Monday, October 20, 2014


He was a well thought of African American kid, liked by all who knew him.  In one of the last tweets before his death, Douglas McCain, a Muslim convert who went to high school in Minnesota and was killed in Syria in August, wrote: "It takes a warrior to understand a warrior. Pray for ISIS."  Read more of his story, someone who wanted to be part of a higher cause, who had been previously a church going Christian.

When [his best friend Isaac] Chase joined the Air Force in 2007 and served in Iraq, McCain [who died fighting for the cause of an Islamic state] was impressed that his friend was making something of his life and wanted to do the same, Chase said.  But after learning that McCain died while fighting for ISIS, which is trying to establish an Islamic state across Iraq and Syria, his friend was bewildered.”  Up till then the warriors had been impressed with each other.

We should not be surprised at western Muslims going back to the Middle East battlefields, to fight, die, and be forever with Allah and many virgins.  We also train our Christian youth to fight, die, for God and country, as a highly honorable way to heavenly bliss.   We cover this with language of just doing a job for your country, “be all that you can be,” but the military’s basic training is the technology of lethal force.  Killing in God’s {or the state’s} name is required by most all peoples across the globe, to protect and promote their worldly kingdoms.

We need a new different hero from the one going over the barricades, in guns-blazing glory.  We have that in the person of Jesus, the Son of God, and the mercy and forgiveness He brought us.  Let us accept the grace to be true recruits in the nonviolent way of Jesus.   We should begin to teach our young people conflict resolution by drafting everyone into the Peace Corps and a faith-based AmeriCorps, at least as many as still might choose the military.  It would be two years national service for everyone, with emphasis on the nonviolent skills that have the hope of bringing real lasting peace.

And young people could hope to see faithful older adults rejecting violence and war, re-directing our world’s precious resources towards education, creative productive work opportunities, and the fights against famine and disease.

   “Make a Difference Years” to go beyond this week’s “Make a Difference Day”

Illuminations by Kathy Brahney 


Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful

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