From the comments
December 1, 2015 30 Comments
Dan Hannan said recently that:
Americans are very good at assimilating newcomers. They go in for loud displays of national pride – flags in the yard and bunting on Independence Day and stirring songs – that strike some Euro-snobs as vulgar, but that make it easy for settlers to want to belong.
And that is true, we have welcomed and assimilated all sorts of people over the last 300 or so years. But can we assimilate a group of people who basically believe in a theocracy, and maintain our country, as designed?
My dear friend Isabella Rose commented on yesterday’s post to this point. She said:
It is such a sad mess. While I can understand that some Muslims might not sympathize with jihadis in their extremest measures, the problem is that it is fundamental to the Muslim faith to seek out the practice of Sharia law. I have witnessed this first hand in getting to know Muslims, and I have heard their explanations of how they are a people of peace, and not the monsters the media makes them out to be. Nonetheless, I have also heard them turn around and clearly state that if you offend them or your faith, you should be punished under their laws.
Their idea of peace is very different from ours. From what I have seen, a world under Sharia law would be a peaceful place to them. The problem is, can we accept the abuse of other humans in the name of their God? Do we want to be subject to their laws if a dispute should arise between us and them personally? They would want us to be, and to them, that would be peaceful.
I think we walk such a fine line here. On the one hand, they are human beings, who we must love. On the other, they are holding onto a belief system that is calculated to eventually destroy our own, and establish their religious reign. Sadly, this is the paradox that is so difficult in our world. Do we take the liberal approach, whereby we act kind to them but do not seek to also set limits and borders to their initiatives? Do we take the opposite extreme approach, whereby we retaliate by hating them all and being inhumanly cruel?
There are no easy answers to such complex questions. Sadly, prophecy is clear that eventually the continuing actions of Muslims will lead to an international war that will cause much loss of life and bloodshed. I feel as though I am living in a twililight zone, as the news unfolds what was once mere written words on a prophetic page of history.
I think that all we can do is strive for a balance, whereby we love them and pray for them in our personal lives, but find a way to charitably stand strong in our defenses against their errors. As for the greater arena of the international political spheres, I am just glad I am not in the shoes of those who have to make such fateful decisions. Yet in the end I am not unfamiliar with tough love, and if pushed enough, I can see where it may – very sadly – have to come to that. But who will we blame? The Muslims, or our world that has become so cold that it drives disillusioned young people to extremist motives?
I think she states it very well, and yes, I do agree with her as I often do. But what do we do? I don’t know, and I doubt anybody has really thought about it.
This morning Archbishop Cranmer also spoke of this. Here are some of his thoughts.
For the first time in almost 300 years, we’re facing a conflict that has a distinct theological and religious element which we have not faced before,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury in response to the Prime Minister’s statement expressing the desire of his conscience to bomb Syria. “Recent studies demonstrate the theological basis of extremist groups behind jihadist thinking,” the Archbishop added, mindful that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh clearly has something to do with Islam, even if politicians persist in their delusion that the Islamic State is a nihilist, godless, irreligious death cult which has “nothing to do with Islam”, which is a religion of peace, prophetic benevolence and infinite mercy. Archbishop Justin probed further:
Does the Government realise that in facing this conflict there must be an ideological response that is not only national in dealing with the threat of extremism here, but is global in challenging the doctrines that draw so many people to support ISIS internationally? And what steps are they proposing to take to put together the conflict at the ideological and theological level, as well as at humanitarian and military?”
As we move inexorably toward bombing Syria – which the Archbishop acknowledges is “almost inevitable” and which action he fully supports – we would be foolish to ignore the “distinct theological and religious element”, which bombs will not eradicate. Indeed, military conflict with the infidel West represents an Islamist theological apocalyptic consummation: those who reject the dominion of Allah and the mission of Mohammed are kuffar. What Mohammed did to unbelieving Meccans is what Daesh must do to the profligate Jews and Christian prostitutes of Paris, Brussels, London, Berlin, Rome..
There can be no refuge or safe havens for Christians in the Middle East without the hard power of military intervention, but bombs produce collateral damage, and the blood of innocents is inescapable. Yes, we might degrade ISIS/Daesh in the short term, but the theological narrative and dream of the Caliphate will simply slumber to wake another day.
So what should we do, as American, and as Christians (most of us)? It starts, I think, with prayer for us to see the way forward. I think bombing may be useful, but it is not the answer, I also think ground troops will be required. Neither are they the answer, really, unless we are with the Bishop of Béziers, Renaud de Montpeyroux and say, “Kill them all, God will know His own”. I think we are better than that, or at least I hope and pray we are.