Patriarch Rai: A Shephard Endorses A Wolf ?

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By Ghassan Karam

When viewed through the prism of citizenship; and that is the only view that counts; then no country has any minorities. All citizens irrespective of their gender, race, physical attributes, educational skills, sexual preferences of religious persuasion are treated equally. In the eyes of the law of the land they are to have equal rights and equal protection. The state is not allowed to differentiate between any of its citizens as long as they are law abiding.

In a modern democratic state, as the one described above, the fears expressed by minorities are unfounded. Actually when a religious leader such as the Maronite Patriarch Rai express concern about the destiny of minorities then that flawed sense of identity is a reflection of his narrow vision of what a sense of citizenship entails. Citizens of a nation cannot be minorities in their own countries whereby the constitution does not discriminate between its residents. Yes inhabitants can always be classified by a myriad of characteristics that will result inevitably with a minority and a majority. But such distinctions are meaningless in determining qualifications for a political office or the ability to perform a certain job. If ones girth is not grounds for state discrimination and thus for fear that overweight people will not have access to political posts or financial institutions among other things then why should the issue of prayer or non prayer be any different.

A state is composed of different people who have different beliefs and who belong to different sub categories. That is what natural diversity, a hugely important feature for healthy evolution and growth, is all about. All countries will have conservatives, liberals, progressives, libertarians, highly skilled, rich, poor, Moslems, Christians, atheists… but each member of any of these groups belongs to only one class of citizens. That is why the scare mongering about minorities and the equally meaningless boast of some that this nation or that one is composed of minorities is based on a flawed logical understanding of muwatiniah. Citizenship has no minorities.

It is especially troubling when such discriminatory language is used by those that are expected to embody the highest of values of ethics and morality. Patriarch Rai, among others, is essentially a preacher and a servant of Jesus Christ the man who had the courage to never waver from his beliefs and who threw the money changers from the temple. He was also the one who said in the Sermon on the Mount “’Blessed are those who hunger and thirst to see right prevail; they shall be satisfied.’” It is with lots of trepidation that an atheist should be reminding the leader of a 1600 year old Catholic Church about the teachings of Jesus Christ whose message was about courage, love and forgiveness, not about political compromise and expediency. It was in the same sermon that Jesus went on to teach the multitude by saying:’ “But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.” He did not say “If someone strikes you then support their oppression so that you may be protected “.

And finally I will let Billy Graham speak to the Patriarch about what the real historical message of Christianity has been about for over 2000 years: “”Christianity grew because its adherents were not silent. They said, ‘We cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard.’ … They stormed against the evils of their day until the very foundations of decadent Rome began to crumble.”

I sincerely and humbly think that Patriarch Rai ought to be reminded of the message that his church has stood for all throughout history but above all he must reconsider his stand of offer spiritual solace to those that represent moral decadence in the Middle East, those who have violated every shred of decency for over forty years, those who have used the full power of the military against unarmed civilians, the Ba’ath regime of Syria led by Bashar Assad. Unless Patriarch Rai finds a way to speak truth to power, to speak against dictatorship, oppression and violators of human rights he will have to endure the opprobrium of his stance on the dark side.

The above tale should also serve as a reminder about the dire need for secularism. Individuals should be free to practice their religious beliefs any way they choose but such beliefs must be banished from the public square. Let the Patriarch tend to his spiritual flock and have the Imams and uftiss do likewise to their followers but let civil society be a free place for all citizens to fulfill their earthly dreams and pursue their aspirations unhindered by a religion that is often bestowed upon them by birth.

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Comments

79 responses to “Patriarch Rai: A Shephard Endorses A Wolf ?”

  1. abusamir Avatar

    There is no politics in religions!

    1. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      abusamir,
                      Religious belief is personal while civil law is for the commonwealth.

