Saturday, November 14, 2015

Reflections on the Paris Attacks

   Today my social media posts are lit up with friends and family urging us to "Stand with Paris" and "Pray for Paris."  Both of these are noble sentiments and I fully endorse them.  The terrorist attacks last night were barbaric, evil, and heinous in every possible definition of those terms.  I pray for healing and peace for the victims, and for swift and terrible justice to those who would plan and perpetrate such an act.  For the record, I will also state this - the French people are not a warlike bunch.  They love peace and friendship and prefer to avoid conflict when possible.  But they are also a proud people, and the humiliations of the twentieth century have left them with a certain determination to never be walked on again.  I think their response to these ISIS attacks will be far more ferocious and effective than the efforts of the feckless, naïve incompetent who currently occupies the White House.

   But what happened in Paris is symptomatic of something much larger.  I wrote about it on my Facebook page in these terms:
The morning after . . . done being shocked, at least.
There is a war on, my friends. It is not just a war on America, or a war on Christianity. It is a war on two thousand years of Western Civilization, on all freedom of expression, freedom of religion, on any rights whatsoever for women, on every single individual's right to decide for himself what he will believe, think, and say. We can close our eyes to it, we can ignore it, we can deny it, but it will still eventually
find its way to our doors.
This war is being waged in the name of Islam, and it represents a dark and bloody stain that has been present in that faith since Muhammad first fled from Mecca in 632 AD. From its inception, Islam has been a war of compulsion. Unlike Jesus, who never once picked up a sword, Muhammad led armies and put to death those who opposed his vision and commanded his followers to do the same. The bloody-handed monsters who slaughtered the innocents in Paris were following his commands and his example.
Not all Muslims are terrorists. Every Muslim I have known in person was a decent and peaceful individual, and the vast majority of Muslims on earth have made the decision to ignore the Quran's call for jihad. But for those who take the Quran literally, the command to "make war on the infidel" is absolute and unending. It's time for the Western world to acknowledge this threat for what it is and quit saying that it is "a perversion of Islam." Jihad is not the only thing Islam is about, but it is a huge part of the history and creed of that faith. Denying it will not change that. 
   I am sometimes accused of being prejudiced against Muslims.  That is not accurate.  First of all, my problem is not with individual Muslims.  Most of them I have known are decent and peaceful people, as I stated above.  I do have a problem with Islam, it's true.  But is it prejudice?
   I would say no.  What I perceive, at least, is "post-judice."  What do I mean by that?  It's a simple concept, really.
   There are two ways to judge a religion.  One is by the behavior of its followers, the other is by the teaching of its scriptures.  Now, it is certainly true that, judging by the former, Christianity has been a violent faith for far too much of its history.  The Inquisition, the Reformation Wars, the conquest of the Americas, and yes, even the Crusades (although it is worth pointing out that the Crusades were a response to Islam's initial two hundred and fifty years of jihad that wiped out entire cultures and subdued the entire Middle East at the point of the sword) were horrific to the extreme.  But did these things happen because Christians obeyed the teachings of Christ - or because they completely forgot or ignored them?
  That is where the second criteria comes in.  Did Jesus of Nazareth or his Apostles, in all of the teachings contained in the New Testament, ever once order Christians to wage war on other faiths, to harm other people, or to commit violence of any sort?
   The answer is no.  And therein lies the difference between the two faiths:  A Christian who kills in the name of his faith is absolutely violating both the teachings and the example of Jesus and His Apostles, and the clearly written teachings of the New Testament.  A Muslim who kills in the name of his faith is doing so in obedience to both the teachings and example of Muhammad.  I don't write this because I hate Muslims; I write it because it is historically accurate.  As long as the Western world chooses to ignore this aspect of Islam, this twilight struggle for the survival of Western Civilization will continue to be lost.
   And when the West falls, the world to follow will be a Dark Age like none we have seen before.

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