By Theodore Shoebat
The Kurdish government wants to give weapons to Iraqi Christians so that they can defend themselves, but there are (not surprisingly) Christian leaders who are actually against the giving of arms.
The lending of guns to the Christians is desired by President Masud Barzani of the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan, who said he is willing to commit to the idea. But Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako I responded that the idea of weapons to the Christians would be destructive, saying “the forces of the state should take charge of this defense” and that such a diversity of militias “can destroy Iraq”.
Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai also gave his objections to the idea of a Christian militia, saying that it would be “illegitimate” and that it would result in “law of the jungle and an increase in crime.”
Both Catholic and Evangelical voices objected to the protest of the Patriarch on giving weapons to the Christians. Kishore Jayabalan, Rome director of the Catholic organization, Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, said
I understand why the patriarch doesn’t want to see Christian militias in place of the state’s protection of all its citizens, as it is a fundamental duty of a state to do so… But the problem is that [state protection] isn’t happening, and something has to be done to stop the gruesome attacks of the Islamic State.
Jayabalan also made it clear that a militia is the only choice for the Christians because no nation is helping them:
What authority can they appeal to? Western governments won’t act effectively because they fear being seen as sectarian
Evangelical pastor Michel Youssef, an advocate of armed Christian civilians in Iraq, said:
only way to protect our families and friends from attacks, because we are tired of waiting for an action from the government, which is preoccupied with politics and never looks after us.
Benjamin Harnwell, founder of the Catholic Rome-based think tank the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, said
The right to defend oneself is a clear doctrine; it’s a fundamental human right, an inalienable right, and people lend the exercise of that right to the state…
The first duty of the state is to protect the people, but if the state is unable to fulfil this, then the right to defend oneself reverts to the person, because such a right cannot ever be taken from that person — and nor can it ever be given away; it cannot be ‘alienated.’ This is literally what we mean when we say the right to defend oneself is inalienable … The fact that the state is unable to defend its citizens means there is already the law of the jungle in operation — it’s the perfect example of lawlessness… And preventing minorities who are being systematically wiped out from defending themselves will only work in favor of the aggressor.
One source close to the Vatican even said that the objections toward a Christian militia was a sign of appeasement and acquiescence to ISIS.
Christians definitely need to form a militia, under the liberty of God and the natural law of man, they must become militant.