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Issue 03 – Christ the King 2020


Moonshine Vodka

One-line description.


Moonshine Vodka

As a young Iraqi immigrant keen on assimilating, I decided to turn away from my parents’ traditional Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox faiths. This went hand-in-hand with the rejection of my heritage and my parents’ attempt to maintain it through an Iraqi subculture forming in the Los Angeles area at that time. Like many first-generation immigrant children I had to live a double life: the Iraqi Luma at home and the American Luma at the public school I attended.

At first I sought to have no Christian faith at all, though I faked one for the sake of my parents. After high school, through a series of events I began attending an evangelical non-denominational church. At that church I was taught to reject tradition and “traditional” churches — especially the Roman Catholic Church, which the pastor mocked from the pulpit at every opportunity. I was taught that the Catholic Church teaches a false Gospel, that Catholics were heretics, and the Church evil. I was taught that Catholics were not real Christians, and so I learned to despise them. I was taught the same thing that the evangelical missionaries we met in Greece taught my father: tradition was not real Christianity and Catholics were not true Christians. The only way to be a true Christian is to be born again, and the way to do that is to “accept Jesus into your heart.” The credo was “Dear Jesus, I ask you to come into my heart, I accept you as my Lord and Savior,” or some variation of this. I am not dismissing the idea behind this — that it is through a vibrant friendship with Jesus Christ that our hearts are increasingly converted, that through Him we grow in holiness. What I oppose is the idea that salvation can be individual, outside the community of the faithful in the Church.

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About the author

Luma Simms