Now if you think that this article is going to say something like “if only we can win Muslim souls to Christ there will be no more terrorism,” then you clearly a) have not read my blog before and b) need to chill out about evangelism. I suppose I should be more precise in my article title and say “homegrown terrorism,” because after reading up on the topic a bit it seems to me that there is a simple common thread between every radicalized homegrown terrorist aside from a surface level faith that has little or nothing to do with their actions: marginalization.
Word of the day for you. Marginalize (v): to put or keep (someone) in a powerless or unimportant position within a society or group ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marginalize )
As near as I can tell, everyone who has been identified as a homegrown terrorist in recent years has been marginalized socially and politically. Police don’t interview friends, because the person doesn’t have many, they interview coworkers. Family talk about the distance that had grown between them. Pretty much no one has much to say because this person was never all that important anyways. Think about Emmitt from the Lego movie.
It’s kind of sad in this scene, but bad cop is absolutely right: Emmitt may not be dangerous yet, but he is certainly vulnerable to radicalization. It just so happens in this version, the radical extremists are the good guys.
(sorry if that blows your mind)
Now it’s cute and funny in a movie, but translate that into real people in the real world. You have kids who sit alone at lunch every day. You have people who spend every weekend from 5pm on Friday to 8am on Monday alone. You have people all over this earth who’s definition of existence is defined by the absence of others when someone comes along and says “I’ll hang out with you.”
The question the Christian must ask however, is “is that person me, or is that person a terrorist?”
The Christian is uniquely qualified to be that person. We have the love of Christ bursting through us, welling up in us like a never ending fountain. We are called to love the least of these, and to share the love of Christ with others without any expectation of return (that includes salvation btw). The Christian is designed to love others especially those who have been marginalized. So for everyone who claims that this is a Christian nation I ask you, if that has been true for the last two hundred years, why are there so many marginalized people here?
Archbishop Richard Chama said “In today’s world hospitality, reconciliation and love are our most formidable weapons against hatred and extremism.” Hospitality, reconciliation and love: three things every Christian is really good at. So let’s do it.