Terrorism Archives

Charlie Hebdo Follow-up; Surrender

“Je Suis Charlie!” That was the hashtag activism that came out of the Islamic extremist attack on the offices of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, in response to their cartoons of Mohammed. It was the most French many of us had ever spoken, defending a satire magazine that most of us had never heard of prior to that.

I don’t like it when cartoonists mock Jesus, but in America the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, and so they are allowed to. In France, this same idea was behind the Je Suis Charlie movement. We will not be intimidated by extremists.

Right up until we are.

Recently, the Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief, whose name is in the article in the show notes and which I will not attempt in case I butcher it, waved the white flag of surrender and said that the magazine would no longer draw cartoons of Mohammed. A dozen of his colleagues died for, and the world erupted in support of, their right to mock. All that was for naught. Violence prevailed. The terrorists won.

To be sure, you can understand their concern. Who wants to poke that particular hornet’s nest again? Why put yourself in that literal line of fire? But his reasoning seemed to be strained. He claimed, “The mistakes you could blame Islam for can be found in other religions.” Perhaps, although the offices were not shot up by enraged Evangelicals, cantankerous Catholics, agitated Jews, or belligerent Buddhists. In fact, the terrorism perpetrated worldwide has predominantly come from one particular religion, but it’s not politically correct to notice that. Oh, and interestingly, no word from Charlie Hebdo about no longer drawing cartoons mocking Jesus. They know perfectly well that the Christian response will most likely be a strongly-worded letter. #ReligionOfPeace

So just in case you were wondering whatever happened to all that solidarity and righteous indignation spent in the service of free speech, that’s what happened. The French surrendered.

    On Wednesday evenings around the country, many churches hold mid-week services or children’s programs, or bible studies. Sometimes, all three. A few weeks ago, a pastor was leading one of those Bible studies when a visitor came into the church and sat in on the group. He was welcomed to join in. He requested to sit next to the pastor, and so he did.

    An hour passed by with readings from the Bible and discussion, perhaps about what the text meant, perhaps about how to apply it personally. Even, perhaps, asking for the visitor’s thoughts, though I would imagine that the group, not wishing to create an awkward situation, probably didn’t push him to participate in an unfamiliar setting, content to let him listen in, and yet willing to let him speak should he want to.

    I don’t know what was discussed, or what the passage was that was the topic of the evening, but the visitor later said that the people were very nice to him. So nice, he said, that he almost … almost … didn’t do what he had come there to do. But in the end, he did, and when he was done, the pastor and 8 others had been shot dead.

    Dylann Roof had come there to start a race war; to start an uprising that would supposedly boil over into a full-blown conflict.

    At this point, we can only guess what he imagined the sequence of events would be leading to that war. Certainly he had seen the news reports about riots in the streets in other cities when a white man killed a black man, so it’s conceivable that he thought his actions would create the same situation, only more violent, because unlike many of those other instances, these would be killings that were obviously pre-mediated, with no other explanation than hatred. He wouldn’t have any self-defense case. He wouldn’t be a cop who may, or may not, have thought his life was in danger. No, nothing would be murky about this. This would be a clear cut case of racially-motivated murder, possibly causing an even more violent reaction than those previously.

    But all his plans were taken apart piece by piece, because of who he targeted. He targeted those who believed that you should love your enemies, and pray for those that hurt you. He targeted those who believe that the merciful are blessed. He targeted those who are told to forgive as freely as they themselves have been forgiven.

    He targeted a Christian Bible study. And while he was committing those acts of hatred, of malice, of evil, he had no idea that he was also opening up the floodgates of the love that those he killed professed. Those that survived, and hundreds of others in Charleston, though undeniably hurting, expressed that love to him. A reporter covering the crowd that stood outside the arraignment had a difficult time keeping his composure in the face of such love.

    Inside the proceedings, instead of acrimony and hatred, surviving family members expressed the forgiveness that the evil had certainly not expected.

    I would like to note that the faith community in other cities with unrest – Baltimore, Cleveland, and others – did take a stand and tried to calm and heal the tensions in their area, sometimes meeting with gangs to come to a truce, sometimes with special services for those in need because of the riots. But because there were riots, they got the headlines, and the tweets, and the Facebook posts. But in Charleston, riots didn’t happen, so they didn’t mask what good things were happening.

    So now it can be seen, and it is surprising, amazing and, dare I say, perplexing many who see the love of God in action. It’s been there, perhaps in the background, not grabbing the front page, but it’s been there nonetheless.

