The Religious Left’s Silence on Qaddafi’s Rampage

Mark Tooley is President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (www.theird.org) and author of Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Follow him on Twitter: @markdtooley.


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The Religious Left was befuddled in 1989 and 1991 when the old Soviet bloc crumbled, having invested so much in urging accommodation of it, while having actively supported many of its client states and proxy revolutionaries around the world.

Though the situation is not wholly comparable, left-leaning church groups are somewhat similarly puzzled by the recent fall of Middle Eastern dictatorships.  For 30 years, the Religious Left ignored human rights abuses everywhere in the Middle East except for Israel, while insisting Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, abetted by the U.S., was the centrifuge of all discontent.

Some Religious leftists, like Jim Wallis of Sojourners, were belatedly able to celebrate Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in Egypt, since he was a U.S. ally and a semi-partner to Israel.  Dealing with the revolution against Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, a rabid anti-American, will be more difficult.  That Gaddafi is a cartoonishly stereotypical despot and rogue who’s brutalized and robbed his nation for 42 years is beside the point.

So far, the Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC) is nearly alone on the Religious Left in addressing the current Libyan revolution, where possibly more than a 1000 have died so far, with many more likely to follow. Impartially, the WCC’s central committee “condemns the use of force on all sides” and called “all parties to respect the human rights of all people in Libya and we urge that ways be found to establish a peaceful dialogue to end the violence, and that efforts be made to ensure a future that brings peace with justice and security for all people.”  This is the same WCC that routinely denounces every Israeli bulldozer on the West Bank as a grievous outrage.  So far, the National Council of Churches has not spoken. Jim Wallis’ Sojourners has posted a sympathetic article about the Libyan revolt on its website.  But much more typical is the story headlined:  “When Will 3.5 Million Palestinians Get Their Chance For Freedom?”  When Libya’s 7 million people get their freedom from a far more despotic regime has not much interested the Religious Left.

There have been times in the past when  the Religious Left responded to events in Libya with outrage and alacrity.   When the U.S. bombed Libya in 1986 in response to a Libyan terror attack on a German night club frequented by U.S. military personnel, the World Council of Churches condemned the U.S. act as “immoral” and “seriously violating laws and norms governing international relations.”  The WCC expressed “profound sympathy for all those who have suffered as a result of the U.S. raid on Libya,” without shedding too many tears over the victims of Libyan terror, except  being “deeply concerned about the spread of international terrorism,” which could not be “solved by acts of war or violent retaliation.”

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  • BS77

    First, please no more photos of Gaddaffi Duck….especially close ups. Whew.

  • happyinfidel

    sadly they will remain silent and refuse to condem this because secretly they agree with what he is doing. many who say they serve God in fact serve satan and this is the proof. defending murderers is part of the purpose of satan, make good bad and bad good. The left will shame and humiliate themselves into irrelevence and good riddence to bad rubbish.

  • http://wwwtwosetsofbooks.blogspot.com/ patti

    The religion of the Hard Left is nothing to do with the sacred and eveything to do with the mundane.
    Maurice Strong is the perfect example.

    http://wwwtwosetsofbooks.blogspot.com/2011/02/rar

  • kafir4life

    Did he have that mole next ot his nose placed their by a surgeon? I understand that making decorations out of the tissue removed from babies during FGM has become quite popular in the muslim world for men to have the tissue implanted on their faces as a show of superiority. I've heard that their perfect man (mohamat) used to enjoy them as snacks.

    • kafir4life

      …placed THERE by a surgeon….gosh I hate that. Hey FPM! How about an "edit" function??

      • ebonystone

        But there is an "edit" button; it appears at the bottom of one's comment as soon as one hits "submit". I've used it often.

  • Cuban Refugee

    What can we expect from a Religious Left that has elevated the murderer Che Guevara to sainthood? They ignore the political prisoners in Cuba, the torture, and the lack of human rights, while praising the worst health care system in the world. To the social justice crowd, people only become human when they can be of service to the left. Sure, let Gaddafi turn Libya into a gigantic concentration camp; let him order American jets to be brought down; let his henchmen open fire on citizens in Tripoli and elsewhere in Libya … he, like most of the other thugs in the Middle East, plus Castro, Chavez, Zelaya, Ortega, and the rest of that diabolic dance team are ideological brothers of the communists in this country, and they all have the same goal: to bring down our constitutional republic and replace it with hell on earth.

  • BS77

    The "religious left" is an oxymoron. These wack job marchers and protesters with their idiotic signs and wooly socks…..are Marxists, atheists, socialists and lefti wing screamers….where the term "religious" came from is anyone's guess.

  • ebonystone

    Statements from the NCC and WCC are simply blather aimed at confirming the leftist credentials of these groups. Even they are not so stupid as to believe that Moslems in a Moslem country would pay any attention to their comments.

  • Ghostwriter

    I get so tired of people like this blaming America for all of the world's problems. We have Gadaffi,an obvious monster killing his own people in the streets and these people haven't said a single word about it. I'm not holding my breath for them to show any concern to the Libyan people who've had to live under this guy for so long.

  • dawning

    OK you beat me to it BS77 that was my thought exactly "the "religious" left IS an oxyMORON". They are very religious but they have NOTHING to do with anything that is truly spiritual, Christian, righteous or good. They ALWAYS side with evil so therefor they are "religiously evil" ….WCC Weird Collection of Cookoos

  • morristhewise

    Insiders know that a deal will soon be reached between Gadhafi and the heavily bribed opposition. He will step down only after his key supporters get the job of leading the new government. The transition will prevent a bloodbath and help the oil industry resume it`s business.

  • 1DonaldE

    I do not speak for the entire Christian Left, but as a Liberal, I can state with all honesty that my Christianity is based on love, trust, acceptance and forgiveness. This, as opposed to the conservative philosophy of hatred, distrust, distortion of the truth and divisiveness. I see all these factors expressed in this article.

    • Christian

      My Christianity is based on Christ, yours is based on Death i.e. Abortion. You are NO Christian Sir.

    • ziontruth

      No dog in this particular fight, but I simply couldn't miss this:

      "my Christianity"

      There you have it. I, me, mine. My Computer (which, by the way, was removed in Windows Vista), my Christianity. Marxist entitlement theory, Leftist "religion" and President Egobama in a nutshell.

    • joe

      why do liberal christians always love socialist murderers so much?

  • Christian

    Quote:

    “I do not speak for the entire Christian Left, but as a Liberal, I can state with all honesty that my Christianity is based on love, trust, acceptance and forgiveness”

    Agian, I base mine on Christ.

    You are NOT a Christian. You just think you are.