I left the Middle East 40 years ago and the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) 20 years ago for the same reason: persecution. When I look back at the cause for this persecution, I realize that it was the same devil operating in both situations. It was also the same devil who twisted the Word of God in the Garden of Eden and managed to deceive Adam and Eve into disobedience to God’s Word. And he (Satan) has been on the same mission of deception ever since. Even though his mission often takes different forms, operates in different spheres, and uses different methods, it is for one and only one purpose—deception.
The answer is much simpler than you think. It is cowardice. Fear of Islamic swift retribution and retaliation has kept the secular media in the West hiding in their proverbial foxholes. Ever since the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard ignited a worldwide firestorm with his depiction of the Islamic prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, members of the western media have been falling over themselves to praise Islamic ideologies. Fear is a powerful fact of life. Whether it is the fear of acts of terrorism or fear of incurring the wrath of Islamic investors, both can be easily exercised with impunity.
As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am deeply concerned that the freedom of religion that we have enjoyed in this country for the past 230 years is slowly and subtly eroding. Recent events in our country are giving me flashbacks to growing up and seeing first-hand how a relatively free society became an authoritarian, socialistic society. I fear that the United States is headed for the same fate.
I want to tell you about something that happened to me recently, a disturbing incident that added to my growing concern for the state of our nation. One of our church members invited my wife and me to attend an event at which General Petraeus would be speaking. We were delighted to accept the invitation. The event was being held at a private club, and the date was set for January 20th of this year. Two weeks prior to the event, our host called me and asked, “Would you be willing to give the invocation before General Petraeus speaks?” I told him that I would be happy to do so. I didn’t say anything at the time, but as I hung up the phone, I thought, “The people who offered this opportunity to me obviously don’t know me very well.” But it would be okay. What they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them!