If You’re Gonna Condemn Terrorism—Please Condemn All Of It

I despise bullies. I always have.

As a young boy,  when I scanned the hallways at school my eyes instinctively sought out the underdog and the marginalized. I pushed back against those who brokered in intimidation. 

Into adulthood I’ve retained the same burden for those who are being victimized by individuals and groups and structures and systems, and I’ve tried to speak boldly into those places of injustice. 

That’s why I hate terrorism.

Terrorists are simply bullies with more experience, bigger weapons, and a greater capacity to damage.

Wherever and whenever they surface, the terrorists’ M.O. is always the same: inject fear into the hearts of their victims with a swift and brutal violence designed to disrupt their routines, alter their behavior, and wound their psyches. The terrorist purposefully creates chaos and then exploits the confusion in its unsuspecting targets caught in the middle.

Terrorists are prolific and powerful and at work in this very moment around the world and right in your backyard, and sometimes they use more subtle means than vest bombs and Kalashnikovs:

For decades, the LGBTQ community has been continually and violently attacked by a Conservative Evangelical Church that has vilified, bullied and dehumanized them; literally forcing them from their faith communities with little regard to the collateral damage of their incendiary rhetoric. The gay community is regularly the target of church-birthed, religion-fueled, theologically justified hatred.

Sometimes the terrorists stand behind pulpits.

Currently our American President and his administration is proposing a budget that would severely reduce all safety net programs for the poor, the sick, the elderly, and those who comprise the most most vulnerable of our nation. This after already attempting to eliminate healthcare for 24 million people, reduce longstanding EPA protections, and cut funding for the Arts.

Sometimes the terrorists live in White Houses.

In our American cities and suburbs, young people of color have been routinely brutalized by corrupt segments of law enforcement; some of the very men and women charged with protecting and serving them. Emboldened by a sense of privilege and blinded by inherited, institutional bigotry they exploit their power and position, bringing an ambush of fear and violence where it should least be expected.

Sometimes the terrorists wear badges.

The United States has the highest gun ownership rate in the world and the highest per capita rate of firearm-related murders of all developed countries; making mass shootings, accidental gun deaths, and domestic killings a daily occurrence, yet the NRA continues to use its influence to squash any efforts to stop the bleeding in homes and schools and movie theaters and shopping malls, instead choosing to glorify the gun.

Sometimes the terrorists have lobbyists. 

Tens of millions of children are sold off into the commercial sex trade each year; losing their innocence in order to line the pockets and feed the perversions of men who view them as little more than disposable sex toys. These are often people of great influence, financial means, and political position who abuse each to broker in boys and girls.

Sometimes the terrorists own businesses.

Every day, women are brutalized by boyfriends and husbands who deem them as property; subjecting them to all manner of violence and intimidation and feeling quite justified in doing so, buoyed by a misogynistic sense of privilege and entitlement in a culture that so often reinforces both.

Sometimes the terrorists wear wedding bands.

Countless children live each day in homes marked by threat and fear, with parents whose contempt for them (and themselves) manifests itself in verb assaults, physical abuse, emotional violence, and neglect; acts of domestic terrorism whose damage is inflicted at point-blank range.

Sometimes the terrorists share your table.

The bullies are everywhere and they all thrive on silence. As you read these very words, far too many people find themselves on the receiving end of violence that seeks to place terror in their hearts and it is working. The question becomes, are we willing to see it all?

The face of terrorism is tragically diverse, and if we are to fully condemn it we need to be consistent in calling out all of it or we become complicit. In the face of hatred in the world we cannot afford to be selectively outraged, or to have our hearts broken only for that which feels convenient or familiar or obvious. We cannot identify evil simply when it fits our politics or preferences or the stark black and white narrative we most desire to be true about the Good and Bad Guys.

If the circle of our compassion only extends to those who look and talk and worship the way we do, we aid and abet the many offenders who count on such apathetic head-turning, whether it be individual, organizational, or cultural.

When it comes to the terrorism in this world in any form, silence is participation.

So today, we who seek goodness and who affirm the value of all life should stand as one and condemn the terrorists in Paris and Kenya and Beirut and Syria and Missouri and Charleston and across the planet; whether they brandish bombs or wear badges or stand behind pulpits or run universities or wear hoods or protest funerals or shoot up schools or work alongside us.

We should call out hate groups and political powers and religious institutions and social constructs which nurture and incubate violence, whether they are half a world away or in the very places we live and study and worship.

We should continually scan the landscape of our world for those who are daily victimized by fear; those who feel helpless and powerless in the face of evil and be compelled to stand with them, even if the perpetrators look a whole lot like us—or the victims very little.

Yes, let us get about the business of exposing and condemning and dismantling all bullies regardless of where they do what bullies do.

All terrorism threatens all of us.

All terrorism targets Humanity.

May we defend all Humanity.

 

 

219 thoughts on “If You’re Gonna Condemn Terrorism—Please Condemn All Of It

  1. Reblogged this on Exploring Alura and commented:
    In my humble opinion, it is far wiser to let someone say it best than to try to make my own words on the topic. This man gets it right regularly and without vulgarity or callous assumptions.

    Thank you again John for saying what I cannot eloquently find a way to say. Peace for one, peace for all.

  2. Reblogged this on Exploring Alura and commented:
    In my humble opinion, it is far wiser to let someone say it best than to try to make my own words on the topic. This man gets it right regularly and without vulgarity or callous assumptions.

    Thank you again John for saying what I cannot eloquently find a way to say. Peace for one, peace for all.

  3. For the last four decades sick the riots in New York City on the subject, LGBT folks have repeatedly used violence and terrorism to change our society. I see zero difference between you and any of the bullies you claim to despise.

    None at all.

    This very post is designed to instill fear in cisgendered parents, in a hope to destroy family structures that you see as being oppressive.

    How is that any different than the Caliphate using terror to disrupt economics that they have come to see as oppressive?

      • May I second that WTF??? Every time I read something about ‘violent gays’ somehow committing terrorism on poor helpless Christians (keeping in mind that many, many LGBT folks are Christian themselves) I get a fit of the giggles as I spew soda all over my keyboard. I’m much more terrified of ‘Christian’ white supremacist bigots with guns than I am of LGBT folks or ISIS. I’m much more terrified of ‘Christian’ bigots of any type than I am of LGBT folks or ISIS. Are there bad apples in any bunch? Probably. But I’d wager there are far more ‘terrorists’ among the ‘Christian’ bigots in this country than among the LGBT community by far.

      • It is the truth. The truth you don’t want to look at because of course, you’ve left behind anything good in civilization to create a new reality.

    • I think I know why John has not blocked you….because better than anything John can say, you prove his point again and again and again with your hate and intolerance.

      I feel sad for you living in a world where with every cry for equality that erupts, you hear a cry that threatens your very existence. That calls for justice become for you a call that could destroy the way you see and experience the world. What a lonely, frightening place to live.

      I would genuninely suggest that you seek counselling, I can’t imagine what hurts you have experience to lead you to such a place.

    • “Kenney was dismissed in 2012 over what he says were bogus charges concocted by Krieger that he had illegally sublet his school-provided apartment and left students unsupervised.”
      The NY Daily News
      It does help to look a bit further before biting on something just because you like it.

  4. For the last four decades sick the riots in New York City on the subject, LGBT folks have repeatedly used violence and terrorism to change our society. I see zero difference between you and any of the bullies you claim to despise.

    None at all.

    This very post is designed to instill fear in cisgendered parents, in a hope to destroy family structures that you see as being oppressive.

    How is that any different than the Caliphate using terror to disrupt economics that they have come to see as oppressive?

  5. For the last four decades since the riots in New York City on the subject, LGBT folks have repeatedly used violence and terrorism to change our society. I see zero difference between you and any of the bullies you claim to despise.

    None at all.

    This very post is designed to instill fear in cisgendered parents, in a hope to destroy family structures that you see as being oppressive.

    How is that any different than the Caliphate using terror to disrupt economics that they have come to see as oppressive?

    • Which planet, exactly, are you living on, Theodore? The LGBT community does not use violence. And the violence that existed in 1969 at the Stonewall incident (not really a large enough scale to call a riot) was provoked by the actions of the police, and compared to what the community had been enduring at the hands of the vice squad (bullies in their own right) for decades prior to that, the Stonewall response was quite measured and restrained. But I’m sure you have no idea what was going on back then, what happened in NYC two or three times a week for decades, prior to Stonewall, and I am even more sure that you don’t care. You have a reversed view of the world where the victims are the oppressors. What I can’t understand, though, is why you would want to come to a blog like this and let the world see your ignorance about LGBT people and your distorted world view. Why not, instead, get an actual education about what went on, and get to know some LGBT people as individuals?