      1. Lancers89 Avatar
        Lancers89

        In the Middle East, there is no distinction, hence the Patriarch’s comments. When Muslims no longer feel compelled to fly commercial jets into buildings full of people, we can discuss your idea Mr. Karam. Until the muslim world begins to accept adherents of other faithts as equal, and heretical bugs to be exterminated, I must be compelled to support His Emmenence the Patriarch. Additionally, regardless of how the state views anyone, he can still be treated as less than garbage…just ask Native Americans and Blacks in America. Minorities need preservation, reagrdless of the so called “state” that guarantees equality. 

    2. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Well .. not until someone sticks in little revisions … 

  2.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    There is no politics in religions!

    1. abusamir,
                      Religious belief is personal while civil law is for the commonwealth.

      1.  Avatar
        Anonymous

        In the Middle East, there is no distinction, hence the Patriarch’s comments. When Muslims no longer feel compelled to fly commercial jets into buildings full of people, we can discuss your idea Mr. Karam. Until the muslim world begins to accept adherents of other faithts as equal, and heretical bugs to be exterminated, I must be compelled to support His Emmenence the Patriarch. Additionally, regardless of how the state views anyone, he can still be treated as less than garbage…just ask Native Americans and Blacks in America. Minorities need preservation, reagrdless of the so called “state” that guarantees equality. 

    2.  Avatar
      Anonymous

      Well .. not until someone sticks in little revisions … 

  3. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    Excellent message, Gassan. I was wondering if the ‘bot-programme’ had hit you like it did Prophet T.
    And you speak the truth. Only by having laws common to all citizens will the various factions be stilled.
    Perhaps we can hope the ‘third stage’ is coming soon ….
    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

    1. 5thDrawer,
                      Thanks for the quote by Schopenhauer. Believe me it was on my mind a few days ago but could not recall its exact structure or who said it. Thanks for your kind words.

      1. ghassan, i want to thank you for 2 things. 1 writing the article, and 2 not shying away from resorting to the use of scripture to clarify the matter.
        rai should have abstained from public personal political views to avoid the residual  confusion and static he left behind.

        every one of us makes mistakes and says the wrong thing now and then  and i would not agree that he made a fatal mistake, however his clarification and stance should  have been solely extracted  from the abundance of examples set by jesus and other followers in similar circumstances. 

        every political entity is prone to corruption, bloodguilt, conflict of intrest, falshood, bias to the extent that it functions so contrary to christian principles that i can not imagine jesus endorsing any of these groups.

         as complicated and as sensitive this matter is to all involved, somehow jesus would have pointed to a position that does not offend anyone or leave his followers twisted and somewhat confused. spritual views and political views in this situation were like oil and water.

        1. Ghassan Karam Avatar
          Ghassan Karam

          Geo Metro,
                          I agree with you that individuals are free to adopt any point of view that they wish bur Patriarch rai is not a ny regular individual . He has chosen to be identified with Jesus and Christianity and thus is obligated to act accordin to their teachings.

  4.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Excellent message, Gassan. I was wondering if the ‘bot-programme’ had hit you like it did Prophet T.
    And you speak the truth. Only by having laws common to all citizens will the various factions be stilled.
    Perhaps we can hope the ‘third stage’ is coming soon ….
    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

    1. 5thDrawer,
                      Thanks for the quote by Schopenhauer. Believe me it was on my mind a few days ago but could not recall its exact structure or who said it. Thanks for your kind words.

      1. ghassan, i want to thank you for 2 things. 1 writing the article, and 2 not shying away from resorting to the use of scripture to clarify the matter.
        rai should have abstained from public personal political views to avoid the residual  confusion and static he left behind.

        every one of us makes mistakes and says the wrong thing now and then  and i would not agree that he made a fatal mistake, however his clarification and stance should  have been solely extracted  from the abundance of examples set by jesus and other followers in similar circumstances. 

        every political entity is prone to corruption, bloodguilt, conflict of intrest, falshood, bias to the extent that it functions so contrary to christian principles that i can not imagine jesus endorsing any of these groups.

         as complicated and as sensitive this matter is to all involved, somehow jesus would have pointed to a position that does not offend anyone or leave his followers twisted and somewhat confused. spritual views and political views in this situation were like oil and water.

