What can we say about a coward who accuses others of cowardice? Not much.
As that thought worked through my mind, I got to thinking about myself. I’ve never considered myself especially brave. As a young Christian, I often worried that I’d never measure up to the martyrs because I suspected, if I was threatened with torture, I might not be able not to deny Jesus. That scared me till I realized that Peter denied him 3 times in a much less frightening situation1, and Jesus still loved Him and used him to lead the disciples.
Today I don’t find I’m so afraid for myself or have a need to prove my courage. The one thing would most likely bring out what bravery I possess would be a threat to those I care about. I don’t mean just my family. I really do strive to love my neighbors, and everyone who is a Facebook friend, who lives nearby, that I know from teaching, tutoring and driving a cab… I have a lot of neighbors.
As my thoughts continued to meander around the idea of courage and the lack of courage, I suddenly realized this: Muslim radicals are cowards! Seriously!! I wish I was in the propaganda department, but, no, not propaganda. This is truth that I’d like to print on fliers and drop everywhere there are radical Muslim terrorists. Perhaps, just as good, how about a viral post here on Facebook.
“Hey, you, radical terrorist! Just what kind of man are you? I know. You are a coward. You are a poor excuse for a man, and here is why.”
First, you want to frighten people into believing in your poor excuse of a religion2 and its “god.” What kind of a man does that? Only a coward. Real men show their character and let their personal integrity persuade others of the value of their beliefs and values. Cowards must intimidate, threaten, boast of their cowardly acts, and terrorize those they call infidels into fear and submission.
Second, what kind men does a god of terror recruit? Cowards! I have no interest in slandering the names Allah or Mohammad…or Jesus or Buddha. That’s God’s business (and, oh yes, I do believe in God). The caricature of a god you claim to follow can only be weak and cowardly, too, if he needs weak and cowardly men to torture and kill, not only other men, but even women and children, for not believing such a pathetic god or respecting such cowardly representatives.
Third, only cowards would use weak and likely scared young men, mostly, and women as living bombs while they, the leaders, refuse to blow themselves up. Most of the radical teachers are cowards of this kind. To help persuade such boys, you tell them that their reward will be virgin slaves, the perfect “heaven” for cowards, except so many of you are in for a big surprise because the devil, masquerading as the god you follow, will be sharing the pit of hell with you. This is no joke!
Fourth, people like you have tried this before. You know what? They lost. No matter how many recruits, how big their army, how much land they conquered, they still lost. Cowards always lose; their own cowardice defeats them. Their own evil desires rot them from the inside out. Their fear causes them to destroy what they’ve won, sometimes in the very winning of it. After all, what do cowards want? Like others, they want respect, but nobody will ever truly respect a coward. Oh, one final point here, violent cowards inspire even scared people to the bravery needed to rise up and defeat them!
Fifth, what kind of men love a religion that treats women like animals and property? Oh, right, cowards. I love women who think, who challenge me, who are beautiful without being slutty, who are independent and strong. These are the kind of women cowards hate, they prefer frightened little girls, and they will try kill or destroy the spirit of a real woman who is a suitable companion and friend for a real man. God created women to be suitable companions to men, their partners not their slaves. Cowards need scared females so they can feel brave when clearly they’re not. Do they really want terrified women as slaves? Most good men prefer to be loved by women they love and treat like queens, but no queen will truly love a violent coward. By the way, such cowards also love to enslave others, even as the civilized world has rejected slavery, believing every person has value and worth and the right to live as a free person.
Sixth, only a coward would find it necessary to kill a person of another faith. Infidel, indeed! What are you afraid of? Perhaps you’re afraid that they will show you a better faith and a better God than the cowardly image your leaders have created. You dare to call yours a “religion of peace”? Really? Then why do you fear peaceful Christians who have lived as your neighbors for generations? Their quiet, decent lives must really shame you cowards. You are so pathetic you destroy the remnants of religions no one follows any more. You don’t just fear living believers, but you apparently fear the record of long dead believers. I can barely imagine such cowardice, and I certainly cannot take a cowardly faith seriously, except as a temporary threat to the world.
Seventh, cowards who band together to push other people around aren’t men; they are bullies. You bully your women; you bully your subjects. You bully anyone and everyone you can in an attempt to prove your manhood. One good woman is enough for a real man, but you sniveling bullies imagine yourselves men enough for more than one. Hah! I knew a bully who was a bit older, and he loved to push others around and embarrass them with rude things he said. I generally ignored him, and then one time he tried to trip me in the hallway. He tripped himself, and I just walked away. Bullies and often weak cowards can be dangerous, when they have a bit of power or numbers, but they’re nothing, not real men, just cowards.
Eighth, like many cowards and bullies, many of you are also perverts. The cowards who attacked buildings with planes on 9/11 spent the night before at strip clubs. Oh what phonies such men are. They hide their own women; they punish them when they’re victims of cowards who rape them, and they look forward to sex toys in paradise. Do you really think such men—less than men—are worthy of any god, whatever name you use? Such perversions exist everywhere, and that is very sad; hypocrites who rail against perversion while secretly enjoying it are pathetic cowards and perverts.
