The Falling Man

Of all the 9/11 images readily available, the ones that twist my guts the most are not the extremely graphic ones, though there are many of those available with the click of a mouse.

It would be fair to describe it as one of the worst days in American history, if not the worst.

There are two photos of Father Mychal Judge that are very powerful. In one, he is praying over (maybe administering last rites) a firefighter killed by a falling body. In another–after being killed by either another body or falling debris–the Father’s dead body is seen as he is carried out of the building by a group of firefighters.

He did his job, fulfilled his calling.

And he died.

The worst for me, though, are the images of people jumping from the upper levels of the World Trade Center. From the Windows on the World restaurant. From Cantor Fitzgerald. In fact, there is one well-known image of a large group of Cantor Fitzgerald employees standing in the broken windows of their workplace, and it’s almost as if they were looking over a cliff. I guess they were, in a sense.

They didn’t jump in sequence, but there was a rhythm to it just the same. Some of them held hands. Some tried to parachute, until the wind from their fall ripped whatever they held from their hands.

Then there was the image of a person who came to be known as the “Falling Man.”

We’ve all seen it. He’s wearing a white coat–like a restaurant employee–and he’s head down. His leg is drawn up, knee neatly folded. He looks almost peaceful.

Of course, the image is one of a series, and the rest reveal the chaos of his descent. But for that one frame, he looks at peace with things.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 file picture, a person falls headfirst from the north tower of New York's World Trade Center. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
FILE – In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 file picture, a person falls headfirst from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

There was nothing peaceful about it.

And when I think of 9/11, I think of that picture, and I agree with the “never again” statement.

And I remember.

The Esquire Magazine article “The Falling Man” surmises the Falling Man may have been food worker Jonathan Briley, though no one knows for sure. The article then says this:

“Is Jonathan Briley the Falling Man? He might be. But maybe he didn’t jump from the window as a betrayal of love or because he lost hope. Maybe he jumped to fulfill the terms of a miracle. Maybe he jumped to come home to his family. Maybe he didn’t jump at all, because no one can jump into the arms of God.

Oh, no. You have to fall.”

The Lifeguard

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. Our country has some serious problems–both domestically and abroad. These are issues the executive branch is capable of handling, but for some reason has been choosing to act and/or negotiate from a position of weakness rather than strength, in both areas.

I think there are times when that sort of approach can be affective, but in this instance, it seems the greatest country on earth is approaching the head of the soup line with our palms up in supplication, asking if we can please have some more.

Do I think we should act like the playground bully and take more control?

Of course not.

I think our current USA CEO could even be a great president under better conditions–under peacetime conditions.

Except that in our current domestic and world situations,

IT ISN’T LIKE THAT AT ALL!!

There’s a war going on, and a pestilence made up of radical Islamic thugs and murderers spreading in the middle east.

Is the answer to keeping Iran out of the fray gently petting their back like a kitty?

Maybe not.

But letting them inspect themselves to determine if they are stockpiling nuclear weapons?

Have they proven themselves to be both truthful and trustworthy? Sane, even?

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And what about the Islamic State?

What about our own country, for that matter? What is going on?

It seems as if life has no meaning beyond Webster’s definition.

People kill each other almost arbitrarily in places like Chicago, and really across America.

Young African-American men are killing cops, because black lives matter.

Cops are occasionally killing African-American men because they have been conditioned to fear them, and even expect the worst.

Stupidity, AND latent and active racism have a hand in both.

Here’s the thing, in my opinion.

Life is never easy, for most of us.

But it has value. Each life has value.

Black, white, blue, born or unborn.

How do we get people to realize that?

It’s there where I usually get myself into trouble.

It isn’t by preaching wrath.

I think it’s by preaching the love of Christ.

Not Allah, or Vishnu, or Baal, or anything like that.

Christ.

It’s a shame so many people don’t know that.

It’s a shame it often seems the government is working toward criminalizing people for saying it, in one form or another.

It’s my belief that if people knew what value they had to their maker, maybe they would act, think, and feel differently.

Maybe I’m being optimistic and naïve, but I think there’s always hope. It may be that my saying that in the way I have offends you.

I’m sorry if you’re offended, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

There’s just one way to find real peace.

It may not be popular.

It may be difficult (of course it is. Morality seems more vice than virtue these days). And moral relativism is a lot easier to achieve and maintain than a relationship with Christ.

