My Conversation About Mark Driscoll and ISIS

Every once in a while I like to sit in front of Facebook and leave some comments that will stir some thinking, or just confront strange statements or conversation. I don’t know what comes over me, but I do know that Rachel gets really mad at me. Sometimes I just can’t resist though. This is especially the case when I notice a comment thread going in an odd direction.

A few nights ago, a Christian I know from Sarnia who has participated in a few ‘debates’ in the past with me, posted this to Facebook:

“Canada is revoking the citizenship of 30 ‘Canadians’ who left to fight with Isis. Good move Canada!!!”
-MB

Here is a sample of comments left.

this is the best news I’ve heard all day
-KB

They left to join a terrorist regime. If it would me I would revoke their right to have their heads attached to their shoulders via their necks.
-AJP

It’s a problem.. We’re severely under defended. Not sure it’ll wake Canadians up either. We too often pretend this is an American issue… Its not. It’s a global issue
-MB

I hear you, but how many people do you think would step up if ISIS attacked Canada. I mean I could make a list long as my arm of people with a nasty chip on their shoulder who would love to indulge in some good old fashioned, liberty protecting mentally unhinged super-violence
– AJP

This is a perfect thread for me to join. So I asked if “the general consensus here that we should defend ourselves better with military and that those people should be dead?” I was told that it was judgmental to assume that. I then asked if that isn’t the consensus then why no one was confronting AJP and his comments specifically since it wasn’t from an ethic of love and clearly not Christian.

The conversation progressed from there to nothing helpful. Then one of his buddies, TE, jumped on and said this “well nathan makes no sense and have no clue what he is saying but i agree wholeheartedly with MB and glad Canada stood on some morals and drew the line in the sand.” I responded by saying that TE was my favourite person on Facebook. He responded by saying that Mark Driscoll was on Facebook and he was proud to be ahead of him for my list for favourite people on Facebook (obviously bringing up some past conversation we’ve had at some point.)

I then said “really? Mark Driscoll runs his own Facebook? I thought his account would be run by his women and staff hired by his church budget.”

I was told by the by the original poster MB that this was unloving, then the comments were deleted and he unfriended me.

So there you go folks! Feel free to suggest spending more on military, speak angry rhetoric about killing our enemies and rejoicing about ISIS supporters having revoked membership and no questions will be asked. Take a sarcastic jab at Mark Driscoll’s spending habits and well, that’s just rude and unloving!

2 Comments

  • That’s frightening. But man, you should see the comments by my Christian FB friends from Oklahoma. Yee ha.

    Nathan, why is it that Christian ideals get so demented when fear gets thrown at us (media propaganda), that we then come to the conclusion that the answer to terror is more terror?

    Justice seems to get replaced and reduced to vengeance – I’m not sure if this is just easier to understand and accept, or loving in the face of fear is intuitively too difficult even if we know it’s right.

    We’re executing people without trial in Yemen and Pakistan, and casually blowing up the suspects’ neighbors and children in the process. Throwing missiles at situations just kills people, not ideals. Dogmatism is the problem here. Education and love is hopefully the answer. A huge section of Islam seems to carry the baggage of violence with it at the moment, and I think people care what their community thinks. If the Muslim community is adamant that violence is bad then fewer people in their community will join rebel groups and Isis will be easier to handle (I think this same way of thinking would hopefully solve why so many Christians seem adamant about vengeance as justice). We have a hard time condemning violence because it so much easier to not do anything.

    Our species has a hard time focusing – the media to us is like a bunch of shiny objects in a room to a kitten – our heads bounce from headline to headline and so we make no progress on the foundation of our problems to any extent. We’ll forget about ISIS next month and argue about budget cuts for a few weeks (instead of capitalism, hierarchy, alternative economic theories, exploitation, or the idea of private property), make no progress, and then jump to the next issue.

    Keeping this issue back on track Nathan, Why do you think that Christians seem unable to condemn violence in their communities (or FB) and turn to vengeance as the only form of justice? (I am aware it is not just Christians doing this) Is this because of selective biblical cherry picking that confirms their confirmation biases, or is it in spite of the spirit of Christian teachings?

    • I think that any humans that buy into a selfish ideology that is tied into their culture and preserving their way of life will eventually resort to violence. People can approach Christianity, nationalism, consumerism etc in different ways, and its the way that they approach it evolve in them. If you approach Christianity as a self-help formula to getting your way then absolutely you’ll cherry pick and make it fit to your pre-determined ideas. If you approach it as a faith that is good to follow, it would be impossible to be violent. Without love the whole thing would fall apart.

      Humans are clever like that though, they attribute themselves to power because power disguises fear and makes it feel better for a little while, and unfortunately the Christian religion is powerful so with that comes all sorts of people using it for their own purposes.

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