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.
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.”
Will these facts matter to the American catholic left?
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.
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:
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:
To access the Catholic vote in 2012 and 2008, click on the following links:
To read the text of Pope Benedict’s “Urbi et Orbi,” click on the following link:
To learn more about the Center of Concern, click on the following link:
To learn more about Catholic social justice, check out “Education for Justice” at the Center of Concern: