Please go to updated essay at: http://www.drsenator.com/BeheadingVideo.html
In mid May, 2004, jihadists executed Nick Berg by sawing off his head. The execution was videotaped and posted on the Web for the world to view. Children were shown the video in classrooms. Teachers were suspended for this indiscretion. The Talk Show circuit was captivated by the issue of showing such violence to children. A police officer called the station and reported that in real life he had seen decapitated bodies and thought he could watch the video with clinical dispassion. In fact, the images disturbed him so deeply that he refused to expose his mind and heart to violence and cruelty displayed by the executioners.
The perpetrators have positioned themselves as avengers for the indecent exposure of prisoners in the Iraqi Prison camp. Throughout the execution they submitted their acts as a worship to Allah. The Radical/Militant Wahhabe sect of Islam may in fact endorse such barbarism. Fortunately the Quran, appears to contain no verses which advocate such violence toward members of another faith or people.
When considered in its entirity, I believe the Bible reflects the fullness of God's character. I believe the hologram of Christian scripture is a perfect reflection of the mind of God. I believe other religions are false to the extent that they violate or omit elements of Biblical precept, and in those places of omission, addition, or distortion, an element of evil has invaded that religion. But, scriptural perfection does not prevent Christians from misinterpreting the scripture. Thus, while Christianity is True, no man has the right to say with absolute certainty that he speaks for God absolutely, perfectly, and without error. As a Christian Nation, we must each be responsible advocates for our interpretation of scripture. Public policy should be made based on the testimony and debate of many counselors, advocates, priests, and legislators. In the process of generating political, spiritual, social consensus a balanced and righteous legislation should arise.
Every religion probably has some truth in it. And, to the extent that a religion agrees with Christianity, that religion is true. But, the other world religions do not present a full and accurate picture of God. They cannot, because they do not offer the possibility of atonement for sins, which is only available through the appropriation of the blood of Jesus. While such declarations of a "One Way" to Truth may sound chavinistic, narrow, and exclusive, the fact is, if Jesus' words were true, then there is no other way to God the Father but through Him. If such a tenant is true, then it would be most wise and compassionate to widely inform the world of the possibility of spiritual renewal and relief.
With regard to the issue of watching the beheading video, I think it is best to not view such material because it can callous the heart to barbarity. It is good to keep the heart tender. Those who advocate exposure argue that we must be aware of the nature of evil we face; we must know it and feel it, otherwise we risk complacency when action is needed. We each face the challenge of balancing the awareness of evil with being callous to evil. Each heart must monitor its own state and stay wary of falling prey to either error. Proverbs admonishes us that the heart is the most treasured possession, guard it with diligence.
Putting children in a place where they must endure such exposure without the possibility of turning away is a type of victimization. Once watched, they are subject to those images forever. As in every instance of trauma, the child must properly process those images. Unprocessed, the child may be driven to act out the patterns and behaviors, or deal with the pain inside by shutting down his/her feelings on a more global scale.
One way to process a traumatic event, painful memory, or evil imagery is as follows:
This therapy/philosophy is simply a restatement of scripture:
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