I know it’s kind of a “shock-title”, but let’s look at the facts here. Besides, my blog hasn’t exactly gotten the visits I expected, so maybe a good “shock-title” could help. 😉
Since the series of events happened on November 13th in Paris, there has been speculation over who is responsible. Now the French government has confirmed that ISIS is indeed responsible for this well-coordinated and deadly attack. Since the first news report came out regarding the attacks, I have read and followed Facebook and Twitter posts of all types. Many talk of how we need to decimate the radical Islamist movement, destroy the muslim murderers, and bring the world back to peace. I have heard arguments between Christians and Muslims – muslims saying “these are radicals and don’t represent all muslims” while the christians counter that “ISIS is taking the Quran literally” and “Not all muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are muslim”. Each side finding fault, quoting scripture from their respective holy books, and referring back to historic events as proof of their argument. Even those without religion or of different faiths are putting in their two-cents with comments such as “if the Muslims took care of their own, we wouldn’t have to be over there fighting their battles”. (And please note, the only reason I use Christian and Muslim as examples here is that the USA is majority Christian and the terrorists claim Muslim faith – I am not picking on these two religions)
But the ONE thing that is missing from ALL of these discussions is common sense and discussing the obvious, it seems!! Truth be told, exactly WHERE does religion play a part in ANY of this?? Those that know me, know that I have a strong religious background and belief. Like others, my faith will help me to go forward in life, deal with atrocities such as the Paris attacks, and even forge my path ahead and the decisions I make. But I can see no place for it in the managing, responding, or discussing of ISIS or their attacks.
Let’s begin with the issue of Muslims being blamed – or at the very least, verbally attacked – for the actions of terrorists. Yes, it is true that ISIS declares they are performing these acts in the name of the Muslim God, claim Islam and the Quran as their guiding principle, and target anyone that believes differently from themselves – Christians being at the forefront. But, if we’re going to bring history into the mix, then what of Adolf Hitler? He was raised Catholic and was still a “member in good standing” of the church when he ultimately committed suicide. He performed all sorts of atrocities in the name of “cleansing the human race of non-Christian and impure beings”. He spoke out against Christians because they wouldn’t “live up to their holy book” and follow his lead, while proclaiming himself to be an “almighty creator”. He believed that, as a Christian he was a “fighter” with the purpose of creating a Nazi army of soldiers and exterminating Jews.
At least from the history books that I read, at no time did the world turn against Christians during the Nazi reign. We did not seek out Christians or the mentally ill that believed themselves to be Jesus. Nor did we speak out against christianity. No, we fought against the Nazis, we fought against Hitler, and we badmouthed those that followed the Nazi belief system. Did you know that many Nazis were actually Muslim?? Some were atheists, some were christian, some were likely paganists or buddhist, I’d bet!! Truth is, we don’t really know . . . BECAUSE IT DIDN’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! Hitler and the Nazis were the enemy – it was never about religion. Although not a true religion, kamikaze pilots in WWII followed the “Bushido Code” – but we didn’t seek out other followers, we fought the ACTUAL enemy.
There is no question that ISIS is a force that needs to be decimated and destroyed, in my opinion. But no matter whether you call them ISIS, ISIL, Radical Islam, “Mr. Roger’s Screwy Neighborhood” . . . . THEY are the enemy. I may not agree with their religious tenets, but Muslims and the nation of Islam are NOT the enemy!! (The verdict is still out on Mr. Rogers, however). And, although unlikely given their basic philosophy, there is absolutely no reason that a christian could not be a member of ISIS. We know that ISIS has spread all around the globe, so who’s to say that your neighbor, your stylist, your boss, or even your pastor has not been recruited by ISIS to be a part of their “Holy War against America”?
And HERE is where the common sense comes in, folks. There is absolutely NO question that ISIS, like Al Qaeda before them, wants a HOLY WAR. Well, I have news for you – WE ARE GIVING IT TO THEM ON A PLATTER!!!!!! We have religion against religion, neighbor versus neighbor, and even families fighting daily about religion. We’re not limiting it to the real enemy, we’re using our religion to justify, attack, and defend against other religions. WE ARE CREATING, RECRUITING, AND FIGHTING THE HOLY WAR FOR ISIS!! All they have to do is stand back and watch.
In World War II, we had Japanese-Americans fighting alongside us against Japan. We had Germans fighting by our side in Germany. And our brothers-in-arms on the battlefield may have been Christian, Buddhist, Hindi, Muslim, or even a Devil-worshipper. It didn’t matter because we were all fighting against the enemy – not creating our enemies. So let’s keep our eye on the ball, folks. Join your neighbors, your families, and your congregation – no matter what beliefs they may hold – in fighting the REAL enemy. ISIS needs to be decimated and abolished at all costs, but we are the ones paying that cost and giving the proceeds to fund the terrorist movement.