The fight with the Islamic State is not an existential crisis for the United States. We are far too big, with far too many people, for a group of rag-tag terrorists who have a hard enough time finding soldiers to fight for them in their own lands, to fight effectively. But don’t tell the right-wing that; they’ll never believe you. ISIS left an indelible mark when they beheaded their first American.
So rather than deal with the major problems facing the country — income inequality, the rising threat of Christian terrorism, etc — they’d rather do something productive. Like invoking God against their enemy in prayers.
I’m not entirely sure this is a wise idea. God doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation when it comes to hitting his mark, and if the past is anything kind of measure, some poor sod in Dzhergatol, Tajikistan, will get clobbered by lightning bolt.
That’s not stopping Wanda Fae, though, who called on her Almighty Hitman to pay the folks in ISIS a visit. She wants just one person to say amen with her, echoing her desire to turn this from a secular conflict into a sectarian conflict, and invoking the name of Jesus to deliver divine retribution against the “jihadist scumbags.”
I’m in no position to criticize the use of “jihadist scumbags,” since that’s exactly what they are. I am, however, in a fine position to criticize the prayer and Ms. Fae here. When, at any point in the history of the Middle East, has it ever been a good idea to inject religion into a conflict? Right now, ISIS is waging a religious war, and at no point in history has a religious war ever been won by injecting more religion. That’s the equivalent of throwing a large Molotov cocktail on a burning car and expecting it to put the fire out.
ISIS is friends of no one, even other Muslims. Our best bet for stopping them is to use their own negative influence against them in the Muslim world.
But do you know what’s going to hurt more than it’ll help?
This Crusader rhetoric that the hard right is taking. Just in case you forgot, the Crusaders don’t have the best reputation in the Middle East, guys. What’s more, this isn’t a Crusade, and I’d very strongly wager that by invoking religious language you’re making the problem worse. So, for once, follow the advice of your own Holy Book you pretend the read:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
You can watch the video below: