The following is another contribution to my weblog, called “On Second Thought,” originally published via Context with Lorna Dueck.
I understand why Donald Trump wants to stop allowing Muslims into America, and why Jerry Falwell, Jr., wants to meet violence with violence. Don’t you?
Fear is a terrible thing to feel. And if we’re afraid enough, we’ll do anything to make the fear stop.
We can fight fire with fire, and burn the world down.
We can try to hug the enemy, only to be violated in return.
We can make ourselves feel better by screaming at someone else—governments, “rich people,” other nations—to solve the problem.
Or we can distract and dull our anxiety with tranquilizing entertainments.
To make a particular fear truly stop, however, we need to engage in two fundamental and demanding activities: analysis and response. We need to diagnose accurately what is wrong, and then undertake action properly suited to the problem.
When faced with the terrorism of ISIS, the first step we should take is a simple one: Refuse to be terrorized.