      • I want LGBT people to see what they’re doing to everybody else. It hasn’t been about freedom since before Stonewall- it has been about forcing your views on everybody else and using disgust, violence, and exclusion to get your way.

        • Only in your distorted view of reality, Theodore.

          It remains about freedom and equality. In more than half of the states, a person can be refused employment or fired, refused rented housing or evicted, simply for being gay. You’d squawk a different tune if it were you without equal rights and protections.

      • People are now being fired for being heterosexual and having families. Especially if you tried to defend that family by giving to Prop 8. The tables have entirely turned now- gay people have made more money than straight people for 20 years now.

        • No two ways about it: you’re out to lunch. No one is being fired for being heterosexual (although it could happen. Deny protection on the basis of sexual orientation, and straight people aren’t safe, either), nor are people being fired for having families.

          I am sorry you think the Constitution isn’t worth anything. May I strongly suggest you seek another country of residence, perhaps a theocracy without a Constitution would be more to your liking.

          While I’m on a roll, I want to follow up on a question someone else asked you, regarding traditional marriage. I, too, would like to know exactly which of the forms that have been legal since Europeans first arrived in the western hemisphere you think is the correct one:

          First, we have traditional Native American marriage, which is what the first settlers discovered when they arrived here. It existed in two forms: heterosexual monogamy and homosexual monogamy.
          That didn’t sit well with the Europeans, so as soon as they set up their own governments, they restricted marriage to one form: one white man and one white woman. Legal recognition was not extended to any other unions.
          After the civil war, all the states were forced, many reluctantly, to grant legal recognition to the marriage of a non-white man to a non-white woman. In the US territory of Deseret, another form of marriage had legal recognition: one white man and more than one white woman. That practice only ended so Deseret could enter the union is Utah.
          After the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, all 50 states were forced to grant legal recognition to the marriages of a man and a woman not of the same race. That decision was widely opposed and criticized, particularly in the South. In fact, Alabama refused to rescind their law against interracial marriage until the turn of the millennium, even though they hadn’t been able to enforce it in decades. (While that is appalling, not nearly as appalling as the fact that Mississippi only ratified the amendment ending slavery in the past few years. Guess some there were hoping that traditional institution might also be restored.)
          With the latest Supreme Court decision on marriage, this continent has come full circle, back to the full marriage equality that existed when Europeans first invaded… I mean colonized… the land: any two, consenting, unrelated adults, regardless of race or sex, may marry. And that is a definition of marriage that existed in a large part of the world prior to European invasion…. oops, colonization.

          So tell us, Theodore, which of these versions of marriage is the right one? Or would you prefer to go back to an earlier form, such as when women were property and could be purchased for cattle? Or when it was not only legal, but customary, for a man over 40 to marry a girl of 14? (That was the custom among the Jewish people in the first century. Think of that the next time you see a nativity scene. What was considered normal and traditional then would have gotten Joseph arrested in most of the US, and he would have been a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.) Is that form of marriage more to your liking?
          The problem with the “good old days,” Theodore, is that for a great many people, they weren’t so good, particularly for minorities.

        • Oh, well… you have a link to a story in a tabloid…. what could be more authoritative than that? Other than perhaps the National Enquirer.
          Tell me, do you believe everything you read in the tabloids? Like the Elvis sightings, alien contacts, etc?

        • No, could happen. You haven’t checked any further, have you?
          “Kenney was dismissed in 2012 over what he says were bogus charges concocted by Krieger that he had illegally sublet his school-provided apartment and left students unsupervised.”
          The story is obviously in dispute. The “left students unsupervised” part appears to stem from him leaving two kids behind after a sporting event.
          Even IF his claim is true, “People are now being fired for being heterosexual and having families” is arrant nonsense. One possible incident does not make a trend or a commonality.

      • New York Post is a tabloid to you, New York Times is a tabloid to me. Says more about our politics than about reality, don’t you think?

        • “New York Post is a tabloid to you, New York Times is a tabloid to me. Says more about our politics than about reality, don’t you think?”

          Uh… no. Definitely says more about your perception of reality. I think most would agree.

      • Dear Reverend Carey–with all due respect–there have been many times that gays have used violence and intimidation. The attack in 1989 on the Blessed Sacrament during Mass in St Patrick’s in NYC in 1989 for one. More recently, a young priest in NYC was spat on by gay pride parade participants, shortly after gay marriage was announced as legal. Gays have certainly been treated uncharitably by some Christians, and of course I don’t believe for a second that ALL gays behave (or approve of) the behavior I spoke of above. But on both sides–the bad behavior of some causes a bad feeling towards entire groups.

        • These are very few, isolated incidents, triggered as a response to equally hateful incidents by the church. These are the exception, not the rule. There are FAR more incidents of heterosexuals using violence against gay people… and we’re not talking about spitting.

    • It is a false claim that a healthy family can be destroyed by public opinion or the actions of others. The Gay riots were not about terror or bullying. It was about making noise and rebellion because they were not accepted in their society for being who they were born to be. Words such as pussy, faggot, queer, pansy, mamma’s boy. These were used by the bully in school who prayed on these types. Then there was the harassment by Police and laws meant to punish someone for doing what came natural to them in the name of God or a moral code. Now days, we have the far right who pity party themselves and take up the cross to save the world from Gays. These dysfunctional people (Caliphates if it could be used) who do not see their own sorry excuse for their man or womanhood focus on what they consider to be lesser then themselves. These people who are in themselves the attackers. Defending a cause that is not theirs to defend. Using righteousness as a weapon. Bringing in rumors and misinformation such as your comment “This very post is designed to instill fear in cisgendered parents, in a hope to destroy family structures that you see as being oppressive.” People who lurk in disguise as a thoughtful thinker but do nothing but cause distress to others who are here seeking understanding, guidance and healing. Why you continue to be here and comment so often only shows me that you yourself are not yet ready to understand anything that is written here. This is not an open forum for you to speal out your negative thoughts. There are many other blogs that share your views. The “cisgendered family” started the decline in the late 60’s with divorce. Being gay in a family is actually starting to reverse that trend of separation as families come together to protect their love ones who are and were looked down upon. Change is here and your opinions have been heard long enough.

      • “The Gay riots were not about terror or bullying. It was about making noise and rebellion because they were not accepted in their society for being who they were born to be.”

        ISIS would say the same about Christians. I see no difference.

        “Why you continue to be here and comment so often only shows me that you yourself are not yet ready to understand anything that is written here. ”

        And with that, you prove my point, that your side cannot exist without censorship and terrorism.

      • Dear Theodore, the goal of Isis is to kill and divide people, to exclude everyone other than those who share their belies and even those who share their will be oppressed and controlled- so they may exploit others. The LGBT movement is and always has been about the desire to join mainstream society and have equal rights and access to jobs, protection under the law and peace just like everyone else. There is such a vast difference between the two it is blatantly obvious. You are either ignorant or just creating false information to make your own brand of division happen between people.

        What is your goal Theodore Seeber? Be honest.

        • Joining mainstream society means following mainstream society’s rules. That is hard for anybody to do, it is doubly hard for somebody who has a mental illness such as autism or homosexuality, which makes the rules of society not make any sense.

          The LGBT approach has been to change the rules and terrorize anybody who dissent from the change. That is not joining mainstream society, that is destroying mainstream society.

          Do you understand the difference?

      • I could go on Theodore, about jobs: having safe environments to work in so you can go to work stress free and be productive and feed and clothe yourself, so you don’t lose a job because someone found out you are LGBT, about dignity: being able to die with your loved ones around you or when you are sick your partner is able to care for you, or if your are walking down the street you can hold your same sex partner’s hand without being punched in the face. Those examples of what some of the LGBT I know have experienced, but we all know it is much worse than that for others historically, in pockets of ignorance in western nations and around the world in other countries where LGBT people are abused, beaten and unjust laws are made against them.

      • There is no such thing as a safe environment for heterosexuals anymore. Stick up for cisgendered marriage- get fired. Have kids, oops, now you’ve got divided loyalty, get fired. Try being Catholic if you think LGBT is hard.

      • Theodore in my mind there are a lot of things about society that is moving towards good inspired by breaking unjust rules. We have to inspire Christians and non Christians to continue to invest in coming together to stand against injustice. Love is displayed through unity and expressed by acts of peace.

      • Kathy, rules are just. Breaking rules is unjust. Until you understand that- all your attempts to change society will be evil.

