The 'Ideology' to Defeat ISIS

The horrific murder by Islamist Omar Mateen of at least fifty people at a gay nightclub at Orlando has the usual crowd of Beltway insiders on the news programs asking how to defeat an ideology that views the extermination of certain people as righteous and whose acolytes are willing to die in pursuit of the triumph of that ideology.

It is clear that the only way to end this threat is an end to the thinking and values of those who are its fighters today.  It is also clear – blindingly, starkly clear – that the usual nostrums of middle-class prosperity, pluralistic democracies, and politically correct platitudes will do nothing at all to save us.  Europe is slipping into the pit of radical Islam despite social welfare programs, "tolerance," and free democracy.

Men willing to blow themselves to bits, after, perhaps, raping and beating some Swedish girls, are not impoverished or oppressed or unenlightened.  These young men, instead, have looked at the secular humanism of much of the Western World, and these young men, quite correctly, have seen this as simply nihilism – the ultimate rejection of all real values.

This is precisely what led to the rise of Nazism in Germany.  The German people had become overwhelmingly agnostic before even the First World War began.  Writers in books published at the time described Weimar Germany and even imperial Germany as lands in which almost no one believed in God, in which many clergy had never owned a Bible, and in which church attendance in cities like Berlin and Hamburg were less than 5% of the population, with similar statistics elsewhere. 

The same familiar social toxins that thrived in Weimar Germany – sexual promiscuity described as less casual and more vicious, rampant abortion, nature-worship, cultural deconstruction – left the German people disarmed when facing the menace of Nazism (and, for that matter, Marxism).  Well educated and well bred Germans, believing in nothing, fell prey to the "something" of Nazism.

How were Nazis stopped?  Revulsion against Nazi anti-Semitic policies came almost instantly from churches and Christian organizations in America, Britain, and Canada – a fact well noted and gratefully accepted by Jewish organizations in these countries – and the only people within Germany standing up to the Nazis were the few religiously serious Christians – another fact well noted at the time but now vanished in the Memory Hole.

Another interesting but lost fact is how many in the Christian West were looking at Nazi Germany and calling it the "New Islam."  Nazis very publicly and openly sneered at Christianity, but these same Nazis looked lovingly at Islam.  Moslems reciprocated, and everywhere they could, Moslem leaders supported the Nazi cause.  And, of course, just as clearly as Christian churches and leaders condemned anti-Semitism, the Nazis and Moslems and Marxists celebrated anti-Semitism.

Believing Christians and Jews are the only real hope of the world.  That explains why America, a nation whose deep religious roots were noted two centuries ago, and Israel, the God-given homeland of the Jewish people, are the "Great Satan" and "Little Satan" of radical Islam.  It also explains why these hated and besieged nations have, so far at least, been able to withstand the onslaught of every form of totalitarianism, from Nazism and Marxism to radical Islam, better than any other lands.

This is a solid "something," instead of the mush of mass-consumption modern life wrapped in the empty glitz of popular culture, that can take those misguided and lost souls seeking deeper meaning and transform the terrorists and suicide bombers of Islam into the missionary doctors and teachers of Christianity.

How do we defeat an "ideology," as pundits call Islam in the wake of this massacre?  We defeat it not with any "ideology" at all.  We defeat it with the courage and the love that come only with faith in a religion of hope.

The horrific murder by Islamist Omar Mateen of at least fifty people at a gay nightclub at Orlando has the usual crowd of Beltway insiders on the news programs asking how to defeat an ideology that views the extermination of certain people as righteous and whose acolytes are willing to die in pursuit of the triumph of that ideology.

It is clear that the only way to end this threat is an end to the thinking and values of those who are its fighters today.  It is also clear – blindingly, starkly clear – that the usual nostrums of middle-class prosperity, pluralistic democracies, and politically correct platitudes will do nothing at all to save us.  Europe is slipping into the pit of radical Islam despite social welfare programs, "tolerance," and free democracy.

Men willing to blow themselves to bits, after, perhaps, raping and beating some Swedish girls, are not impoverished or oppressed or unenlightened.  These young men, instead, have looked at the secular humanism of much of the Western World, and these young men, quite correctly, have seen this as simply nihilism – the ultimate rejection of all real values.

This is precisely what led to the rise of Nazism in Germany.  The German people had become overwhelmingly agnostic before even the First World War began.  Writers in books published at the time described Weimar Germany and even imperial Germany as lands in which almost no one believed in God, in which many clergy had never owned a Bible, and in which church attendance in cities like Berlin and Hamburg were less than 5% of the population, with similar statistics elsewhere. 

The same familiar social toxins that thrived in Weimar Germany – sexual promiscuity described as less casual and more vicious, rampant abortion, nature-worship, cultural deconstruction – left the German people disarmed when facing the menace of Nazism (and, for that matter, Marxism).  Well educated and well bred Germans, believing in nothing, fell prey to the "something" of Nazism.

How were Nazis stopped?  Revulsion against Nazi anti-Semitic policies came almost instantly from churches and Christian organizations in America, Britain, and Canada – a fact well noted and gratefully accepted by Jewish organizations in these countries – and the only people within Germany standing up to the Nazis were the few religiously serious Christians – another fact well noted at the time but now vanished in the Memory Hole.

Another interesting but lost fact is how many in the Christian West were looking at Nazi Germany and calling it the "New Islam."  Nazis very publicly and openly sneered at Christianity, but these same Nazis looked lovingly at Islam.  Moslems reciprocated, and everywhere they could, Moslem leaders supported the Nazi cause.  And, of course, just as clearly as Christian churches and leaders condemned anti-Semitism, the Nazis and Moslems and Marxists celebrated anti-Semitism.

Believing Christians and Jews are the only real hope of the world.  That explains why America, a nation whose deep religious roots were noted two centuries ago, and Israel, the God-given homeland of the Jewish people, are the "Great Satan" and "Little Satan" of radical Islam.  It also explains why these hated and besieged nations have, so far at least, been able to withstand the onslaught of every form of totalitarianism, from Nazism and Marxism to radical Islam, better than any other lands.

This is a solid "something," instead of the mush of mass-consumption modern life wrapped in the empty glitz of popular culture, that can take those misguided and lost souls seeking deeper meaning and transform the terrorists and suicide bombers of Islam into the missionary doctors and teachers of Christianity.

How do we defeat an "ideology," as pundits call Islam in the wake of this massacre?  We defeat it not with any "ideology" at all.  We defeat it with the courage and the love that come only with faith in a religion of hope.