that you have two peoples with arguable cases for possession of a tiny bit of land with too much history for its own good. The League of Nations, the British in charge of the Mandate and the UN all understood that. The partition plan was an attempt to do rough justice to both sides by giving them each a state. The Arabs in 1947 thought they could defeat the Jews and take the whole land for themselves rather than accept the UN partition. They chose poorly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubw5N8iVDHI

  • anzlyne says:

    Mystical isn’t it. Hard to keep discussion of the nation of Israel to secular terms. And when does life begin?

    A birth/formation over time but it was seen as a jewish national homeland 1917 (more than embryonic)
    Not yet adult but more like a determined teenager!
    http://www.jcrcboston.org/focus/support/israels-history/historical-timeline-of-modern.html
    Maybe would have been better if UN stayed out of it… the Jews developed and won (back) their land.

    The history of the relationship of the Vatican to Israel /Palestine is instructive. (1948 apostolic delegate – 1993 nuncio )

  • The Motley Monk says:

    The point of the post was that American catholic liberals abandoned their earlier support for Israel and have become single bloody-minded Palestinian terrorist supporters. Unfortunately, all of the discussion has turned into a rabbit role concerning the origins of the State of Israel which has detracted from the point of the post.

  • anzlyne says:

    Excuse me please. I wandered from your intent concerning your post. My excuse is that it seemed to me “that American catholic liberals abandoned their earlier support for Israel and have become single bloody-minded Palestinian terrorist supporters” because they have not understood the history.
    As a teacher I found that many of my college students (generally American catholic liberals) have adopted the liberal view you mentioned and have almost no understanding of the history of the area and the people there. They seem to be spouting Hamas and Hezbollah talking points.
    The misreading history and likewise of social/ religious intent despite the threats to Jews and Christians were the points that I got out of your post. I appreciate the post and always get so much out of your work. Thank you.

  • JDP says:

    Jews are just more liberal in general. i don’t have firsthand knowledge of the following but i have read some have an exaggerated fear of the evangelical GOP base, thinking they’re Nazis-in-waiting or something.

    TBF, to the extent that certain evangelicals only support Israel because of Biblical prophecy, i wouldn’t like that either, but i get the sense that’s wildly exaggerated.

  • JL says:

    This post is confusing. I’m not entirely sure what you’re advocating. It seems like more of an effort to throw jabs at the “American catholic left” (with a lowercase “c,” undoubtedly because they are less Catholic than you are) than a sincere attempt at identifying things we should pray for. You seem to come very close to endorsing Mubarak and his 30 year despotic regime, but never do out rightly. So, to reiterate, a lot of random assertions and implications, but no actual points made.

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