Charisma is trying to get missionaries killed

Charisma is trying to get missionaries killed September 7, 2014

By posting and publicizing Gary Cass’ eliminationist rant calling for violence against all Muslims everywhere, Charisma magazine is inciting violence.

Deliberately. Violence is the intended outcome — the hoped for outcome.

Charisma is promoting and seeking violence against two groups. First, most obviously and explicitly, Charisma is aiming to stir up violence against Muslims — a billion or so men, women and children around the world.

That is undeniable. That is what Cass’ argument is all about, the goal and focus of his piece, in his own words — violence against Muslims. “There’s only one … possible solution,” he writes, “Violence.” He tells Christians that they must get guns and learn to shoot. Any course of action other than lethal violence against Muslims, he says, is “worthless.”

Cass and Charisma are thus, deliberately, painting targets on Muslims. All Muslims. This isn’t merely the usual reflexive hawkishness that imagines itself a form of patriotism. Cass and Charisma aren’t advocating for military action against ISIS, but for the lethal suppression of every Muslim everywhere (including the millions of Muslims currently being attacked and killed by ISIS).

CrosshairsThe goal is religious cleansing — not just of a territory or a nation, but apparently of the entire world. Cass is calling for a new Crusade, not just to retake Jerusalem, but to chase every Muslim out of everywhere — the Holy Land, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Dearborn. Where are they supposed to go? Where can they flee for safety?

Nowhere. That’s the point. Cass and his “pro-life” friends at Charisma want to kill one out of every seven people in the world.

By publishing this column, Charisma is all but guaranteeing that someone, somewhere is going to act on it. Proclaim that anything other than lethal violence is “worthless” and someone already teetering will be pushed over the edge. Someone will get a gun and learn to shoot. And they will shoot just as Gary Cass and Charisma told them God said they should.

Surely Charisma knows this, but apparently they’re OK with that. It’s just part of their holy, religious calling to stamp out the infidel.

If that means pushing a few unbalanced people over the edge — prompting another Oak Creek Temple shooting, or a dozen more Murfreesboro arson sprees — well, that’s just God’s will. And maybe that’s the spark they imagine will be needed to start the larger conflagration Cass says is necessary to keep the Saracen from “subjugating and murdering” our children.

Charisma isn’t worried that this incitement to violence will endanger innocent Muslims because — as Cass says — in their view there’s no such thing.

And Charisma isn’t worried about the inevitable collateral damage — the many non-Muslims who will also suffer from the violence they are inciting. Violent Islamophobia tends to have poor aim — striking Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, Arab Christians, Latinos, Filipinos, and anyone else that a brutish, genocidal xenophobe might imagine looks Other.

Cass’ call for worldwide religious cleansing also puts another group of people in the crosshairs: Christian missionaries.

Tens of thousands of Christian missionaries are serving throughout the Muslim world — many within that “10/40 window” that mission groups have obsessed over in recent decades, as well as in places like Indonesia and Malaysia. Charisma is making their work much, much more difficult.

I once sat in a bar at the American Colony Hotel, trying to explain the difference between Protestants and Catholics to a couple of new friends who were born and raised in the Holy Land. They didn’t see the point in making such fine parochial distinctions among Western Christians. “Protestant, Catholic …” one said. “We just say Crusaders.”

It doesn’t help that Charisma magazine is confirming that.

But the violent, eliminationist rhetoric of Gary Cass and Charisma does more than just create obstacles to the work of Christian missionaries. It puts their lives in danger. It associates them with a dangerous enemy, attributing to them the same kill-or-be-killed message of genocide that Cass, Charisma, and the hundreds of commenters there are enthusiastically affirming. It tells the world that these missionaries have a secret agenda — a deadly, violent agenda, and that opposing them is a matter of self-defense and survival.

Did Stephen Strang and his staff at Charisma magazine consider that? Did they give any thought to how their providing a platform for Cass’ call for religious cleansing would endanger the safety of tens of thousands of Christian missionaries around the world?

Gary Cass himself seems to have considered this and calculated it. He seems, in fact, to be counting on it. This is the escalation he’s praying for. He’s deliberately dangling the lives of those missionaries as bait, hoping to create some useful martyrs that will help him to stir up the mass violence he longs to see, hoping somehow that it might enliven and given meaning to his otherwise drab and purposeless life.

If — when — a few missionaries get killed, Gary Cass will eagerly seize on their stories as further evidence of the need for a new Crusade to “crush the vicious seed of Ishmael in Jesus’ Name.”

Doesn’t Charisma realize that’s what he’s doing? Don’t they realize that’s what they’re helping him do?

Cass is deliberately inciting violence against innocents — Muslim children and families, Sikhs and other frequent victims of “mistaken identity” in anti-Muslim vigilanteism, Christian missionaries in the Muslim world. Charisma is participating in and enabling that incitement of violence. Is its role in this as maliciously deliberate as Cass’s?

We haven’t much evidence that the folks at Charisma are the sharpest tools in the shed, so perhaps their participation in this reckless incitement to violence against innocents is more the product of a brutish ignorance and the inability to imagine concern for others than the result of the sheer hateful intent that drives Gary Cass. Maybe. But that doesn’t change the effect and the outcome one bit.

Gary Cass is trying to get people killed — explicitly. Gary Cass is trying to get people killed and Charisma is helping him. If they’re doing so out of reckless ignorance, then it may be tempting to describe their promotion of Cass’s screed as “irresponsible.” But we mustn’t let them off the hook so easily. They are responsible. For whatever reason, they are promoting hate, advocating violence, sowing death and damaging the name of Christ.

They chose to do that. They own that.

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