        • You wrote: “rules are just. Breaking rules is unjust.”
          Very black and white view of things. And not an accurate view. Rules are not always just. History is filled with unjust rules, from ancient times right up until the present. (Your own church made some of those unjust rules. How about one example from the middle ages, which forced synagogues to allow the bishop to come in and lecture the congregation once a year? Or do you think there was any justice in that rule?)
          When a rule is patently unjust, resisting and breaking that rule becomes justice. And without that kind of justice, your church (and the early Protestants) would still be burning heretics at the stake, African Americans would still be slaves, women would be property with no right to vote, work, hold office, etc. and Jim Crow laws would still be in effect. Gay people in America would still live in terror that their lives would be ruined by someone finding out about them. The police would still be making weekly raids on bars and nightclubs that cater to LGBT people, based on idiotic laws like the one NYC had that made it illegal to serve alcohol to homosexuals, or based on nothing other than hatred, line up the patrons, harass and abuse them, confiscate their IDs, arrest them on trumped up charges, nearly always dropped in a day or so… just long enough that the person might lose his/her job for not showing up while in jail, and the, despite the fact that charges were dropped, publish the names of those arrested in the newspapers. And while I have no doubt that you would love to see the last things still happening, I can’t help wonder if you are really longing for the good old days of Catholicism when your church held political sway, could burn Protestants, Jews, Muslims, alleged heretics, and gay people, or conduct your Inquisition to torture such people until they were willing to confess to anything just to stop the pain, and then go ahead and kill them anyway. Remember the good old days, when your church could get away with slaughtering any population that refused to convert? And when they could torture anyone whose conversion they doubted?
          Remember the good old days when priests molested altar boys, and the boys were too afraid of the priests to ever tell anyone? Or when nuns beat kids senseless in class, and the parents didn’t do anything because they had their own memories of being beaten by nuns and were still afraid of them? (I went to Catholic school in the 60s, so I know what it was like… and it was even worse in the 40s when my parents went. Thankfully, we had the sense to see that any church that behaved like that was not representing Christ, and got out, starting with me at the age of 14.)
          Vatican II was the best thing to happen to the Roman Church since the days when Luther had delivered a slap on the face to point out their numerous sins and illegal activities. But the Catholic Church has never been one to admit guilt readily. So they excommunicated Luther for telling the truth… and only afterward did they admit that there were errors in their actions, and began the Counter-Reformation to institute some of the reforms Luther said were needed. But they never did ask him to come back or apologize for excommunicating him for being honest. And of course, it wasn’t until the 20th century that they admitted they were wrong in their argument with Galileo and apologized to him. Recent popes have done wonderful things, like admitting the church’s history of blatant anti-semitism, and have apologized for it. And a pope like Francis has more in keeping with the Spirit of the Gospel than any pope in years, even more than John XXIII. If there is hope for Catholicism, it is in a man like him. What might ultimately destroy it is militant Catholics trying to undo Vatican II and reimpose the darkness the church people kept people in for centuries. I remember the darkness: the Catholic church I attended as a boy held onto it long after Vatican II, still teaching things that were no longer official Catholic teaching (not to mention unbiblical). I remember being taught that I should never read the Bible, because only a priest had the power to interpret it. That’s nonsense, unbiblical, and not church teaching. I remember being taught that only Catholics went to heaven (or Purgatory, or Limbo in the case of unbaptized babies), and everyone else went directly to hell. That’s not church teaching, nor is it biblical teaching. That’s medieval darkness thrust upon the world by a church bent on obtaining more power than the rulers of the various nations, a church that had long ago lost sight of the simplicity of the gospel message and the spirit of it.
          Now, you haven’t so far answered any other important questions I and others have asked, such as which of the various forms of “traditional” marriage you think is right, or where Christ said a single word about contraception, but I am curious to know which of these ignoble stages of Catholic history you would like to see restored?

          • Better that age of faith, when things were black and white and certain, than the chaos and destruction the sexual revolution has wrought by destroying faith and family alike.

            The Chaos of Protestantism proves why individual interpretation is anti-christian.

            Revolution is always evil and worse injustice than the law overturned.

            The correct place for homosexuals is the insane asylum.

            • How about the Christianity of the first century, a simple message of love and faith, before it was corrupted by the RCC in the 4th century? Your church changed things it had no right to (Gal. 1:8-9), and the pages of history are filled with stories of your church, and later Protestants as well, persecuting and slaughtering anyone who dared to stand for the original teachings of the church, without all the ceremony, tradition and creeds you people added after the first century. Do you really think you have a chance when you challenge the doctrines of the bible with your man-made theology?

              As for homosexuals in an insane asylum: you have no credentials to determine if someone is mentally ill. I worked in the psych field for years, and I wouldn’t pretend to have the authority to make such a determination. But I do know this: in order to be considered a mental illness, something must meet a number of very specific criteria. Those criteria haven’t changed. Homosexuality meets NONE of them. Not a single one. Therefore, homosexuals are not mentally ill.

              However, since you invoked mental illness, having an obsessive, irrational hatred, or intense dislike, or crippling fear of a minority is considered a mental illness. Guess what! You qualify!

              • The first Catechism was the Didache, The Way of the 12. It was written approximately 110 AD. Everything in it is Roman Catholic. The apostasy is a Protestant Myth.

                And using sexuality for non-procreative reasons is mentioned, as the Way Of Death. That is what homosexuality and contraception is, following darkness instead of light. You made the decision to turn your back on Christ and be Protestant. You get what you deserve from that decision.

                • The Didache is a fraud. It contains references to practices that history documents didn’t begin until at the very earliest the third century. It was written later, and deliberately dated earlier to make it appear that it reflected early church teaching… the church needed something like the Didache… people who were still teaching the original teachings were challenging Rome on their alterations of original doctrines. A little fraud here and there got you through.

                • “The apostasy is a Protestant Myth.” No, Theodore, it’s apostolic truth. I can list a dozen Catholic teachings off the top of my head that are not found in scripture and which conflict with scriptural teaching. Your church claims to be the church Jesus founded. But His church still teaches what He and His apostles taught… not the Christo-pagan hybrid created by the various creeds and the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church. The reason the RCC forbid its people to read scripture for centuries is because they knew full well that if people read it, they would see that the church had deviated from it to a great degree.

                  “And using sexuality for non-procreative reasons is mentioned, as the Way Of Death.”
                  Mentioned by whom? Jesus never said that. Nor did any of the prophets or apostles. Sexuality without intent for procreation is recorded in the Song of Solomon. Your not standing on scripture, but man’s tradition. BIG difference.

            • Mr. Seeber, You are a very strong defender of the “status quo” and the idea that all revolutions are evil and result in conditions worse than those overthrown. Can I assume that this general rule also applies to the American Revolution? Would you have been a Loyalist and been sympathetic to Ben Franklin’s son? England, as I recall, at the time was not exactly a big fan of the Vatican. Were Washington et al the real traitors in your delusional world? Virtually all of the Founding Fathers were outspoken in their anti-Catholicism so maybe it does make sense for you to have been against the Revolution and its leaders. You and George III could have shared a room in the asylum.

      • In many ways the rebellion of King Henry VIII (in support of DIVORCE!) was the start of the sexual revolution- and led to the American Revolution, or as I put it, the triumph of the Free Mason Cult.

    • Dear Mr Seeber,
      May I suggest that the freedom of religion in your Constitution is there to enable you to follow your chosen religion in freedom? Just that. What it does not give you is the right to insist that others follow your religion or that your religion should dictate the laws and practices within your nation. In other words, it offers many other people freedom FROM religion. I find it amazing when I read of right-wing American politicians who believe that the Constitution was built on Christian foundations, that are being eroded by all this ‘equality stuff’. I would suggest they did a little reading of the original documents.

      LGBT people have been struggling for years against discrimination and violence perpetrated against them. They are not forcing their views on you. Your views are your own. They are seeking equal treatment under the law in the civil realm. The fact that you may believe that they do not deserve equal treatment is not a sufficient argument to deny that equal treatment.

      • The constitution hasn’t been worth the paper it is printed on since they gave first citizenship rights to invented corporations in 1873.

        Catholics had to fight for their rights just like everybody else; my grandfather could remember a time when being a Catholic meant crosses burnt on your front lawn.

        There has never been “equal treatment” under the Constitution, it was written as an exclusionary document to begin with.

  6. For the last four decades since the riots in New York City on the subject, LGBT folks have repeatedly used violence and terrorism to change our society. I see zero difference between you and any of the bullies you claim to despise.

    None at all.

    This very post is designed to instill fear in cisgendered parents, in a hope to destroy family structures that you see as being oppressive.

    How is that any different than the Caliphate using terror to disrupt economics that they have come to see as oppressive?

