You may have noticed in the last few days what appears to be an Arabic sign popping up all over the place. I checked it out and immediately changed my profile picture on Facebook to this sign. Why?
The sign is the letter N (nun) in Arabic. It is the first letter of the word Nazarene, the name by which Christians are known in the Middle East. This letter has taken on sinister meaning as the forces of IS or ISIS mark people, property or chattel with an N meaning that the property or persons now belong to the ISIS. Fellow Christians are given the ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a tax or die. Many have taken a fourth option of fleeing for their lives. The tax of Christians and Jews by Muslims is an ancient practice from the early days of Islam. Check it out. I am unaware that this is the practice of modern Islamic states but it has been a teaching of the religion.
This reflects the problem of fundamentalism. Fundamentalists of any variety have in common a desire to regain the golden age of their faith. For Muslims it is the seventh century for many Christians 1950, but be that as it may such golden ages never existed. These fanatics (check my posting from August 9th – The True Believer) are setting out to remake the Caliphate of the Seventh Century in the Twenty-first. Pray God they fail. It will require someone stop them as they cannot be reasoned with by honorable men. .
I have learned in my long study of Family Systems Theory that what my teacher, Rabbi Friedman, said about such is painfully true. In systems thinking all living things composed of protoplasm organize themselves in the same ways. What is true on a cellular level is metaphor for all other levels of living things. They will behave in predictable ways. Ed Friedman labelled them pathogens.
- Pathogens do not self-regulate
- Since they do not self-regulate they ooze into their neighbors space
- Also, since they do not self-regulate themselves they never learn from their experience
- They do not have to be hostile in order to be malignant. Oozing into others space is sufficient.
- Pathogens achieve their conscious or unconscious effect because those around them allow them to ooze into the others space. Remember Munich in 1939.
It really does not matter if we are talking about cancer cells, packs of dogs or ISIS: they all function the same. Something will have to be done about them for the cancer they represent in the body politic.
I invite you to wear, wave or affix the Arabic Letter N to Facebook, your lapel or the bill board down the street as a mark of solidarity with our fellow Christians. If someone reading this is not a believer please do so because the weak and innocent should not be murdered, enslaved nor raped and tortured. Call on those who have power and the responsibility for leading nations to stop these fanatics before the region is in flames not only of churches but of everything in their path. For this is a Caliphate of Evil. Muslims who do not welcome them are destroyed as well. What I say is not about the content of their belief as it is a critique of their succumbing to ideology. Succumbing always leads to trouble (Carl Jung).
Please join me all of you of good will in praying for these Christians and othersr, indeed all in danger on account of their faith. I propose the collect for Holy Innocents as a place to begin.
We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of ISIS [Bethlehem by King Herod.] Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
God grant us and to his whole world peace and the knowledge of His love for the doing of His will. . JWS