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Welcome to my blog where I will post commentary on issues ranging from fiction to public policy. Tucked away in the Idea Boxes are “how to” tips on a variety of projects that have become part of our family’s culture over the years. I hope you’ll find some useful ideas there. My blog will take you through the fantastic journey of writing fiction, as well as the decisions I will be making about publication of my first novel One Summer in Arkansas. Thanks for your interest.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Brothers Tsarnaev

Now that the initial shock of the Boston Marathon bombings has subsided and the perpetrators killed or captured, we can step back and contemplate the senseless carnage visited on bystanders by these young men.

Much has been written about the apparent likeability of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, coupled with dismay that their American education and assimilation did nothing to inhibit their deadly jihadist impulses.  But nothing in the Koran or logic can explain or justify the misguided belief among radical Islamists that random violence will somehow further their cause or settle the score for perceived injustices.

Impulse control in young men has been a societal challenge since the beginning of time and we probably don’t do enough in our schools, churches, mosques and families to teach our boys the link between action and consequence.  Think about a young man from the poverty-ridden inner city who wants money to buy a six-pack of beer.  He goes into a Seven-Eleven and winds up shooting the clerk, unable in a moment of panic to link the outcome of his impulsive action to a little boy at home who will cry himself to sleep night after night because he has lost a father.  We spend so much collective energy trying to educate our young people, but somehow fail to give them the tools to navigate the hazardous process of growing up in a stressful and competitive world.

I read the Koran as part of a study group at my church and was struck by how similar it is to the Old Testament.  These ancient writings reflect cultures at war and they are similarly belligerent towards other tribes.  Most religious warfare has been about class or politics or tribalism and not about religion, and that’s true of the Islamic fundamentalist movement too.

Conservatives are too quick to blame Islam and liberals are too focused on political correctness to talk sensibly about solutions to this endless, senseless violence.  Just as Christians should speak out against extremists who justify bigotry or sexism through the Bible, leaders in Islam should do more to condemn acts of violence in the name of their religion.

I’m sure the families of Tamerlan and Dzokhar are just as devastated by their horrific actions as would have been the Newtown, Connecticut mother of Adam Lanza, had she lived to see the painful legacy of her son’s life. 

It’s too much burden to place on the shoulders of parents of young men who go horribly wrong.  We need to do more as citizens of an ever-smaller world community to provide moral grounding in values that prepare them for a complex and sometimes painful journey to adulthood.     

1 comment:

  1. After having spent an entire career working the streets of my community, I can attest to the fact that there is a veritable army of teens and young adults who have absolutely no appreciation for life-theirs, or anyone else's-or the consequences of their actions.

    I personally believe it has a lot to do with the collapse of the traditional family and the values taught there; I also understand that there has been divorce, broken homes, and neglected children for eons. This is not a new phenomenon. What is new though, is the extent of the problem. Every year, society moves further and further toward a 'take what you can get, when you can get it' mentality, instead of a 'treat others how you want to be treated' outlook. Charity, humility, and selflessness seem to have become 'old fashioned'. And, this is not just a Christian, Muslim, or atheist problem, it's a worldwide problem.

    Until more adults abandon the selfish lifestyles that leave their own children morally bankrupt, and retake their position as the guardians of society, the problem will only get worse. It's all about responsibility, and too few people are taking it.

    Great blog, by the way. And, good luck with your writing, it's how I happened to come by in the first place. I am a fellow aspiring world renowned author.

    In two years I will retire and can focus on my writing full-time. I hope I am able to do was well as you have.

    Cheers

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