    • Which planet, exactly, are you living on, Theodore? The LGBT community does not use violence. And the violence that existed in 1969 at the Stonewall incident (not really a large enough scale to call a riot) was provoked by the actions of the police, and compared to what the community had been enduring at the hands of the vice squad (bullies in their own right) for decades prior to that, the Stonewall response was quite measured and restrained. But I’m sure you have no idea what was going on back then, what happened in NYC two or three times a week for decades, prior to Stonewall, and I am even more sure that you don’t care. You have a reversed view of the world where the victims are the oppressors. What I can’t understand, though, is why you would want to come to a blog like this and let the world see your ignorance about LGBT people and your distorted world view. Why not, instead, get an actual education about what went on, and get to know some LGBT people as individuals?

    • It is a false claim that a healthy family can be destroyed by public opinion or the actions of others. The Gay riots were not about terror or bullying. It was about making noise and rebellion because they were not accepted in their society for being who they were born to be. Words such as pussy, faggot, queer, pansy, mamma’s boy. These were used by the bully in school who prayed on these types. Then there was the harassment by Police and laws meant to punish someone for doing what came natural to them in the name of God or a moral code. Now days, we have the far right who pity party themselves and take up the cross to save the world from Gays. These dysfunctional people (Caliphates if it could be used) who do not see their own sorry excuse for their man or womanhood focus on what they consider to be lesser then themselves. These people who are in themselves the attackers. Defending a cause that is not theirs to defend. Using righteousness as a weapon. Bringing in rumors and misinformation such as your comment “This very post is designed to instill fear in cisgendered parents, in a hope to destroy family structures that you see as being oppressive.” People who lurk in disguise as a thoughtful thinker but do nothing but cause distress to others who are here seeking understanding, guidance and healing. Why you continue to be here and comment so often only shows me that you yourself are not yet ready to understand anything that is written here. This is not an open forum for you to speal out your negative thoughts. There are many other blogs that share your views. The “cisgendered family” started the decline in the late 60’s with divorce. Being gay in a family is actually starting to reverse that trend of separation as families come together to protect their love ones who are and were looked down upon. Change is here and your opinions have been heard long enough.

      • “The Gay riots were not about terror or bullying. It was about making noise and rebellion because they were not accepted in their society for being who they were born to be.”

        ISIS would say the same about Christians. I see no difference.

        “Why you continue to be here and comment so often only shows me that you yourself are not yet ready to understand anything that is written here. ”

        And with that, you prove my point, that your side cannot exist without censorship and terrorism.

      • I could go on Theodore, about jobs: having safe environments to work in so you can go to work stress free and be productive and feed and clothe yourself, so you don’t lose a job because someone found out you are LGBT, about dignity: being able to die with your loved ones around you or when you are sick your partner is able to care for you, or if your are walking down the street you can hold your same sex partner’s hand without being punched in the face. Those examples of what some of the LGBT I know have experienced, but we all know it is much worse than that for others historically, in pockets of ignorance in western nations and around the world in other countries where LGBT people are abused, beaten and unjust laws are made against them.

      • Theodore in my mind there are a lot of things about society that is moving towards good inspired by breaking unjust rules. We have to inspire Christians and non Christians to continue to invest in coming together to stand against injustice. Love is displayed through unity and expressed by acts of peace.

      • In many ways the rebellion of King Henry VIII (in support of DIVORCE!) was the start of the sexual revolution- and led to the American Revolution, or as I put it, the triumph of the Free Mason Cult.

    • Dear Mr Seeber,
      May I suggest that the freedom of religion in your Constitution is there to enable you to follow your chosen religion in freedom? Just that. What it does not give you is the right to insist that others follow your religion or that your religion should dictate the laws and practices within your nation. In other words, it offers many other people freedom FROM religion. I find it amazing when I read of right-wing American politicians who believe that the Constitution was built on Christian foundations, that are being eroded by all this ‘equality stuff’. I would suggest they did a little reading of the original documents.

      LGBT people have been struggling for years against discrimination and violence perpetrated against them. They are not forcing their views on you. Your views are your own. They are seeking equal treatment under the law in the civil realm. The fact that you may believe that they do not deserve equal treatment is not a sufficient argument to deny that equal treatment.

      • The constitution hasn’t been worth the paper it is printed on since they gave first citizenship rights to invented corporations in 1873.

        Catholics had to fight for their rights just like everybody else; my grandfather could remember a time when being a Catholic meant crosses burnt on your front lawn.

        There has never been “equal treatment” under the Constitution, it was written as an exclusionary document to begin with.

  7. Reblogged this on survivor road and commented:
    Terrorism … the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal. Yeah … more pronounced than you might think … unfortunately 🙁

  8. Pingback: If You’re Gonna Condemn Terrorism—Please Condemn All Of It. | Signs of Life & Searching for the North Star

  9. It had never occurred to me that “Terrorists are simply bullies with more experience, bigger weapons, and a greater capacity to damage.” Wow – so true in all the situations you describe. I see it every day in my LMFT practice. Once again, thanks for using the gift of words God has given you.

  10. A question that may stir up some controversy, but:

    Why is it that if a radical Islamist sets fire to a Christian Church or a Jewish synagogue, it is an a act of terrorism – but when a Pro-Fetus movement person set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic, it is NOT an act of terrorism? Are not both designed to, to use John’s words, “inject fear into the hearts of their victims with a swift and brutal violence designed to disrupt their routines, alter their behavior, and wound their psyches”?

  11. While I can not speak for all I can speak for me. As a Christian I try to follow Gods instructions I do not believe that my thinking Homosexuality is a sin…mean I hate anyone. Iknow many and have never treated them hatefully. Thats like saying because I am a vegetarian which I am not means I hate people who eat meat . The bible is clear on many moral behavior I believe the bible I choose to follow it. Ifsomeone is choosing to live outside of those morals that is their decision. You can not say people are hateful because they dont agree with you. You can’t cut parts out of a book and rewrite it the way you want it. You either choose to follow it or not. Hate is not what you call disagreeing. On the other hand forcing your sexual preferences or trying to force
    religious bodies to change is wrong Freedom of Religion is important. God is real to me and I choose to do my best to live within his rules. It goes both ways .

    • I wish to God that I had the gift of words to reply to this as John does, and many of you others do. Eunice’s post makes me want to bang my head against a wall.

      • Well. I do not really get that from Eunice’s post. All I hear her saying is what my mother-in-law used to say before she died. “People are going to do whatever they are going to do.” She is just saying that she thinks homosexuality is Biblically wrong and that it would not be her choice for herself. What other people do is their own business.

    • Eunice, look up the part on your Bible where it says, “The sins of Sodom were these…..”. Homosexuality is nowhere mentioned on that list.

      • There are many places in the bible old testament and new testament that tell us about homosexuality. I am not on here to defend my believes I am here to say I believe Gods way is the only way to find true peace. If you are seeking his truth he will show you. I am not a hateful person because I believe what it says in the bible it very clear and you can’t pick pieces out its a whole book. ALL or nothing theres no luke warm , middle ground. But that does not make me hateful or mean 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.Its in there. You can choose what way you walk and I do no condon violence against anyone but trying to change what it says won’t work. 1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5…..I Timothy 2:1.2.3

        • Eunice, regardless of what you see in the various English translations of the Bible (which, by the way, frequently contradict each other), it is only what is recorded in the original languages that really matters… because that is God’s word. Anything else is only a translation of it, subject to human error and deception.
          That having been said, there is NO direct mention of homosexuality in the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible, and when there is indirect mention, it is not in any way negative.
          http://hoperemains.webs.com

    • The problem being that there are lots of other rules around ‘morality’ in the Bible that you choose not to follow. There are all sorts of rules around working on the Sabbath, divorce, slavery, being near people who are unclean (including menstrating women) that are addressed in the Bible that I expect you don’t adher to. You are picking and chosing what parts to uphold just as much as anyone else is. I am glad that you don’t ‘treat’ LGBTQ people any different, and I am sure you don’t think you do, but saying they are immoral because they don’t believe the same is you is being a bully and diminishing their experience.

      • How would you know what i do I am not perfect and I make mistakes but I don’t defend my mistakes. I am not rewriting the bible like i said you choose your path God is the judge in my eyes You either believe or dont.
        standing firm in my right to follow his rules is not bullying . Telling me i have to agree with there choice is bullying they make their decision.

      • You are right Eunice, I don’t know you. And of course you are welcome to believe what you want. But every gay person I know would take offense at being called immoral and feel like you are using religion and your beliefs of how God will judge to make them less than they are an deny their right to love whom they want. In my mind, that is being a bully.

  12. Why because I dont think the same as you? Enough said.. I am not here to argue or judge I am a kind person and I am aware of bullying as a child I experienced it alot at school. As a Christian I found peace. Following God is not Terrorism. Love to all may you all find God’s peace I myself have not terrorized anyone and I will continue to live within God’s morals.It is my choice you can make yours. Back to the real world now not computer land.

