A few slipshod thoughts on San Bernardino in no particular order:
- It's a bit uncanny how normal Farook and his wife were. It's like they're sleeper agents. Farook was born and raised in California. He describes himself as "modern" and "Muslim." I suppose he'd have been labeled a "moderate" Muslim. Their friends and family have been none the wiser (or so they say).
- Apparently they murdered some of their co-workers who had even thrown them a baby shower earlier in the year. How much more hospitable can we be towards Muslims?
- As I once heard someone say: it may be true most Muslims are not terrorists, but why does it seem most terrorists are Muslims? At the very least, there seems to be something about Islam that motivates many young Muslim men to terrorism.
- I sometimes think Muslims have the opposite effect on societies as Christians. The more one lives by the Bible, the more one preserves or improves the society in which one lives (e.g. see Rodney Stark's works), whereas the more one lives by the Qur'an, the more one corrodes the society in which one lives. We're salt and light, helping to preserve the true and good, while Muslims are rot and darkness, helping to spoil the true and good. Islam is the perfect antichrist religion.
- What sort of a parent (especially mother) leaves their newborn behind, knowing full well they're going to kill others and be killed? It's such a foreign mentality, to put it mildly.
- A lot of the media seems to want to focus on what caused Farook to become angry, leave the function, and come back and shoot everyone. As if the altercation was the cause of Farook shooting everyone, rather than the whole thing being premediated, planned, etc. Is the subtext that if we don't provoke Muslims (or others) with "microaggressions" then that'd mean they won't attack us?
- If so, does this mean we're headed towards thought crimes and thought police?
- On the one hand, the government has spent billions locating, vetting, and monitoring jihadis (among others). But on the other hand, given massacres like San Bernardino and the Boston bombings, all this apparently isn't good enough. I suppose it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But if there's so much hay that we can't find the needle, why focus on the hay (i.e. everyone in the US) rather than focus on the needles (i.e. Muslim males in their 20s-30s and the company they keep)? Why not adopt some of what Israel has in place?
- Otherwise, we'll continue to have "civil liberties" issues that (rightly or wrongly) people like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have leaked.
- Many if not most people wish to live for something beyond themselves. The question of meaning is especially prominent among those in our 20s-30s, for this is the time of life when people are most likely to search and explore.
At the risk of stereotyping, many women wish to live for relationships (e.g. to be a wife, a mother, a sister), whereas many men wish to live for a great cause or grand idea. (From a Christian perspective, I suppose these female and male longings reflect God's immanence as well as his transcendence.)
Our nation is a largely secular nation. But secularism offers no ultimate meaning for people. So, at best, we hear vacuous platitudes like "Do whatever makes you happy," "The meaning of life is whatever you want it to be," and "There's probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life." It's the modern day equivalent of "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die."
Worse, there's an unbearable lightness of being inherent in secularism. As the scifi show BSG puts it, "All of this has happened before, and will happen again." Again, this is the modern day equivalent to "There is nothing new under the sun" and "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity." It's all ultimately meaningless.
However, religion offers people meaning. This includes Islam. And I presume Islam's warlike nature is part of its romantic appeal, especially to young men.
I suspect meaninglessness will broaden and deepen across our land as secularism spreads its dark shadow. All the while Islam has captured and continues to capture the hearts and minds of many youth. Even youth who have grown up in the US, for Islam offers them what secularism ultimately cannot: meaning.
Our leaders often tell us if we promote American democracy and capitalism, American beliefs and values, then people in places like Iraq will come to see how much better it is to live like we do, and not like how they currently live, and thus turn to our way of life.
However, if what we're really offering them is our secular beliefs and values, then they will quickly see how hollow it all is in comparison to Islam. As nice as having a cushy life filled with cool gadgets, living in air conditioned high rise apartments, driving fast cars, etc. may be, these are all peripheral to what's central to human nature, that is, a meaningful life well lived. In short, it's hard to fight Islam if the alternative is secularism.
That's another reason why we ought to promote Christianity, for only true religion can fight the counterfeit.