Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Am A Bad Christian.

Because my first thought after reading this story was WTFF? (and yes, the second "F" is what you think it is...)

O’Malley calls for love in face of threat from ISIS
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said yesterday we may be forced into a “just war” but without love “we’re going to destroy each other,” while 5,000 miles away in Albania his friend Pope Francis, defying an ISIS death threat, went ahead with his first trip as pontiff to a heavily Muslim country under extraordinary security.

During the first Mass for public safety personnel in 13 years at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, O’Malley told the gathering of law enforcement officials, “Compassion and love can come from one’s enemy. Then, no one is an enemy and everyone is a neighbor.”
I do have to admit, my first reaction when reading this was along these lines:

But, realistically, this is a very Christian response. Hate the sin, love the sinner; turn the other cheek; etc. Nonviolence coupled with love for your enemy is a basic Christian tenet. Add to that the ever-increasing amount of guilt over the Crusades, and you've got a recipe for a squishy, kumbaya-ish Church that's pretty much going to tell its adherents to stop drinking milk so they have flimsier bones to make it easier for the terrorists to cut their heads off.

Love ISIS? If by "love" you mean "carpet bomb", maybe. I can endorse the idea of killing them with kindness - as long as "kindness" is the name stamped on each MOAB. I don't want to understand them. The only thing I want to feel with regard to ISIS is recoil. They have made their feelings about us perfectly clear. It's about damn time we started feeling the same right back.

They have threatened to start beheading random people in Australia. Don't for a moment think they won't try something like that here, either. The thing here, though, is that there's a fairly good chance that grabbing people on the street in, say, Houston would be viewed most unfavorably. I doubt we would stand idly by while jihadists tried to behead soldiers as happened in England. I suspect it would end a lot more, well, ballistically...

So, yeah, I kinda suck at the whole "turn the other cheek" part, especially when so many have had their heads cut off while turning that cheek. I'm more of this mindset:

They behead one of ours, we drop a few JDAMs on some of theirs...

That is all.


DJMoore said...

As a new Christian, this is one of the hardest questions I've struggled with.

Christ says, Love thy neighbor--and then challenges us to recognize our enemies as our neighbors. He also, repeatedly, reminds us that the things and problems of this life are mere childish toys, that the full richness of experience can only be found in Heaven. In other words, for the faithful, physical death is properly seen as a graduation ceremony. It is the test leading to graduation that is to be feared, not the graduation itself.

And yet, he also directs his apostles to carry swords with them as they go into the world to preach the Word.

Very confusing.

As an Episcopalian (family history, not considered choice), every Sunday I pray for the leaders of the world, "especially Barack, our President".

When I first started doing this, I resented it. He's a Bad Man! Why should I wish him the joys of Heaven?

Then I realized that what I was truly praying for was that Christ would open his eyes so that he could begin to lead as a Christian, in full recognition of his sinfulness and fallibility, with Christian goals in mind. And that to do this honestly, I had to pray for Barack Obama out of love for him. (Something I still cannot do.)

In a similar way, loving my neighbors doesn't mean submitting to the swords of those neighbors who chose to become my enemies.

It includes being willing to use deadly force to defend the faithful and the might-be faithful from the savage.

This requires accepting that savages are self-identified. I do not, must not, judge one who enslaves, rapes, and murders in the name of his God as being unworthy of Heaven; I only recognize the threat he poses to other seekers of Christ's love. To the children that Christ so loved, recognizing that to Christ, we are all children.

The problem is that we should not glory in war as a goal in itself. Instead, we glory in God's peace, while accepting that the best way to achieve that peace for the most people is to provide them with a relatively civilized world in which they can seek that peace for themselves.

Note that last: we do not wage war to force others into the faith, especially not just the rituals and forms of the faith. We merely give all God's children the safest, most secure nursery that it is within our power to provide.

