What Others Say

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Brian M.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

SPECIAL: A Faith Response to Terror

When Donald Trump announced he was running for President of the United States, many laughed, others snickered.  Late night talk show hosts could hardly contain their glee.  But few people are laughing now.  Political pundits project a 90% probability that Trump will be the Republican nominee.

Apparently Trump tapped into a deep reservoir of American fear and anger.  In Donald Trump we found a loud and confident voice leaning out the window and shouting “I’m mad as h--- and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Americans are angry.  And, Americans are afraid. 

Fear and anger go together. Fear begets anger and anger fuels our fears. The terror strikes in Brussels have heightened our fears.  Ted Cruz is calling for police patrols in Muslim neighborhoods. Donald Trump says he would consider a nuclear strike against ISIS. 

We must fight our way past fear and anger to a higher level of courage, faith and love. When we become divided, fearful, suspicious and angry, the terrorists win.

In the midst of the chaos that immediately followed the explosions in Brussels, an American doctor who was dropping off a friend at the airport immediately began treating casualties.  Many who were injured urged care for others who they felt were in worse condition, putting other’s interest above their own.

The international community has come together in support of Belgium, just as they did in support of France last November and in support of the U.S in 2001. Our flags are flying at half-mast in the United States as symbols of grief and support.
I suspect most Muslims are as bewildered and fearful as the rest of the world.  After all, far more Muslim men, women and children have been killed by terrorists than non-Muslims.  Millions have fled Syria trying to escape ISIS and are trying to survive in makeshift tent cities.  Our support must include prayer, love and understanding for our Muslim neighbors

Efforts to overcome hate with more hatred, violence with more violence, only escalates the problem and leads to greater suffering.  We must refuse voices of division and suspicion and put into practice what we are taught in the Scripture:  “Overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21).

Terror is not new in the world.  In the first century, crucifixion was an instrument of terror. We must remember the example of Jesus who prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).   

While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself  bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:22-24).

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