I just can't stay silent anymore.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love posting these things, but the time for this topic has come.
I am sorry if this offends you – takes you off guard – or gets your panties in a wad (sort of).
This past weekend I shared this image from this post on my personal Facebook page.
I was countered by a friend telling me I shouldn't have shared it because the image was too graphic and that images weren't needed to drive home what is happening in Iraq.
She insisted that the headlines about ISIS were enough to get the point across — but that this gruesome photo was just. too. much.
Now, I am still friends with her…
but I respectfully disagree. And so did a number of my friends. So much so that it led to one of my friends writing this viral post.
It's time folks.
Time to get your heads out of the sand.
Off your “cute hairstyle boards” on Pinterest.
Time to stop the chit chat about the latest home decor style.
Time to make your life count – and to save the lives of others.
Time to start standing up. Boldly. Not just for your own health, but for the life. And health. Of others.
I know some of you won't like it. But this is so important that that's just OK with me.
So you've seen the headlines about ISIS, but do you really know what is going on and how bad it is?
And what it means for those overseas — and for US?
What is ISIS? And What Are They Doing?
ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. They are a radical Islamic group that declares itself to be the only true religion – and basically they are killing anyone who gets in their way, or who doesn't agree with them or submit to their ways.
– In ISIS Controlled areas, Christians are not able to buy or sell anything in Iraq unless they pay tribute or give allegiance to the Caliphate. (Source)
– Families are being told to hand over their women for sex with ISIS militants to cleanse themselves. (Source)
– Christian homes and businesses are being marked with a red “N” for “Nazarene” to identify them. (reminiscent of the yellow stars from the Holocaust). See this article for more.
– ISIS is systematically beheading children, mothers and fathers. They're even apparently beheading children and putting their heads on sticks in a park.
Don't believe me? Watch the video at this link.
According to this article, there are some who have questions about how just how far ISIS plans to go.
I don't think there are any questions, folks. This group wants to kill ANYONE and EVERYONE who doesn't subscribe to their belief system.
Let's examine how much power ISIS now has and what they are going to do next.
– ISIS is now in control of many cities in Northern Syria and reportedly has control of NEARLY HALF OF IRAQ. According to the next video, they are doing this to establish a Caliphate in order to establish Islamic law.
“So what?” you may ask. “Let them have their Caliphate. That won't affect me.”
Well, the “so what” is this:
– ISIS is heavily recruiting children and training them in schools to radicalize them for the next generation
– Those refusing to follow ISIS' rules will be tortured and killed
– Women must be fully covered in robes in ISIS territories
– Those caught stealing must lose their hands
– Executions are being turned into either real or false crucifixions, perhaps to mock Christianity
Details are in the video below. (UPDATE: Video was removed from the source).
If you don't think this looks like Hitler, I don't know how else to convince you.
ISIS is killing EVERYONE who doesn't follow their belief system and way of living.
That means. Me. And my family. And all Christians and Jews EVERYWHERE.
And it's not just Christians and Jews who will be killed.
ISIS Kills ANYONE.
I'm sure you've heard about the Yazidis — but do you know who they are?
The Yazidis are a minority group in Iraq that is now starving to death on a mountain since ISIS threatens to kill them. Just because they are DIFFERENT.
They aren't Christian, Muslim, or Jewish – they are an unusual sect. But since ISIS finds their belief system to be reprehensible, ISIS thinks that all Yazidis should be dead.
The Yazidi children have even been reported to have resorted to drinking their parents' blood in order to stay alive on the mountains where they are literally dying of thirst and hunger.
ISIS is a HUGE danger to the U.S.
Just in case you are of the mindset that, “Oh well, Iraq and Syria and far away. I don't have to worry about that in my suburban home with my fenced in yard,” I've got news for you:
1. Al Qaeda carried out the biggest attack on US soil
2. ISIS has more financial resources than Al Qaeda
3. ISIS controls more territory and firepower than Al Qaeda
4. ISIS has enough uranium to make a dirty bomb
5. ISIS militants have pledged to raise the black jihad flag over the White House. (and if you think that's impossible, see how a flag that might have been an ISIS flag was just flown in London). UPDATE: Thanks to a reader, you can see it has flown in NJ in the US as well (though it appears to not be related to the current violence: http://pix11.com/2014/08/13/new-jersey-man-hangs-isis-flag-outside-his-home/)
and #6 – which is mine…..Al Qaeda kicked out ISIS because they were too violent.
If that doesn't drive it home, I don't know what will.
