Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pope Francis was right to call it Genocide

Back in 2007, I called it the Armenian Genocide as so many have over the years. This year, Pope Francis mentioned it: http://www.npr.org/2015/04/13/399292623/armenian-genocide-remarks-by-pope-francis-spark-row-with-turkey

I read the book The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response (HarperCollins, 2004) by Peter Balakian .
Peter Balakian's The Burning Tigris places the story of the Armenian genocide in its larger historical context, which includes the international response and the emergence of a fledgling human rights movement that, two decades later, turned its attention to events in Nazi Germany. Balakian's book also illustrates how quickly the victims of history are pushed aside and forgotten in the greater geopolitical picture. Adolf Hitler, addressing his generals as they prepared to invade Poland in 1939, told them to be as ruthless as Genghis Khan and ominously asked, "Who today ... speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?"
Genocide - the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group (from Websters on line)

". . . the Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey is to condone it . . . the failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" - Adolf Hitler (1939)

"Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it, . . . the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten." - Ronald Reagan (1981)

The son of murdered Turkish-Armenian writer Hrant Dink has been found guilty of insulting "Turkishness", along with another newspaper editor. Arat Dink and Serkis Seropyan were convicted after printing Dink's claims that the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks from 1915 was genocide. (October 11, 2007 - from the BBC)

I first heard of the Armenian Genocide when I visited the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC. There in the Missionary chapel is the the genocide memorial dedicated to the Armenian victims of the Ottoman Empire (1915-23), the victims of the Holocaust (1939-45), and other genocides.

Too often we want to forget our history, forget the bodies, forget the blood, forget the evil that was committed, but we can't do that, we must remember or it will happen again, as sadly the 20th century could be called the genocidal century.

Archbishop Williams repudiates genocide in visit to Armenian memorial, read it here.

Learn more about the Holocaust and other genocides here.

Responding to today's threats of genocide, go here.

Learn more about the Armenia Genocide, here and here.

Let us pray:

O Holy God, you love righteousness and hate iniquity: strengthen we pray, the hands of all who strive for justice throughout the world, and seeing that all human beings are your offspring, move us to share the pain of those who are oppressed, and to promote the dignity and freedom of every person; through Jesus Christ the Liberator, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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