Mourning a Victim This Memorial Day

When presidential adviser John Brennan said violent Muslim extremists are “victims,” he betrayed the consequence of the prevailing evolutionary worldview that makes us all victims. Man himself is a casualty we need to mourn.

As we consider Memorial Day and the casualties suffered in the service of our country by members of our military, a comment the other day by one of President Obama’s top advisors on terrorism reveals another casualty that deserves our mourning.

Fox News reported on Friday about a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that was given last Wednesday by John Brennan, the President’s top counterterrorism adviser. In his speech, Brennan called jihad a “legitimate tenet of Islam,” arguing that the term “jihadists” should not be used to describe America’s enemies. He also said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in “religious terms” as if that is not what those who engage in such attack say they are doing—engaging in jihad. But for me, the coup de gras (the deathblow) was his description of these violent Muslims as “victims” of “political, economic and social forces.”

A “victim” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent.” It usually bears the connotation of non-volition on the part of the person because he or she has been “acted on,” which is why the term often evokes a sense of sympathy.

Even though Islam teaches jihad and even though death by jihad is instant access to heaven, which Muslims say they want (sounds a bit volitional to me), we are supposed to believe that engaging in jihad is not a choice of the person so engaged? Are we supposed to believe that persons engaged in jihad could not help but be or become engaged in jihad because of the “forces” at work against them?

A Nation of Victims

My first reaction was to think that either Brennan is naive or wicked or he thinks we are all plain dumb. But his conclusion is actually consistent with the liberal mindset and view of man. You see, for the liberal, Man is no longer seen as a person made or created in the image of God with volition and free will. He is an evolutionary product of forces that have been working to make Man (and each individual man or woman) what he is, and Man could not be any different from what he is.

So, based on that worldview and premise, in a sense, we all are victims, not responsible for what happens to us or what we do. According to evolutionary thought, none of us had the ability or power to resist the forces acting against us that made us what we are. Which, if one is willing to think about it, makes no one truly “guilty” or “responsible” for anything, and we cannot really say that anything anyone does is really wrong. What we do is “natural” to who we are because, after all, nature is all there is, right? We’re left with the conclusion that what another does to me that is offensive or hurtful can only be wrong to me, but not really, truly objectively wrong.

America has become a nation of victims, and whether we want to admit it or not, there is a direct line between the evolutionary thinking regarding the origin of man that we have fed the last two generations of students and a world of victims. So, on this Memorial Day, there is another casualty for us all to morn, the death of Man himself. We have achieved the “Abolition of Man” that C.S. Lewis predicted so many years ago in his book by that same title.