When Fox News journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were kidnapped and held by Islamic extremists, they managed to get away by pretending to convert to Islam. I think it’s pretty cool that they pulled it off.
The degree to which our starch is awash is exhibited in the behaviour of so many of our captives, but especially in these two. They were told to convert to Islam under implicit threat (blindfolded and hand-tied, they could not judge what threat), and agreed to make the propaganda broadcasts to guarantee their own safety. That much we can understand, as conventional cowardice. (Understand; not forgive.)
Well yes, of course they must be cowards, I’m sure most reporters in a war zone are cowards, right?
It just gets weirder:
But it is obvious from their later statements that they never thought twice; that they could see nothing wrong in serving the enemy, so long as it meant they’d be safe.
I assume they are not Christians (few journalists are), but had they ever been instructed in that faith, they might have grasped that conversion to Islam means denial of Christ, and that is something many millions of Christians (few of them intellectuals) have refused to do, even at the cost of excruciating deaths. Christianity still lives, because of such martyrs. Not suicide bombers: but truly defenceless martyrs.
That’s right. Shame on those two guys for not martyring themselves for Mr. Warren’s religion. What were they thinking? How could they let David down like that?
David Warren is obviously a devout Christian, and I can see how he finds it abhorrent to convert to another religion. I’m sure that if he had been there (instead of dealing with no-doubt more pressing business in Toronto) he would have not only accepted death, he would have insisted on crucifixion.
But if he’s right that these journalists aren’t very religious, then to expect the same from them is ludicrous. They probably see the whole Christian v.s. Muslim thing as kind of like the Tooth Fairy v.s. the Great Pumpkin. And when a whack-job with a blanket and an AK-47 wants you to swear allegiance to the Great Pumpkin, you swear allegiance to the Pumpkin and get on with your life.
These two journalists used guile and deception to get out of a dangerous situation and return to their families, whereas David Warren thinks they should have given up and died. Which of these approaches seems more like the American way to you?
I never heard of David Warren before this, but he now strikes me as a pundit in the same mold as Cal Thomas, who sees the cruelty and barbarism of our enemies and thinks, “We should be more like that.”
I don’t know enough early Christian history to guess whether Warren is right about the contributions of the martyrs to the survival of the church. But here’s something I’m pretty sure of: Christianity is a strong and vibrant religion today because its 2 billion adherents have helped create a world in which martyrs are no longer necessary.