    • Yeah Eunice I have thought a lot about this as well. I used to think that it was a neutral stance as long as I didn’t hate the person it’s okay to believe anything about them in the name of religion. Such as but not limited to: the doctrine which teaches the absolute depravity of human nature, the doctrine of predestination, the idea that someone could lose their salvation because they don’t follow the correct standards of Christian conduct etc… But because I had conflict with those religious beliefs I wrestled with them and came to terms with them over time and view them in a much different way now.

      We often believe in things which during times of peace seem harmless but as soon as a threat arise it is much easier to fan the flames of contempt in people who already believe homosexuality is sin. You see we have been primed to think of sexuality in terms of sin rather than in terms of a naturally God-created way to express love and romantic attraction. In LGBT people we would experience that in the same way as anyone else. Wanting to care for a beloved one, wanting family, wanting home. Are those things sinful? So there is more to discuss and discover about this I think and I hope you will keep yourself open and welcoming to those who are LGBT around you. Wishing you well Eunice!

      • The only God Given way to express sexuality is procreativery in the bonds of a sacramental marriage. Which leaves out all forms of contraception including homosexuality.

        • “The only God Given way to express sexuality is procreativery in the bonds of a sacramental marriage. Which leaves out all forms of contraception including homosexuality.”

          Your view only, not rules for mankind. And a significant percentage of Christians and Jews would wholeheartedly disagree with you.

      • Well Ted. Let me give you a Middle Tennessee classic from my childless and desperate aunt and uncle in the 1960s. Right or wrong, this was on the streets of Tennessee everywhere soon after the birth control pill became widely available. Here is the quote:

        “I don’t care what kind of phony theology the Pope dreams up. All them damned Roman Catholics want is to deny family planning so they can build their population worldwide and use their sheer numbers to overwhelm us and dominate us.”

        I doubt that any of us would say that now, but you have to remember that they were raised in a Protestant world where they felt obligated to pay homage to Martin Luther, and the pastors of their churches spewed venom and railed against the Pope and Catholics as minions of Satan—not really a church—but a worldwide religious system of evil. This was usually followed by: Christianity is a faith. Roman Catholicism is a religion.”

        Oh Lordy. How times do change—for the better sometimes.

  13. 1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5…..I Timothy 2:1.2.3

    A final thought

  14. And what institutions ‘incubate’ violence? The ones that don’t believe like you.

    When our world gets confronted with blatant and obvious terrorism, its amazing how we enlightened ones turn the table and make ourselves the bad guys.

    I repeat, wrong belief (according to you) is NOT the same as what happened in paris! Just stop it.

    If you believe I should agree with your viewpoint on homosexuality or social justice or anything for that matter, then convince me. Don’t call me a terrorist!

    • Hey not sure why that hit a sore point in you but I think John’s post spoke to me as making a connection between being a bully and a terrorist because both instill fear through violence, intimidation, and threats. The level of violence does not matter. I know a child hood friend who used to call her dad a ‘terrorist’ because he made everyone feel afraid and insecure when he was around even her mom. So there are connections between the two but obviously some ways creating fear and division among people are more subtle and sinister than others

  15. And what institutions ‘incubate’ violence? The ones that don’t believe like you.

    When our world gets confronted with blatant and obvious terrorism, its amazing how we enlightened ones turn the table and make ourselves the bad guys.

    I repeat, wrong belief (according to you) is NOT the same as what happened in paris! Just stop it.

    If you believe I should agree with your viewpoint on homosexuality or social justice or anything for that matter, then convince me. Don’t call me a terrorist!

  16. This is so much nonsense. The Muslim world and ISIS in particular despises homosexuals and the whole LGBT agenda. They won’t hesitate one second to slaughter them with everyone else.

    • Well, to be exact, ISIS will not be satisfied until the entire world is under the Caliphate. Just as the LGBT community will not be satisfied until traditional marriage is stamped out.

      • Dear Mr Seeber,
        Please could you give a reference or a link to any LGBT organisation or individual the US or elsewhere who is advocating the deletion of heterosexual marriage from the civil or the religious realms? Are they doing so, whilst advocating for the recognition of same-sex marriage? That would seem to be somewhat self-defeating.

        And please tell me which “traditional marriage” they plan to stamp out. Marriage has changed so much over time. Old Testament marriage was a very different creature from that in the modern West. So please could you explain what you think is at the core of marriage. I am assuming that you will say it must be between one man and one woman. My reply would be “why must it?”

      • Marriage equality has existed in Canada for 10 years…so far there have been no efforts on the part of anyone to stop straight people from marrying. I think you are letting your imagination get the best of you.

        • Except of course the jailed priests, the heterosexuals fired by Costco, and all the victims of the various so-called Human Rights Commissions. Heteronormal families are surpreseed in Canada and there is NO religious liberty there any more.

          • You are so seriously delusional. You really should seek professional help. Canada is not jailing priests, people aren’t firing people for being heterosexual, and the heterosexual family is not in trouble. And please, spare us your tabloid sources. The New York Post has been blasted more than once for trying to pass of sensationalism as news. They are no better than the Enquirer… do you also believe that rag?

      • No Kat. Ted is futile. Ted. Why would any homo want to stamp out traditional marriage? Even the homos know that we need new people to keep the trains and buses running. Please man–a little common sense.

        • Wendy, You are wasting your time and emotional energy attempting to reason with Mr. Seeber by using wisdom, intelligence, education, experience and/or common sense. He is teflon coated with the absolute certainty of his brand of Catholicism. Do you really have any doubt that he is no fan of the current Pope Francis? Much too liberal for our Mr. Seeber. He is a “true believer” in the most unfortunate and close minded version of that term. You might as well try reasoning with a block of wood. It is possible for merely ignorant people to learn. Mr. Seeber is beyond ignorance.

      • Yes, Richard, I fear you are correct. While I like to think that there is room in everyone to grow, I think that Mr. Seeber is unwilling to even consider a different view point. Who knows, maybe he just has few people to talk to and this is a way to get attention. Or maybe he is sitting at home laughing that he has pulled all our strings and he was able to hijack the discussion. I kind of wish John would block him since everyone spends so much time arguing with him, you wonder what conversations might occur without him.

      • Having read your many comments, I can only come to the conclusion that you personally will not be satisfied until the whole world is under a world government based on your variant of pre-Vatican II Traditional Roman Catholicism.

        Once you get rid of ISIS and all gays – who’s next on your “hit list”?

        Protestants?

        The Roman Catholic Church led by Pope Francis (from your comments, I get the impression you believe them to be apostates)

        Buddhists?

        You seem to be a jihadist – just from a different religious position.

      • Wendy, Catholics like me haven’t been welcome in Canada for over 20 years. It has been a long time since religious liberty was possible in Canada. I’ve seen the effects of your “different viewpoint”- your dictatorship of relativism- on Canadian Catholics, and the effect has been terrorism.

      • I am not sure what you mean by a ‘Catholic’s like” you. There are a lot of Catholics of many ilks in Canada and they are all welcome as are people from all religions. Now, if you are referring to people who preach hate and discrimination, you are right, those people are not welcome here. Westboro Baptist Church members were denied entry into Canada because they are a hate group. If you belong to a ‘Catholic’ hate group (not that I have heard of such a thing) then no, you would not be welcome here.

  17. That was an extremely crass comparison.

    You’re not the man I thought you were. You are just the same as the evangelical pastors I grew up with. You just have a different set of sacred cows, that’s all.

    And I know you’ll just shrug off that remark as one of an ignorant homophobe, because like them, you don’t take correction well.

    Goodbye.

    • So, you think it is okay for a husband to terrorize his own household, beat his wife, and burn the skin of his children with cigarettes—and a really good and right Christianity is one that always just looks the other way on everything? My goodness child. Hurting people matters. killing people matters.

  18. That was an extremely crass comparison.

    You’re not the man I thought you were. You are just the same as the evangelical pastors I grew up with. You just have a different set of sacred cows, that’s all.

    And I know you’ll just shrug off that remark as one of an ignorant homophobe, because like them, you don’t take correction well.

    Goodbye.

  19. John, I admire most of your writings but do take offense at labeling all gun owners as terrorists. I have own guns from the age of 10 and never shot at or threatened anyone. Look at the murder rates in Mexico, where there is only one gun store (government operated) in the entire country. Look at the murder rate in Venezuela, Colombia and other South American cointries. 250,000 people have been killed in Syria alone over the past few years. Africa had around 20 MILLION killed over the past few decades. Consider the rTe of gun ownership in the country and realize that 99.999….% of gun owners are not a threat. In FACT, law-abiding gun owners have a better record than the average LEO. Blaming all gun owners and the NRA for crazy people commiting murder (usually with stolen or illegally purchased guns) is like blaming all Southern Baptists for the actions of the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church members.

