September 11, 2006

Party's over...

The story about the journos who were forced to pretend to convert to Islam has been much in my mind. What does it mean? Somehow this doesn't seem like just another terrorist outrage.

Kathy Shaidel has some thoughts, (here and here). And she picked up and quoted this, that Andrea wrote in a comment thread:

The fact that makes so many educated, secular, “my religious beliefs are private” (not even God knows what they are?), fun-loving Westerners uncomfortable is the growing realization that the party may be over, and we may have to (ugh) actually stand up for what we believe in, and in doing so we may actually find that the things we thought we believed in were nothing but froth and fairy-dust....

Party's over. Yes. Lotsa people been playing make-believe. It wasn't just two men who adopted an inimical faith at gun-point, and renounced the underpinnings of their own civilization. They were proxies for hundreds of millions of other westerners who would do the same. Our hollowness is being exposed for all to see. ("Froth and fairy-dust." Yeah, I live here.)

(And even ignoring the religious aspect, we need to realize that our whole culture of "do what the person with the gun tells you to" may have been a huge mistake. It encourages, like all pacifism, more violence. You can bet those turkeys will be doing this again. Next time it may be a hundred people. Our weakness draws this kind of thing forth. And the next incident will be partly the responsibility of those journalists, who are encouraging this by their choice. One can hardly blame them, since no one in our culture is taught to think that yielding to threats is going to mean someone else gets threatened. Those two guys may be brave men who would dive into a torrent to save a drowning child, but it would not occur to them to defy a terrorist to save a future victim!)

Kathy at least is thinking clearly....

...Are there any Christians on this thread? Because like it or not, Christ told his followers again and again to be prepared to suffer for his sake. "He who saves his own life will lose it..." ...

....I pray for the grace not to renounce Christ for any reason, under any circumstances. And the power of grace is the only thing that can give you that courage. Those who rely
solely on will power or mental fortitude can't be expected to understand that....

....I'd add that a well brought up, commited Christian does in fact know what he or she should aspire to do in the face of martyrdom, or when faced with an incurable disease or the murder of a child, just as a well trained fireman knows he will run into, rather than away from, a burning building. Such a Christian, having practiced spiritual disciplines such as prayer and fasting, and therefore being more receptive to supernatural grace, may be surprised herself by the relative ease of "doing the right thing."....

There are plenty of people who call themselves Christians who think that martyrdom, like miracles, is something that belongs in picture books about long ago. We may have some wake-ups coming...

Posted by John Weidner at September 11, 2006 5:43 AM
Weblog by John Weidner