Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

An important issue gets some attention. Congratulations to journalist Rita Cosby. My former Fox News colleague recently scored a rare interview with former Iraq War POW Jessica Lynch on her WABC-AM Radio show in New York City.  Lynch was an Army private when her capture by and rescue from enemy forces made international headlines in 2003. She still wears a daily leg brace as a result of her injuries sustained during the ambush of her military convoy which killed eleven of her fellow soldiers.

These days, Lynch is a mom and sought-after inspirational speaker. She is also turning some of her attention to acting — with IMDB-listed roles in three faith-themed films,  including the upcoming political thriller One Church which tackles the issue of religious freedom in America. The plays the daughter of the American president.

In the Cosby interview, Lynch expresses her deep concern over the current situation Iraq, particularly regarding the plight of Christians who are being persecuted and systematically murdered for their faith. It’s a genocidal situation that is receiving remarkably little attention from the media. Here are some highlights from their conversation.  
RITA COSBY:  When you look at the images of what’s going on in Iraq, do you feel we can defeat this enemy that’s over there?  It’s a very brutal enemy.


JESSICA LYNCH:  It is.  I think it’s just going to be a repeated cycle. I don’t know honestly if we as Americans can change them and I don’t think that’s going to happen.  I think they’re going to continue with the way that it has been for years, for decades.   And, I don’t know, I hope… I hope because I’m a peace lover. I like peace… like everybody else and I want to see our soldiers come back home safely, and not be hurt.

RC:  How difficult do you think this enemy is?  I mean you obviously dealt with it firsthand in a very personal way… How determined do you think this enemy is?

JL:  Well, I think that they are determined to keep Iraq the way that it has always been.  They don’t want to change.  They want… That’s what they’ve grown to know… And that’s what they…  I think that’s what they’re still going to continue to do for the next 50 years.   I don’t think us being there is going help any .  So, but I hope… I mean we are there to help them, not hurt them.

RC:  Yeah, and of course, as we look at the pictures too, especially, I think one of the most difficult things that a lot of people have been commenting about is the targeting of Christians that we have seen in Iraq and elsewhere in the world… in Egypt and elsewhere.  What are your thoughts as a woman of faith and as someone who was there on the battlefield?

JL: Hey, you know, because as Christians we believe one way and… they believe another way… and it’s always going to be a conflict.  Whether it’s with Iraq… or if it’s against another country.  And that’s what they do. They’re going to target us.  They’re going to try to take away what beliefs or faith we have .  And, you know as Christians, I believe that we’re going to stand strong.  We’re going to continue praying.  We’re going to continue with what we know… And we’re going to overpower them in that situation.  They may take us by guns and armory…  But with us, we’ll just continue praying and having faith that we’re going to stand strong.

RC: How concerned are you when you see some of the images and what’s been happening to Christians?… How concerned are you at sort of the level it has gone to in Iraq and elsewhere?

JL: Oh it is…  it’s been disturbing.  I mean, if you look at those pictures, it’s horrible.  Absolutely horrible.  I feel for their families. The ones that have been beheaded. I feel for them.  I never want to see that happen. And… yeah, it’s very, very disturbing.  And it’s been happening so much lately that I think it’s definitely a concern that we should all be kind of aware of.

RC: Do you feel the world is doing enough to protect Christians and others over there, Jessica Lynch?

JL:  Oh, you know that’s a tough one.  I think… the military?  I think the military side, I think, you know, we’re doing what we have always been taught, with the tactical side…  and… umm we… I mean I can’t speak for the government or anything, but I think, definitely with military, we’re doing what we can to protect everybody… not just Christians.

RC:  Do you think the world is doing enough to protect Christians over there?

JL: Maybe not. Maybe not. Definitely I think things could be improved and handled differently.  But, you know, I think it’s a difficult situation, and I think, you know, it’s going to take some time and it’s going to take some effort by everyone so that the world can get along.

RC:  I guess, as a Christian, you have to be outraged. I’m outraged when I see what’s happening to Christians and to all good people.   Is it just frightening to see some of the images that you’re seeing out of Iraq and elsewhere?

JL: …These are disturbing, frightful images that we see every day coming across the TV or on the internet.  It is. It’s definitely disturbing and, you know, for me I look at them, and I pray for their families. And I do what I can on that front.
Note: You can hear the entire interview here. The Rita Cosby Shows airs Sunday mornings at 6:00 AM (ET) on New York-based WABC Radio.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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