Bill Murchison

Word to Christians from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria: Convert, leave or die. Forget accommodation. Forget religious tolerance and related catch phrases from the always tolerant, perpetually forbearing West. Convert, leave or die.

Against the backdrop of attempts to exterminate -- not just subdue, not just conquer; exterminate Christianity in the Middle East, Secretary of State John Kerry's frantic appeals for an Israeli stand-down in the war with Hamas look more absurd by the second. The firers of rockets from Gaza into Israel are of the same kidney as the ISIS terrorists. If you're not one of them, they want you gone or dead.

It does put you in mind of their predecessors: Attila, Tamerlane, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, to cite some of the more obvious names. ISIS types are an enduring feature of the human pageant. They do seem to come around more frequently than of old: due in part to the pleasure the current West takes in hearing them out. Two sides to a question -- the coinage of Western liberalism -- is to the ISIS types an idea that chiefly deserves mocking laughter. The Hamas terrorists recruit from the ISIS ranks, among other pestilential folds. If positioned to do so, they would instruct the Jews as their brothers in Iraq have spoken to the Christians: Get out or die.

Among the ironies of our time, which knows more about more different things than any other era ever has, is that those the media call Islamic militants know hardly anything anymore -- and don't care in the slightest. The one big thing they do know is the trashiness of everybody but themselves. Only those desiring to reconstruct the world as Mohammed's political successors knew it centuries ago -- narrow, one-dimensional, built on servitude -- deserve any measure of respect. The rest are, at best, hewers of wood and drawers of water for the master class.

The reason Christians and Jews draw instinctively nearer each other in this perplexed and perplexing age is common origin, as well as common faith in the same God, however differently understood by both religious parties. If 21st-century Jews are preponderantly secular, they have competition in that department from those 21st-century Christians whose personal viewpoints (see: abortion, marriage, salvation, etc.) override creeds and dogmas

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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