Man, I don’t know what to tell you. I only know my own pain. I only know my own hopes, dreams, and fears. I only know the sources of my own scars.

And I only know that it wasn’t until I began a relationship with Jesus that I began to find relief.

I know that with the same certainty I felt when I knew I wanted to marry my wife.

Listen, folks, you don’t have to believe me. You get to decide the route your life takes.

We are all different, in almost every way.

But we are also all the same.

We’re drowning in a deep, dark pool, and we need someone to throw us a rope. Lots of people will, but only one rope leads to rescue.

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Cling to that one with all your might.

Labels Lie

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My niece posted a meme a day or so ago that really made me think. It was about separating from people that hold us “back,” or something to that effect. I stared at it for a moment or two, and the next thing I thought of was that it wasn’t necessarily people that held me back at one time or another. It was the things they said about me that I believed.

They were not always true, or perhaps based in truth but executed in cruelty.

I don’t think many people would disagree our preteen and teen years truly are formative. That time is our proving ground for adulthood. We learn how to treat people. For all intents and purposes, we form ourselves from the looseness and carefree time of childhood into what we will become.

We form our self-images.

In some cases, this is a good thing—maybe in many cases. But I believe for every kid that comes out of their childhood thinking positive things about themselves, there is probably another who struggles—sometimes a great deal.

We hear the things people say about us, and probably more often than we should, we believe them. Sometimes even our friends can inadvertently say things that we wish we could forget.

We can’t.

I think it would be fair to say there are always “those kids” at the teenage level, who make it their mission to dismantle the self-image of kids who do not conform to their normality. That was me. Those kids let me know who I was in their eyes, and who I was not. At the same time, my brother had already got started on turning me into a bit of a mess.

For as long as I could remember, I heard things—these Iago-like whispers—that made it oh so clear I was not supposed to be here. I was an accident. They only pretended to love me. Things like that, and worse. And because I was young, I believed that shit for most of my adolescence.

Then I had the kids in my junior high who seemed to focus on my size. I had always been tall for my age, and became broad as well once I got through puberty. All my “classmates” could focus on was my extra “padding” in the midsection.

They said things like “fat,” “fat cow,” and one time the extremely eloquent “fat p.o.s.” It slowly dawned on me they were right, too. I knew it was possible to change that, but it seemed pointless. I wasn’t ever going to amount to anything anyway.

I was carrying that when I started High School. It would not be an understatement to say I was not one of the cool kids. We were not well off at all, and my clothes were never designer, and sometimes not even new. It shouldn’t have mattered, but kids can be more cruel than the Marquis de Sade so it ended up kind of making things harder.

I was bussed from Santee to Grossmont high school, and I remember how crappy the kids from that neighborhood were to those of us who could not afford the trappings of wealth many of them could, and who didn’t look the way cool or attractive people were supposed to.

That was me for sure. Overweight by the in-crowd’s standards. Average-looking at best. Generic or used clothing, for the most part. The “fortunate” kids were always kind enough to let me know where I fit in the scheme of things.

There was one time in particular that stuck with me–well, two. The first was one day early in the school year. I remember getting on the bus and feeling like the clothes my sister had purchased me looked pretty good for a change, and my new Payless shoes looked just like Adidas. I thought it might make a difference.

I remember one kid when I got off deliberately stepping on my shoes and making them dirty, while another berated the “Kmart specials” I was wearing. I was utterly humiliated.

The other time I was getting out of my car at the Parkway Bowl theater about a year after my mom died and I was wearing this rugby shirt I liked a lot and a pair of actual Levi’s I’d purchased myself. A carload of high school boys (football players, by their jackets) drove up and yelled “egg the fat kid,” which they proceeded to do. Thankfully, their aim was much worse than their probably beer-impaired judgment, and they only hit me once, right on the chest of my rugby shirt.

Egg the fat kid, indeed.

I’m not sure why, but when I saw my niece’s meme today, it made me think of the careless cruelty of my peers when I was the age we care about what people think the most. I so wanted what they had, because I thought I’d fit in. Maybe even get popular friends.

Instead I got labeled.

Fat.

Geek.

Pussy.

Fag.

I went against everything most guys my age were into.

I read—books and comics.

I didn’t watch sports (though we did play a lot of pickup basketball and football).

I was poor, and out of shape.

I was into drama, and men’s chorus (glee?).