Now don't get me wrong. I still am passionate about what I am doing regarding typical “health posts”.
I mean, if you're not healthy, it's pretty hard to do anything to help anyone (though praying and posting things on social media can still be done).
But this whole incident has spurred me on – to write more broadly.
About those who are facing the ultimate loss of health — DEATH.
And well, if all of this isn't enough to scare you into action, maybe these images ****(WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC PHOTOS HERE.)**** at the end of this link are ****(WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC PHOTOS HERE.)****
Too Much for Your Kids?
We've been talking to our kids about this and they've seen some pictures. Not tons, but some.
Is it a heavy topic?
Would I rather shield my kids?
You bet I would rather not expose them to this. But sadly, we live in a world that is sliding towards Sodom, Gomorrah, and well— to hell.
My husband and I talk and pray about current events and try to agree on what to share and what not to. And maybe we make some mistakes.
But we are trying to raise kids who:
– are aware of what is going on around them – not just “up on the most current video game”
– can be active, alert citizens in a society that is dumbing down its citizenry more and more every day
– are passionate about others. About right and wrong. About real justice.
– who know history so that they can learn from it and learn what ideas NOT to repeat and what should be tried again.
Are we “odd birds”?
As if our whole foodie, gluten-free (and now some of us are on grain-free, gut healing diets), purified water, stainless steel bottle-toting ways weren't odd enough, now look at how “wacko” we've become….
Just the other day my son was ridiculed publicly by another homeschool boy for not knowing what Minecraft is.
It really broke our hearts to hear our son tell us that kids mocked him for this.
We thought for a minute and then my husband and I told him, “Next time that kind of thing happens, just ask that kid if he knows who his Congressman is.”
Personally I'm glad my kids was mocked for that. It just goes to show what we are doing right, I think.
Will I let my kid play Minecraft someday?
Maybe. But in the meantime we go to political speeches, rallies, read news articles on the internet, talk about them with passion, read the Bible, pray for and support missionaries and the impoverished in Third World Countries, and hope that our kids will catch the fire that we have — and that they'll spread it wide as they grow.
I think rather, it's too much to NOT tell our kids about this. To let them think that we can continue in our little comfy cozy houses with Nickelodeon and Sesame Street and Veggie Tales….
Really, parent. This could be YOUR child next.
Or your neighbor's child.
If you're not on the side of ISIS this is a very present reality.
But really, it doesn't matter if it's your child or just the Iraqi children or the Syrian children. This is horrid.
Back to the images…..
Are the Images Just. Too. Much?
My friend on Facebook argued that the image of the child at gunpoint was just too much. It scared her 9 year old. Plus she thought that the headlines about ISIS were enough to get the point across.
I don't know about you, but once I saw the image of this terrorized child (which apparently is being used by ISIS to intimidate others), the whole thing was really driven home to me.
I'm just SICKENED by the images of dead children. And adults. The whole thing.
Pictures NAIL it!
That's why Pinterest is so big. And why mostly Facebook posts with images do better….and Instagram is such a hit. And why Twitter just added photos.
Pictures tell the story just like they have throughout history and they've been used throughout history to get people moving.
Emmett Till – the Picture that Sparked the Civil Rights Movement
Emmett was a 14 year old African-American at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. He visited relatives in the South, apparently flirted with a young white woman and was brutally murdered for doing so. His killers beat him, gouged out one of his eyes, shot him in the head, and dumped him in the river with a cotton gin fan tied around his neck. His body was recovered 3 days later. His mother, Mamie Till Bradley, insisted on an open casket for his funeral. The service
exposed the world to more than her son Emmett Till's bloated, mutilated body. Her decision focused attention not only on American racism and the barbarism of lynching but also on the limitations and vulnerabilities of American democracy (Source)
Tens of thousands of people viewed the horrible image of Emmett's mutilated body —
it was THAT PICTURE that was the spark that ignited the Civil Rights' movement.
You can see more about Emmett's horrid death here:
What can you do?
My friend on Facebook said that my sharing that image did nothing and that I really needed to give some ideas of how to REALLY help people.
Well, here they are. Go and do something.
1. Raise Awareness
Raising awareness is one of the most important things that you can do. It's how all movements are started and it's crucial. It seems we have so many government officials fighting meaningless wars, and then something like this comes up and we basically (or literally) go on a vacation. Sharing this post or whatever other information you wish to use in order to get this message out.
Adopt this image on your social media profile, as I did on mine.
Let's get this ball rolling, folks.
People underestimated Hitler when he started taking power.
