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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"Apparently Intelligent?"

On a number of occasions in recent days the media when reporting on the failed terrorists attacks in London and Glasgow referred to the alleged perpetrators as "intelligent", "apparently intelligent" and "well educated."

Now this was no mere description but in the context of the commentary an expression of surprise - as if intelligence or a good education and terrorist actions (in contrast to, say, planning) were incompatible.

This seems to be a common error in liberal societies to assume that only the deranged, the intellectually feeble or the impressionable resort to premeditated violence. How this view can be maintained in the light of the long history of human intelligent malevolence is the real surprise here.

However, when we consider the prevailing assumption here that education and material enrichment promote civilised values, the contrast with a Christian analysis of the problem becomes startlingly clear. In the Christian assessment of human bestiality it is the contrast between humility and arrogance, wisdom and knowledge, impassioned rage and repentant transformation that brings understanding. One has to know how ordinary people, whether intelligent and well educated or not, can so easily be corrupted when the conditions are right ... and the conditions are "right" at this time.

We face outworking of a long process in the post colonial period. We have victors and victimhood, a clash of cultures and aspirations if not civilisations. We have very intelligent extremely well educated trouble makers who want to destabilise the whole world in the pursuit of a global Islamic theocracy. This is not some little local problem. This is a struggle for the soul of the planet ... and most can't see it, or refuse to see it.

It goes without saying (or should) that this battle, therefore, is subtle, spiritual and deep. It is not to be engaged only with natural vigilance and cunning but also with a guileless pursuit of justice, peace and freedom. One wonders really whether our rulers realise this, whether they understand the true nature of the struggle here. I really do hope so. Much depends on it.


Andreas said...

I'm thinking about what was common ground for the Christians in the kingdom of the Romans and I feel strange that these things are not even known today. It is a matter of education and we have the responsibility of making these things known to the people. As far as terrorism is concerned, we have to demonstrate the links between the human soul and acts of violence, we need to show that the causes are deep and that they are not cured with University education or high IQ scores. But I am not that optimist that we will do that. It seems to me that only a few nowadays are bearers of what was once the Christian common ground, and that these people are on the margins of our societies.

JLB said...

Your Pittsburgh (American) cohort here......I am once again amazed at the forthritness, eloquence and subtle Christian overtones from the Orthodox clergy (in this case Father Gregory). How much was said in such a short and poignant read!!!

Realizing that the British have just changed leadership of her country - this really hit home to me - even as an American. We as a nation just recently celebrated our Independance Day, well, from all of you!! HAHA! What struck me as odd was that no one gave any creedence to it. I have at least one relative that has died for this nation for the namesake of freedom - and yet only my home and two others out of roughly 300 homes even so much as took the time to hang up an American flag!! And this neighborhood is FILLED with highly educated, (mostly Roman Catholic - please pray for them) Americans!! At least three of the people have graduated from ivy league schools - two from Notre Dame (my husband is one - yeah Scott) and one from Brown. The others, including the wives all have at least Bachelors degrees. Can you guess the homes that placed flags outside?

So many of my friends (Christian or not) are so UNAWARE of the true nature of this beast!!

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12 (King James Version)

I was recently talking with an aquaitance that mentioned how scared crapless she is about the Muslims. I could only reply that she, like I, have been blessed with four BOYS. Four Christian boys that God has given us to train and grow and mold and model Christ's behavior. We both longed for a girl in there somewhere, but a good friend told me how blessed I have been - Christ needs strong MEN in his Kingdom - both to get the Word of God preached and to DEFEND it. Men that will realize how critical, crucial, and SUBTLE this is.. how much it touches EVERY aspect of our lives...freedom is not free...I think to Ecclesiates where there are seasons to life - even a time for war (physical and spiritual).

And yet the article still reverberates with the here and now - a clashing of cultures. Having so much freedom that it is abused, taken for granted and adulterated by political correctness that in the watered-downed, dumbed down version of Christianity that is being taught at a core level in the mainstream (Protestant) church - we have lost our salt at both a political allied level and a lifestyle in Christ.

My God Almighty whose Son is Jesus Christ have mercy on us!!

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