OPINION COLUMNS

Dealing with evil

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, November 22, 2014
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Those of us who respect life – and that is still the vast majority of humans on this planet – reel in disgust from the actions of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) who had another video beheading last week with Syrian prisoners and an American aid worker.

Bob Buckel

Bob Buckel

It may be something we have to get used to, for a while.

This is apparently the new way to get your enemy’s attention, strike terror into his heart and prompt him to acknowledge the rightness of your cause.

After all, nothing says “I’m tight with God!” like binding the hands of a captive and hacking his head off, right?

Please recognize the sarcasm. I’m actually quite sure God is against such things.

I’m just as certain this is not going to work out well for the murderous criminals who have proclaimed themselves a state. They’ve gotten a couple of endorsements from radical groups, but in general, Muslims all over the world have risen to condemn them.

The bell will toll for them, sooner or later. When you make videos of yourself beheading helpless Americans, there’s no retirement plan. (See: bin Laden, Osama).

Nevertheless, they’re working hard, at least from a cinematic standpoint, to goad us into the fight.

So how should the U.S. react? Well, we’re bombing, and we’ve promised “advisers.” That’s not enough.

Imagine Hitler, in the late 1930s, making newsreels in the gas chambers at Auschwitz and sending them all over the world, bragging about his efforts to eliminate the Jewish people. Do you think the world would have just continued to wring its hands?

I think World War II would have started a lot sooner and been over a lot quicker.

And Hitler actually had a country. ISIS isn’t a real country – they just play one on TV.

The entire civilized world needs to rise up and stop them, now.

But how do we react on a personal level? Our country and our world will respond, but what do we do – you and me – as individuals?

First, we refuse to be terrified. We go on with our lives. We mourn those we’ve lost and will lose, but we’re thankful for their courage.

We should resolve to make better use of our freedom, granted by God and secured by their sacrifice.

We should realize more than ever that we live in a fallen world. It’s a temporary reign, but evil does indeed reign here. The ISIS criminals haven’t invented anything new and will soon find themselves on that “ash heap of history.”

This perversion of religion should make us appreciate living in a country where faith is not achieved by force – where my freedom to believe means my next-door neighbor is just as free to believe differently, or believe nothing.

Stark terrorism should prompt us to work harder at getting along because it shows us the end result of intolerance.

Maybe it even prompts us to put away the violent video games, stop supporting the ultra-violent movies, shun pornography and quit glorifying the kind of behavior that dehumanizes the children of God.

Maybe it inspires us to vote, or run for office, and serve our country and communities with the kind of selfless dignity democracy deserves and depends on.

Maybe we even learn a little history and spare our world from endlessly repeating its most bitter lessons.

And maybe, just maybe, we make an effort to actually get to know God, who he is and what he really wants from us during our brief stay here.

He is not the author of evil. But if we listen closely, he’s great enough to bring good out of it.

Bob Buckel is editorial director of the Messenger.

One Response to “Dealing with evil”

  1. Rusty White says:

    The Reality is:

    We as a people of the once greatest nation on earth, have failed those that came before us and those that will come behind us. You would be correct as to years of this terror to come, the “honest” question to be asking,is why? Does anyone really believe people in other countries just wake up one day and decide to hate us? One of the oldest known truisms is; “for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action”!

    Our governments “recorded” history of using other countries leaders and peoples as “pawns” to do our biding is a known fact around the world. Look in to our past, I can remember Iranians pilots being trained in Abilene, for the Shaw of Iran. The same Shaw that was seen as a butcher of his own people. When the people of Iran stood up and rebelled against his abuse, guess what country he and his money ran to, US! Yet knowing we supported him while he abused his own people, some can’t understand why they took our people hostage.

    Look at Iraq, we used Saddam and his armies to fight the Iranians in their 10 year war. We supplied him with money, arms to do our bidding. How many “hundreds of thousands” were maimed and killed on both sides of this war? Then when Saddam turned on his own people and gassed them, the world got to see, the very same week, “Rummy” shaking his hand vowing our countries support!

    Look at Osama Bin Laudin, we supported, trained, armed and funded him and his followers to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, did we not? Those he recruited to attack our towers were from Saudi Arabia “not” Iraq, yet we let our country be manipulated in to war in Iraq, did we not? While caring out these wars, how many “hundreds of thousands” of innocent civilians and their families became “collateral damage”? Can we imagine being a 9 year old boy/girl and watching your family being vaporized, while having no part in either side of these wars? Can you imagine having lost or caring for the “hundreds of thousands” of family members lost and maimed, doing OUR BIDDING? Can you imagine being a supporter of our armies in these countries, then when we left “all the promises” left with us, and they were left to deal with those they had been helping us to fight! Just like we did “many” of those in Viet Nam!

    The saddest truth, is our own nations sons and daughters who willing join the military. Who go and fight to defend our country against, many of the problems our leaders past policies helped create! Then many don’t return, and those that do, face a system and a nation the “breaks” it’s promise to care for them!!!

    I don’t have the answers to all our problems, but I am enough of an honest man, to admit much of the evil our country faces, our past actions and policies help create! I am also honest enough to realize those 9 years old boys/girls in these other countries. That their families, that were simply “collateral damage”, are old enough today,to seek revenge for being wronged. They too, believe “their GOD” supports their right to justice! Doesn’t make it right, just a reality our nation and people will face for years to come!

    I believe where we as a nation and a people have went wrong. Is when “some” stopped minding “their” own business, while attempting to force “their” beliefs on those out side this country, and here at home! Our countries beliefs, rights and AUTHORITY, ends at our borders! As citizens our individual beliefs are just that, individual beliefs, NOT to be forced in to our laws or upon all others!

    The bottom line is: Right is right and wrong is wrong, “NO MATTER” which side tries to use their “GOD”, for self justification for their wrongful actions and deeds! This truth stands here at home and out side this country as well, DOES IT NOT???

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