This ISIS group means business and it's time we demand action.
UPDATE: I just found out about Koome Ministries started by a former Jihadist. Something to look into for sure.
Samaritan's Purse is taking food to displaced Iraqis. You can donate to this cause here.
Voice of the Martyrs is a fabulous ministry that is sending action packs to those in need, including those in Iraq. Donate here.
ACLJ is at the forefront of many BIG issues on a constant basis. The lead attorney, Jay Sekulow has argued before the Supreme Court on many occasions. They are working hard for the freedom of Christians round the clock. You can donate here.
If you are interested in learning more about the whole Radical Islamic movement, Act for America is a good place to start.
What does a petition do, you might ask?
Well, some are just fodder for organizations to stuff their email lists, but ACLJ is something else, I'll tell you.
They go to bat BIG TIME against all kinds of atrocities and they take the petition signatures to put pressure on those who aren't acting as they should.
From their site:
Based in Washington, D.C., with affiliated offices in Israel, Russia, Kenya, France, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe, the ACLJ is pro-life and dedicated to the ideal that religious freedom and freedom of speech are inalienable, God-given rights for all people. The ACLJ engages legal, legislative, and cultural issues by implementing an effective strategy of advocacy, education, and litigation that includes representing clients before the Supreme Court of the United States and international tribunals around the globe.
ACLJ was at the forefront of putting pressure on the Sudanese government to bring Meriam Ibrahim out of Sudan and saving her life.
And they are working getting Pastor Saeed freed , who is being held in an Iranian prison, but now this pastor is being threatened by ISIS as well.
This is a GREAT group to be connected to.
If you sign a petition, you will get future emails from ACLJ but you can unsubscribe at any time. I personally like being aware of what is going on.
I know. Praying seems like it's not enough. But I am convinced that it can move mountains. I have been convicted that I haven't been praying enough about the situation in Iraq — or any of the dire circumstances in our present day (and there are many). We can all do so. much. more.
Now I'm still all about sharing posts about health. ‘Cause if we aren't healthy, then how can we do much good anyway, right?
5. Encourage Others in Positions of Influence to Speak Up
I don't know about you, but I think, as a Christian, that pastors have become less and less willing to stand up to point out evil in the culture.
They're all worried about losing their tax exempt status, or offending someone in the pews.
Well, I've got news for them.
Christ is offensive to some. God is offensive to some. And religious and “political” topics are offensive.
When someone is doing the wrong thing it offends them to tell them it's wrong.
But it HAS to be done.
In fact, you won't change anything unless you are an offense to who or what needs to be changed.
Whether you are a Christian, Jew, Mormon, Muslim, or of another faith, I beg you to go to your leadership and ask them to get vocal about this evil – and about other evils that are proliferating in our world today.
When Hitler was moving across Europe, many many churches were compliant. They hung swastikas in their buildings and basically rolled over and played dead as Hitler gassed Jews by the thousands.
LET'S NOT LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN!
ENOUGH of the happy dappy sermons and illustrations about fuzzy wuzzy feel goodness and lovie dovie kum ba yah “I love you and you love me and God loves all of us”.
There's a world on fire. And people are being killed.
And kids are drinking their parents' blood.
And our government isn't even willing to give them asylum yet? WHAT IS GOING ON FOLKS?
I thought this was the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
It's becoming the Land of the Shackled and the Home of the Timid as far as I can tell.
It's time for people of faith — ALL FAITHS — to wake up and speak up about the evils in our world. (And really, even if you don't subscribe to any faith, it's clear that this is evil taking root and that it must be stopped so I beg of you to get involved as well.)
Before we aren't able to speak anymore.
Just so you know I don't believe everything I read:
1. The lead photo in this post is clearly staged. Most likely it is from Yemen.
However, it could have been staged by people who then killed the child.
2. There are people who are questioning several aspects of these reports – stating that some of the associated photos are not accurate and are from other incidents. I can't check all sources, of course.
3. There are some who say that we need more first-hand interviews.
I don't know what we need. The fact is that ISIS is on the move and they are dangerous. And they are coming for more.
The point here is this.
We have become more afraid of upsetting people than we are indignant about evil. And I thought it was more important to get this story out then to make sure all of the details reported by others are accurate.
The truth will come out.
So you make the choice.
Sit in your comfy chair and stay on Pinterest….
Or get out there and be heard.
Getting someone's panties in a wad might be the best thing you've done in a LONG time.
What do YOU think?
What will YOU do?
Photos Used with Permission from Allen West and National Review Online.