        1. Geo Metro,
                          I agree with you that individuals are free to adopt any point of view that they wish bur Patriarch rai is not a ny regular individual . He has chosen to be identified with Jesus and Christianity and thus is obligated to act accordin to their teachings.

  5. FadiAbboud Avatar
    FadiAbboud

    Mr. Karam.. God bless you.. it is like you took the words right out of my mouth/mind in writing this article. My feelings are exactly the same as your in respect to Mr. Rai supporting injustice and oppression and how it is unchristian of him to lead his followers into believing the same. 

    1. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Fadi,
             Christians should be thankful that Patriarch Rai was not around in Rome. He would encouraged them to compromise with their oppressors provided they do not throw them to the lions.

      1. libnan1 Avatar

        What oppressors ???? You are twisting Rais comments. The Christians in Syria happen to like Assad’s rule. That is what Rai was trying to say, the will of the Christians in Syria. 

        1. liban1,
                  The government that rules under emergency law for 43 years, does not allow political parties, free press , the right to congregate or dissent, the government that uses its tanks to demolish neighbourhoods and murders 2700 of its civilians who have dared demonstrate…. are the oppresors.

        2. liban1,
                  The government that rules under emergency law for 43 years, does not allow political parties, free press , the right to congregate or dissent, the government that uses its tanks to demolish neighbourhoods and murders 2700 of its civilians who have dared demonstrate…. are the oppresors.

  6.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Mr. Karam.. God bless you.. it is like you took the words right out of my mouth/mind in writing this article. My feelings are exactly the same as your in respect to Mr. Rai supporting injustice and oppression and how it is unchristian of him to lead his followers into believing the same. 

  7.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Mr. Karam.. God bless you.. it is like you took the words right out of my mouth/mind in writing this article. My feelings are exactly the same as your in respect to Mr. Rai supporting injustice and oppression and how it is unchristian of him to lead his followers into believing the same. 

    1. Fadi,
             Christians should be thankful that Patriarch Rai was not around in Rome. He would encouraged them to compromise with their oppressors provided they do not throw them to the lions.

      1.  Avatar
        Anonymous

        What oppressors ???? You are twisting Rais comments. The Christians in Syria happen to like Assad’s rule. That is what Rai was trying to say, the will of the Christians in Syria. 

        1. liban1,
                  The government that rules under emergency law for 43 years, does not allow political parties, free press , the right to congregate or dissent, the government that uses its tanks to demolish neighbourhoods and murders 2700 of its civilians who have dared demonstrate…. are the oppresors.

  8. antar2011 Avatar
    antar2011

    this article sums up well the first logical idea comes to the minds of christian poeple themselves before any other sects…do the teachings of Issa a.s. reflect the Rai’s stance really? of course they don’t.

    it would have been also good if this article touched upon the damage the Patriarch’s views caused….especially when m8 adopted his stance.

    it is also more mind boggeling the endorsement of Bkerki and the meeting of spiritual leaders to the Patriarch’s stance.

    i have given the Partiarch the benefit of the doubt before his arrival to lebanon after France and said we will wait for his explanation…unfortunately he has nto given it rather endorsed his stance expressed in France not only with more shocking speeches but with refusal to go to sunni areas in his south lebanese tour.

    most importantly this episode have stressed important issue:
    before talking about and advocating for a free country from foreign intervention we need to talk about, stress and work deeply for free lebanese minds, all lebanese minds, the religious ones and the non, from racism, fear and lack of confidence of own patriotism towards our country.

    before we talk about independant country we need to be independent ourselves from any ‘source that damages lebanese unity intentional or not.

