The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, on one of the biggest, yet unspoken or unrecognized elements in the war on Islamic extremists:
Everyone wants to possess the thoughts, and the resources, of the young but no one is wooing their souls. Increasingly, the West “does not do God”, does not approve of soul-chasing; it routinely discourages or politicizes soul-talk.
To young people seeking what they have been taught not to learn, secularist indoctrination offers a series of short soundbites, while a theological embrace presents a massive sky-full of thunder. It offers books of fast-burning matches, while religion offers books of sustained lightening.
If ISIS is the only supernatural game in town — the only one they’re hearing anything about and the only one that seems both dynamic and undying — it will attract many into making a grave mistake with their lives.
Michael Brendan Dougherty writing for The Week:
The taboos of secularism interlock in other odd ways. Modern Western secularists feel no anxiety whatsoever when they encounter harsh criticism and satire of Christianity. But if you offer a particularly barbed remark about Islam among the enlightened, someone will ask you to politely agree that Christianity is just as bad. And ironically, this instinct to protect the powerless is a leftover instinct of Christian civilization, which put sayings like “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last” at the heart of its worship and moral imagination.
We used to say of comedians, “He can make that joke, because he’s Jewish.” In this respect, the Western world’s comfort with attacking Christianity is an inadvertent admission that Christianity is “our” religion. And so it elicits from us none of the respect, deference, or fear we give to strangers. Viewed this way, secularism looks less like universal principle than a moral and theological critique derived from Christian sources and pitched back at Christian authorities.