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August 5, 2014

Nuns on the Bus vs. ISIS?

The liberal Catholic activist group Network, headed by Sister Simone Campbell, famous for “Nuns on the Bus,” is asking supporters to urge President Obama to exercise strong “diplomacy” against the “violence” in northern Iraq. Thousands of Iraq’s dwindling Christian population have fled the invasion and occupation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as Network indirectly notes, without citing ISIS.

Here’s Network’s recommended note for Obama:

As a member of the NETWORK Catholic social justice community, I am writing to urge you to take a strong leadership role in resolving the violence and persecution that is going on in Northern Iraq in the Nineveh Plain and surrounding region. Christians and Shia are leaving. Food and money are running short. There is violence and destruction everywhere. Some of the sacred sites have been destroyed and the people are terrified.

Pope Francis recently said, “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive.” Only a strong U.S. and multinational response can possibly make any difference to these suffering people. Please utilize the United Nations mechanisms to help to bring peace in this area. Within this context I urge you to convene our multinational regional partners to stop the bloodshed. Our nation needs to be a leader for good and peacemaking, not just war. I urge you to act so that diplomacy can be the way forward.

Notice Network doesn’t describe how “diplomacy” will affect the ISIS reign of terror, which has included demands that Christians convert, pay special taxes as non-Muslim legal inferiors, or die. There are also reports of crucifixions, beheadings, torture and mandatory female genital mutilation, among other horrors, under the new Islamist rule over northern Iraq. These atrocities are intrinsic to the ISIS interpretation of Islamist rule. These details don’t merit specific inclusion in the Network message.

ISIS doesn’t have embassies or diplomatic envoys per se. It’s a terror revolutionary group grabbing territory in Syria and Iraq to recreate Islam’s mythologized caliphate, which would delegitimize all other regimes in the region. ISIS is funded and manned by Islamists throughout the region but not really by any single state. So with whom can “diplomacy” be applied? Network is not clear on this point. It’s obliged to express concern about persecuted Christians but offers no plausible remedy.

Removing ISIS rule from northern Iraq will require the Iraqi military retaking the territory, with U.S. arms and advisors, in collaboration from local Sunnis who likely are exasperated by their ISIS “liberators.” Meanwhile, many Iraqi Christians have found refuge with the well and U.S. armed Kurds.

There’s really no solution to the ISIS invasion in Iraq that is not military. But Network, which is essentially pacifist, like most of the Religious Left, is loathe to admit the necessity of force. Instead it prefers cheap talk about “diplomacy.” No doubt fleeing Christians in Iraq are grateful.

It’s tempting sarcastically to suggest that Network deploy its renowned “Nuns on the Bus” caravan to northern Iraq in a direct quest for peace. But “Nuns on the Bus,” taking a break from its usual Welfare State advocacy, is very busy now touting mass legalization for illegal immigrants. Network has its priorities, and don’t expect “Nuns on the Bus” to mobilize even in this country for persecuted Christians in Iraq or anywhere else.

Diplomacy often has utility but typically only when backed by the possibility of force. Groups like Network prefer to imagine a fantasy world where sweet reason trumps self interest and might. Its radical nuns and activists need to study the ethical resources of their own tradition.


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  • CoralSpring

    For the first time, I’m with the Nuns on the Bus!! Let’s load up all their buses with the Network nuns, have the military fly them over to the Middle East, and have the sisters conduct these diplomatic missions! Mankind would be assured of being delivered of one of its scourges!

    • somnipod

      I bet they could demonize the Muslim faith and have maryknoll imams in a few short years stressing social justice, and a massive decline in Muslim faithful.. just like the movement food in the USA.

      Ah yes… I can hear the folksongs and handholding coming from the muslim temples already

  • AugustineThomas

    How stupid are these idiots? Goodbye Mosul, goodbye American Catholicism.

    • somnipod

      Obviously… very stupid

    • somnipod

      Augustine. It appears you have the pewsitter app also?
      I keep running into you

      • AugustineThomas

        I use the website. It’s a great news aggregator for those of us who still belong to the Church and not New Church!

        God bless you!
        Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis!!!

  • http://www.thefeverchart.com/ Mark Gordon

    Oh, Mark Tooley is a pacifist, too … at least when it comes to Mark Tooley. Like nearly every other neocon, Tooley never put his own soft neck on the line (and, no, data analyst at the CIA doesn’t cut it), but he never fails to advocate that other, better men should go off to fight and die. Picking on Catholics nuns is more his speed.

    • John S.

      Failure to serve is not a barrier to advocating (or compelling) the use of armed forces. Instead of saying Tooley has no right to advocate for force, show why force is wrong. Or are you saying force is ok only when advocated by those with whom you agree?

  • fredx2

    It would be a real witness for the Nuns to bring their buses over there. It would really impress people and show them that the Nuns are not just left wing political hucksters. It would show people that the Nuns really do practice what they preach.

    Of course, the same thing applies to our bishops. Or our priests. Or you and me.

    • Sandy

      And of course, the splattered blood and mass rape and piked heads would witness substantially too.

      When will practitioners of Islam reform their barbaric religion? How many more thousands (millions) must die gruesomely before a reform movement forms?

  • James Stagg

    Go, get ‘em, Mark. They really don’t have anything else to do….except ride the bus!

  • http://johnnyangeladvocacygroup.net JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    Can never tell “pro-active liberals” from hidden communists anymore. It’s what communists do. BUT, even if these nuns are doing what they believe is God’s work, the air up there is getting quite thin. Come back down to earth….and reality.

  • hoary2002

    I didn’t see any nuns in the picture above. All I saw was a bunch of old white women still stuck in the “60’s”. Why haven’t their bishops put an end to these delusional old hippies?

    • George Waite

      I thought groups that were over 98% White suffered from White Privilege and we shouldn’t listen to them until they’re more diverse?

  • John S.

    It would be nice if a campfire and a round of Kumbaha could solve the problem.