These are dangerous times. The challenge to democracies is how do you react to acts of terror without losing your basic freedoms?

ISIS is no ordinary group of thugs, their design and purpose is to bring about Armageddon. It is hard to believe that any group would use such depravity, such acts that shock the conscience of man. It goes beyond reason what they are prepared to do in the name of God. Barbaric is a word that fits but even that word does not seem to work sufficiently when describing these acts of wanton brutality.

As each act of barbarism occurs it seems as if we have a new norm in the world today and that is that governments can not keep their society safe. One more tragedy occurs after another with no end in sight. Acts of barbarism are the new norm. We do not know where the new act of terror will occur next. Countries increasingly are better prepared to deal with the enormity of the crisis but there is nothing one can do to prevent these tragedies when you have a lone wolf or small cell of individuals willing to give up their lives in a ceaseless effort to bring death and destruction to civilization, with civilians being the target.

Out of the wreckage we are finding men who seek power through the pain of others under the guise of providing order and safety to our lives in a time of uncertainty and fear. These men who seek power are the greatest threat to democracies today.

Democracies do their best to provide safety. The freedoms that do exist in a free society provide an opportunity for a individual to recklessly perform an act of terror on their fellow citizens. These are days that are ripe for a wannabe dictator who offers you safety and order. Who does not want safety and order? But this beguiling offer is ripe with danger, beware of what you wish for if you lose your freedoms in the process.

You can see the rise of Fascism in western countries. Fascism is what ISIS wants. If as a reaction to their wanton acts of terror, we, the western countries, react by seeking order in exchange for our freedoms, ISIS has won. We can not allow ISIS to change our way of life. It will take courage and resolve to keep our freedoms. Patience wares thin and the desire for safety is great. As Ben Franklin said long ago, if you give up a little freedom for security you deserve neither.It is my fervent hope that we will resist the urge to seek order out of chaos without any regard to the loss of freedom. May we go forward and try to live our lives with dignity and with the resolve to keep to our faith and maintain our freedoms. Humanity demands that we stay above the fray and abide by the better angels of our nature.


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