“No God condones terror,” Barack Obama said on Thursday, condemning Islamic State militants’ their brand of brutality. His (or our country’s) is more humane, the almost inaudible hum of a drone, followed by an incineration. Or a sniper’s bullet to the brain. Or kicking in a door and slaughtering an entire family. Or gene-altering WMD.
Onward Christian soldiers.
More Obama conviction: “We see faith driving us to do right. But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge, or worse, sometimes used as a weapon.” This said at the National Prayer Breakfast in D.C., the Dalai Lama present and praised—for his compassion, a man “who inspires us to speak for the freedom and dignity of all human beings.” Obama was/is stirred—the usual.
“As people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion, any religion, for their own nihilistic ends,” Obama said. His words are tedious. Someone freshly murdered could be his son, his daughter. And the perpetrators of hideous acts betray the pursuit of peace. Ho hum.
For years now we’ve heard the duplicity, read and listened to the same worn-out alphabet and sentence structure that belie the reality of US-inflicted savagery. Night is day. Up is down.
So, let us go now, euthanized as we are by nouns smashing against verbs. A noun, like “We,” striking the verb “deliver,” striking another noun, like “aid,” a noun adorned with an adjective, like “humanitarian.” And another noun, like “democracy.” And more: Thrust a “They” against “terrorize.” And then eat a peach. Measure out our lives with the monotony of pronouncements and propaganda.
Watch reality TV. Change the channel. Order a pizza with whatever topping we crave. Believe that this means we have a choice. And vote. For the lesser of two evils. Believe. And hope. God never gives us more than we can handle. “No God condones terror.” No God would HAVE to condone terror when Man sanctions it so well—without divine assistance.
Missy Comley Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.