Random Thoughts on Boston, Terrorists, and the Christian Response

BostonI don’t claim to have all the answers. Never have. In fact, I have more questions than answers. I’ll be the first to admit that I often get it wrong. Many, many times. Having said all that I just wanted to pass along a few of my random Facebook posts from the past few days. Not because I think they are “pearls of wisdom.” Not at all. Rather, I was hoping to get some feedback, some response from others who might or might not think the same way as me. I want to learn. I want to grow. And so I make myself vulnerable. So, here you go. Just some random thoughts on the events that came out of Boston the last few days.

  • It appears that the second suspect has been caught. ABC is waiting on police confirmation. I will say this (although many of you won’t like this)… If he is still alive, now is when we can communicate a message to other terrorists. Sorry but I believe that the punishment should fit the crime… say, lock him in a room with the families of the victims for a day. But instead… we’ll make sure the guy has state-funded housing, meals, and state-of-the-art recreational facilities (i.e., prison) for the next 10 years. (Not to mention that some publishing company will probably make him rich with a book deal.)
 
  • I believe we have a responsibility to justice and protecting innocent people. Tired of the criminals and the terrorists having more rights than the people they harmed… 4 years ago I watched a man get murdered on my doorstep. It was 4 years before Dade County even brought the case to trial. 4 years!!! Criminals and terrorists laugh and mock our criminal justice system. Swifter and stronger punishments would go a long way to preventing some of this mess.
 
  • I’m talking about punishment within the context of society. Even my kids understand that their consequences have good and bad actions. What parent among us hasn’t disciplined their child accordingly? My concern is that as a society we have so “watered down” the negative repercussions of wrong actions that punishment is no longer a deterrent to most criminals. The opportunity costs associated with their behavior all land on the side of making the wrong choice. In all honesty, I’m not saying we torture the guy. But we do need to send a strong message. Tired of criminals getting “a slap of the wrist” and then we send them back into society.
 
  • $35,000 a year. That is the average salary for a police officer. Many of our athletes/actors/musicians get paid more than that for a single day’s work… As long as our nation continues to value entertainment over security and freedom, terrorism and crime will continue to flourish in this nation.
 
  • Okay, I’ll keep this simple… Guys with bombs? NOT victims. Those are terrorists. They forfeited their right to sympathy. People killed or maimed by bombs? Those are the victims. Keep that in mind in the days ahead whenever the media tries to confuse the two… (Let’s be honest. Everyone in this world has past issues and drama. We all have problems we have to overcome. Doesn’t give any of us the right to kill innocent people in the name of our ideology.)
 
  • Many Christians don’t realize that the pious sounding platitudes we so quickly spout (while well-intentioned) only serve to alienate us in the eyes of the world. These past 18 months at college have reminded me that the Church is rapidly losing access in terms of relevance (20 years of living in a Christian cocoon made me forget that truth). I think the great challenge in this age is to present our faith in a way that is both viable and practical. For that to happen it means that first of all we have to be honest/authentic… honest about our own weaknesses, honest about our own feelings, and honest about our own questions. Honestly? I don’t know why God let’s these things happen (although I still trust His providence) and I am growing increasingly weary of a cultural ideology and a judicial system that continues to invite these type of senseless acts. But the honest truth is that the Church is as much to blame for these tragedies as the country. We have become so consumed with personal blessing and a search for success that finds its definition in worldly aspirations that we have drawn back from any sort of Biblical mandate. We want to feel good. We want an experience. We want to be entertained. And in the process we quit going to the world. The result is what we see every night on the evening news. YES, he needs Jesus. And it was our responsibility to tell him… before NOT after. And thus ends today’s soapbox rant 🙂

Well, that’s it. That should just about offend everyone. Seriously though… I would love to hear from you. let me know what you think. Good, bad, or ugly. Take care.