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I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Friday, August 22, 2014

“The pornographic violence of religious killings”

The beheading of James Foley. Photo via NYDailyNews.

The phrase, “the pornographic violence of religious killings,” jumped out at me as I read David Ignatius’s column titled The Hooded Face of Evil. Ignatius is commenting on the beheading of journalist James Foley, which the Islamic State has been boasting about lately. As a seminary graduate, I appreciate that Ignatius makes clear that “no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day."

Ignatius provides a reasoned account of the developments culminating in Foley’s death and President Obama’s response so far:

WASHINGTON -- The propagandists of the Islamic State must have imagined that their brutal video of the beheading of journalist James Foley would intimidate and terrorize the world. But people aren't built that way, not in Muslim countries or anywhere else. When they see sadistic, uncivilized behavior, they are disgusted -- and angry.

President Obama spoke with special precision and moral clarity in reacting to the video's release Wednesday. The Islamic State, he said, "speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day."


The videotaped beheading was a sign of the Islamic State's weakness, not its strength. "People like this ultimately fail," Obama explained. "They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy." He spoke, as a president must, about the consequences of killing U.S. civilians: "We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done."
 The life and death of Osama bin Laden illustrate why the terrorist strategy is destined to fail -- if civilized nations maintain their will. Obama authorized the mission that pursued the al-Qaeda leader to his lair in Abbottabad, Pakistan. But in the months before his death, bin Laden knew he had failed.

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