    1. antar you make several good points, and i respect you for giving others the benefit of the doubt. i am not a follower of rai and  i dont accuse  rai of intent to harm anyone,  but i take the break down in his judgment seriously for good reasons.

      many lebanese christians are very unfamiliar with their own bible and  lack very important knowlage needed as an owners manual on how to live and how to conduct themselves during lifes many strugles and how they conduct themselves with non christians.

      no matter what faith a spiritual leaders represents every time they tweek the issue with their own views it dilutes the purity of the original message and standard and in this specific case to opine  on a devisive political issue. i like your idea of stopping intervention of any kind between you and your fellow citizen, the success of any unity starts with you and me  using our own minds and allowing no one to act as a wall between us.

    2. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Antar2011,
                     Your point that to be an independent state then you need to act as one is extremely important and very fundamental to the current situation in Lebanon. If we proclaim to be  believers in some principles but we do not act as to support these principles then , to put it mildly, we are being hypocritical.
                    Patriarch Rai has chosen to be a spokesperson and a leader of a set of beliefs embodied by the church but he did not have the courage to take a stand that is consistent with these ideas. We have to practice what we preach.

      1. libnan1 Avatar

        Ghassan,
        From what you saying for us to proper Christians we should have left Lebanon back in the seventies instead of carrying weapons and fighting the PLO and its Lebanese lefties. I reject that argument. 

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          After 40 more years with few changes, and nothing good in sight, the rest are considering it now ….

        2. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          After 40 more years with few changes, and nothing good in sight, the rest are considering it now ….

  9.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    this article sums up well the first logical idea comes to the minds of christian poeple themselves before any other sects…do the teachings of Issa a.s. reflect the Rai’s stance really? of course it doesn’t.

    it would have been better if this article touched upon the effect that resulted from the Patriarch’s views. it did more damage then the Patriarch would have thought it would…especially when m8 adopted his stance.

    it is also more mind boggeling the endorsement of Bkerki and the meeting of spiritual leaders to the Patriarch’s stance.

    most importantly this episode have stressed one thing, before talking about and advocating for a free country from foreign intervention we need to talk about and stress and work deeply for free lebanese minds from racism, fear and lack of confidence of own patriotism towards our country….before we talk about independant country we need to be independent ourself from any source that damages lebanese unity intentional or not. 

    1. antar you make several good points, and i respect you for giving others the benefit of the doubt. i am not a follower of rai and  i dont accuse  rai of intent to harm anyone,  but i take the break down in his judgment seriously for good reasons.

      many lebanese christians are very unfamiliar with their own bible and  lack very important knowlage needed as an owners manual on how to live and how to conduct themselves during lifes many strugles and how they conduct themselves with non christians.

      no matter what faith a spiritual leaders represents every time they tweek the issue with their own views it dilutes the purity of the original message and standard and in this specific case to opine  on a devisive political issue. i like your idea of stopping intervention of any kind between you and your fellow citizen, the success of any unity starts with you and me  using our own minds and allowing no one to act as a wall between us.

    2. Antar2011,
                     Your point that to be an independent state then you need to act as one is extremely important and very fundamental to the current situation in Lebanon. If we proclaim to be  believers in some principles but we do not act as to support these principles then , to put it mildly, we are being hypocritical.
                    Patriarch Rai has chosen to be a spokesperson and a leader of a set of beliefs embodied by the church but he did not have the courage to take a stand that is consistent with these ideas. We have to practice what we preach.

      1.  Avatar
        Anonymous

        Ghassan,
        From what you saying for us to proper Christians we should have left Lebanon back in the seventies instead of carrying weapons and fighting the PLO and its Lebanese lefties. I reject that argument. 

        1.  Avatar
          Anonymous

          After 40 more years with few changes, and nothing good in sight, the rest are considering it now ….

        2.  Avatar
          Anonymous

          After 40 more years with few changes, and nothing good in sight, the rest are considering it now ….

  10. libnan1 Avatar

    Ghassan,
     Batrack Rai is not Jesus, he is a head of our church. His main responsibility is the well being of Christians in the Middle east. People took his comments as if he can make a difference of what happens in Syria. His main concern is to keep the Christian safe NO MORE NO LESS, he did not endorse Assad by any means he just said give him time and space to deal with his situation. He did speak out against the Syrians when they were in Lebanon, they are not an occupation force in their own country. Our Batrack is a brave man, he does not bow to pressure from any country. I remember Batrack Sfeir asked Bush jr for a solution to the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, Bush’s answer was “Where are they going to go”…. This Batrack knows exactly what the US administration and the rest of the world wants him to say, he is not going to play their game. So please refrain from lecturing Rai, he might know more than we all know and his foremost interest is our safety..         

    1. LEBANON101 Avatar
      LEBANON101

      i think rai is just trying to avoid u and the other aoun thugs from throw things at him and replacing his picture with aouns like you did to sfeir you pigs

    2. libnan1, as i mentioned to antar i dont believe rai had any intent to harm but stepped outside his bounderies and resulted in an undesireble non neutral position , i have done the same thing in the past and i have felt badly about it,  this  slip has the potential to endanger christians  when power brokers change with times in the future  and his followers can be accused of egging one  group or the other,  now i know you are defending what he did on the basis that he is trying to protect christians but i promise you that there will come a day where you will see this matter from a different  prespective as you grow spiritually . true christianity has no place with poitics, guns, flag or nationalism. as i said to you before i respect your loyalty and your modesty in how you exchange with me and i only encourage you to keep seeking and growing as the picture will get clearer as you dig deeper and rewind further to earlier examples of your faith.

    3. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      libnan1,
                 To some principles are the most important thing to guide life. I would have imagined that morality and ethics would be important for those who want to be religious spiritual leaders. And BTW, where did you come up with the novel idea that the head of a church is responsible for the physical safety of the church members?

      1. libnan1 Avatar

        Ghassan,
        I guess from what you are saying he should comment on Libya, China, Bangladish and so on .. No his aim and job is to protect the Christian population in the Middle east regardless of his own personal feelings. I remember in the nineties when we had no Christian leaders in Lebanon Batrack Sfeir was on the forefront in his speeches to protect the Christians in Lebanon when the Hariris were kissing Azaads ass in Syria.
        The church is responsibly for the safety of its members when the state fails to do so. It might not be by carrying weapons but by moral support. Our priest went to court on few occasions to testify on behalf of constituents and take custody of some members that would have gone to jail for some family disputes. The church’s duty is to do its best to speak out and help protect its members especially the ones that can’t speak out for themselves. May God bless our Batrach and the church he represent.        

  11.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Ghassan,
     Batrack Rai is not Jesus, he is a head of our church. His main responsibility is the well being of Christians in the Middle east. People took his comments as if he can make a difference of what happens in Syria. His main concern is to keep the Christian safe NO MORE NO LESS, he did not endorse Assad by any means he just said give him time and space to deal with his situation. He did speak out against the Syrians when they were in Lebanon, they are not an occupation force in their own country. Our Batrack is a brave man, he does not bow to pressure from any country. I remember Batrack Sfeir asked Bush jr for a solution to the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, Bush’s answer was “Where are they going to go”…. This Batrack knows exactly what the US administration and the rest of the world wants him to say, he is not going to play their game. So please refrain from lecturing Rai, he might know more than we all know and his foremost interest is our safety..         