    • Hi Dwane. I grew up in the American South and have lived my whole life here. My parents were of the same generation as the people in this movie clip—and my own mom had these kinds of clothing from that time stored away in an old cedar chest. I can guarantee you that the man talking is a 1930s Southern Baptist—as are most of the people in this room:

      So, I need to ask you a question Dwane: “Is you is or is you ain’t a goin’ to sell yer gun clection?”

  20. people are getting awfully upset over the use of the word terrorism which means – the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. i think people are too hooked on the terrorist ‘caricature to see how we as people use intimidation and fear to control people or push laws through. And let’s be frank do you really think guns will exist in Gods kingdom in any capacity ?

    • I don’t think the violence of homosexuality and disordered heterosexuality will exist in God’s kingdom in any capacity. Using and abusing others for sexual reasons was justly taboo for a reason.

    • Theodore I think the problem is the way words are used. For example hate and love can be obscured in denials of what people truly experience. It is very difficult to say you don’t hate LGBT while at the same time painting them as vile as you do. You can’t have it both ways. Be honest.

      • Just because their actions are vile, does not mean THEY are vile. They are Imageo Dei- Children of God- being as harmed by the brokenness of the sexual revolution as much as everybody else born since 1960. Homosexuality attacks even homosexuals.

      • As well Theodore I don’t know anything about your experience but experiences color our bias and I can’t help but think you had bad experiences. I remember the angry rallies in the 70s and 80’s but those resonated with me because I identified with the anger gay people felt from the oppression and isolation Things have changed a lot and there has been healing So there can be a peaceful inclusive way forward for all of us

        • The attacks have only gotten worse and MORE angry and violent since 2004. There is no healing, the problem has only gotten worse, and now I see no possibility of healing left, only denial that the problem exists.

      • The marginalization and destruction of parenthood. The vandalizing of churches. The derision of heteronormative parents as mere “breeders” to be marginalized. The gay rape gangs attacking school children. Transgender gays hitting on people in the workplace.

        And don’t you dare say a word about it, or you’ll be fired as “homophobic”. Ostracized. Just ask Brendan Eich. No, the war has only heated up since homosexuals decided that taking government out of marriage would not be enough- that civil unions for heterosexuals would not be enough.

        The war has been long- but rejoice! Your side has won. You have the power of government and business on your side.

      • Ted what is the source of your reading materials on this subject? It appears fairly clear to me that you have been reading some organization’s propaganda. Is it the Family Resource Council literature?

        • No one source. Lots of different sources, including many left wing periodicals that gloat over such topics.

          It is not just homosexuals, the battle goes back over 200 years. Malthus was wrong, but the theologies he created have been ruinous.

      • Theodore, your concern with homosexual has crossed into the realm of obsession. It is really remarkable how you see homosexuality in absolutely everything. John’s blog spoke of so much more than the treatment of gay people…I really think you need to step back and ask yourself why you have decided you need to demonize this specific group of people. I suspect, however, that if it wasn’t gay people, you would find someone else. It is very frightening to hear and makes me think of how the Jews were blamed for everything going wrong in Nazi Germany. I really don’t know you and this may be harsh, but the rhetoric you spout is the rational I would expect to hear from a terrorist trying to justify his/her crimes. You would really benefit from the support of some mental health support.

  21. people are getting awfully upset over the use of the word terrorism which means – the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. i think people are too hooked on the terrorist ‘caricature to see how we as people use intimidation and fear to control people or push laws through. And let’s be frank do you really think guns will exist in Gods kingdom in any capacity ?

    • I don’t think the violence of homosexuality and disordered heterosexuality will exist in God’s kingdom in any capacity. Using and abusing others for sexual reasons was justly taboo for a reason.

  22. With our twin towers going down in 01 and all of the other blatant acts of terrorism that msy ultimately lead to a third world war. I have to question the way this put. John was right in eberything he said. I question none of it. But there are 2 types of terrorism one is on the international scale and the other on a personal scale. In some ways they are linked but they are not the same. My heart gies out to the people of Paris as much as it dies to those who are abused disenfranchised bullied and all other types of evil. The politicians will take care of the internatinal stuff (God help us). It is up to us to deal with the rest. As the ssying goes “Evil thrives when good men do nothing”.

  23. Oh my goodness! I’m reading through the comments here and just continue to find myself doing serial face-palms.

    And shaking my head.

    At the end of his post John said something very important:

    Note: You do not need to agree with all of the areas I have defined as terrorism here
    (and there are certainly others which you may be aware of or sensitive to). That terrorism exists in many less obvious environments and forms is the heart of this. I encourage you to look for it and combat it where you see it.

    When I find myself in disagreement with another, one of the first things I try to do is listen more carefully and hear that individual’s true voice. What is it that I am in disagreement with? Why do I disagree? Are there parts of that individual’s position I actually do agree with . . . things that can serve as starting points for meaningful conversation? If I find myself outraged, what exactly am I outraged about? When we truly listen we can have a meaningful conversation. If I am not really listening I am only going to scream out my own biases across a chasm of disconnection . . . and the only thing I am likely to hear is my own voice echoing back from the distant hills.

    Remove the specific examples from John’s post. Forget about homosexuality, forget about gun laws, forget about racial and economic injustice . . . at least for a moment. John’s point was really not about any of these things specifically (see the blockquote above).

    An act of violence or the threat of violence against another or others in an attempt to modify behavior through fear is wrong.

    Period.

    If we say we are opposed to terrorism, and yet we are willing to excuse the same behavior in furtherance of our own social, political or economic agendas, how are we any different than those who excuse such acts when carried out for reasons they might feel justified by their own political, religious, social, or economic beliefs . . . beliefs that I may not share?

    Terrorism is terrorism.

    We end the bloodshed, the pain, the grief, the loss when we insist on seeing ourselves in “the other”. I cannot condone one type of violence and then act horrified when I see violence reflected back.

    All the other stuff, well . . . we can discuss that meaningfully when we are willing to listen to each other and speak from our hearts, out of love rather than fear.

    Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?

    Peace.

    • Amen, UUMjeff. ALL of my above was really to point out that one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist- and that nobody here really believes “When it comes to the terrorism in this world in any form, silence is participation.” No, we all actively participate IN terrorism- for our favorite causes.

      • Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Ted.

        I really do try to avoid the temptation to knowingly participate in violence of any sort. That does not mean that I fail to stand up for causes I believe in, and you and I will likely differ on some of those. What I will never do is condone the use of violent force to achieve an end. (An exception is immediate self-defense.) When I see violence being used in furtherance of an end, even an end I support, I do speak out against it because I must.

        I can’t pretend to tell you or anyone else what you or they should or shouldn’t believe outside of a few very basic assumptions required to have a civilized society. I can tell you how I see it, I can tell you what works for me. You can do likewise, and either of us may leave the conversation convinced or unconvinced. The most important thing is that we leave respectfully.

        We can continue the discussion another day.

        Violence and terrorism (the use of violence to coerce behavior) is an attempt to end the discussion for once and for all.

        And regardless of the motivation it is always wrong.

        Live in blessing.

      • I see no civilization left at all. The rules that created a civilized society have been destroyed to the point that being civil is no longer possible.

  24. Mr.Seeber, I will refrain from referring to you as ignorant. You simply see things through a very different filter than most of us who follow this blog. That filter makes you seem to be an citizen of a very different universe..a “fact free universe”. You are quite correct in terms of your assertion about historical bias and prejudice against Catholics in this country. Maryland was perhaps the only exception to generalized hatred of Catholics generally and the Vatican specifically. Things have changed however. The early Scotus had no Catholic justices for example but it is now well represented with 6 of the 9 members. It is generally advantageous to be as honest as possible in the attempt to make your case. In your references to the Gregory Kenney v. Trinity School case in NY, you have made assertions as if they were established facts. The idea that Mr. Kenney was fired because he was straight and a family man is nothing but a claim made by his legal counsel . It is in the “he said, she said” phase. Nothing of the kind has been established. The case is less than two years old and you have no other case to point to where such a claim has, in fact, been established. This is an employment discrimination case and each year there are thousands of discrimination in employment cases filed. Less than 3 % of them prove to be successful. Mr. Kenney is a white native born male and is not old enough to claim age discrimination. Of course this is his claim. What other protected category does he fit into? If he wins ultimately, he will have met the burden of PROOF required. Until then, his and your claims are just that…claims and nothing more. Perhaps we might wait until the case is concluded before we attempt to use it as evidence in support of our bias?

    • I am a member of a different universe. One where being Politically Correct has not changed reality. One where I see all the destruction caused by the contraceptive mentality. And I will always oppose it. That makes me not fit to live in your world, simply because I do not give in to the modernist delusion of sexual orientation, or the play acting of Protestants who ignore Christ for political purposes on either side. Leading souls to hell for profit does them no favors – Calvin and Luther were wrong, but their bad theology led to Satanic America

      • John Chapter 1 and Genesis Chapter 1. Got to have a traditional interpretation though- which is what Protestants in general have lost.

