October 20, 2006
Evangelical Suicide Cult
Moreover, these murders resemble "famous" infamies, such as the beheading of John the Baptist and the legendary arrow piercings of Saint Sebastian.
You all know the devotion Evangelicals have to Saint Sebastian.
This was Monday night’s episode of Wire in the Blood, a British drama shown on BBC America. The hero of Wire in the Blood is Dr. Tony Hill (Robson Green), a clinical psychologist who aids the police in predicting the behavior of criminals (how tired is that premise?). He is an atheist, a nice atheist, though, one who empathizes with even the most unbalanced of psycho-killers. And these religious nutcakes are no exception—they're simply the walking wounded, in need of a reason to live. Failing that, a reason to die will do.
This episode was putatively about the lengths some people will go to find hope and peace, and about how vulnerable the weak-willed and mentally unstable are to the blandishments of the promise of “meaning,” which, according to the writers of Wire in the Blood, can be obtained only by indulging in mindless credulity. The sick and lonely should not be left within close vicinity of a Bible, you see. He or she may come to believe there is a hole in every heart that only God can fill. And, of course, that God is a God of judgment, vengeance, and the punishment of sinners. And who isn’t a sinner? Only the Elect—whose number is usually calculated by some kook of a "leader" who is above human laws.
Now, if you’re a Brit terrified of religious suicide-murderers, who immediately comes to mind—a Jihadist or a Born-Againer feeding the poor for the Salvation Army?
Why the Born-Againer, of course! At least if you work for the BBC.
There's a telling scene in which Hill visits a children's reenactment of Noah and the Flood. When he questions the wisdom of God wiping everyone out just to start all over, his partner replies, "That's the Old Testament for you. Zero tolerance."
You see, Jihadism isn’t about Islam—it’s about religion: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. It’s about group think. It’s about playing on the aimlessness and sense of failure that plague some people. It's about demagogues who think they have the answers to life’s hardest questions. And since you can’t insult Muslims with anything that might smack of a stereotypical depiction of even their most fringe elements, then pick on a group you know will not kill you for making an idiotic mockery of their beliefs.
In the end, Dr. Hill is confounded by the mindset of these automatons and fails to save even a single one of them—from murdering others or themselves.
Welcome to the U.K.—where no one has the solutions for your problems.
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