While I am horrified by reports of the atrocities committed by the radical Sunni insurgents of ISIS, I am also by nature wary of such reports, even though these seem well documented.
But do you remember being told that Iraqi soldiers were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators and throwing them out windows? Lies, complete lies, though they led to widespread enthusiasm for war. Not that I put anything past ISIS, which seems to incarnate the most extreme form of Islamic militancy, with no regard for human life or human anything.
But I am just as horrified by the American Christian response, invoking the crusades and calling for an aggressive response. I am not a total pacifist, though I am very close, and the idea of just taking the barbarians out is compelling, were it not for the fact that in my 61 years I have never seen American bombs do anything but make everything worse.
And I am appalled by the lack of historic context. I am pretty sure that if you interviewed the typical ISIS warrior you would find that before the US attacked his country he was selling his wares or driving his cab, maybe making it to Friday prayers, maybe not. These men were radicalized by the disruption of their society that the American invasion incurred, by the deaths of family members in the bombing campaigns, by the brutalization of friends by American troops, or, even more, by the private armies that accompanied the invasion.
I have no answers.
But I know that if we do not begin in the Love that Our Saviour commanded we are on the wrong path, have wandered far from the Way.