DES MOINES, IOWA – On Saturday, presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz made the following campaign promise (if he is elected president):
We will carpet bomb [ISIS] into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.
God bless and keep the fighting men and women of the American military, but their planners aren’t competent enough to avoid bombing a hospital (a violation of international humanitarian law), causing roughly 70 casualties, including at least 30 deaths. Either Cruz is completely oblivious to this, or he’s fine with what will surely be the deaths of many innocents as “collateral damage” (military-speak for “sucks to be you”).
“But, but, but,” you say, “we need to do whatever is necessary to rid the world of such evil.”
“Whatever is necessary.”
(Yeah. I’ll hold my tongue, as my mom may read this, and I don’t want her to know that I know the words that I’m thinking right now.)
LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA – The day before Cruz’s comments, Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. remarked at a convocation:
I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them.
(See my previous statement about holding my tongue.)
“But, but, but,” you say, “Falwell was referring to the Islamic terrorists behind Paris and San Bernardino.” And you would be correct. When asked about it later, he stated:
[That distinction is] the only thing I would clarify. If I had to say what I said again, I’d say exactly the same thing.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – Joshua Killets wrote many posts on Facebook expressing anger and frustration at Islamic extremists. On April 22, he posted a picture* of himself holding a rifle, with the caption, “That AR -15 will put down any radical Islamic!! I wish they would!!! [sic]”
Again, just like Cruz and Falwell, Killets’ sentiments are against radical Islam. But there’s one small problem here. Just hours after Falwell made his statements, Killets was arrested for vandalizing a mosque, causing thousands of dollars of damage.
Not radical Islam. Just some folks headed to their morning prayers.
Now, Killets’ crime can’t be linked directly to the statements made by Cruz and Falwell, as the vandalism occurred very early on Friday morning (before either spoke). But those statements are not at all uncommon. Cruz and Falwell merely joined the forces of many who use incautious and inflammatory rhetoric that enables people like Killets — people who speak openly only of radical Islam, but who are actually incapable of drawing any distinction between Muslims who kill indiscriminately and the 85-year-old grandfather who just wants to face Mecca and kneel on his prayer rug.
Short of an overt act of God — the kind that would have Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher starting a Bible study — there’s nothing that can be done about the idiots who openly lump all Muslims together (like that “how do we get rid of them?” clown at the Trump rally or — more recently — Trump, himself).
However, there are many more who practice such over-generalization in their hearts, but pay lip service to the distinction. While not all will eventually show their true colors in actions, like Killets did, such language from “leadership” will only stoke the inner flames and further entrench people in falsehood.
Further, some will occasionally slip and show their true colors in words. I once made a hardcore Baptist doubt her belief in “once saved, always saved”. She knew me as a Christian in high school and then (many years later) I questioned the wisdom of her over-generalizations regarding Islam. She asked, “Are you even a believer any more?”
Regarding the tongue, James wrote:
With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image.
Note that James didn’t give any exceptions. All men and women are made in God’s image. We don’t get to pick and choose who we treat in what way. When it comes to talk about “glowing sand” and “ending” people, even the clearest distinction doesn’t cut it for the Christian.
So I take back my earlier statement. Killets’ crime can be linked to the statements made by Cruz and Falwell. They’re all just various manifestations of Islamophobia.
Oh, are you one of those who doesn’t like that term? Fine. We’ll call it something different. How about “hating someone who deserves hell not one iota less than you do”? Does that work better for ya?
* My apologies for not being able to provide a link. Killets’ Facebook account has been removed since this was originally written. A screenshot of the picture can be found here.