If you haven’t figured it out yet, there’s a war for your future and your very soul going on.
Pipe bombs – there were 12 in the house where the mass-shooting couple in San Bernardino had been making them – don’t assemble or detonate themselves. Fertilizer bombs don’t detonate themselves. Guns don’t shoot themselves. Knives, like the ones used in a repeated series of attacks on Jews in Israel over the last few months, don’t rise up and plunge themselves autonomously into people’s necks.
And yes, I buried guns in there with everything else – because that’s the truth, about what’s going on, as opposed to a lie.
The truth is that human after human is being motivated to attack his fellow men. There is no “truth” here being demonstrated about guns, any more than there’s “truth” being demonstrated about the humble utility knife or the ordinary components put in homemade bombs.
To frame the issue in the terms of “gun violence” is to perpetrate a great lie. It’s not just misguided at this point. It’s evil. This isn’t about guns. This is about the hearts of men – which in too many cases are in a desperate and terrible state. Much of our public intellectual space is in fact ruled by dysfunction now; the problem is not only the sick minds of individuals.
Here is the evidence of that, from the last 24 hours. Two very informative things happened, at nearly the same time. Together they are juxtaposed in a way that could hardly be more pointed, for those who have eyes to see.
One “god” respected, another taunted
CAIR, the Muslim advocacy group, rushed out to hold a press conference on Wednesday evening, bringing along the brother-in-law of one of the shooters. (Which looks like something that was arranged pretty damn quick.) Most readers will be aware that the main shooters were a Muslim couple named Syed Farook, a 28-year-old American and county health inspector, and a foreign-born woman reportedly his wife, Tashfeen Malik (the latter of which is not a female name, and may be a nom de jihad).
(I’m just now hearing the news release from San Bernardino law enforcement that Farook was radicalized during an unspecified, recent period by connections with known and/or suspected terror subjects. …And I see HP has written it up here.)
CAIR actually held its press conference before the main press conference by the mayor of San Bernardino and law enforcement, prior to the 11 PM news (on the West coast) last night. CAIR wanted to emphasize the following:
“We unequivocally condemn the horrific act that happened today,” said Hussam Auyloush, executive director of the CAIR chapter, at the press conference, adding “there is absolutely nothing that can justify” the mass shooting that killed 14 and wounded 17. He mused that the cause could be workplace violence, mental illness or extremism.
Muzammil Siddiqi, director of the Islamic Society of Orange County, said Southern California Muslims stood “in solidarity” with the victims and condemn the attack.
“We have condemned all violence everywhere,” Siddiqi said, adding they would like to see law enforcement conduct a full investigation including the “people and motives” behind the attack.
Which is fine, as far as it goes. We can all imagine that most Muslims believe the killings in San Bernardino were an atrocity that was not motivated by the faith they embrace. Whether you believe it or not isn’t the point; the argument behind it isn’t invalid or unreasonable in theory.
But here’s what matters. We are not invited by the mainstream media – the popular crowd of our secular culture – to ridicule CAIR’s assertions, even though, as a matter of argument versus evidence, those assertions are increasingly out of sync.
CAIR gets to be believed and have good intentions attributed to it when it “unequivocally condemns” an atrocity committed by radicalized Muslims, in the exact style of Islamist terrorists.
Now the contrast. Just a couple of hours before, as Howard Portnoy pointed out yesterday, the New York Daily News was making its editorial perspective clear, by previewing a front page banner in enormous pitch reading “God Isn’t Fixing This.”
Don’t ask yourself if this is a taunt about Christians and God. (You know already that it is.) Ask yourself, as a thought exercise, if this is a taunt about Muslims and Allah. Certainly, if Allah doesn’t approve of these killings, it’s legitimate to point out that he’s not fixing this – perhaps by, oh, I don’t know, using his teachers, his revelation, his power among men to enlighten his followers and discourage them from such acts.
But you know as well as I do that “God Isn’t Fixing This” is a taunt against Christians and the Christian God. It’s equally a taunt against both: against Christians who pray for the hearts of their fellows, and against the God they pray to.
The organized leaders of our culture are setting up an Elijah-and-Baal moment here. They don’t realize it, I suspect. But we can legitimately frame it in those terms. “God Isn’t Fixing This” is not an invitation to a solemn dialogue about God and men. It’s a bumper sticker slogan with which to ridicule the idea of God that guides Christians.
Media personalities weighed in with approval:
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) December 3, 2015
The openly derisive quality of this makes a sharp contrast with the passive, incurious respect accorded to CAIR’s unparsable protestations.
Don’t miss this. The implied invitation here is to respect CAIR, Muslims, Allah; to respect a deceptive, unworkable, wholly fictitious promise of “gun control”; and to disrespect Western, Judeo-Christian civilization – the fountainhead of the idea of God-given rights and the dignity and preciousness of persons; to disrespect Christians, and to disrespect Jews and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Imagine “neutrality” as you will: It is a chimera, and no place of refuge
The energumen behind this pattern of violence and lying premises is something that seems to be stalking the earth, dangerous and gathering momentum, in a way fewer and fewer alive today can recall seeing anything like. It’s possible we’ve never seen anything exactly like this, even under Communism and Nazism.
The people who do perceive the patterns of this energumen see clearly. It’s the ones who don’t see it, or refuse to see it, who are blind.
Now is not the time for the sighted to be disarmed. It doesn’t help the world or anything in it, for America to become one giant, metaphorical Dietrich Bonhoeffer, imprisoned and immobilized by the “Nazis” of the 21st century until the day we are taken out, stripped in the cold, and executed.
I do not believe that has to be our fate. And that is precisely because we don’t arm ourselves for the purpose of slaughtering others for vengeance or gain, or intimidating them into living in chains.
Keeping ourselves armed, as citizens, has never been about perpetrating ideological violence, and it isn’t going to start being about that. It’s about making ourselves too hard a target for people who want to rule us by violence, with lies, and always – always – with the first consequence of making it impossible for us to exercise religious and intellectual freedom.
The day is coming when everyone who hopes to carve out a new life will have to acknowledge that freedom of choice, in religion and intellectual commitments, belongs to God. These are the monumental things He gives us freedom in, and does not choose for us. And it is not ours to impose choices on our fellow men, where God does not. But the only way to live by this principle and not see it perverted, and used for destruction, is to acknowledge where it comes from.
Hearing this makes some people very angry. That problem will probably get worse before it gets better. It’s a feature of the age we live in, that this uncomfortable truth won’t go away, and leave us to vainly imagine that there is something, somewhere, that functions like a God who is just and merciful, but isn’t actually “God.”
We will all have to decide one way or another. Which thing one chooses can be forced on no one. But if you want to be able to make that decision somewhere other than at the business end of a gun, a sword, a knife, or a bomb, taunting God and trying to disarm your responsible, peaceable fellow citizens are exactly the wrong things to do.