Sunday, October 26, 2014


With Canada still reeling from the terrorist attack on two soldiers in Quebec, encompassing the death of one and serious injury of the other, suddenly a second terrorist murdered a soldier on guard duty at the Tomb of the Unknown and then attempted to murder political leaders within the hallowed precincts of the nation’s parliament.

Meanwhile with ISIS continuing its murderous rampage Boko Haram kidnapped more women and girls in Nigeria while the Ebola plague shows no signs of letting up.

Millions of people around the world can remember where we were on 9/11, especially in the United States.

Now many will remember, for generations, especially in Canada, where we were when first two Canadian soldiers were run down by an Islamist in Quebec, with one of the soldiers being killed, and then when the Ottawa attack by another lone wolf terrorist occurred, again with a soldier being killed.

There are two very serious errors occurring among both some media commentators and ordinary people in the light of Islamic terrorism, including the lone wolf attacks as well as those from the groups terrorizing so many countries.

The first error is the rather spurious attempt to reduce chosen evil and hatred to ‘root causes’ as remote as the crusades or as recent as the life history of the individual lone wolf terrorists.

No amount of Islamist claims to being in line with Koranic teachings can change their lies into any semblance of truth.

Using God in any manner as justification for the violent acts of murder, rape, enslavement of others, or acts such as occurred in Ottawa is the ultimate act of blasphemy and, frankly, merit divine wrath – which is God’s alone to enact.

The second error is to confuse authentic Islam and adherents to Islam, with the insanely evil words and actions of those who choose evil over good, lie over truth, death over life, and hatred over love.

When what was disingenuously labeled  as ‘the troubles’ in North Ireland, actually civil war, was raging to tarnish all Catholics with the actions of the IRA or all Protestants with the actions of the Loyalists would have been as erroneous as today to tarnish all our brothers and sisters of the Islamic faith with the evil of the terrorists.

It is as unlikely democratic nations can prevent most acts of lone wolves with their evil and disordered agendas, just as, tragically happened yet again in the United Sates, authorities can prevent school shootings.

Yes we all can and should be vigilant, citizens who truly care for and look after one another, especially those who are hurting.

However to dangerously curtail the freedoms which differentiate us from those agents of evil seeking to violently impose their disorder on others, would be to choose defeat over victory.

Likewise to give into fear, despair or even worse to misread Sacred Scripture and see this battle between good and evil as signs of the apocalypse, betrays a lack of faith, of intimate confidence in our All-merciful Father, in Jesus our Redeemer, in the Holy Spirit the Sanctifier.

Jesus very clearly taught about ‘wars and rumors of wars’ and natural disasters as part of the reality of life, stressing that while all these things will come to pass, and more, ‘the end is not yet.’ {Mk. 13:7 ff; Mt. 24: 6 ff}.

The challenge facing the entire human family in face of terrorism, and plagues like Ebola, facing floods, drought, is, both as individuals and nations, not to be bent towards ourselves, not to be greedy.

The challenge for Christians is to live the Gospel with our lives without compromise – both as individuals and as believing communities.

There is enormous pressure to compromise around all life issues from abortion to euthanasia, from the sacredness of marriage to courageously speaking truth.

In the same Gospel passages referenced above Jesus cautions us to not allow anyone to deceive us.

Compromising with secular values is to surrender to total deception.

There is hope, for love is always greater, stronger.

While many were laying flowers and wreaths at the tomb of the Unknown, two powerful images were frequently replayed on newscasts.

The first was showing the men and women who ran towards, not from, the memorial, to administer aid and comfort to the soldier who had been shot.

The other showing Imams and some of their people approaching with flowers to lay at the tomb, to honour the fallen when from the surrounding crowd a non-Muslim man emerged and embraced one of the Imams, showing anew love is stronger.

Those two examples are the ‘true north, strong and free’.



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