What Causes Them to Go?

stop_isis_word_cloud_illustration_shape_hand_print_cg7p3508650cLast night on the evening news Scott, when giving the story of the three young ladies who left London to join Isis in Syria, asked the CBS news audience “Why do they go?” I turned to my wife and said: “That is the big question isn’t it. If we could find that answer, we could solve the problem.”

These men and these girls are giving up their lives for Isis. The men know they will most likely be killed. The women will be given to the men (fighters) as wives, I guess so they can reproduce more fighters with their babies.

As I pondered this question I thought about all the people who give up – sacrifice something vital in order to do what they do. I raised my hand with many other people back in the 60’s vowing to protect and defend the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic. Boot camp at Parris Island, SC gave us such pride in who we were, MARINES, we knew that we could not be beat – we were the best there was. Pride filled our being, honor and valor became watch words. Now it was death before dishonor.

We had no idea that meant dying for our country… not really. Soon people were dying for that vow and we didn’t even know what we were protecting and defending. Many thousands died in the jungles of Vietnam not knowing why they were fighting except their country said “Go.”

After four years in the Marines, college and seminary I raised my hand again and said I will follow Jesus, I will rightly administer the Word and Sacraments of the Lord, I will order the church’s ministry so that it will follow the guidance of Jesus. I was giving up one life-STYLE for another. I was giving my life in service to the Church. And for forty years I served her with everything I had.

So what is happening with Isis? I believe, and I am certainly no expert on anything, that this is a religious calling of sorts – or at least these people are convinced they are in a righteous calling from God to fight against that which is bringing harm to their fellow Muslims. The answer must come from a combination of constraints upon the social media which outlaw hate speech – calling these people to hate westerners at therefore join Isis to kill them. The second part of this is perhaps the most important, and that is to call upon, in a very personal and powerful way, the Muslim leaders of the world to stand up regularly and strongly against Isis radicalization of these people.

The answer lies within the Muslim communities and its leaders to turn the tide – stress the peaceful side of their faith and speak against the killings. They can no longer sit on the sidelines watching this evil take place and say nothing. It is their responsibility to teach their people the real beliefs of Islam… and therefore bring about a knowledge of that which is a true calling from God and that which is hype.


a Grieving HeartYou will notice at the bottom of the header (above) are a list of my books. I have added the last one so you can order The Grieving Heart in paperback form. All the other books are eBooks. I hope that you will take the opportunity to read these and I hope they will help to bring you comfort and grace in time of need.

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