        • I’ll bet you’re one of those with the archaic and inaccurate view that any Christian who is not a Catholic is a Protestant, right? Guess what: I’m a Christian. I’m not Catholic. I’m not Protestant. (And not a member of any of the eastern Orthodox churches, just in case you recognize their existence.) And the church I belong to still teaches doctrines your church abandoned 1700 years ago, doctrines clearly taught in the Bible by the apostles.
          So if you want to talk about what Protestants have lost, why not start with what Catholics have lost?

  25. Mr.Seeber, I will refrain from referring to you as ignorant. You simply see things through a very different filter than most of us who follow this blog. That filter makes you seem to be an citizen of a very different universe..a “fact free universe”. You are quite correct in terms of your assertion about historical bias and prejudice against Catholics in this country. Maryland was perhaps the only exception to generalized hatred of Catholics generally and the Vatican specifically. Things have changed however. The early Scotus had no Catholic justices for example but it is now well represented with 6 of the 9 members. It is generally advantageous to be as honest as possible in the attempt to make your case. In your references to the Gregory Kenney v. Trinity School case in NY, you have made assertions as if they were established facts. The idea that Mr. Kenney was fired because he was straight and a family man is nothing but a claim made by his legal counsel . It is in the “he said, she said” phase. Nothing of the kind has been established. The case is less than two years old and you have no other case to point to where such a claim has, in fact, been established. This is an employment discrimination case and each year there are thousands of discrimination in employment cases filed. Less than 3 % of them prove to be successful. Mr. Kenney is a white native born male and is not old enough to claim age discrimination. Of course this is his claim. What other protected category does he fit into? If he wins ultimately, he will have met the burden of PROOF required. Until then, his and your claims are just that…claims and nothing more. Perhaps we might wait until the case is concluded before we attempt to use it as evidence in support of our bias?

  26. Excellent. I really love that you tied together terrorism/bullying in all it’s forms. While I think variations between them are in the degree of people impacted, you are right that the purpose is to cause fear and chaos and uncertainty. Whether it is a child who lives with an abusive parent and is never certain what action will cause a violent outburst, or a student walking past armed guards hoping that no one brings guns into their school to shoot everyone, or a city full of people wondering whether their next trip to the market will put them next to a suicide bomber, the purpose is the same. Thank you for writing this.

  27. Excellent. I really love that you tied together terrorism/bullying in all it’s forms. While I think variations between them are in the degree of people impacted, you are right that the purpose is to cause fear and chaos and uncertainty. Whether it is a child who lives with an abusive parent and is never certain what action will cause a violent outburst, or a student walking past armed guards hoping that no one brings guns into their school to shoot everyone, or a city full of people wondering whether their next trip to the market will put them next to a suicide bomber, the purpose is the same. Thank you for writing this.

  28. Okay. With all that said and read, I am going to go dark for a minute with a prediction:

    I have been watching the news out of Paris closely on CNN. ISIS has hit in Russia/Egypt (airliner), Turkey, and Paris, France. Whoever is planning these attacks has a bizarre and dark sense of humor that goes back to September 11, 2001 when Al Aqaeda intentionally chose that date because it coincides with the American emergency call number 911. The attacks in Egypt and Turkey had no such dark and bizarre attack date selection because they are Islamic countries. The dark, bizarre, and humorously appropriate dates are reserved for the most hated Europeans and Americans. In one way or another, ISIS had generally warned Europe about the recent impending attacks before hand—but with no electronic chatter and no specifics. They chose Friday 13 for the coordinated attack on Paris because it is a traditional bad luck date.

    During World War II, the Japanese could not figure out something. Three cities in the country were not subject to allied conventional bombing when all others were: Hiroshima and Nagasaki were two of them. The allies chose not to bomb those three cities so they could see the full range of devastation caused by the atomic bomb—without having to sort out conventional bombing damage from it after the fact.

    Although we are the biggest enemy of ISIS here in the United States, ISIS has been stone cold silent about threats of attack on the United States—and they have left us alone so far—and no electronic chatter or specifics—that is until today. Today ISIS put out a film stating that they have direct plans to attack Washington, D.C. soon, and they said “just like we attacked Paris.” This made me start thinking about this bizarre radical Islamic mastermind who is picking dark, culturally significant dates for attacks—and then it hit me—I know when the next attack date is for us here in the United States. It will be Friday, November 27, 2015—better known as Black Friday. They want to give Americans a Black Friday that will forever be remembered as a truly Black Friday. The Washington, D.C. tag is a feint—a decoy of misinformation—in hopes that Homeland Security will focus its attention there. Instead, they plan to do just like they did in Paris—only on a wider national scale. They plan to hit crowded shopping malls, discount stores, and other shopping centers at about the same time of the day in different American cities. The attacks will come at an already predetermined time and at already predetermined locations by terrorists who are communicating by nonconventional means The attacks will again be with automatic weapons, suicide bombs, grenades, and so forth just like in Paris—and in the most crowded shopping places they can find on the first day of Christmas shopping season—the one day out of the year when most Americans crowd together more than at any other time in the year—Black Friday. That is my prediction because the attack has to come very soon to fit in with the overall pattern of the ISIS attack frequency that has occurred since the Russian airliner was bombed in Egypt. BLACK FRIDAY.

  29. Okay. With all that said and read, I am going to go dark for a minute with a prediction:

    I have been watching the news out of Paris closely on CNN. ISIS has hit in Russia/Egypt (airliner), Turkey, and Paris, France. Whoever is planning these attacks has a bizarre and dark sense of humor that goes back to September 11, 2001 when Al Aqaeda intentionally chose that date because it coincides with the American emergency call number 911. The attacks in Egypt and Turkey had no such dark and bizarre attack date selection because they are Islamic countries. The dark, bizarre, and humorously appropriate dates are reserved for the most hated Europeans and Americans. In one way or another, ISIS had generally warned Europe about the recent impending attacks before hand—but with no electronic chatter and no specifics. They chose Friday 13 for the coordinated attack on Paris because it is a traditional bad luck date.

    During World War II, the Japanese could not figure out something. Three cities in the country were not subject to allied conventional bombing when all others were: Hiroshima and Nagasaki were two of them. The allies chose not to bomb those three cities so they could see the full range of devastation caused by the atomic bomb—without having to sort out conventional bombing damage from it after the fact.

    Although we are the biggest enemy of ISIS here in the United States, ISIS has been stone cold silent about threats of attack on the United States—and they have left us alone so far—and no electronic chatter or specifics—that is until today. Today ISIS put out a film stating that they have direct plans to attack Washington, D.C. soon, and they said “just like we attacked Paris.” This made me start thinking about this bizarre radical Islamic mastermind who is picking dark, culturally significant dates for attacks—and then it hit me—I know when the next attack date is for us here in the United States. It will be Friday, November 27, 2015—better known as Black Friday. They want to give Americans a Black Friday that will forever be remembered as a truly Black Friday. The Washington, D.C. tag is a feint—a decoy of misinformation—in hopes that Homeland Security will focus its attention there. Instead, they plan to do just like they did in Paris—only on a wider national scale. They plan to hit crowded shopping malls, discount stores, and other shopping centers at about the same time of the day in different American cities. The attacks will come at an already predetermined time and at already predetermined locations by terrorists who are communicating by nonconventional means The attacks will again be with automatic weapons, suicide bombs, grenades, and so forth just like in Paris—and in the most crowded shopping places they can find on the first day of Christmas shopping season—the one day out of the year when most Americans crowd together more than at any other time in the year—Black Friday. That is my prediction because the attack has to come very soon to fit in with the overall pattern of the ISIS attack frequency that has occurred since the Russian airliner was bombed in Egypt. BLACK FRIDAY.

  30. An excellent post all around. I’d like to add one fact for you to ponder. While the US has one of the highest rates of gun-related homicide, we also have one of the lowest overall homicide rates. Bullying is wrong no matter the location or method. The same is true of murder.

  31. An excellent post all around. I’d like to add one fact for you to ponder. While the US has one of the highest rates of gun-related homicide, we also have one of the lowest overall homicide rates. Bullying is wrong no matter the location or method. The same is true of murder.

  32. Hi John, as you wrote in your note at the end of the post, we may not agree with the areas I have defined as terrorism. I am an introvert and spend a lot of time on the internet. It is also part of my work. What gets me sometimes is the careless use of words. examples would be “awesome” and “epic”. I look at the debates where people are arguing and the descriptive words that are being used to label each other and I am starting to think we do not know what words mean any more.