The friends I did have cared not at all what kind of jeans I wore, how I dressed, or how much weight I carried.

They still don’t. Maybe that’s why I never really cared much for brand clothes as an adult.

And then there came a point where I stopped caring about my labels, and began to realize the person I was had little to do with them.

God did.

A couple of years ago, some executive at Abercrombie and Fitch made some comments about “fat chicks” patronizing his stores. He created a pretty big stink, and it goes without saying a lot of people were angry. It also made a lot of women (and men) reject their labels, and that is a very good thing. It might be worth adding that by all accounts, the A and F CEO is supposedly a bit of a troll in addition to his PhD in douchebaggery. It seems evident he is attempting to make up for whatever he feels he missed out on in his youth.

He’s going to fail, and no matter how expensive the clothes are he wears, in his heart he will always be the fat kid, or the poor kid, or the kid with buck teeth. There is only one way to find healing for those kind of wounds, and it is not through wanton buying sprees and callow and superficial attitudes toward people who don’t meet some arbitrary fashion standard.

If it weren’t for Jesus, I would still be trying to meet those standards and trying to please people who didn’t like me for who I was, and would never love me for who I wasn’t. It was and remains ridiculous.

Let me say to you now, if you live your life trying to please people by being cool, you’re going to fail.

It’s human nature to try and conform to what “everyone” is doing. We have an inherent need to fit in somewhere.

Unless the people you’re trying to fit in with know the real you—know your true self—than whatever it is you’re trying to do, or whoever you’re trying not to be, will amount to a handful of smoke.

Maybe you were once the fat kid.

The ugly girl, or geek boy.

Or maybe you were poor.

The stupid retard.

The bible thumper.

The whore, or the worthless junkie.

Don’t try to live down any of that stuff. Don’t let what people have said in the past—or are saying now—define you.

Don’t be subject to a label.

Don’t label anyone else.

Labels are false.

They lie.

While you may even be some of those things, you are not defined by that. It isn’t you. What you do (or have done) and who you are don’t have to be the same thing.

Let me tell you a little about the people I spend most of my leisure time with now. We’re a bunch of different folks. Stay at home moms. Property managers. Children’s ministers. Sound engineers and musicians. My closest friend is a pastor who doesn’t get to preach that often, but still helps change lives, mine included.

These people know the truth of me and love me in the purest sense—as friends.

That label I accept.

Friend. Along with husband, father, brother.

Lastly, consider there was a person designed for you to be before you got here. Your path to becoming that person is not always easy.

But I believe you get there not just by rejecting people who are holding you back, but by rejecting the many, many labels we are given who do not define who we are.

We are not:

Worthless junkies

Unloved

Forever broken

Stupid retards

Whores

Fat kids

Our true identity lies within, given to us by our maker. We are his children above all other things—sons and daughters. He does not make mistakes. Whether or not you believe that does not make it any less true.

Once you accept that label, everything changes.

People You May Know, and Bruised Reeds

Most of my adult life, something has bothered me. Enough that when I hear other people talk about it, it stirs me up quite a bit.

What’s going on with men these days?

The implication, of course, is that men don’t act like men anymore. Many see them as emasculated because they do not conform to how a whole bunch of people think a man should act.

How is that?

Based on stereotypes that have at least some basis in truth, men should be hunters, not gatherers.

They should always be willing to fight for things, and people. Yes, that does include actually fighting on occasion.

They should be strong, and strong-willed. They should never struggle with self-expression.

They should leave the nurturing up to women.

Cooking?

Nah. Maybe pancakes or barbecue, but nothing much else.

I suppose it’s true enough that men no longer conform to past ideas regarding manhood, fatherhood, and husbandhood the way a great many people think they ought to. They may lead, but by example rather than with an iron fist.

They may fight, but not always with fists (though yes, there could be a time when that sort of thing is called for. Or deserved—because there are people in life who desperately need a whuppin).

They may hunt, and provide, but not with a 30-.06 or a spear.

I guess I’ve always felt like one of those men who aren’t like a lot of others. I enjoy watching sports, but because I have a theatrical background, I also enjoy watching plays. I also like oldies as well as metal. I like Christian-themed music, too.

I like to cook, and I think I’m pretty good at it.

I don’t think I know everything, and I am not afraid to ask for directions, or help.

I have a hard time suppressing my emotions, and consequently, if things upset me in a particular way, I can get emotional.

