[Ed. Note – I have been away from blogging for quite some time as Erin and I welcomed the birth of our first child last month. My plan was to get back to writing at the beginning of Advent, but the events in Beirut and Paris led me to write now.]

Earlier today, The Economist ran a story about the day after in Paris. The story used the phrase, ‘defiant normality.’ It is from reading this that I was compelled to reflect as follows:

I love the phrase ‘defiant normality.’ When we change everything we do because a group that, quite simply, the world’s leadership has not contained or dealt with effectively, then they win. As for me, I’m not in the mood to give these punks the satisfaction they’ve won.

Should we pray? By all means.

Should we stand in solidarity with the victims? By all means.

But let us do more. Let us demand of our world’s leadership actions – not words, but actions – that show this kind of stuff will not be tolerated and must be stopped.

I’ve had enough. And have for a long time.

My anger comes not only from these terrorist attacks (and this is terrorism – make no mistake about it) but from people being outraged and surprised this would happen.

My anger comes because there are many in this world who are so lost and misguided that they see the most productive way of being a member of society is to commit these acts of terror that are, simply, indefensible. God knew these people before they were formed in the womb, knew the plans that were for them to prosper, sent Christ to atone for the sin of the world so that all may be reconciled to their creator, and yet, unfortunately, some don’t know or choose not to accept God’s grace. After all, God loves all so much that all are given the free will to reject that love and the free will to carry out evil, just as all are given the free will to love and the free will to do good works. I’m angry that there are people who are so far away from realizing this grace and want to live a life of destruction and murder.

Those who carried out these terroristic actions are people who are hell bent on destroying civilized society for their own purposes. I’m not surprised it happened – I’m sad that our world leadership talks a lot about it but doesn’t seem to do more than talk because we don’t want to offend others.

I’m offended that people were out to eat on a Friday night in Paris or a Thursday in Beirut, going about their business at concerts and every other activity in a global city, and had their lives ended because some people wanted to simply carry out evil.

Enough is enough. If we are going to worry about not offending people, and take giant steps – including passing laws and running off of college campuses those who dare disagree with them (but that’s a whole other discussion) – to make sure that no one is offended, then note for the record I am highly offended. And someone needs to answer for me being offended. (I say that only slightly tongue in cheek.)

When I was in undergrad and grad school I dealt with professors and fellow students who offended me by some of their beliefs and actions and how they belittled some of my deeply held beliefs and identities. However, rather than go to Dan Reneau’s or Maxie Dunnam’s office to whine and moan, I took the chance to be strengthened in my own beliefs and identity by examining who I was and what I believed. I believe it made me a better student and a better man, and I pray it will have made me a better father.

Prayer? Yes.

Solidarity? Yes.

More of the same from our world’s leaders? I’ll pass.

I’m not in the mood to give these punks the satisfaction they’ve won.

I’m in the mood to be defiantly normal.

Grace and Peace, :Lamar