Neocons, Christians, and Syria

Robert Wright has an interesting post in the Atlantic on an emerging split between Neocons and Christians over American intervention in Syria. Although Neocons and conservative Christians joined in supporting a war to oust Saddam Hussein  in 2003, he writes, this time, conservative Christian journals, both Evangelical and Catholic, have been running articles warning of the danger to Syria’s Christians if the Assad regime should fall. Wright wonders whether Christian solidarity — “are we really ready to go to war against two million Christians?” – will stop conservative Christians from supporting American intervention this time. It’s a very interesting point. One should never discount the role that Christianity plays in American foreign relations, including America’s relations in the Middle East. And Syria’s Christians are definitely in danger. I’m not sure how much fellow-feeling there is, though. American Christians do not typically identify with the Christian communities of the Middle East, most of which, like the Copts in Egypt, are Orthodox rather than Catholic or Protestant. And fellow feeling for Iraq’s Christians did not stop conservative Christians from supporting the Iraq war, which has led to a catastrophe for Christians in that country. I’m sure that Christian solidarity plays some role, as Wright argues, but conservative Christian wariness about an incursion in Syria likely has much more to do with alienation from the current American President — with whom they certainly don’t identify.

One response

  1. An interesting issue. I imagine the reluctance to support a war with Syria has less to do with alienation from the current President and more to do with the horror that Christians realize was wrought on the Iraqi Christian population after the Iraq war, aside from general fatigue with wars in Arab lands. Missing from your post was any discussion of the nexus between US Christians and the Israeli right, for whom Assad père and Bashir were sworn enemies.

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