    There are those that believe that God, or even just religion, isn’t necessary to express this kind of love. We can, so the idea goes, work this up within ourselves without any help, because the capacity is clearly there in people. I would say that, yes, the capacity is there, because we are made in the image of God, and since God is love, we too have that ability. But while we, within ourselves, might be able to approximate the appearance of such a love, it is but a dirty reflection of what is truly possible. If, instead, we let, not our love, but God’s love shine through us, that’s when you’ll see what it really looks like, and it will be surprising, amazing, and perplexing.

    Some will ask, “Where was God? Why wasn’t He protecting His church?” That question has been asked many times, in many situations, throughout history. Perhaps one of the earliest examples of an answer to this comes from a man who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Through a series of events, over the course of years, he became second in command of the biggest economic power of his time. And in that position, was able to return good for evil, and save his family from a major catastrophe. You may recognize the Biblical story of Joseph, the son of Jacob. Or you may recognize the musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. Either way, when his brothers felt extremely uncomfortable in the presence of the one they hurt, Joseph forgives them, telling them that, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done…” We don’t always get to see the big picture – we may not live to see the big picture – but for those who trust Him, God uses the evil to work out the good. Dylann Roof intended to start a race war. He failed because God’s people let Him shine through them.

    If you’re wondering how such forgiveness and love can really happen, I have a suggestion. Somewhere near you, very likely, is a church. Now, you don’t have to jump in completely to their Sunday service. You might just want to test the waters. Try getting your feet wet at, perhaps, a Wednesday night Bible study. One of those almost stopped a gunman filled with hate. Imagine what it could do for you.

      Tea Party "Terrorists"

      [This is part of the script from the latest episode of my podcast, "Consider This!"]

      A Rasmussen poll release on June 27th found that 26% of Obama voters think Tea Partiers are a bigger terror threat than radical Muslims. Fred Thompson asked in a tweet, “So… how many people were killed by exploding Constitutions?”

        Well, this was just a matter of time. "New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts. About two decades later, Social Security’s much larger retirement fund is projected to run dry, too, leaving it unable to pay full benefits as well."

        A Jewish friend of mine give a report on Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Courage" rally in Caesarea, Israel.

        "A pregnant woman, her husband and their three-year-old son were killed in a house fire early yesterday as police who arrived before the fire brigade prevented neighbours from trying to save them." Yes, you read that right. Read the rest of it.

        Good news on the abortion front. Defenders of human life are advancing in the war of ideas.

        If unions can get their gravy train, they’ll just take their ball and go home.

        The long obsolete Fairness Doctrine finally, officially, dies.

        When Bush’s approval ratings were low, hardly a day went by when the media made note of it. Now that Obama is in the same territory, all of a sudden approval ratings don’t seem to be news. (Just like involvement in foreign wars and casualties from the same.)

        The media will ask conservatives "Yes or no, do you believe in evolution?", but they’ll never ask a liberal "Yes or no, do you believe in the Bible?"

        Could you escape a terrorist attack in 15 seconds? In southern Israel, where rockets from Gaza are a nearly-daily occurrence, they have to.

        The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) (no, really, "CERN") published a report in the magazine "Nature" that shows the Sun really does have more influence over our weather, clouds specifically, and thus current climate models will need to be (and I quote) "substantially revised".

        Sorry, no cartoon this week. Nothing really stuck out.

          Friday Link Wrap-up

          A new experiment suggests that the Sun may play a bigger part than first though in climate change. But since this challenges the current orthodoxy, "The chief of the world’s leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions" from that experiment. Further, a peer-reviewed study using NASA satellite data shows that the Earth is releasing more heat into space than climate computer models assumed.

          Anders Breivik, the madman who was responsible for the recent massacre in Norway, is often referred to as a "Christian terrorist". Granted, he called himself "Christian", but his aims were political. But the Left really, really wants to use him to equate radical Islamic terrorism and so-called "Christian terrorism". The Blaze asks,

          Have any churches or clergymen openly celebrated Breivik’s slaughter of innocents? Are young Christian children dancing in the streets anywhere in Europe, as young Muslims did in Gaza on September 11, 2001? Could any honest observer of the world over the past 30 years believe that Christianity and Islam have played equal parts in terrorist attacks?

