It’s Faith, Stupid

As violence continues to spiral in France, the news media seems ridiculously ill-equipped to report on it. There was the decapitation of a teacher two weeks ago that started this recent bout of violence, and interesting enough it was the only non-religious target. Subsequent targets have been Christians in churches, whether the three worshipers killed in Nice earlier this week, or the Orthodox priest shot in the stomach with a sawed off shotgun tonight. And while this latest attack hasn’t been linked to Islamic fanaticism (yet?), at the very least it’s another assault specifically on Christians, and a reminder that the secular society media is so fond of touting is not necessarily the most enlightened environment.

Headlines like this one miss the point entirely. It’s incredible that only a few decades after World War II and the utter failure of a program to appease the increasingly aggressive demands of a despot, the press still thinks the problem is an offensive cartoon. Allow me to help fill in the clueless secular or anti-religious media – this isn’t about a cartoon, it’s about religion. It’s not about secularism, it’s about faith.

The idea that succumbing to demands to not say or draw anything offensive about the prophet Mohammed will somehow restore peace and eliminate tensions with Muslim nations is ridiculous. Give in to this demand and there will be another demand. Resist that demand and there will be violence again and threats of violence. This isn’t a cycle that ends in a restoration of a peaceful secular country (if France could accurately be called that). It’s a cycle that ends with the destruction of secular France – and the rest of non-Muslim nations – under the growing intimidation of radical Muslims.

These radicals aren’t afraid of France’s secularism – they’ve exploited it by immigrating there in large numbers. They know very well secularism can’t withstand the growing pressure of a radicalized Islam. Progressive ideologies have weakened much of Western civilization to the point they are unwilling to defend themselves and will capitulate everything soas not to risk offending a class of people who insist they are offended.

The radicals don’t need to be afraid of secularism so you’ll notice their attacks are not against civil targets but rather religious ones. Christian ones. And more specifically, active Christians. Christians at worship or priests at churches. Because unlike secularists, Biblical Christians who know the Bible as well as Christian history have an actual set of beliefs they are not willing to compromise on. Islam can and will conquer secularism, but it has had quite a bit of trouble dealing with Christians through the centuries. And while modern, secular authorities seem to ignore or forget history, it seems clear that radical Muslims have not.

So these Muslims try to strike fear into the hearts of Christians. Maybe by doing so they hope to cause weaker Christians to demand their secular government side with the extremists and give in to their demands. Demand their government continue to abdicate what little moral authority it still holds from the Christian faith for the sake of tolerance or kindness or some grossly misinterpreted interpretation of the Christian command to love your enemy.

Macron’s desire to defend secular society will ultimately fail – if not in his term than down the road a few years. It will fail because it has no real inherent beliefs, and will therefore cede authority to whomever can most convincingly portray themselves as the weak or marginalized or disenfranchised. Or Muslims will simply continue to out-reproduce their materialist, secular neighbors until they can vote for a Muslim government and sharia law and all the other things the Quran commands Muslims to accomplish.

But the Christian faith is grounded in beliefs anchored in human history and geography, an empty tomb and eye-witnesses of a man who claimed to be nothing less than the Son of God and insisted his resurrection from the dead would vindicate this claim.

That faith won’t abdicate to Islam. It might be conquered by Islam geographically or politically. It might be executed by Islam, as Christians around the world continue to suffer and die simply for insisting on believing the Word of God, oftentimes at the hands of Islamic extremists. But it won’t simply give up and go away.

That’s the real threat radical Islamists rightly perceive and seek to weaken or destroy. That’s why as the attacks in France continue, the targets are worshiping Christians, priests, and others visibly living out their faith. I pray that Christians around the world will rally in solidarity of their French brothers and sisters in Christ who are currently under attack.

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