Phil Robertson, who just receded from the public spotlight after infuriating homosexuals, is back in the spotlight with these comments about Islamic extremists:
In this case, you either have to convert them—which I think is, uh, would be next to impossible. I’m not giving up on them, but I’m just saying either convert them or kill them. One or the other.
Interesting. And what do radical Muslims say about Christians and Jews? Oh, yeah: “Convert them or kill them.” Congratulations, Phil Robertson. You just articulated the missional statement of radical Islam.
What is the real solution for this threat, if we refuse to become just like our enemies? Defense. I know that angers so many readers who want us to re-engage in Iraq and the Middle East. But what good did that ever do? Our interventions have necessitated further interventions. And that cycle will never end.
We can secure our borders and deal severely with actual terrorists that we capture. But the drone strikes and bombings and ground involvement really need to end. You can’t teach peace to the violent through violence. Violence begets violence.
Part of the problem here is that Phil Robertson and most Americans don’t really think Muslims are like us. We think they are totally and completely alien. We may want peace. We may want security. We may love our families. But these people are monsters. They are less than human. We really need to stop thinking like that. Radical muslims have legitimate desires as well. And even if their desires have been distorted by ideological commitments, that doesn’t mean we can’t appeal to them.
But we really have nothing to appeal to them with. Hey, guys, why don’t you just adopt our lifestyle of hollow materialism? Then you can be as miserable as we are. Why be miserable in your way, when you could be miserable in ours?
So perhaps the answer, as hard as this would be, is to actually deal with our own problems here at home. Repent of our national love of death, and seek fulfillment beyond material comfort. Perhaps then we would have something of real value to offer Muslims. Something that might even cause them to lay down their guns.