Ninth, in many places ruled by cowards and perverts like you, they hate homosexuals. Ah but they will use boys for sex, and that’s okay. Or they enslave little girls, and use them for sex. Cowards, bullies, perverts, and hypocrites—what fine examples of your religion you are. A religion that actually permits such things is twisted and corrupt.
Tenth, only cowards gain converts to their religion by force. This was once the way of pagans who thought that the god of those who won a battle was stronger than the god of the losers. Why would an all-powerful god be impressed with the puny accomplishments of the creatures he made, accomplishments of fear, destruction, and murder? Every person you maim, terrorize, enslave, or kill is a creature, a creation of God. Do you believe he’s impressed with cowardly men who destroy what he has made? If such a god existed, I would not be impressed with him. Give him a name, write a book about him, create religious activities, but I can imagine only two explanations beyond the evils of cowardly men themselves. One ends with the true God thinking, “Oh you poor children, how can you believe I’m pleased with the actions of cowards, bullies, and perverts?” The other explanation ends with Satan laughing and saying, “Oh you stupid humans, I love what you’ve done for me. Now come join me in hell!”
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Did you know that there is a God who actually loves cowards? He doesn’t love their cowardice, or perversion, or their other sins, but he loves them, like he loves me. Personally, I don’t want to be feared; I have no interest in what I can get from people only if I take it or force them to give it to me. I pray often that I won’t harm other people, especially in my own deceptions and sin. I don’t believe any decent human being or even a god wants that. I would prefer to be admired, appreciated, enjoyed, liked, and loved, freely without any attempt at force or delusion. What is given to me or to God from threat or fear means nothing; furthermore, any religious act or speech or action done without love is worthless (I Corinthians 13). I enjoy loving others, even if they don’t always respond to me with love. Kindness, generosity, patience, forgiveness, mercy, and love make a great way of life; meanness, greed and lust, impatience, revenge, bitterness, and hate may come naturally but end in loneliness and despair. The faith of terrorist cowards holds no attraction for me. Hold a blade over my neck and force words from my mouth, I still won’t believe. I, too, look forward to paradise, but not a paradise of sin and corruption forever. I await a place of eternal blessing that only the Creator of this world can imagine. The magnificent beauty of this universe, this earth, this world’s near endless bounty of plants, animals, earth and sky, sparkling jewels and glorious sunrises simply tells me that the Creator’s heaven is far, far beyond the petty nightmarish wishes of cowards and perverts.
False religions are built on the idea of giving God something, as if he is in need. Religious people in their pride want to present themselves to God on their own sinful terms, based on their accomplishments, as if a creature really has much to offer the Creator. He only wants our love; love is precious to Him, and we can love. Humans think to impress God with their devotion. How silly is that? We are like the child who makes a cake out of mud and gives it to her mother. She loves the sweet innocence of her gift but knows her own cake is both edible and more tasty. God who made everything out of nothing smiles on our feeble attempt to copy, at least until it becomes idolatry, and weeps when we practice evil, especially in his name. He cannot, will not accept our pride that subtly denies him, but he will accept and enjoy our love, our trust, our gratitude, our service, and our worship. He’s not asking for “manly men” and certainly not cowards, but children who will trust and love Him.
Yet despite your worst sins and mine, this God, among so many other things, is love who loves us, loves me, loves you and seeks your trust. That is all. Everything else he will do, has already done. He’s not interested in what you can do for him, for what does an infinite, all-knowing, all-powerful God need? Human pride, as it did in Babel, seeks to make itself a god when the true Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of all the lost is the one and only infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, and all-loving God. And, you, even a coward, may become his much loved child, if only you put your trust in the Savior Jesus Christ, the Word who became flesh, the god-man, the lamb who was slain, the risen Lord who defeated not only sin but death itself. You have a choice whether to serve a god of death by dealing in death or to serve the God of life and eternal love? Will you remain a coward or become adopted into the family of God as a child of God? Will you continue to hate, destroy, and kill, or will you love and be loved by the one whose Greatest Command is “Love you neighbor as yourself”?
1“Much less frightening situation”? Well, maybe not. Did Peter and the others realize that death—death by crucifixion at that—was at hand? I’d say that certainly ranks with beheading or torture. For all that I’ve read and taught about that horrendous form of execution, its being part of the familiar story allows the mind to avoid thinking very hard about the awful details—nails in the hands and feet, hanging by those very nails, the slow, progressive asphyxiation as the body’s position makes every breath harder and harder to gasp, till at last it ends. However, this goes on for a seeming eternity for the victim. Yes, that is frightening, horrifically so!
2The “poor excuse of a religion” is the evil version these cowards follow. While I’m not convinced that Islam as taught in the Koran is truth, I’m not referring to those beliefs. I’m referring to the twisted beliefs that inspire murder and mayhem, as if that is what Allah or God really wants us to do to each other. Only Satan seeks such evil, and those who justify their evil with religious teachings. A twisted variant of Christianity may also be a “poor excuse of a religion.”