          And Chuck Colson notes, the secularization of Europe, with its refusing to understand the problem of evil and sin inherent in human nature, is not helping Norway work through this or prevent it happening again.

          More rationing of health care in England. This will happen here under ObamaCare. History has already spoken.

          What G. K. Chesterton had to say about the Tea Party. (Sort of.)

          Obama may have inherited a mess from Bush, but y’know Reagan inherited a similar mess (in some cases, a worse mess) from Carter. And he did far better with it.

          The US accuses Iran of aiding Al Qaeda. Are pitiful sanctions really helping things out here? AQ would love to get its hand on a nuke, and so would Iran.

          Government, apparently in the pocket of Big Agriculture, bringing more red tape and expense to the family farm.

          The Obama administration admits "the White House doesn’t create jobs". It’s about time you realized that, guys. Congress doesn’t either. Government can get out of the way (or get in the way) of business, which does create jobs.

          When Sarah Palin came onto the scene, with her history of speaking truth to power, even within her own political party, I noted that the Democrats, who purport to love that sort of thing, went on the attack instead. Like watching "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and rooting against Jimmy Stewart. Now, the same Dems who purport to want grass-roots groups to help fix Washington ask the media to ignore the biggest grass-roots effort in a long time. True colors: Shown!

          And speaking of "terrorists" (click for a larger version):

            Friday Link Wrap-up, (Really) Late Edition

            In addition to the doctor shortage the US is going to have when us Baby-Boomers hit retirement, Obamacare is going to make the problem even worse, based on current trends, how socialized medicine "works" elsewhere, and the government’s own numbers.

            In 2005, when the press was enamored with Cindy Sheehan, Chris Matthews suggested she run for Congress. Yeah, how about now? Cue the crickets chirping.

            Seal Team Six was an evil, secret, assassination squad manipulated by Dick Cheney. At least, that’s what it was when a Republican was President. Today, under a Democrat, they’re heroes, and not associated with Obama or Biden in the slightest. What a difference a "D" makes.

            And speaking of contrasts, we have Nancy Pelosi on bin Laden, then and now.

            Michael Barone notes that, to get bin Laden, Obama relied on policies he decried.

            You know that kids that had George W. Bush in their classroom on 9/11? This is a good TIME magazine article on what they were thinking at the time when Bush was given the news, and what their reaction is now.

            Over half of the country pays no income tax. But "the rich" still don’t pay "their fair share", eh?

            While the bin Laden story stole the front page, the Conservatives in Canada won historic victories. Later, the Liberal Democrats in England suffered their worst losses in 30 years.

            The conventional wisdom on salt intake may not be right after all.

            Civility Watch: "So when does Seal Unit 6, or whatever it’s called, drop in on George Bush?"

            "Democrats blame Bush for high gas prices"? No, not now; back in 2006. And in 2008, Nancy Pelosi blamed the "oil men" in the White House. They’re much quieter now.

            A reform to watch: Indiana lawmakers OK broadest voucher plan in US.

            It’s so very sci-fi-sounding, but some physicists believe that something from emanating from the sun is now causing radioactive decay to occur faster.

            Worst of all, if the decay rates of matter are being mutated then all matter on Earth is being affected including the matter that makes up life.

            The mutation may go so far as to change the underlying reality of the quantum universe—and by extrapolation-the nature of life, the principles of physics, perhaps even the uniform flow of time.

            In fact, some evidence of time dilation has been gleaned from close observation of the decay rate. If particles interacting with the matter are not the cause—and matter is being affected by a new force of nature-then time itself may be speeding up and there’s no way to stop it.

            And finally, a history lesson from Tom McMahon. (Click for the blog entry.)

              Prospects for Peace

              From "Stand for Israel", the blog of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (where our contributor Jim now works):

              Palestinians rioted in East Jerusalem Monday after hearing news of Osama bin Laden’s death. The rioters threw stones at police and attempted to block roads in the Silwan neighborhood, right outside the Old City of Jerusalem.

              Hamas, which has recently announced that it is finalizing a reconciliation agreement with the Palestinian Authority, denounced the assassination of bin Laden, hailing him as an ”Arab holy warrior.” Hams leader Ismail Haniyeh condemned the U.S. for killing bin Laden and claimed that this is an example of “American policy based on the oppression and bloodshed in the Muslim and Arab world.”

              So then, what do you think are the prospect for peace with a group that simultaneously hails the late bin Laden as a holy warrior, will not recognize Israel’s right to exist, and has been welcomed into a pact with Fatah? Hmm?

