Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I received a forwarded e-mail that included the word Dhimmitude. Not knowing what it meant, I did a bit of research and found that it came into existence in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War.

Lebanese president-elect Bachir Gemayel is quoted as stating, just before his assassination on September 14, 1982, “Lebanon is our homeland and will remain a homeland for Christians… We want to continue to christen, to celebrate our rites and traditions, our faith and our creed whenever we wish… Henceforth, we refuse to live in any dhimmitude!”

Bat Yeor, who has written many books and articles on the root word, the Islamic dhimmi or pact of protection, described dhimmitude in 1983, "The origin of this concept is to be found in the condition of the Infidel people who submit to the Islamic rule without fighting in order to avoid the onslaught of jihad. By their peaceful surrender to the Islamic army, they obtained the security for their life, belongings and religion, but they had to accept a condition of inferiority, spoliation and humiliation. As they were forbidden to possess weapons and give testimony against a Muslim, they were put in a position of vulnerability and humility."

Bat Yeor’s website, http://www.dhimmitude.org, offers a deeper look at the debate regarding dhimmitude. I was struck by a paragraph there: “Many Muslims theologians and intellectuals teach that it [jihad] has never been waged. Muslim armies had taken all those countries, because the people wanted it and asked to be conquered. … Muslims praise the tolerance of their domination, while Jews and Christians challenge the very idea of protection, considering that each human being enjoys inalienable rights and do not need to be tolerated to merely exist.”

During a speech in Turkey just before Easter, 2009, President Obama said: "You know, I have said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is -- although, as I have mentioned, that we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

Within those ideals and values reside certain inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness granted by our Creator. May we keep in our national memory the culture that gave us our ideals and values. President Abraham Lincoln said as part of his Proclamation for a National Day of Prayer:

"We have been the recipients of the choices bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown; but we have forgotten God.

"We have forgotten the gracious land which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us:

"It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."

A search regarding presidential viewpoints turned up an interesting page at
Wallbuilders.com. While there are multiple examples from previous presidents, my favorite comes from Harry Truman. "This is a Christian Nation."

Let us follow Lincoln's request and God’s word.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. [2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV]

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