I just saw the latest Mel Gibson film “Hacksaw Ridge.” Very well done movie. It tells the story of the devout Seventh Day Adventist and pacifist Desmond Does and his incredibly heroic actions on Hacksaw Ridge at the Battle of Okinawa. Warning: If you are squeamish, do NOT see this film. In very explicitly gruesome tones it depicts all the gore and guts of vicious hand to hand combat. Lots of bayonets, flame throwers, and explosions complete with flying heads and limbs.
However, this movie really brought to life for me the reality of what we are facing today…if we are willing to face reality. In the film Desmond Ross’s captain, a kind and serious man, assures Doss that he too believes the Bible and that learning to use a rifle against an evil threat is actually good.
“We are fighting Satan,” says the Captain.
Indeed we were. Both the Nazis in Europe and the forces of Imperial Japan were indeed satanic evil. They were both diabolically savage regimes that needed to be exterminated from off the face of the earth.
Today we face the same enemy, but with a different name. The moral equivalent of the Nazis and Imperialist Japanese today are the Jihadists. Whether you call them the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, Al Shebab, Boko Haram, or Hezbollah…I don’t care what they call themselves. They are all part of the same evil ideology. Just like our foes in World War II they only know how to torture, behead, rape, loot, enslave, and murder on a massive scale.
And just like we had to fully mobilize to exterminate the Nazis and Imperialist Japanese, today we need to fully mobilize to wipe out jihadists wherever we find them.
Even the pacifist Desmond Doss understood the threat of his day and joined the fight in his own way to defeat the forces of Satan.
Unfortunately, today, I am not so sure if most of our society really understands the threat we are facing, and the right way to respond to pure evil.