                Closure

                Some thoughts on the death of Osama bin Laden.

                OBL’s death was a targeted killing. Cheers are going up all over the world for the targeted killing of a terrorist. Now can we stop condemning Israel for doing the same thing?

                Hamas condemned the killing of bin Laden, whom they called a "holy warrior". This is the same Hamas that has just  signed a reconciliation agreement with the Palestinian Authority and that was hailed by Jimmy Carter. Great timing, Fatah. Do we really think honest negotiation will come out of this?

                This all happened within a stones throw (well, a really good throw) of Pakistan’s military academy. Lots of questions should be asked about this.

                OBL has been at that location since 2005. Thanks to George W. Bush for finding that out, and thanks to Barack Obama for making the gutsy call to go in with Navy Seals and confirming the kill rather than bombing the place and not being sure. This is not the end of the war on terror, but it is a huge psychological blow.

                  Terrorism in Israel, and How It’s Reported

                  Meryl Yourish has a run-down on how the Associated Press dials things back when Palestinian terrorists from Fatah murder a Jewish family. They say, "Well, the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is mostly defunct", while family is completely dead. That’s not even worth mentioning.

                  And the false equivalence of "violence begets violence" papers over the fact that in response, Israelis block roads and threw stones. And when Israel defends itself, that gets a UN resolution of condemnation.

                  More at the link.

                    Friday Link Wrap-up

                    Hunter Baker, writing at "First Things", responds to Jim Wallis’ question "What Would Jesus Cut", referring to government spending. (Which begs the question, would Jesus borrow us into prosperity?)

                    Obama’s HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, admits to double counting some savings that ObamaCare™ would bring. Not really news, except for those who haven’t been paying attention.

                    Media Matters, an allegedly non-partisan press watchdog group, has a Transparency project that lists major donors to conservative and libertarian organizations. "The Agitator" notes that, while a number of those conservative organizations themselves already provide this transparency, Media Matters itself does not.

                    Who’s going to clean up this mess in Wisconsin?

                    It could cost as much as $7.5 million to repair damage protesters have done to the Capitol Building marble say officials in Madison. Fixing posters to the marble with tape and glue appears to have done the bulk of the damage.

                    During testimony Thursday, a representative from the Attorney General’s office said a contractor estimated it would cost $500,000 to remove all of the posters and garbage. He says it would cost $6 million to restore the marble inside of the Capitol building and another $1 million to touch up the marble outside of the building.

                    Guess who came to the rescue? The Tea Party. Liberals trashed it, conservatives will care for it.

                    Mark Steyn notes a very odd way to say, "Thank you.". A young Kosovar is who killed 2 US servicemen in a Frankfurt airport. I mean, we didn’t even wait for UN resolutions before helping Kosovo get its independence. That’s gratitude?

                    Remember how upset the Left was about indefinite detentions and military tribunals at Guantanamo, and how much the press covered it? Yeah, well, all that is back on again and now they’re rather quiet about it. Wonder what changed.

                    Michael Moore and Rachel Maddow say, no, we’re not broke as a nation. Reality begs to differ.

                    Bummer. A set-back for reprogrammed adult stem cells. Undisturbed adult stem cells continue to be extremely useful, but trying to reprogram them into what are essentially embryonic stem cells is having problems.

                    Look, if you’re going to be biased in what you say, I have no problem with that. Just be honest about it. NPR isn’t. James O’Keefe strikes again at the heart of liberal bias at the network. NPR tries some damage control, but Patterico calls their ombudsman on it. Predictably, liberals now deplore gotcha’ journalism. (Though calling up a governor and misrepresenting who you are is just fine. Wonder what changed.) And apparently O’Keefe isn’t done with the revelations.

                    The UK’s CEO of the national power grid is predicting that blackouts will be just a part of the new normal once wind turbines become more prominent and supplant other means of electricity generation. How long before paying to not get blacked out becomes popular, and the politization of energy begins?

                    Civility Watch: Credible death threats against the Palins.

                    And finally, the Society of Centurions is named after the Centurion who was at the cross when Jesus died, and ultimately admitted, "Surely he was the Son of God". It is an organization for former abortion providers. Changing one’s view on abortion is one thing. Considering it wrong after you’ve provided them is another thing entirely. Priests for Life admonishes, "Let’s pray for the Centurions, and may their numbers increase!" Amen.

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