We live in a very judgmental society. There’s not a lot of compassion spread around among the majority of people. I’ve been reading a book about narcissism and sociopathy. I won’t reveal the name of the author, because the opinions in this blog article are my own, and I don’t want there to be any confusion. The author in question does not mention terrorism or anything political of that nature, so I want to there to be no misunderstandings.
I was very interested in what the author had to say about some of the characteristics associated with narcissism, a separation from reality, a need for attention, and an inherent loneliness because of an inability to truly care for others, or having a lack of empathy. The author also mentioned near the end of the book that there’s a possibility that a narcissist cannot truly their worst tendencies.
This got me to thinking. Perhaps terrorists display a form of narcissism. They believe that their ideology or world view is the only one that matters. Our recently elected Prime Minister in Canada, Justin Trudeau, believes that terrorists, upon returning to Canada if they are Canadian by birth, should be able to retain their citizenship. I completely agree with this, because if someone has committed violent acts, they are in more need of forgiveness than almost anyone. If citizenship is denied them, then they will have nothing left to lose. We also need to remember that it is possibly a dysfunctional amygdala (an important part of the brain) that is responsible for their horrific choices. Imagine their joy if they are forgiven for their terrorist activity. This is the kind of love that Jesus Christ preaches: Go and sin no more. Saul was a murderer who had an epiphany in Damascus, Syria, and he later became Paul. He repented of his formerly violent behaviour, and began a life dedicated to God.
It’s very easy to judge terrorists. They do evil things, and are full of violence. There are few things more destructive in this world than violence. It grows like a poison. But someone who commits an act of violence, or a series of such acts, should not be cast off completely from society. They should receive the appropriate punishment in a criminal court of law, but they should always be made to feel like they have something to fight for. If their Canadian citizenship is stripped from them, they will feel like they have nothing left to lose. And that is when they will become truly dangerous, because they will be truly desperate. That’s why I agree with Justin Trudeau’s stance on this issue, even though it has generated a fair amount of controversy.
If terrorists suffer from a mental disorder, we need to remember that it’s impossible for us, as human beings, to know where a mental disorder ends, and where freedom of choice begins. I believe that it’s not so easy as to say that no one is held accountable for their actions, just because their genes and chromosomes are arranged in a certain way. I believe that we are judged on our acts, as well as our beliefs. It’s possible that we will not be held accountable in the next life if we suffer from a mental disorder, but that line of thinking can also be dangerous. It can encourage people to do what they will, on the assumption that it can be excused away because of the arrangement of our chromosomes. Alesteir Crowley says Do What Thou Wilt; I have added to that, unless it is violent, hurts children, or takes advantage of others in a financial sense.
We must stop contributing to the radicalization of disenchanted individuals. Every time a politician is found to be corrupt, every time someone applies for a job that they don’t get, or there are no jobs to be had in the first place, a future terrorist could be born. In my book, He Talks To Me, Too, I talk in a fictional way about how I was thrown out into the wilderness by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because they did not agree with my perception of my own gender, they wanted nothing to do with me. They could not see their way to even helping me volunteer in their Church. This was a profound mistake on their part, because I could have contributed a lot to their organization, and I could have been a very good example. Fortunately, I do not have a violent predisposition (my amygdala seems to work just fine!), and so my unhappy circumstances did not lead to myself becoming radicalized. However, there but for the grace of God go I, and go a lot of us. We should not judge, because we have no idea what someone has been through.