… the torture began … officials tore off the prisoners’ clothes, bound them hand and foot to posts, and scooping up the boiling water in ladles, poured it over their naked bodies … The heroes of Christ bore this terrible torment without flinching.

Shusaku Endo, in Silence

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Endo is describing the torture of Catholic missionaries and laity in 17th century Japan.  The goal of the torture was the renunciation of faith – apostasy.

Paris.  Today in the West.  Apostasy.

The attacks in Paris have left many in France in a state of confusion.  How, one asks, can a modern, secular nation that does not actively engage its military in the world be a target of violent Islamist radicals?  How can a socialist state be the target of such wrath?  How can a policy of accommodation and relative neutrality be the target of such hatred?

Those who attack France desire nothing less than the elimination of the Judeo-Christian West.   And not in France, but in the West – in the United States and the Middle East.

It is worth noting that secular accommodation makes no difference, except that it shows weakness and a de facto disinterest in defending oneself.

No, it is our existence as Jews and Christians in a culture and nation-state system that reflects that religious heritage that is the target of violence, accommodation and “peace” efforts notwithstanding.

You see one side is governed by religious belief and the other has abandoned, and even attacked, its religious tenets and those who practice them.  One side will kill for them, the other side abandons them and attempts to accommodate its adversary, those who wish their annihilation.

This brings us to Japan in the 17th century where Christian missionaries and laity were tortured and killed in sizable numbers.

The torture was meant to have the Christians denounce their faith, to apostatize.

We face the same objective today in an enemy that seeks that we abandon our faith, renounce it, vanish.

The question this poses for the West is this: Will we apostatize?

Frankly, one cannot help but be underwhelmed with our disinterest in the plight of Christians in the Middle East.  Not surprised, mind you, because secular culture dismisses religion when it is not outlawing its presence and punishing those who belief.

Truth is the West is as lost as our French neighbors.  We live and act as if we do not believe.  No belief, no defense.  No faith, no courage.

Think about it.

Shalom.

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