Last week the White House took action against the various violent attacks happening all over the world in recent months by hosting a summit on Countering Violent Extremism. While it is perhaps laudable that this White House stands opposed to violent extremism this action will amount to little more than spitting into the wind. The reason for this is simple: the Obama administration approaches terrorism like it is a behavioral issue. The problem is, terrorism is not a behavioral issue. Terrorism of the kind we have been witnessing with a disturbing frequency of late is a worldview issue. And, until we can offer a better, stronger worldview we will never defeat ISIS.
By any observation the operating worldview assumptions of the President and his administration are essentially secular. While there is not one monolithic secular worldview, there are a few ideological threads common to all of them. First and foremost is the guiding assumption that the world is fundamentally material. People are basically material creatures. There is no spiritual beyond what we create for ourselves. Because of this, any problems we face as a people have primarily material causes requiring material solutions.
As a worldview, secularism's logical end is nihilism with purer strains landing there faster than more syncretistic versions. The reason for this is that, again, for secularism, matter and energy are the principle substances of the universe. Matter and energy do not have any inherent value and they cannot bequeath value to their progeny. This means that on secularism, there is not any inherent value to anything beyond what we create for ourselves, which is necessarily temporary and tenuous. That's nihilism in a nutshell. The problem here is that we are not naturally nihilistic creatures and if left alone will gravitate toward meaning even if we have to make it up for ourselves. more >>
After Rudy Giuliani spoke out and questioned President Barack Obama's love of America, one young man took the message to heart and posed the same question via a video that has now gone viral.
"If you really did love America, you would call [Islamic State] what it really is: an assault on Christianity, an assault on America and downright hate for the American values that our country holds—freedom of speech, freedom of religion and every single thing that our country stands for," 12-year-old CJ Pearson said in the clip posted to YouTube. "I hope that one day people will get enough guts to speak out against your downright hatred for this nation."
The video quickly went viral and has received over 350,000 views on the site, though it's not his first video. Pearson also works as the Executive Director of Young Georgians in Government and just one month ago posted a video asking other youth to become active in government and activism. He has already begun his own political career, working on a bill that would make it a civil penalty in the state of Georgia for teachers to refuse students permission to use the restroom if it results in an accident. more >>
The horror in Libya could have come from a Hieronymus Bosch painting of hell: 21 knife-wielding figures hacking the heads off 21 young men in orange jumpsuits along the shoreline, blood staining the surf red. But this was no imagined scene — it was the mass execution of Egyptian Copts who had been kidnapped by Islamic State terrorists.
The killers may have aimed to exploit sectarian hostilities — as they have in Iraq and Syria — and splinter Egyptian society. Paradoxically, however, this blatantly anti-Christian attack may finally lead to the easing of Christian-Muslim tensions in Egypt.
This week, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Sisi responded to the beheadings with acts that unequivocally recognized the Copts as "innocent victims" and true sons of Egypt. He declared a week of national mourning, dispatched envoys to appeal to the United Nations and ordered air force bombers to "deliver swift justice in retribution." more >>
Friday night I received an email from the founder of a self-described Christian event planning organization, who wrote, "Over the last 48 hours we have focused our creativity and resources on supporting an appropriate response to the 21 Egyptian Christian martyrs." He goes on to explain that his team created a website, asked thousands of churches to have a "Moment of Silence" on Sunday, February 22, and is encouraging people to pray every morning during Lent at 7:03 a.m. for "solidarity."
This email highlights two enormous problems associated with self-described American Christians. First, either they are entirely ignorant or blatantly hypocritical or both, when it comes to which "crisis" to pray about, why, and when.
Why ask now for prayer—because 21 Christians were killed on a video? more >>
The father of Christian aid worker Kayla Mueller has accused the Obama administration of putting its policy of refusing to pay ransoms ahead of saving American lives. Carl Mueller revealed that ISIS had asked for a ransom for his daughter, but the money was never paid.
"We understand the policy about not paying ransom," Muller told NBC's "Today" show. "But on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home. And we tried. And we asked. But they put policy in front of American citizens' lives."
U.S. officials confirmed the death of 26-year-old Kayla Mueller last week at the hands of ISIS. The terror group had claimed that the aid worker, who was captured in Syria in 2013, died during a Jordanian airstrike, though the U.S. hasn't established the cause of her death. more >>
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has said that he's ashamed of America, President Barack Obama, and himself, for failing to seriously help the people of Ukraine who are caught in a war against pro-Russian separatists.
"I'm ashamed of my country, I'm ashamed of my president and I'm ashamed of myself that I haven't done more to help these people," McCain said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."
The latest attempt at a peace agreement in eastern Ukraine has fallen apart after heavy fighting continued last week, and the eastern town of Debaltseve was captured by pro-Russian rebels. A ceasefire agreement had earlier this month been reached by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko and major European leaders, but the conflict, which has led to the deaths of over 5,600 people, continues. more >>