I absolutely love talking to my wife about anything and everything. I love her and I always will. When I said ‘til death do us part, I meant it. So I hear men make mean-spirited jokes about their wives and it ticks me off.

Maybe I’m not normal—I don’t know.

A few months ago, I was on a jury panel, but I never got past the selection process, though I did get far enough to find out what the case was about: a local former teacher had been accused of 20 different counts of several child-molesting related events. It was so bad that a handful of people were dismissed from the jury because they didn’t think they could handle hearing testimony, or seeing evidence—some of which would be “examples” of various items witnesses had been shown.

Some thought they did not have the ability to render a fair opinion.

What I noticed was that when we walked in the courtroom, the defendant was standing there looking at everyone who came in with this little smile on his face. I didn’t get how anyone in that courtroom could smile.

Or how any man could refer to himself by that title and wreak the emotional havoc on these little boys emotional lives that whoever perpetrated these crimes likely did. I thought of my own limited experience with such things and the lifelong cracks in my own psyche it caused me.

I looked at that man—without even knowing if he was guilty or not—and wanted to choke him until he turned blue.

Never got the chance to be even questioned. About 40 of us were dismissed by the judge after a large enough pool was selected.

In spite of my own childhood issues thanks to some inappropriate family behavior, I wanted to be selected for the jury. I don’t know why, except to say that I wanted to be a part of justice for a person who’d been harmed in that way. Justice like I hadn’t seen myself.

Then I came home, and as my dogs and children were scrambling around the back yard, I sat on the patio and scrolled through Facebook, and I found this video, taken from a Poetry Slam competition. The young poet himself had been scrolling through Facebook much as I was, and had his childhood rapist referred to him by Facebook as “people you may know.”

Here is a video of his performance of the poem. I’ll tell you a little about what I think of it afterward.

The first thing that occurred to me was that I did not doubt this young man’s authenticity. At all. Perhaps names and situations were altered slightly (as things often are with art), but the pain he voiced from the depths of his hurting soul was as real as real can be.

There was a line where he says “no one comes running for young boys who cry rape.”

I think that’s probably true much of the time. Because that shouldn’t happen to boys. I would imagine there are people out there who think it can’t happen to boys. Because they should be able to fight back. Otherwise they wouldn’t be men.

The poet says at the end when questioned by his brother about that very thing (fighting back), “I am, right now, I promise.”

He fights back every day. He reminds himself of the people who love him, and who he loves. He reminds himself that he loves…himself. It may sound weird, but it makes sense.

Especially if you have a “wolf,” which is how he refers to his assailant. One of the worst things victimizers make victims feel is that they aren’t worthy of anything, especially love.

I may not have an assailant in the sense Kevin does, but I do have a wolf.

Sometimes, that wolf is corporeal, with hair, and bones and teeth.

Other times, he is ephemeral, with gossamer threads of my bruised soul and (formerly) broken heart hanging from his fingertips like he just brushed through a spiderweb.

Gone from my life (for the most part), but sometimes the wound opens yet again, and I really don’t want it to.

I don’t want to choke him (like I mentioned of the defendant in the trial–I’m not that kind of man), but I don’t want to have him over for a barbecue, either.

Forgive? Certainly, I can do that.

It isn’t the same as forgetting.

That’s impossible.

And while Jesus has given me life, and family, and hope, and a better way to live, I am not able to forget.

I’m not a poet (and I know it), but I believe God has given me an outlet to bare my emotions when such is necessary.

To give voice to my ire, my confusion, and to tell other people about the amazing and impossible things God has done in my life.

I do not doubt for a second, I would not be where I am today if my heart did not belong to him.

I think of two large scarred and callused hands a softball’s width apart. Between them is a torn and bruised piece of muscle—a gray lump of flesh.

The hands move about it slowly, molding, massaging. Giving warmth.

The heart begins to change. The gray fades, and eventually the heart takes on a deep, red…pulsing appearance.

Yet I am human, and sometimes the gray comes back, as it partially did when I watched the “People You May Know” performance video.

My fight is different than Kevin’s, but it is still a fight. I don’t struggle with depression anymore, not really. The battle is with my nature.

I have been delivered from my sin, it’s true.

But I am human.

Sometimes, it’s easier to go gray than ask those hands to hold your heart all the time–which would probably make things easier.

I am human. I make a lot of mistakes.

