Saturday, July 23, 2005

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Toll climbs in Egyptian attacks

The agents of evil plague civilization again BBC NEWS reports that the Death "Toll climbs in Egyptian attacks". Details:
At least 88 people have been killed in bomb attacks in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, hospital staff say.

Some 200 more were injured in the blasts last night. The first, in the Old Market, was followed by two more in Naama Bay, where a hotel was badly hit.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak vowed to continue the "battle with terrorism" as he visited the sites of the attacks, the worst in Egypt's recent history.

Most of the dead are Egyptians, but foreigners are among the victims too.

A 34-year-old Italian man on his honeymoon and a Czech citizen have been confirmed dead, and at least 20 of those injured are thought to be foreign.
The Islamofascists that commit these acts can't be reasoned with. They can't be appeased. They can't be brought before a negotiating table.

They can only be stopped.

The most difficult task for Fools is once again to carry forward our Lord's command. We must love these people. We must forgive them.

Yes, that's right. Scandalous, I know. Well, so was Christ's death on a Cross. Imagine: The Son of God, the only begotton Son of the Father, hangs upon the shameful tree of Roman Justice, an innocent man sentenced to die in shame. What were his words to the jeering crowds of his enemies? "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do." (Lk 23:34). What was his command to his Apostles, on the night before his death? This:
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
5 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, 6 because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another. (Jn 15:12-17)
Tough, I know. Does this mean that we must approach the murderers like lambs to the slaughter? Hardly. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes clear, competent authorities have the right and duty to defend those entrusted to them:
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.
Note that the Catechism says specifically "those who legitimately hold authority." That means any sworn officer in the military, intelligence and law enforcement services of a given Nation. It doesn't mean combox crusaders that are out to expose Islam as the "religion of violence that it is." It doesn't mean civilians that do not directly face life or death scenarios against terrorists in their midst. It doesn't mean those that suddenly decide a Mosque doesn't belong in the neighborhood, anymore.

To Love is to will the good for another. The ultimate good that one may experience in this life is union with the God who is Love. If anyone can think of ways in which one can foster this union without prayer, I'm all ears. This God who is Love has made it clear: our sins are forgiven to the extent that we forgive the sins of others. Thus, we must forgive even murderous islamo-fascists. If we don't, then the anger we hold in our hearts to them crystallizes into resentment. That resentment fills up our hearts so that we can't and won't accept that merciful love of our God that is his mercy. Once again, the terrorists have won. Their action has not only terrorized the innocent. It has caused some of the innocent to fall.

Do we really want the terrorists to win? If the answer's no, then we must turn our hearts to the One that changes hearts. That requires us to offer mercy even to the merciless likes of Al Qaeda.

Offering mercy is not justifying behavior. If it were, then it wouldn't be forgiveness; it would be justification. Nothing justifies the murder of innocents. That is why such sins require forgiveness.

Likewise, the offering of mercy does not require society to submit to extinction. Righteous defense may result in the death of unjust aggressors. That may be the only way to stop them. Our intention, as members of society that sanctions our own defense, should not be to relish their deaths. It should be to legitimately defend ourselves. If that means the terrorists die, then so be it!

The agents of Evil do the work of their Master. Are we to do the same? For don't we give aid and comfort to the Enemy when we nourish the deadly sin of Anger in our hearts, calling it a thirst for justice? Let us, rather, do the work of our Master. Let us bear the light that he has entrusted to us. Let us shout the gospel from the rooftops! Let us be Christ's eyes and hands in the world today, as the instruments of Love he intended us to be. For as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wisely observed, "Hate cannot drive out hate; only Love can do that."