    1.  Avatar
      Anonymous

      i think rai is just trying to avoid u and the other aoun thugs from throw things at him and replacing his picture with aouns like you did to sfeir you pigs

    2. libnan1, as i mentioned to antar i dont believe rai had any intent to harm but stepped outside his bounderies and resulted in an undesireble non neutral position , i have done the same thing in the past and i have felt badly about it,  this  slip has the potential to endanger christians  when power brokers change with times in the future  and his followers can be accused of egging one  group or the other,  now i know you are defending what he did on the basis that he is trying to protect christians but i promise you that there will come a day where you will see this matter from a different  prespective as you grow spiritually . true christianity has no place with poitics, guns, flag or nationalism. as i said to you before i respect your loyalty and your modesty in how you exchange with me and i only encourage you to keep seeking and growing as the picture will get clearer as you dig deeper and rewind further to earlier examples of your faith.

    3. libnan1,
                 To some principles are the most important thing to guide life. I would have imagined that morality and ethics would be important for those who want to be religious spiritual leaders. And BTW, where did you come up with the novel idea that the head of a church is responsible for the physical safety of the church members?

    4. libnan1,
                 To some principles are the most important thing to guide life. I would have imagined that morality and ethics would be important for those who want to be religious spiritual leaders. And BTW, where did you come up with the novel idea that the head of a church is responsible for the physical safety of the church members?

      1.  Avatar
        Anonymous

        Ghassan,
        I guess from what you are saying he should comment on Libya, China, Bangladish and so on .. No his aim and job is to protect the Christian population in the Middle east regardless of his own personal feelings. I remember in the nineties when we had no Christian leaders in Lebanon Batrack Sfeir was on the forefront in his speeches to protect the Christians in Lebanon when the Hariris were kissing Azaads ass in Syria.
        The church is responsibly for the safety of its members when the state fails to do so. It might not be by carrying weapons but by moral support. Our priest went to court on few occasions to testify on behalf of constituents and take custody of some members that would have gone to jail for some family disputes. The church’s duty is to do its best to speak out and help protect its members especially the ones that can’t speak out for themselves. May God bless our Batrach and the church he represent.        

    5. libnan1,
                 To some principles are the most important thing to guide life. I would have imagined that morality and ethics would be important for those who want to be religious spiritual leaders. And BTW, where did you come up with the novel idea that the head of a church is responsible for the physical safety of the church members?

  12. Darw101 Avatar

    The Middle East does not follow nor approves of the traditional western democratic model. It is made up of tribal societies whose loyalties are with their religious communities and leaders..There is a strong sense of identity with one’s religion This means that the role of religion is significant in the lives of individuals. Religious minorities made up of non muslim commnunities therefore become important in a region dominated by Islam. The fears and concerns by minorities are justified by the need for survival and that is why the Patriarch is rasing this important fact at a time when muslim extremists and fundamentalists are advocating violence against minorities and Christians in particular in places like Iraq and Egypt. Until  there is a different attitude towards religion in this part of the world, things will just remain the same.

    1. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Darw101,
                   Unfortunately your description of the Middle East is an accurate one but the only way to change that sad state of affairs is to have people resist playing the same old tired game.

  13.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    The Middle East does not follow nor approves of the traditional western democratic model. It is made up of tribal societies whose loyalties are with their religious communities and leaders..There is a strong sense of identity with one’s religion This means that the role of religion is significant in the lives of individuals. Religious minorities made up of non muslim commnunities therefore become important in a region dominated by Islam. The fears and concerns by minorities are justified by the need for survival and that is why the Patriarch is rasing this important fact at a time when muslim extremists and fundamentalists are advocating violence against minorities and Christians in particular in places like Iraq and Egypt. Until  there is a different attitude towards religion in this part of the world, things will just remain the same.

    1. Darw101,
                   Unfortunately your description of the Middle East is an accurate one but the only way to change that sad state of affairs is to have people resist playing the same old tired game.

    2. Darw101,
                   Unfortunately your description of the Middle East is an accurate one but the only way to change that sad state of affairs is to have people resist playing the same old tired game.

    3. Darw101,
                   Unfortunately your description of the Middle East is an accurate one but the only way to change that sad state of affairs is to have people resist playing the same old tired game.

