As Obama pivots in the wind, a new moral leadership rises to defend the powerless
By Ralph H. Sidway
In perhaps the most significant reversal of political and global alignment since the overthrow of Christian Russia by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Barack Hussein Obama has transformed the United States of America from a Christian-centric, Western democratic republic, into an Islamist-enabling oligarchy drowning in Soviet-style scandals, casting a long, dark shadow across hundreds of millions of innocent victims the world over.
Other outlets are ably covering the Obama administration’s numerous domestic scandals (Benghazi, IRS, NSA, etc.), but the unifying theme seems to be government control over every aspect of life, with rapid erosion of personal and religious liberty.
In the geo-political sphere, we can quickly survey what has been repeatedly documented here at this site concerning Obama’s determined support for the Muslim Brotherhood from the very beginning of his first term, through to the Administration’s blatant interference on behalf of the MB prior to the June 30 protests leading to Morsi’s ouster.
The Copts (joined by pro-secular forces) in Egypt have utterly rejected Obama and U.S. Ambassador Patterson due to their support for the Muslim Brotherhood, with an unprecedented grass roots movement now calling for the removal of Patterson.
Even more dramatically, in the July 26 demonstrations in support of the Egyptian Military, protesters called not only for the exit of Obama and the United States, but for a re-alignment with Russia.
“Obama Out — Putin In” and “Bye-Bye America” are the chants and placards this time around, as Obama’s foreign policy chickens come home to roost (as his firebrand pastor Jeremiah Wright might put it).
In spite of the waves of attacks and murders of Christians by Muslim Brotherhood thugs, since the June 30 demonstrations the Copts seem to hold cautious hope for a renewed secularist dynamic, as the Military holds firm, even as both sides in Egypt reject Obama and the U.S.
In Syria, the unique tapestry of Christian confessions have become completely exasperated by U.S. support of the jihadi rebels, a Syrian Christian delegation pleading in Congressional testimony, “Why is America at war with us?”
In spite of their testimony, GOP senators led by John McCain (but vigorously opposed by Rand Paul) have cast their lot with Obama, thinking that supporting Islamic extremists serves the greater good.
Once again, Putin’s name — and his voice — rises above the mediocrity of amoral U.S. leadership. Referring to the viral video of a Syrian rebel leader cutting out and eating the heart of a slain enemy combatant, Putin slammed Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, for desiring to support terrorists, stating, “One should hardly back those who kill enemies and eat their organs.”
In the Syria debate, Putin has seized upon something Obama has either forgotten or simply isn’t wired to comprehend: the moral responsibility of the Great Powers to protect those least able to defend themselves. Pumping arms to the Syrian jihadis benefits no one, and only puts defenseless Christians in the crosshairs.
Yet as is clear, Obama has picked his horse in the Syria race. Thus, per his 2012 campaign slogan, Obama pushes “forward.” Forward, with what Raymond Ibrahim has identified as a “proxy war on Mideast Christians.”
Such is the geo-political and moral collapse of the United States. Once the “shining city on a hill,” Obama’s America has lost its luster, and has left a vacuum in international human rights leadership. A vacuum which seems about to be filled by a reinvigorated and suddenly immensely relevant Russia.
In the midst of celebrations in Moscow commemorating the 1025th anniversary of Russia’s baptism into Orthodox Christianity, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the international community to resist repressions against Christians. With Patriarch Kyrill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, at his side, Putin deftly shifted the narrative away from the Syrian civil war itself, to the larger issue of the human cost of conflicts around the globe. Per a July 25 report in Russia Today:
The rights of religious minorities, including Christians, are being infringed all over the planet and humanity must take measures to stop such instances, Vladimir Putin said at the meeting with Orthodox Christian leaders in Moscow.
“In many of the World’s regions, especially in the Middle East and in North Africa inter-confessional tensions are mounting and the rights of religious minorities are infringed, including Christians and Orthodox Christians,” the Russian President noted, adding that such conflicts could lead to the most serious consequences.
Putin called for immediate measures to prevent such situations.
He added that Russia has tremendous experience in reaching and maintaining inter-confessional peace and accord, and is ready to share it.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill said at the same meeting that the attempts to push Christians out of Syria would lead to a “civilization catastrophe”. The patriarch noted that Syria was the birthplace of Christianity and the fact that believers get killed and purged in the course of the military conflict was a tragedy for Orthodox Churches, international culture and for everyday people.
Putin was meeting the heads of the delegations from all 15 Orthodox Churches who arrived in Moscow to take part in the celebrations dedicated to the 1,025th anniversary of the “Baptism of Russia” – the official adoption of Christianity in Kievan Rus by Prince Vladimir in 988AD.
The 15 Orthodox Churches jointly unite over 225 million of believers.
This event, ignored by the U.S. media, seems to have been something of a launch platform for Russia’s new role in global Christian and human rights leadership.
Of special significance is the unique and robust dynamic between the Russian Republic and the Moscow Patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church has been experiencing an ongoing resurrection since the fall of communism in 1991, firming up her stance and her resources especially during the last several years to where she can functionally serve as leader of the world’s second largest Christian communion. One of the Russian Church’s leading clerics affirmed as much in a recent statement.
It is no secret in Russia that Putin and Medvedev and other leaders have embraced anew their Orthodox Christian roots, the result being a rare flourishing of “symphonia,” the harmonious cooperation of Church and State which was the elusive goal behind the thousand-year Byzantine Christian Empire.
Imperial Russia had long seen herself as inheritor of Byzantium’s crown, and protector of Orthodox Christians. It would seem that in Russia’s re-imagining of her role in the 21st century, she has expanded her mandate to include all indigenous Christians in the Middle East and throughout the world. At this point in time, she alone seems to possess the clarity of moral vision, the political and economic (and yes, military) strength, and the force of will, to assume the role of mediator, defender and protector of traditional Christians, especially those in the Islamic world.
The Pope of Rome has a voice, but no power. The United States under Barack Obama has a voice with power, but no moral clarity nor right to lead. This new Russia — Church and State in symphony — seems poised to step into the vacuum which Obama has created through his Islamocentric, anti-Christian, amoral foreign policy.
As Obama pivots in the wind, having squandered the last of the globe’s good will towards America, he finds himself — and the U.S. — on the wrong side of history, supporting oppressive forms of government both at home and abroad. In the most stunning reversal since the Bolshevik revolution, it is now Russia who has right on her side, and to whom the world’s persecuted Christians have already begun to look with hope.
Time will tell, but perhaps it is Russia which is now the shining city on the hill.
Ralph Sidway is an Orthodox Christian researcher and writer, and author of Facing Islam: What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad. He operates the Facing Islam blog.