It's been a while what with all that's been going on in my life, but here are a few thoughts on ISIS, religion, and the "end times":
To those people who said, and to those who continue to say, that recognizing that ISIS isn't the same creature that we've dealt with in Al Qaeda is saber rattling or warmongering, what do you think after all of these execution videos? Still think that? I hope not.
Here's another good piece that helps understand the language behind ISIS's actions. That's key to fully comprehending their intentions.
But let's also be frank about what this - radical Islam - really is: It's merely one face of the violence inherent in religion. Christians use others to do their dirty work for them. Jews will do their own, as they're doing in Gaza. ISIS is the best-known, most-radical faction of Islam we've seen so far.
There's a movement afoot to reconcile Roman Catholicism with Eastern Orthodoxy. There are synthetic amalgamations of Judaism and Protestantism. All of these "Abrahamic" religions, when you're on the outside looking in, are far more alike than unalike. I could easily see the day when they all pitch in together and try to bring about the apocalypse or Armageddon or whatever.
If we kick the stool out from under Islam, whatever's left of it will try to find syncretism with the other two branches of Judeochrislam, and for everyone else, that's when the game is going to get nasty, if it hasn't already reached that point prior to that moment. Ultimately, they all want to bring about the "end times" so that whichever savior or combination of savior and prophet can come take them to...The Great Walmart in the Sky, or whatever.
It's time to stop viewing these religions as separate. It's time we come to terms with the fact that they're merely branches of the same core belief, and that the only things they really disagree on are pretty minor.
That's going to be an Oh, Shit! day for the rest of us, especially if any faction among them hates whatever you or I might be that offends them.
We might want to start thinking about that day because who, even a year ago, saw ISIS coming?