  14. Sebouh80 Avatar

    The truth is that the vision  Mr.Karam has brilliantly laid out does not address the rather complicated political, social and economic dynamics of this region. Another important element is that modern democratic states do not exist in the Middle East, and this is why I think minorities have always been apprehensive towards any possible change.

     Now  there are some people  in Lebanon who claim that the latest political maneuverings of Patriarch Rai with the Syrian regime is nothing but a Vatican tactic under these uncertain times.
    Finally, Mr.Karam I personally endorse your call for secularism in Middle East, but I often ask myself would these ideas be compatible with the prevailing religious dogmas in particulary with the adherents of Islamic faith.

    1. Sebouh,
                  We are very far away from being either a modern democratic state or a secular one but the politicians and the clergy speak as if we are:-) That is one reason not to take them seriously and another , which applies in this case, is to demand that the religious leaders behave according to the principles that they preach; in this case the teachings of Christianity which is the religion of the poor and the downtrodden and not that of power and dictatorship.

      1. greetings ghassan,
         excellent point. the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line, all of us should reach out to other civilians from all sects by passing politicians and clergy as their record does not usually hold up.
        civilians outnumber them and if we are sincere in warming up  and respecting one another the benefits are automatic. it works for me every time, my love for others requires nobodys approval, i got a bunch of it  for those who want it.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Your ‘tune’ for the day, Geo. 🙂
          “Reach out and touch … somebody’s hand … make the world a better place … IF YOU CAN.” 🙂

        2. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Your ‘tune’ for the day, Geo. 🙂
          “Reach out and touch … somebody’s hand … make the world a better place … IF YOU CAN.” 🙂

        3. Ghassan Karam Avatar
          Ghassan Karam

          Geo metro,
                          It would be an infinitely more civilizes place if we can define ourselves in more than one dimension only. I imagine many of us are fathers/mothers; brothers/sisters; workers, lovers, husbands/wives…… besides being Christian/Moslem/Jewish/Buddhist…

    2. Sebouh,
                  We are very far away from being either a modern democratic state or a secular one but the politicians and the clergy speak as if we are:-) That is one reason not to take them seriously and another , which applies in this case, is to demand that the religious leaders behave according to the principles that they preach; in this case the teachings of Christianity which is the religion of the poor and the downtrodden and not that of power and dictatorship.

  15.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    The truth is that the vision  Mr.Karam has brilliantly laid out does not address the rather complicated political, social and economic dynamics of this region. Another important element is that modern democratic states do not exist in the Middle East, and this is why I think minorities have always been apprehensive towards any possible change.

     Now  there are some people  in Lebanon who claim that the latest political maneuverings of Patriarch Rai with the Syrian regime is nothing but a Vatican tactic under these uncertain times.
    Finally, Mr.Karam I personally endorse your call for secularism in Middle East, but I often ask myself would these ideas be compatible with the prevailing religious dogmas in particulary with the adherents of Islamic faith.

    1. Sebouh,
                  We are very far away from being either a modern democratic state or a secular one but the politicians and the clergy speak as if we are:-) That is one reason not to take them seriously and another , which applies in this case, is to demand that the religious leaders behave according to the principles that they preach; in this case the teachings of Christianity which is the religion of the poor and the downtrodden and not that of power and dictatorship.

      1. greetings ghassan,
         excellent point. the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line, all of us should reach out to other civilians from all sects by passing politicians and clergy as their record does not usually hold up.
        civilians outnumber them and if we are sincere in warming up  and respecting one another the benefits are automatic. it works for me every time, my love for others requires nobodys approval, i got a bunch of it  for those who want it.