    Although I love most of your posts and understand the seriousness of this post, I believe we should not use words that are not relevant to situations. Let’s call a spade a spade.
    If a community bully, they are bullies.
    Not terrorists.
    People can be offenders, wrongdoers, culprits, evildoers, perpetrators, thugs, villains, violators, criminals, crooks, murderers, psychopaths, socio-paths, lawbreakers, traffickers, etc.
    Not terrorists.
    They can be corrupt, deplorable, illegal, immoral, unlawful, vicious, crooked, evil, vicious, abominable, amoral, atrocious, depraved, heartless, heinous, immoral, indecent, mean, unethical, unprincipled, vile. That does not make them terrorists.
    Their actions can be deplorable, shameful, reprehensible, disgraceful, inexcusable, unforgivable, unconscionable, unpardonable, outrageous, monstrous, shocking, scandalous, wicked.
    That does not make them terrorists.

    Terrorism is the use of violence and threats to intimidate and coerce people to instil in them a state of fear and submission for political purposes.
    Terrorism is the use of violence and threats to make political statements for political purposes.

    When we start to carelessly use words there may come a day when our diluted use of words fall on desensitised ears and our message will never be heard again.

    • Nestusv you really made me think and I have a few thoughts about the points you made. The thing that people don’t think about very often is etymology. Words change over time and have an evolution of sorts. In order to best describe an experience or thought people will use a word in an unconventional manner to enhance the impact of one’s point they are trying to communicate. Then after a period of time of using that word in that way it becomes commonplace. So the word doesn’t get diluted at all in fact it creates new meaning. I think in this case the word, terrorism, is not being used completely out of context but a connection is being made which I think is profound. And it is helpful because people are already desensitized. So, I beg to differ that what is being done here is diluting the word. And, words have been around for a long time. They may get over used and we get tired of hearing them but there is always a new word to step up and take its place while that word goes out of style and comes back into style two decades later.

      For a long time terrorism has had a strong connection to religious fundamentalism. Yet even when Christians or nationalists have committed an act of terrorism within our borders we neglect to remember those incidents and continue to focus on the stereotype. So we fail to recognize the people within our own borders who act as terrorist. Timothy McVeigh comes to mind or the fundamentalist preacher with political connections is another. I am bothered by the lack of responsibility churches take for instilling fear within people with regards to hell and damnation. One of the things I was introduced to as a newly attending Christian by a fellow church goer was a video of people being tortured by fire in hell. I have gone to churches where preachers yell, and lean over podiums and slam their fists. After one particularly gruesome sermon- we had to sit through- I looked in the eyes of the other parishioners afterwards and they had that glazed look of being shell shocked. I assume it was to instill fear and to motivate/control us. And for what purpose? In the cases I have spoken of, the sermon, was a lead up to getting the congregation interested in a political lobby.

      The personal is political. Politics is not removed from us, politics is not only about how we vote, or about Capitol Hill or the spin doctors. Politics is about how we live. I suppose there is a difference between a bully who is trying to get your lunch money and a bully who is trying to get a law passed through intimidation or threats. But what makes those threats and intimidation work- is a society already primed by fear. I think we have this idea in our heads that terrorism is that caricature of a religious fanatic wearing a vest when terrorism can be covert as well. It can be the echo chamber of the news reel pumping out rhetoric and priming the mind with images that cause anxiety and fear. Those in positions of power know how to leverage an anxious electorate. Perhaps we should question the information out there in the media more than we do.

  33. Pingback: This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

  34. Pingback: This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

  35. Having read and re-read John’s post as well as all of the comments, I have not seen anyone comment on my initial reaction to this post– which was,

    This is how I can combat the helplessness I feel. I cannot stop the terrorism in Paris or the Middle East in general, but maybe, just maybe, I do something about the terror one of my neighbors or their child feels. I know firsthand the fear and depression the victim of abuse feels. The constant “walking on eggshells”, the feeling of dying a slow agonizing death of the spirit, the death of beauty and joy. I know the pain of being a social misfit, never really feeling like “part of the gang” (in the old informal sense). I know the anxiety of not knowing when or how I would eat again. But I can contribute to the local food bank. I can offer a ride to the person walking. I can simply smile at people! I can do small things to reduce the fear and anxiety of those around me, and perhaps those small things, multiplied by the millions of people in this world who still hold good will in their hearts may make a dent in the conditions that give rise to the bullying, violence and terrorism in the first place.

    Especially in this holiday season, I am determined to spread “peace and good will among men”, So let it be.

    • Rev. Carey, Thank you for your long summary of the dark history of.the Catholic Church. Mr. Seeber is quite well read and undoubtedly is aware of everything in your bill of particulars but he is impervious to criticism of pre-Vatican II Catholicism and is in a perpetual state of denial or has adopted an attitude of “so whiat”. You are quite right in your assumption that Mr. Seeber detests Pope Francis and, in fact, all Jesuits because of their willingness to consider change and to challenge tradition regardless of how dark it may seem to rational people who have not overdosed on the kool-aid. He will not even bother to deny his distaste for the current Pope and for Jesuits in general. They “make him sick” in his own words. This pathological resistance to change explains much of the basis for the absurdity of most of the positions which Mr. Seeber has taken in his many posts here and elsewhere. He will not change. He will continue to attempt to sweep back the tide with a whisk-broom and will continue to rage against the light, Mr. Seeber’s “arc of history” does not bend toward justice…it does not bend at all.

      • Almost correct. The problem being that there is no justice in the modern Americanist heresy. No light. ONLY DARKNESS. Every change since before the Protestant Rebellion has been negative.

  36. I find this article to be incredibly insulting and demeaning to the victims of radical Islamic terrorism. Bullying does not equal murder. Disagreement with a lifestyle does not equal murder and is not even hate.

  37. How do I get off your mailing list, John? I tried to do it through the WordPress links, I thought, but here I am still getting them. Oh, maybe it’s through Facebook??? I’ll try that.

  38. How do I get off your mailing list, John? I tried to do it through the WordPress links, I thought, but here I am still getting them. Oh, maybe it’s through Facebook??? I’ll try that.

  39. John, not sure if you ever get discouraged at some of the negative comments people make about your writing. Just wanted to encourage you. You are doing good work. There were many who couldn’t accept the words of Jesus, either, and far too many of those were religious people who were so busy toeing the line of religious conformity that they had completely lost the ability to see the “weightier matters” of mercy, justice and love. But you DO see those. And that’s what makes your voice so refreshing, real and on target.

    • John– I only want to echo Rev. Carey’s words of encouragement. Please do not stop writing. Your blog and the community of commenters here have become my de facto church, or at least a part of it. I was always taught that the Church is all those who believe and seek; it was never confined to a building at all. Here I find the sense of community, encouragement and comfort that I have always understood as the Church, and always the encouragement and loving admonishment to tend to the logs in my own eyes that I may more clearly see the path of Love that the One I seek to follow would lead me down.

      I left the church community of my birth as a young adult because I saw the discrepancies between what they said and how they lived, and when I tried to go back 15 years later, things were even worse. It had been overtaken by the same stain you so eloquently define in the post that follows this one. But the faith born in the core traditions my youth have not failed me in the 40 intervening years, though life has surely sorely tested it at times.

      One of the most important of those traditions is the belief that we are all called to minister to one another and to lift our brothers and sisters up in love and prayer. I try to do that and want you to know that you are one of those I try to lift up by name. May the Spirit of Love minister to your heart where my hands cannot reach.

    • John- I want to echo Rev. Carey and Ami’s words of encouragement. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts as you see them. There is benefit in your perspective because it speaks to that seldom heard call of justice and unconditional love. I appreciate it when you share your human side as well because it is real gritty life coming through. We need to have pastors and leaders who are human and flawed just like us.

  40. Pingback: General indignities, major problems | Serenity is a fuzzy belly

  41. Pingback: General indignities, major problems | Serenity is a fuzzy belly

  42. I discovered you today, John Pavlovitz, and I am astounded. I thank God for you. I am devouring your posts and am still struggling to believe that I have found someone that writes what I believe, only better. God bless your writing. I am, officially, a fan.

  43. I discovered you today, John Pavlovitz, and I am astounded. I thank God for you. I am devouring your posts and am still struggling to believe that I have found someone that writes what I believe, only better. God bless your writing. I am, officially, a fan.

  44. Pingback: If You’re Going To Condemn Terrorism—Please Condemn All Of It | KitoDiaries

  45. Pingback: If You’re Going To Condemn Terrorism—Please Condemn All Of It | My Mind Snaps

  46. Pingback: If You’re Gonna Condemn Terrorism—Please Condemn All Of It. | Susanthur Political Observer

  47. Pingback: If You’re Gonna Condemn Terrorism—Please Condemn All Of It. | Susanthur Political Observer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *