According to the AP. Iraqi insurgents are now fighting each other, as “moderate” Sunni terrorists tangle with “extremist” al-Qaeda whose brand of Islam is so radical that it prohibits placing cucumbers beside tomatoes because these vegetables have different genders.
What makes men kill each other over tomatoes and cucumbers? What makes people kill each other at all? In the last few hours a gunman at the Houston space center took fellow employees hostage, then killed one before killing himself. Over the past few days the US has experienced an epidemic of threats on schools by Cho wannabees, each swearing to break some kind of sick record for psychosis. The spike in these incidents is interesting because they resemble the outcome of a controlled experiment. The numbers of guns out there has not varied much in the last week, but the media coverage of such deranged acts has. The one factor has been held constant while the other has been varied. And the results are strongly suggestive of what my childhood confessors used to emphasize: that bad thoughts have consequences.
And this is what we forget in this age of post-modernism:
As a child I was taught one could “sin through thought, word and deed”. Somewhere in the intervening years society seems to have forgotten about the “sins” of thought and word largely because it refused to believe in taboos. There were, the school chaplains used to say, dark doors beyond which it was dangerous for the mind to go. There were thoughts you could not think — unless you were strong enough to wrestle with what you would find beyond the portal.
We laugh when people say these things today, but we laugh at truth — at our own peril.
And we peer into the face of evil:
It may be just be possible that bloodlust, the exhortation to cruelty, the legitimization of barbarous violence eventually corrodes and then corrupts completely. The Middle East Times tells us that the Christian evangelists who were recently killed by suspected Islamists in Turkey were savagely tortured. With only knives too, but with the idea to drive it.
What made these men torture those evangelists? It was more than the knives in their hands. If one didn’t know better, it would be possible to imagine the conflict among terrorists in Anbar as a scene from the squabbling imps of hell. In the end, nothing protects us so much as our sensibilities. A healthy culture instills in its members guideposts, as orderly societies put up highway signs, not in order to block the roads, but to guide us in our freedom.
And we laugh as we tear down our guideposts.
At our own peril.
*** Graphic Violence Warning ***
Do not watch this with children, and do not watch if you cannot withstand the depraved violence of Islamofascists.