        1.  Avatar
          Anonymous

          Your ‘tune’ for the day, Geo. 🙂
          “Reach out and touch … somebody’s hand … make the world a better place … IF YOU CAN.” 🙂

        2. Geo metro,
                          It would be an infinitely more civilizes place if we can define ourselves in more than one dimension only. I imagine many of us are fathers/mothers; brothers/sisters; workers, lovers, husbands/wives…… besides being Christian/Moslem/Jewish/Buddhist…

        3. Geo metro,
                          It would be an infinitely more civilizes place if we can define ourselves in more than one dimension only. I imagine many of us are fathers/mothers; brothers/sisters; workers, lovers, husbands/wives…… besides being Christian/Moslem/Jewish/Buddhist…

  16. andre2011 Avatar
    andre2011

    It is well known That Mr. Walid Junblat received direct threats from Bachar Assad to help Mikati form the governement, a pro syrian governement. I am starting to believe that patriarch Al Rai is receiving the same threats from Bachar  via Aoun and Franjieh. May be we can not blame him. Let us wait and see what he is going to say about Bachar once he leaves  to the other world. We alreay know what Junblat is going to say. He will say the same things that he said in 2006.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Nothing changed, except for going down … it was a ‘facde’ to quiet the wind in the Cedar Forest.

  17.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    It is well known That Mr. Walid Junblat received direct threats from Bachar Assad to help Mikati form the governement, a pro syrian governement. I am starting to believe that patriarch Al Rai is receiving the same threats from Bachar  via Aoun and Franjieh. May be we can not blame him. Let us wait and see what he is going to say about Bachar once he leaves  to the other world. We alreay know what Junblat is going to say. He will say the same things that he said in 2006.

    1.  Avatar
      Anonymous

      Nothing changed, except for going down … it was a ‘facde’ to quiet the wind in the Cedar Forest.

  18. Fred101 Avatar

    In the eyes of the western world which you call them “modern democratic states”, Israel is the most democratic country in the Middle East.  On the other hand, Israeli PM wants the Palestinian to declare and admit the land is only for the Jews and it is a Jewish state.  You have to ask yourself whether the “modern democratic states” want to create more countries in the Middle East just like Israel, identified by a single religion.  I will remind you what Jesus said to the Pharisees when they brought a woman who had been caught in adultery: “that whoever has not sinned may throw the first stone”.   Patriarch Rai is a man of peace and giving peace a chance

  19.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    In the eyes of the western world which you call them “modern democratic states”, Israel is the most democratic country in the Middle East.  On the other hand, Israeli PM wants the Palestinian to declare and admit the land is only for the Jews and it is a Jewish state.  You have to ask yourself whether the “modern democratic states” want to create more countries in the Middle East just like Israel, identified by a single religion.  I will remind you what Jesus said to the Pharisees when they brought a woman who had been caught in adultery: “that whoever has not sinned may throw the first stone”.   Patriarch Rai is a man of peace and giving peace a chance

  20. JoAnna1970 Avatar
    JoAnna1970

    Mr. Karam, look what happen to the Christians in Iraq after Saddam, in Egypt after Mubarak, you will figure out why Patriarch Raie said what he said.  It does not take a genius to figure out that all his intentions are focused on the well being of the Christians in Syria.

  21. JoAnna1970 Avatar
    JoAnna1970

    Mr. Karam, look what happen to the Christians in Iraq after Saddam, in Egypt after Mubarak, you will figure out why Patriarch Raie said what he said.  It does not take a genius to figure out that all his intentions are focused on the well being of the Christians in Syria.

  22.  Avatar

    Mr. Karam, look what happen to the Christians in Iraq after Saddam, in Egypt after Mubarak, you will figure out why Patriarch Raie said what he said.  It does not take a genius to figure out that all his intentions are focused on the well being of the Christians in Syria.

  23.  Avatar

    Mr. Karam, look what happen to the Christians in Iraq after Saddam, in Egypt after Mubarak, you will figure out why Patriarch Raie said what he said.  It does not take a genius to figure out that all his intentions are focused on the well being of the Christians in Syria.

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