About Jesus Steve Sweetman
settles in as you rest your head on your pillow.
You yawn and drift into a state of sub-consciousness that's half
a world away. It's as real
as real can be. Your wife
slips on a new pair of slacks and blouse, puts on her make-up, grabs a
cup of coffee, and heads off to work. Upon
arriving at work, unexpectedly and abruptly two armed uniformed men slam
her against the front fender of her car.
With hand-cuffs pinching her wrists, she's thrown into a van and
driven to Evin Prison. Her
crime? She's wearing make-up
weeks pass and you hear nothing. Day
after day tension mounts. You
wonder what's coming next. Around
the water cooler outside your office door you vent your anger against
the tyrants who run the country.
weeks pass and still no word. Silence
is a game tyrants play. They
mess with your head, hoping you'll cave in and submit or else just go
insane so they can lock you up for good.
Either is fine with them.
sitting at your desk attempting to work under the weight of fear and
uncertainty, the phone rings. Your 11 year old daughter isn't in school.
Her teacher wonders why, and so do you.
later the phone rings again. "My
dear friend", a deep mysterious voice mutters slowly. "I
just thought you'd like to know we've got your daughter locked up in
Evin Prison. One of your
co-workers turned you in. You
will now pay for your rants at the water cooler".
dear friend"? You
explode. You throw your cordless
phone across the room. It breaks into pieces as it hits the wall.
Bursting into uncontrollable anger you yell, "damn those
clerics and the thugs they anoint to dictate our lives"!
to your wife's disappearance, the two of you helped a poor girl who
could hardly afford to feed herself let alone her two children.
From time to time she sold herself to the authorities and clerics
who run the country. She
wasn't happy about that but the proceeds of her service bought milk and
bread for her children. Her
fate now torments you. She
was arrested. Her crime?
punishment? Evin Prison. Her
fate? Rape, thrown into a
hole in the ground, buried up to her neck, and then stoned.
Stones flew from all directions, even from those who benefited from
her service. Her head became
one messy ball of blood. Such
a pathetic excuse for a young lady could not be tolerated in a theocracy
such as ours. There's no
salvation for someone like her.
weeks pass. Your body is
breaking out in irritating rashes because of the overwhelming stress.
Finally another call comes from the mystery voice.
"My friend, come, take the body. Bury
your little slut of a daughter. We
can't stand to look at her ugly face ".
her"? Severe pain
strikes deep into your chest.
by the way", the mystery voice says, "don't comfort yourself
with the idea your daughter is in heaven.
She lost her virginity to a guard in Evin Prison before she faced
the firing squad. Only
virgins go to heaven my friend, and your daughter is no virgin".
numb, and void of any feeling. You
lose consciousness for a few brief moments.
If not for your burning anger, you would have fainted. They raped
your 11 year old daughter before blowing her head off.
One bullet would have done the job, but no, they had to use five
or six high powered machine guns to kill one little innocent girl.
You've just paid the price for your rants, and you still have no word
about your wife. Falling face
first to the floor you wonder how things ever got this bad.
awake in bed sheets drenched in sweat.
It seemed so real. It
takes a while, but you eventually fall back to sleep, only to find
yourself in western Europe in the year 1649.
You were a staunch Catholic before the Christian Reformation came
to town. Tyrannical
religious leaders dictating your life was all you knew.
Freedom from tyranny never entered your mind, but now, at least
in your soul, you are free. No
one could ever rob you of that.
your dream you pass away long before the seeds of freedom planted by the
Reformation could take root in society.
However, generations later, in a land far away, those born from
your lineage would stand on the banks of the Potomac River and on the
hillsides of the
wake again, wondering what this all means.
You've just seen tyranny in contrast with freedom.
Your head begins to clear and an irrational reality sets in.
It's now obvious, your nation is beginning to lose the reason for
its very existence.
watched the cable news channels for years.
People have openly, routinely, and relentlessly,
criticized government authorities without reprisal or
retaliation. You've never
been arrested for your rants on Face Book, but little by little that's
beginning to change. And by
the way, isn't change what you voted for?
now clear. Western nations
have experienced freedom because they have embraced the Reformation, a
Christian revival. Nations
who failed to embrace the Reformation have never experienced this
freedom. Bondage to
religious or atheistic tyranny is the norm for them.
stomach is now sick with disgust. The
west, your nation included, is forsaking that which made you free.
In the name of tolerance, attempts to make peace with the
intolerant are made. How
weird! They compromise the
Christian consensus, thinking such compromise will produce peace.
You know it won't. It
never will. Tyranny will
rise like a blinding and irritating cloud of smoke when truth is
sacrificed on the altar of compromise.
It hits you like a hundred mile an hour fast ball right between
your eyes. Peace in the name
of tolerance will surely back-fire. Clones
of Evin Prison may soon appear in towns near you.
Prison is in northwest
June 23, 2003, Iranian/Canadian photo-journalist Zahra Kazemi was
arrested for simply taking pictures of Evin Prison.
There, she lived out her final few days.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard claimed she died of a stroke.
It was subsequently learned that she had massive head wounds.
It was also learned that she too was raped before she was
apparently clobbered to death. Countless
critics of the Islamic Revolution have suffered a deadly fate in Evin
Prison. Now, in the name of
tolerance, we attempt to negotiate peace with the intolerant.
I'm reminded of Jeremiah 8:11, "peace peace, when there is
close with a portion of a popular song from the late 1960's.
"For What It's Worth", sung by Buffalo Springfield, was
an anthem of the failed hedonistic revolution of that generation.
Little did the hippies realize that what they were rebelling
against was that which gave them the freedom to rebel in the first