The bodies of Christ
I return from Catholic Spain in the middle of a worldwide conflict between the various Peoples of the Book as to which of them are more (or less) civilised than the others. Naturally, such a question can only be settled by the more civilised parties treating their less civilised rivals in as uncivilised a fashion as they can - on the principle of doing it to them before they do it, but worse, to us. But why stop at that? I had a boiled egg this morning: Swift might well have advised me to be careful at which end I broke it, lest I accidentally be mistaken for a member of the heretical Big-Endian camp instead of the theologically correct Little-Endian position to which I have adhered all my egg-eating life.
Spain, of course, has never really recovered from the overthrow of Muslim sovereignty in that part of the world: since the fall of Granada it has suffered Inquisition, decay and Fascism, with the Roman Catholic Church the common link. Not much happier the land of Christianity's older brother, in which the Jewish state lives by and is built on the principle of killing, encircling, expelling, imprisoning, dispossessing and repressing those people of the region who are not Jewish.
Such was - with only the names being changed - the intention of the Christians of the Republike Srpska, with regard to their neighbours, neighbours of all backgrounds but led by a Muslim President and a Muslim party, in the state of Bosnia. We are currently being encouraged to agree that Christians, unlike Muslims, do not burn down embassies in pursuit of their religious fears hatreds. Indeed not - they are capable of burning down whole countries, as the Orthodox Christians tried to do to Bosnia. In the case of Orthodox Russia with regard to Muslim Chechnya, they do so on a regular basis.
In doing so, they are not restrained (though not, perhaps, encouraged quite as much as Israel) by the Christians in power in London and Washington. Which latter government, when headed by the devout Christian administration of Ronald Reagan, provided many guns and many dollars so that equally devout death squad members in Central America could slaughter many tens of thousands of their fellow citizens in the name of Jesus Christ. These particular butchers were Catholics, which Reagan and his friends were not. An admirably ecumenical effort.
Not that the Muslims are always on the receiving end, as demonstrated by the world's largest Muslim country, the Islamic Republic of Indonesia, where the coup of 1966, perhaps the bloodiest in history, involved the slaughter of their political and religious opponents by Muslim mobs aided by the police and army. Nearly ten years later they went to largely Christian East Timor and carried out a slaughter just as bloody - supported, on the quiet, by Britain, the US and Australia, the latter two, countries formed by the Christian genocide of non-Christian peoples. Cries for help from their fellow-religionists went unheard. Prompting us perhaps - as one might when contemplating the Six Counties of Northern Ireland - to observe, with Julian the Apostate:
How these Christians love one another!