What makes Jerry tick?

I think we are all preoccupied with what happened in Paris last Friday, and in Syria, and Lybia, and Irak. We are up against people doing what human beings have done throughout history, from the historical Count Dracula or Vlad the Impaler to Ivan the Terrible, Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot. Since last Friday’s atrocity occurred in Paris, we should not forget Robespierre whose own end was poetic justice.

ISIS sings the same tune Hitler did, promising Utopia in the end – Terrorism researcher is a fascinating article. Why indeed show films of children cutting off men’s heads with knives, crucifying people and torturing? Does it not occur to them that what they’re doing makes us hate them like the Nazis in their own time! The more I read, the more I come to the conclusion that this degree of evil and depravity have nothing to do with religion, even Islam, but something further down in the darkness of fallen humanity.

This degree of brutality, like at Auschwitz and other such symbolic places, is the norm throughout history. It would almost seem to be man’s natural state, however much we affirm our civilised Enlightenment culture and protest that we would never do such a thing. The French Revolution was no less cruel and brutal. If they believed in freedom, brotherhood and equality, why did they have to kill so many people? The Russian Revolution may have killed more than 80 million people.

The incredible thing about Daesh / ISIS is that it is attracting a lot of people. Would they be defeated by blowing them to hell in Syria and Irak? What’s stopping them from multiplying in Africa or staging a full-scale revolution in France or England or Spain?

Order out of chaos? Haven’t we heard that one before. It was exactly Hitler’s line. Create an apocalyptic scenario, frighten the hell out of everyone, and then offer the alternative – whatever that is. It also occurs to me that Islam is only the ingredient from which the new monster is made. I know little about Islam, but there are different groups. Those who are violent tend to belong to the Sunnites and the Shiites. There are also contemplative groups or denominations called the Sufis and others, who are also Muslims but wouldn’t hurt a fly. I have often thought I would like to visit Morocco and Tunisia with people like some of the folk I met in Marseilles in the 1990’s. Hitler used the old Nordic pagan mythology, but that was not what Nazism was all about. It was just the foundational myth. Yes, the Koran contains some horrible things, but so does our Bible!

Jihadist terrorism is a new form of Nazism as it is a new form of Robespierre’s revolution or of the Marxist workers’ paradise. To us westerners, they are sadistic psychopaths and totally degenerate. Our judgement of them obviously doesn’t matter to them. They believe they are fighting for a new world, or at least the duped young recruits are brought to believe like in a cult. They show “warriors” playing with children. Hmmm. I have also seen the films of Berchtesgaden where Hitler also played with dogs and children.

I think this interview has a lot of insight. I note how little speculation there is in regard to some kind of American conspiracy behind so-called proxies to topple Assad in Syria. Such an attitude without all the facts seems to be wise. Could ISIS be defeated like Germany in 1944-45 by force of arms and immense courage and idealism on the part of the Allies? Can something be done to help Muslims to make their religion truly peaceful? In an ideal world, they could be offered the Gospel of Christ, and why not? As long as the Christianity in question isn’t more of the “same”. Following the defeat of Daesh in any given country, the west is going to have a huge job in mustering the support of Syrian and Irakian refugees who would go back to their countries to rebuild and educate.

I go much further, and say that such a conversion of heart could also touch us in the west and bring us to also to re-evaluate our commitment to Christ and the Gospel of peace, love and care for all.

May the coming war be one, not of vengeance and gratuitous killing, but a true crusade for Christ and the way of man’s freedom and happiness.

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5 Responses to What makes Jerry tick?

  1. J.D. says:

    Somehow what gives me some comfort is the belief I have that we are all fallen corrupted men living in a fallen corrupted world, and that Jesus Christ will one day return to restore our world the same way He works within us baptized Christians to transfigure and transform us through Grace.

    I’m captivated by the ( if I may call it that) ” existential realism” of Martin Luther when he said we are ” sinners yet justified” at the same time I’m captivated by the Orthodox traditions wonderful theology of Paschal joy, light, transfiguration and resurrection. We are sinners living in a sinful world, and yet there is the possibility for light and life— if not here and now than for sure at the second coming.

    Honestly the world just goes in predictable cycles, this latest rise of barbaric Islam is just one more phase in the cycle. Personally I’m not sure there’s any political system, enlightened leader or world war that will do anything more than perhaps bring short era of peace that will eventually devolve back into another cycle of violence.

    At heart our Lord said that His Kingdom was not of this world— this fallen world. He came to redeem this world and restore it, but it is always in His time and on His terms. Most of us are better off sticking to our daily prayers,raising our families and in general being icons of light where we can. Christian hope is only fulfilled beyond the veil seperating life and death, corruption and incorruption.

    That being said there is still a place for those who wish to fight. Historically Europeans have looked at Islam as an alien religion and muslims as enemies, and they have taken up arms both spiritual and temporal to drive them out. I’m of the opinion that today,like in any other era in history this is a necessary evil unless one wants to live in an islamic society. I still believe that ultimately our faith needs to be in things outside the temporal, but in the meantime Europeans ought to take action if they are able.

    Personally I’m not the violent type,but I’m mighty tired of seeing the level of wanton destruction and death waged in Europe at the hands of muslims. My gut tells me there needs to be a serious backlash even if at heart I know it’s only temporary. How much longer will Westerners allow muslims to keep killing civilians by the hundreds before they throw off the chains of political correctness and take action?

