As part of an organized crime course in college, my class had watched The Godfather while our instructor had broken-down the importance of several scenes that were easy to otherwise overlook. In the restaurant scene where Michael Corleone was having a conversation in Italian with Virgil Sollozo, it was explained that speaking in Italian was easier to convey a message with more detail, since there were no words in English that could accurately create the same message.
There are moments in history that are felt more than it is possible to describe. News of the attacks on September 11, 2001 and September 11, 2012, the loss of members of our Armed Forces, the loss of loved ones, the executions of Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, James Foley, the three teenagers in Israel, and the many Christians and Jews in Syria and Iraq, among many others — both overseas and at home – are beyond expression – regardless of one’s native language.
Such killings in such evil – make that demonic — ways that are happening at the hands of ISIS are completely incomprehensible; no human being who wishes nothing more than to live alongside their fellow human beings, while living according to the standards established by their peaceful religions, deserves such a horrific demise. Nor, do their families deserve to grieve such losses.
What is happening in the Middle East, and may happen here due to the bipartisan refusal to protect our borders, is and will be a challenge not only in terms of national defense and an increase in crime, but also as a series of personal challenges that we may all face on our intellectual and religious levels.
The failure of our public school system has not only failed at least three generations of students in the largest school systems such as Chicago, but a substandard education – in addition to a substandard media – has created a sense that a need to have an awareness beyond one’s existence or comfort zone is trivial.
If the former students of substandard, agenda-driven schools and an entertainment-centered media cannot comprehend life outside of the criminal justice system, entry-level jobs, or a glorified gangster lifestyle, how are they supposed to prepare for an attack against their very existence? An attack that to them, is from another world?
Like liberal-operated schools that have distorted the titles of good guys and bad guys in the name of revisionist history, and their contempt for two out of three of the world’s major religions, many of our churches and synagogues may have sacrificed necessary messages about the darkest parts of evil for full collection plates.
I make it no secret that I am weary of the purpose of megachurches for two reasons: no megachurch has been built in the name of humility, and the one-size-fits-all, hooray-for-me messages are insufficient to help megachurch customers handle problems larger than our new world “issues” such as, “Why did God allow my tire to blow out when I’m not dressed to change a flat.”
When I read quotes from the usual suspects in the megachurch industry, such as, “you may be facing struggles now, but God has great plans in store for you,” I ask myself, “Just how are such generic words of advice supposed to offer comfort to a child, parent, anyone who is down to the last horrific, painful moments of their lives at the hands of a jihadist who finds satisfaction inflicting as much pain as possible to people who wear the Star of David, or choose to follow Jesus?”
As Jews or Christians, what we believe is based upon many small, yet great details; the megachurch mentality ignores those details, since it is easier to try and make the customers feel good, than it is to explain that Judaism and Christianity have survived great trials and struggles throughout their histories against pure evil – an evil that still follows us.
It is difficult to discuss the implosion of the Middle East – and the resulting genocide of Jews, Christians, and everyone else who is not welcome in the Islamic state planned by ISIS – without mentioning US politics, since the de-evolution of politics into a popularity contest, a social club for crony capitalists and militant special interests, a petri dish for socialism, and a belief that only a small, elite gaggle of the enlightened are worthy of holding public office, have created an atmosphere where a “kinder, gentler” US government is satisfied if American citizens confuse activity with accomplishment.
Throughout the course of history, billions of people have been governed by perhaps only a few thousand. Yet, a small percentage of that few thousand is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions – including at least one-hundred million in the “civilized” post-World War II twentieth century.
In modern US history, people aren’t subject to mass-executions in death camps, people die as a result of what amounts to little more than incompetence: the bureaucrats who issue mandates that fail to factor the law of unintended consequences, and the politicians who govern by arrogance, polling data and/or a naïve perception of the world.
In that restaurant scene, Virgil Sollozo was telling Michael in Italian that the assassination attempt on his father, Vito Corleone, wasn’t personal, just business. Of course, the Italian version had greater detail. The message of terror and evil that militant Islam is sending to the rest of the world, however, needs no translation. The world needs leaders, especially Americans, who are willing to listen and react accordingly to an evil,irrational, and cowardly threat; the way Michael did before leaving the