ISIS, Steve Sotloff, Kim Kardashian and the New Normal UPDATED

So, ISIS has beheaded a second US Journalist, and I am marveling at how much less attention is being paid to the grisly and unjust murder of Steven J. Sotloff.James Foley's murder shocked the nation, and in the midst of our insta-read-insta-forget culture of news absorption, his story survived a week's worth of news cycles, which is remarkable when you consider how quickly we consign stories to the memory hole and move on to the next big thing. Ebola? Is that still going on? What do you … [Read more...]

Do The Rapes of Rotherham Tell a Tale of Conquest? UPDATED

For days I avoided the story, as I know many others have. Coming on the heels of the atrocities of the Islamic State, the take-over of Mosul (now a holding camp for kidnapped Yazidi "brides") the purging of the Iraqi Christians from their ancient lands and the pursuit of genocide -- the disheartening knowledge that, despite the official pivot away by our government, there are still thousands on Mount Sinjar who will not be rescued, because they are very old, or very young, or very weak -- who … [Read more...]

James Foley, Martyrdom and the Subversive Freedom of Prayer UPDATED

A great deal has been written about the late James Foley, his beheading at the hands of a barbarous Islamic State: the moving response from this band of Syrians, the Jesuit education which, along with the example of his family kept him grounded in his faith; his own words on the power of prayer, written in previous captivity.The story is tragic and infuriating -- every bit as nation-stirring as the similar murder of Daniel Pearl, all those years ago, when bloody "war on terror" was still in … [Read more...]

ISIS “split her in two; she would not convert!”

When I was a little girl, and afraid of monsters in my darkened bedroom, I used to think that if I would just close my eyes and turn my head away, I would be alright. If I could just look away, the monster could not see me, would not get to me, could not use and abuse me. I would be safe.Looking away did not keep the monster at bay. It just ended up fracturing me in ways that still demand daily work at reconstruction and restoration.I know people want to look away from this evil. Our … [Read more...]

Kolbe Would Have Worn the Nun (ن)

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I meant to write this earlier but the day got away from me. Now, it's sundown and past the feastday of Saint Maximilian Kolbe -- we're actually in the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but I'll write about that tomorrow. Let's look at Kolbe one more time before calling it a day, or a night, and I'll tell you why.Kolbe was a Catholic priest and very much a subversive:He’d been arrested, in part, for hiding and assisting Jews — 2000 of them. Subversive. H … [Read more...]

The Experience of the Islamic State Horror, First-hand

These are not easy to read; imagine your families trying to deal with this."What prayers shall I say now?:Father Anis Hanna explained in detail how life has now changed for the different minorities who once lived in peace for centuries under the reign of Islam in Iraq and Syria. In July, ISIS declared from different mosques in Mosul that, starting on 28 July 2014, new laws and rules would be applied to everyone living in the territories under the Islamic State. They also declared that … [Read more...]

The West Lacks One Essential Tool to Defeat ISIS

In an article covering President Obama’s reluctant decision to begin limited airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State (IS), New York Times writer Peter Baker quoted Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who affirmed US national security interests and added “This is evil incarnate.”Few would disagree. Do not click here unless you are willing to see horrific images of beheaded children, or videos of young men being led into trenches and summarily executed, but their existence -- along with news that t … [Read more...]


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