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Without the ACLU filing a lawsuit, our military freed the descendants of the Magi

Mary Mostert

Mary Mostert
December 27, 2003

A popular modern Christmas visual display in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is the Magi. According to the Bible "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi came from the east to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.'" (Matt. 2: 1-2)

So, who were the Magi? I first asked this question more than 50 years ago and in tracking down leads in various writings I discovered that tradition in the area tells us that the "Magi" or the "wise men" were Kurdish priests in the Zororastrian religion. Today the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without their own country. There are about 25 million of them living in Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, an area called Chaldea in the Old Testament. There's quite a bit of fear among leaders of those nations that the Kurds are going to insist on having their own nation, which was promised many years ago to them by the League of Nations.

Because the Kurds became active supporters of the Americans when Turkey refused to allow U.S. Troops to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom from American built military bases in Turkey, there is deep suspicion on the part of Turkey that the Americans at some future date will help the Kurds unify into their own nation.

Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons on the Kurds in the town of Halabjah, killing thousands, in the 1980s. He emptied many villages of Kurds and imported Arabs to take control of the properties of the dead Kurds. Since Desert Storm the Kurds, with air protection maintained by the Americans and British, have developed considerable self-government and are very active members of the governing council of Iraq at the present time.

The Kurds trace their ancestry back to the Medes that overthrew Babylon (located in modern day Iraq). King Darius, a Median (or Kurd) was the central figure in the story of Daniel, who were, we would say today, set up by a group of plotters in King Darius' court. They urged the king to approve a law forbidding any person to "ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions." Daniel, one of the captive Jews, continued to worship God and his enemies demanded that he be thrown into the lion's den.

When Daniel survived that trick, the Kurdish King Darius ordered all his people to worship the God that Daniel worshipped.

About 600 B.C. the Kurds, led by one of their prophets named Zoroaster, founded a new religion which was a dramatic departure from the polytheistic religions around them. Zoroaster taught, in the area most of the Kurds still live, that the truth about God could be known to all people through "natural revelation" and their conscience. He, in effect, agreed with the Apostle Paul who said hundreds of years later, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them." (Romans 1:18)

Zoroaster also taught that

"'one who embodies all truth' would be born of a virgin and would become the eternal King of Kings, bringing justice for the oppressed and finally putting an end to the Lie and all its horrible consequences. Ultimately, there would be a resurrection of the dead to judgment and an everlasting 'new day,' a strikingly similar concept to the Bible's teaching on the Kingdom of God.

"His followers became known as the 'Maz Maga' meaning 'Great Benevolence,' reflecting the newfound truth that the true God was good and trustworthy. The Zoroastrian priestly class were called the Magi, and it may be reasonably surmised that the birth of Jesus was revealed to them because of the teachings of their religion. Thus the New Testament opens with a visit from these 'wise men.'"

After over 1000 years of often forced "conversion" to Islam, modern-day Kurds are still often persecuted, as they were under Saddam Hussein. The reason for this, some Muslim commentators tell us, is because the Kurds,

    "'hold their Islam lightly,' meaning that they are not so vehement about Islam and do not identify as closely with it as the Arabs do. This is perhaps due to two factors: First, many Kurds still feel some connection with the ancient Zoroastrian faith, and feel it is an original Kurdish spirituality that far predates the seventh century AD arrival of Muhammad. Secondly, their principal oppressors and antagonists for over one thousand years have been fellow Muslims, who have showered far more pain than pleasure upon the Kurds."

For some reason, the history of the Kurds and their Biblical connection seems to have been almost totally ignored by most Americans, even including those who consider themselves ardent Christians.

And, yet, here we are, at Christmas, having freed the Kurds to be able to help write a new Constitution that could allow them, once again, to express their spirituality as they did some 2000 plus years ago when some of their priests followed the star to Bethlehem because the Kurdish people were expecting a savior to be born about that time.

It think that is a great Christmas story, and, the anti-Bush zealots notwithstanding, I think America's freeing the descendants of the Magi from Saddam Hussein, has been worth the sacrifice of several hundred of our soldiers and billions of dollars of our money. We should be thankful that we had the ability, and the willingness, to finally topple the tyrant who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Kurds.

While we may be confused enough in America to demand removal of manger scenes and the Magi from government owned property, in the name of "freedom of religion," somehow we managed to liberate the descendants of the Magi without the ACLU filing a lawsuit protesting it.

Mary Mostert is a nationally-respected political writer. She was one of the first female political commentators to be published in a major metropolitan newspaper in the 1960s. After working in President Lyndon Johnson's failed War on Poverty programs in New York state, she became a Republican. She ran, unsuccessfully, for the New York State Senate and became campaign manager for a number of candidates. She once served as the secretary of "Positive Action NOW!"--a South African women's group that sought to reduce the hostility among South Africa's various racial, religious, and political groups.

In recent years, Mary has researched, written, and edited articles for national talk show host Michael Reagan's Information Interchange on the Internet, and for The REAGAN MONITOR, a monthly newsletter that provides in-depth information on key issues. Her book, COMING HOME - Families Can Stop the Unraveling of America," was published in 1996 by Gold Leaf Press. Mary maintains a political media site, Banner of Liberty. She can be contacted at mary@bannerofliberty.com. Click here for more information.

© Copyright 2003 by Mary Mostert

Recent columns by Mary Mostert: Click here for other columns by Mary Mostert

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