I turned on my television this week to be faced with yet another massacre being perpetrated across the screen. Innocent lives snuffed out in an instant by an unbridled rage empowered by a maniac with twenty-first century weapons. All of this in the name of an ideology that has a complete disdain for life and liberty.
The biggest problem with terrorism is not that it appears insane, because it’s not. The biggest problem with terrorism is that its carefully orchestrated to play to the ferocious western media appetite. Just think about it, one attack and the terrorists get a couple of week’s media play in prime time that would have cost millions of dollars to purchase.
So what we are looking at is not the mad outworking of a deranged individual but an entirely different kind of warfare that the massed military might of western nations is struggling to come to grips with. So if this is a new type of war then what’s the objectives of the terrorism?
I wish that I could come up with an instant answer to this question but sadly that’s not going to be the case. What I do know is that the middle-east is a seething hotbed of dictators, warlords and extremists all trying to enforce their will on an oppressed people. Each of the groups are also armed with weapons that come from either the east or the west…
Overlaying all of this is a western alliance that flies in at thirty thousand feet to blow the extremists back into the stone-age in the name of securing our energy supply (ie. oil). What would you do if you were a goat herder minding your own business and just watched your family get blown to smithereens by any of the above geo-political forces?
In a fit of frustration and despair you willingly don an explosive vest with the sure knowledge that you’ll be joining your family soon. You end up viewing everyone as the enemy because they have something that you no longer have……a family.
Those that still have loved ones or haven’t suffered some emotional trauma from the endless conflict (not sure if there is anyone left in this group) have braved a mass exodus to what hopefully will be a better life. As testament to the drownings in the Mediterranean, many of them won’t make it.
Just think about this for a second. The goal of the current mass migration is fleeing their country and into the arms of those people that define them as collateral damage from a drone strike. To give you an idea of the torment these refugees have been afflicted with, we (ie. us) are seen as safer than where they are fleeing from. Remember, most of these refugees have been fed a diet of the west being the great Satan….and yet, in desperation, they still come.
As I watched my television I was reminded of another oppressed people…..the gay community. When you compare them to the people of the middle-east you can see many similarities. For years, gays were hunted down, murdered, assaulted and at the very least bullied by powerful individuals, communities and nations. The stories shared by gay individuals are often truly horrific and terrifying.
So how has this oppressed minority responded? Did they rise up with weapons and bombs to make their point? No, on the whole they responded in love, patience and kindness. This is despite the fact that they were watching loved ones die from AIDS while protesters heckled them.
In the latest shooting in Orlando, what does much of the media give air to? The fact that there are going to be anti-gay protestors at funerals (this completely sickens me) and lots of details about the attacker and his links to ISIS.
It would have been nice if the media reported on how the gay community has responded in love for each other and their fellow man. Even though they have just cause, none of them have donned an explosive vest or raised up arms against anyone else in response to their trauma. They have “turned the other cheek.”
The gay community has provided a clear example for the terrorists of this world to follow. If you really want change then respond in love not hate, life is precious not cheap and mourn with those that mourn.
Likewise, over the years, the west has become experts at blowing things up. Maybe it would be better to put our arms around the goat herder in compassion rather than call his family collateral damage?
Terrorists leaders that prey on the misery of distressed individuals and send them in to blow themselves up should also know that love is strong. If you refuse a message of love, for the sake of the billions of people in the world you will be found and brought to justice either in this life or the next. In the meantime, the rank and file members of such extremist organisations, put your weapons down and embrace a much more radical concept that brings lasting change…..”love thy neighbour”.
I will continue to pray for the gay community that lost so many loved ones this week and for the perpetrator that bought into an ideology of hate rather than love.
Have a compassionate weekend.