    I tell you what is going to happen is a right wing back lash. You’ll start to see the average Joe vote for neo nazi parties and stuff,not because they support neo nazism but because those on the far right seem to be the only ones equipped to fire the Islamic fire with fire.

    I hope this is not offensive Father, as I’ve always tried to be respectful on your blog. I’ve no intention of being disrespectful. This latest wave of muslim terror just makes me angry.

    • Thank you for this very thoughtful comment. I have also noticed that the periods of peace following the two world wars were of such short duration because they were built on sand. The Armistice of 1918 brought about the Treaty of Versailles – and that brought Hitler to power. Those who financed Hitler were never brought to justice. The same evil festers on and on.

      I have read pleas for Sharia law as something more “Christian” or conservative than the rule of bankers, wasteful bureaucracy, unfettered liberalism and immorality. One kind of totalitarianism against another, Scylla and Charybdis, just like Poland that suffered from Nazism and then Communism. No political system is able to beat the present upsurge of barbaric Islam, unless Russia’s intentions are pure.

      In the 1930’s, Hitler was seen as a panacea against the threat of the Communists, and got a lot of support from the military establishment of much of Europe and the Church. We again look to Nationalism against the threat of Islam. Are we players, willing to make this gamble, thinking we can get rid of man’s inhumanity to man once the terrorists and head-choppers are beaten? Accepting a “necessary evil” is our agony. However, it isn’t up to me. The backlash is already happening, and the Establishment will do all it can to save face and contain the pent-up energy of its people. I think that the day when we see our political figures and financiers hanging from trees and lamp posts is not far away. Civil war is here.

      I can hope that the right-wing of the future will be more like Mussolini than Hitler and that God will somehow have his place to keep us from the usual depravity and murderous evil. I cannot in conscience want it or vote for it, but it will happen if our future is not to be Orwellian or like in Saudi Arabia. It will be a two-fronted war, a Zweifrontenkrieg.

      No you are not being offensive, but realistic. As our Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said in 1957, “You never had it so good”, and now our time has run out. I too am angry and frightened.

      One thing we didn’t have in the past – the internet. It is a think tank. Make the most of it before it gets closed down!

      • Fr. Benjamin says:

        While living in a Fascist state would be less than ideal, I would personally prefer Francisco Franco to Mussolini or Hitler. As a young man prior to my ordination to the diaconate I served at a Requiem for him celebrated by a traditionalist priest in 1975.

  2. Neil Hailstone says:

    I have no idea which would be the best overall strategy to defeat Daesh but obviously there must be a military component.That in itself will not be adequate. I would think that many of the islamofascists in Daesh and the committed Nazis who carried out murder and persecution share one starting point. There are I’m sure some who had or currently have an ideological commitment.

    I think though that with others the problem starts with a lack of belief in pretty much anything apart from the desire for power and self advancement. In the case of both evil entities the opportunities for young men to steal,loot and rape provide another attraction to swell the ranks.

    I think the contention about actually believing in more or less nothing in terms of faith and politics
    can be illustrated by known facts that both the Nazi police and armed services recruited from pre existing formations, and likewise in the East German Republic.

    Thus young Heinz could join the police or security organisations of the democratic Weimar Republic in 1931 and salute with an ordinary raised bent arm to the temple and uphold democracy. Come 1933 the arm band goes on and the right arm becomes stiffly raised with due obedience to his senior officers. Jews persecuted and deported. Enemies of the state shot on sight and all the rest of it.

    Spring of 1945 comes and our Heinz now middle aged changes the armband and learns the words of the Internationale. Off comes the old armband and on with the new together with the clenched fist salute with much use of the word ‘Comrade’ He retires with a pension in 1961.

    In various spheres of life and looking back now that I’m in my 70’s I recall many people I have met and worked with who believed in nothing other than self interest and power. Sadly I would have to say that there were a few who were in Holy Orders. This lack of belief in anything is always fertile ground for those in search of recruits, who offer unrestricted power, advancement and wealth in abundance. I think our task as Christians is to offer the catholic faith for inroads to be made into the morass of spiritual and moral nothingness.

    • You place quite a dilemma before us. The only ones who can take on Daesh are the western states and their modern armed forces. We are just going to have to get our act together with Russia and forget the vested interests the oligarchs have in the Middle East. If Obama wants to get in the way, he knows better than we do that Russia has got some very big nukes (I was reading yesterday about a 100 megaton cobalt nuclear torpedo, untraceable, really nasty and which would really ruin our day!) – and plenty of weapons that can be used without destroying the world. As you say, might of arms is not enough.

      One thing is obvious. Daesh is only of appeal to Muslims and those who are disposed to convert to Islam because of complete disillusionment with western modernity. As for Christianity, what kind of Christianity? The kind of Christianity that appeals to me is too marginal and powerless – perhaps the very two reasons that make Continuing Anglicanism appeal to me! What kind of thing can have the appeal of Roman Catholicism in 1945 when former servicemen converted in droves? I have known one who became a monk and a priest after the war, and continued with the old Mass until his death. The only kind of religion that might remotely fulfil this role would be Russian Orthodoxy with Putin as the “Great Monarch”.

      Putin is no choirboy! If he were, he wouldn’t be President of Russia. Up till now, he has idealism and personality, and I think we could trust him more than Cameron, Hollande, Obama and Frau Merkel, our bankers and arms manufacturers. We need someone to give us some encouragement and sense of direction. What is needed are people who will fight Daesh with more honour, humanity, chivalry and idealism than even many of our men who fought the Nazis.

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