Woe to the religion reporter—or just the bewildered churchgoer—looking for "Christian reaction" to the Israel-Lebanon conflict. Since Lebanon has the Middle East's largest population of Christians, you might think there'd be a trove of possibilities. But mainstream news coverage so far has been minimal, and the items from outside the mainstream media aren't terribly helpful. Respectable organizations on both the Left and the Right are offering little analysis or answers, instead just begging and hoping for "all sides" to cool off. Among the statements: Middle East Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, Pope Benedict XVI.Ack. Anyway, the CT folks have collected some links to stories about the Christian angle in the region and linked to a list of action steps for concerned Christians (which is remarkably similar to the wonderfully simple prayer RevAbi makes).
No statement yet from groups like the World Evangelical Alliance, the National Association of Evangelicals, the U.K. Evangelical Alliance, Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, or other such umbrella bodies.
Evangelical umbrella bodies might be silent, but specific groups and personalities are quite sure they know the cause and solution of the Middle East's problems. One theme: Israel's only fault is that it didn't strike harder and earlier. A (thankfully) less common theme: Blame the gays (The news said Lebanese, dude, not lesbian).
Oh, and an additional tangential piece brought to my attention by Get Religion post Jesus was born where? Apparently, cnn.com made a boo-boo this morning by naming Nazareth as the birthplace of Jesus. Though they speedily caught the error, a quick-thinking intern at CT took a screen shot. Get Religion’s point? “The error was quickly fixed, but not corrected. A correction requires admission of a past wrong. We in the print media know that an error requires a retraction. This makes us quite careful in what we publish. Apparently those standards do not apply to cable television news Web sites.” Ouch.
(Image: Clearly Ambiguous at flickr.com)