Yet because I have experienced redemption, I know that healing is there to be had.

My wounds may not go away forever, but the blood of the carpenter gives me more perspective than I ever had before I knew him.

Perspective to see that my scars aren’t going to kill me, because his wounds cover them.

Perspective to know that my wolf was probably acting out of his own pain, out of his own wounds. I could have been anyone.

Perspective to know that the comfort I received through healing of my own injuries can also comfort others, should they choose to hear and believe.

Maybe that’s even why certain things bother me. My wounds may not totally close, but that’s for a reason.

It’s how I can be used, perhaps.

Anyway, it’s how I have been used. God has also given me the ability to talk to people. I don’t know why, but they trust me, and are often willing to share fairly quickly.

Maybe that’s you, too.

Maybe you have a wolf.

Maybe you have scars.

Maybe you’ve never said his or her name out loud in context with your brokenness.

I would encourage you—no, implore you—find someone you can relate to in a personal way. A friend, maybe a pastor. It will probably be different for everyone.

Talk to them. Tear the hurt that’s blocking you from healing into pieces and talk to someone. Find a way to express what you’re feeling. I don’t know what that looks like for you. For me, those people looked like a guitar-playing, red-headed Irishman and Pastor from Pittsburgh and a Youth Minister from Yuma, Arizona.

I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Like mine, your healing will probably not come in an instant. But it will come.

I promise you.

Like the man in the video, you may have to write a poem or maybe a song every day to remind yourself why you fight.

That’s ok, and worth doing.

Let me leave you with millennia-old words from the book of Isaiah, Chapter 42:3:

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.

Always, he will bring forth justice. It would be so much easier if the justice of man and God were the same. Healing would not be such a process.

But then God wouldn’t be God. We have to trust that he knows what we need, and will give it to us.

So we have to fight back. Every day.

I don’t know about you, but for me, healing comes first.

It’s part of the fight.

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Election Year

This might come as a surprise to some of you, but there’s an election coming up next year.

No one has really made many official announcements yet. There haven’t been any debates, and not a single vote has been cast.

Still, if you follow the news, you have a fairly good idea who the candidates will be. I could name the likely candidates here, but I am not going to.

That’s kind of my point.

They may be politically famous. They might take really good pictures, and have a lot of terrific ideas about how things need to change. They might even have plans on how to facilitate that change. Maybe they even have a catch phrase all ready for when their campaign officially begins.

But consider this: they are—before all that stuff—just people.

They aren’t angels, OR demons.

They are men and women. Fallible men and women. Susceptible to their counsel, wise and otherwise. Susceptible to both media and public perception of themselves as candidates and people. Often even subjects to their own hype; up to and including the current CEO of the USA.

They make good decisions. Bad decisions. Sometimes NO decisions.

That is because they are people.

Like you.

Like me.

So all of this vitriol people spew this time of year when an election is coming is really the only thing about the whole process that is truly non-partisan. And it’s sickening.

Don’t demonize people because they don’t feel the same order of importance for things you do. Chances are, they aren’t willfully trying to destroy the country. They are simply trying to do the best they can subject to their own belief structure and counsel.

Maybe it isn’t the same as yours. That’s ok.

Likewise, do not overly laud them for often simply agreeing with something that is essentially basic common sense (or basic human decency). Or for that matter, saying they want to do something they may or may not be able to actually do.

Now, that is not to say we have to capitulate our collective wills to things we don’t agree with, or that contradicts our standards for living. I’m not saying that at all.

I’m just saying, can’t we—as grown men and women—find a way to disagree without falling into the political equivalent of kids pushing each other around on the playground and calling each other names?

For crying out loud—trying to explain the political process to your kids is more difficult and even embarrassing than having “the talk” with them.

For my part, that is why I try to just vote based on what I know to actually be true about candidates rather than what I hear. That is not always a two party thing.

So it’s ok to disagree. It’s ok to have a different opinion than your friends or neighbors politically. We don’t all have to vote Vader/Palpatine in 2016.

Just don’t be a jerk about it.

Just Stop It!

According to a whole bunch of online newspapers and other news-sites, including Reuters and about a dozen or so others–two police officers were shot last night in Ferguson, MO, during a protest outside the Ferguson Police station. The Chief had recently resigned, and these folks were going bananas–though not as bad as during the Darren Wilson trial.