And that occasionally means, unfortunately, that children who simply cannot learn to be civilized, who do in fact revel in greed, lust and violence, must be killed to protect the rest.

We mourn them when that happens. We mourn their souls, who we fear are lost to Heaven, while leaving that final judgement to Christ.

In this way, other unruly children see that imposing violence on the rest of us will not be rewarded on this Earth.

Because when we reward violence by not resisting, we deceive ourselves and our enemies into thinking that the earthly rewards of violence are all that matters, or in the very worst case, as with Islam, that Allah himself rewards violence in Heaven.

[Whew. Way to long, sorry, but that's the first time I've been able to get that out.]

Anonymous said...

I think that's why it's called being a practicing Christian, Jay. We keep practicing in hopes of getting better and better. But yeah, figuring out how to love the individual and hate only teh sin is kinda hard in the case of Al Shabab, AQAP, the guys in Nigeria, ISIS, that group in Indonesia, the Chechens, . . . ad nauseum.


Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, looks like you got your wish. Even as I type, JDAMs are falling from the sky on top of those $%$^&^&$&&&^^$ Heads.

But keep this in mind: Obama hisself said that THIS War (whatever they plan on calling it) is going to go on long after he leaves Office.

Just like George Bush's did.

And you and I know that there's only so much damage one can do from the Air.

So what happens WHEN an American Pilot comes down behind Enemy Lines?

And how does one do an Air War for TWO PLUS years when the Military Budget keeps getting cut, and Planes, Ships and Missiles and Bombs start to dry up because we haven't replaced them?

Or the Military Personnel?

Settle down and strap yourself in, Folks, we've got a LONG Ride ahead of us.

Jim said...

Few months back, 0zero ordered the shutdown of the Tomahawk Missle production line.

Now, he's burning up Tomahawks at a furious pace, with no replacements flowing in from behind.

Putin surely notices these things, and calculates, accordingly.

And as far as Christain Charity towards our enemies. Sure, that's what we show 'em when they lay their arms down, and fully capitulate.

We occupy 'em, run their governments, schools, courts and societies for the next 100 years, and that's if we're both smart, and lucky.

Heavy investment of treasure and sweat, and that's well after the organized shedding of blood.

THAT'S how we show 'em Christian Love. First though, we've gotta STOP THEM from showing Muslim Hate, murder and destruction.

You know, if we did colonize 'em for a hundred years, shut down all the madrassas, inject modern rationality into their culture, well.....

We might MAYBE bring 'em up to the point of modern Western culture, that existed until Jimmy Carter yielded Iran to the Shah, and pushed-over the whole row of destructive dominoes in the region.

Kabul in the 60s. Women in modern Western attire. Tehran in the early 70s. The same, only more. Istanbul? Even more.

Not so much, now. Between Carter's fecklessness, and 0zero's "Arab Spring" (what, soap made outta goat shit?), we've not only allowed the region to degrade, but we've been one of the worst causes thereof.

Liberalism isn't just a "mental disorder". It's the deadliest force known to the Western World.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Glenn B said...

Jay, you said it is the Christian thing, the love the sinner hate the sin kind of a thing, this call for loving our enemy. if that truly is Christian and truly Catholic then why all the tight security around the pope - armed security ready to kill anyone who would attack him. They are all full of shit - every weird holy man out there.

Old NFO said...

Yep, I'm with you...

ProudHillbilly said...

I don't hate an animal that has rabies. But I am morally obligated to kill it for safety's sake.

PJS said...

"Love ISIS? If by 'love' you mean 'carpet bomb,' maybe." It's sentences like this that keep me coming back to Jay's blog.

Ed said...

I believe the mandate is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. If you have no interest in the survival of yourself and others close to you, then you do not love yourself, or them, very much.

If someone is beheading people to make a political point, then "turning the other cheek" to make you feel better about yourself is not a viable option.

When O'Malley presents himself in exchange for one of those hostages, then I will take him seriously.