The police were on riot control, and were shot from a distance that no one seems to agree upon. One took a bullet in the shoulder, the other in the face. Both men are alive, though in serious condition.

These two officers were not fighting with angry and large young men. They weren’t choking anyone. They were likely standing still, and waiting to do their jobs in the event the protest “escalated.”

Clearly it did.

I get the injustice these people feel, though I suspect few to none of the protesters have done their due diligence regarding what they are carrying their signs for. Certainly none are mentioning (or taking into consideration) the commonality these events resulting in the deaths of African-American men all share.

They were fighting police–not really the wisest course of action.

These men and women who have maybe a second or two at best to make a decision that affects so many, including their own if they do not act accordingly, relative to what’s going on around them.

Don’t scrap with police. Sort it out later. Wouldn’t it be better to sort out the details later?

And sure, black lives matter. But so do police lives.

All lives matter.

And that hands up thing? From what several different reports show, that isn’t what happened.

But anyway.

I just don’t really understand how people can act in protest when they don’t really even know the whole story about something. I think it would be a fair statement to say many only know what they’ve heard, and feel they are protesting out of righteous indignation and a legitimate search for justice.

Which is not shooting policemen in the face when they are standing still and not fighting anybody.

How will that instigate change in their communities?

How will that find justice for anyone?

Also, how is shooting someone because they’re wearing blue any different from what they’re protesting; shooting someone because they’re black?

The world really does make me sad.

Clearly, there are still racial issues which need to be addressed. I think that goes “both ways.”

We learn so much from culture alone–whether it’s white people or black people we are talking about. We learn how to act around certain types of people–or how those people expect us to. We learn how and what to fear. We learn how to hate.

That’s for all cultures.

And it’s bull.

If we learned it, we can unlearn it.

The question is, how do we get the ball rolling?

Not with violence, from either “side” of the issue.

Not by fostering a social climate of fear and prejudice, nor one of hatred and a desire for Wild West-style retribution.

All lives matter.

All lives.

All.

For pity’s sake, stop all this nonsense. Everybody just breathe for a second.

Is it really worth killing anyone?

When is Enough Enough?

I don’t always agree with the things said by Glenn Beck, but this seemed an apt enough way to describe those crazy kids of the Islamic State, especially after their latest adventure:

“It is time to wake up. This is the enemy of all mankind. Make no mistake, this is a global jihad and it has everything to do with “their” religion and their fundamental interpretation of the Koran.

Jews, gentiles, straight, gay, black, white, western, eastern, atheist, Christian or Muslim — it is time you recognize what you are up against, look it square in the eye and call it by its name: evil and a plague on mankind”

Burning a man alive–a fellow Muslim, I might add–in a cage is brutality of a level not easy to comprehend. I have heard people say IS is no different than any other persecution done in the name of a god. Often, the crusades are mentioned as a way to take Christianity to the same level as ISIS.

Not possible, I don’t think. And one big reason why is THEY’RE DOING IT RIGHT NOW. The Crusades happened nearly a thousand years ago. IS is employing every means at their disposal to get their message out–their comprehension and use of “Western” media outlets is extraordinary.

But it doesn’t legitimize their cause, or their desire for an Islamic caliphate. Sure, the methodology of the Islamic State is not representative of all Islam. They are radicals, without a doubt. Yet I would submit to you that “mainstream” Islam needs to not only issue strongly worded statements, but take strong action against these folks.

I’ve read recently that people are criticizing Chris Kyle for referring to insurgents as “savages,” but I would say to you that if anyone at all is deserving of that label, it is the members of IS.

Savages.

And the enemy of all mankind.

This is probably going to get a lot worse before anything changes. I don’t know what the answer is, but I am fairly certain it will involve the use of many different projectiles and combustive materials.

I think in this instance, force will need to be applied until there is no more resistance. Problem is, the specifics of this are difficult. How to distinguish one group of people who hate Westerners from another. Perhaps the answer lies in those people of Islam who do not wish to be lumped in with these beasts.

Words are not enough. There needs to be action as well, because talk is very cheap.

Think of me what you will. Yes, in this matter I am decidedly conservative. Perhaps even right wing.

I’m just not interested in turning the other cheek anymore in the sense that pretending the upscaling savagery of these people’s demonstrations of hate and evil are anything but that.

Evil.

The religion of peace, in my opinion, needs to crap or get off the pot. These IS folks need to be destroyed. It’s what they understand.

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