Full disclosure, I look at this from a Christian perspective, and so I believe the Bible that God did not “give us a spirit of fear”. We should not go around with a crippling fear imagining death and destruction around every corner.
However, we do not test God by, for example, jumping on a plane for the Middle East to seek out ISIS as a test to see if God will spare our lives. That’s called “having an unsound mind.”
Rather, the Bible says, “but flee from these things …and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” It’s not that we fear evil, we just don’t entertain it. That is, we don’t invite unapologetic ISIS killers with an ideology of hate, bent on decapitating Westerners, into our homes; nor, go out and buy dangerous snakes for entertainment. (Returning ISIS killers who will publicly and verifiably disavow ISIS is a different story. Forgiveness is a basic tenant of Christianity.)
So why would PM Trudeau tell Canadians not to fear, but rather embrace, returning ISIS fighters that took deliberate steps to, and did sign up for, an ideology that kills and decapitates Westerners.
Why would Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, similarly tell Londoners in the wake of a terrorist attack (that was subsequently followed by many more terrorist attacks) that “terror attacks [are] ‘part and parcel’ of living in a major city.” Terrorism kills people. Western democracies should obviously not be entertaining terrorists. We should not be normalizing the fear of terrorism.
Speaking of the evil of terrorism, is it just me or are there an unusual number of mainstream media news stories about “pet” python snakes escaping from their urban homes. Snakes are the historical symbol of evil, and in the top 15 things that people most fear. For example, here are some recent news stories: CTV News Pet Python Escapes in Toronto, Global News, Pet Python escapes in Delta BC, Global News, Snake in Scarborough home
The message in these news stories, repeated over and over in interviews with the owners, neighbours, and snake experts, is that there is nothing to fear about an escaped Python snake in your neighbourhood. We’re told, “these snakes are very passive” and “wouldn’t hurt anyone”.
It is simply untrue that there is no reason to fear a python if you come upon one. They are dangerous animals. They do kill people.
There’s no reason to fear snakes at every corner because “we do not have a spirit of fear.” Paul was even healed from a snake bite and the Bible says that we are protected from snakes. However, Paul did not go looking for a snake. He did not go out and buy a dangerous pet snake, put himself and his neighbours in danger, and then ask God to protect everyone.
The same could be said of inviting MS-13 gang members into the USA. The Liberal media’s message on MS-13 gang members: don’t fear them even though they are violent killers – they are just misunderstood. Some people are defending MS-13’s right to cross the border illegally, and effectively come into the homes of US citizens.
Clearly, there is forgiveness. Some of the brightest lights in Christianity are former gang members who were touched by God, forgiven, and have gone on to be healers and peace-makers. This does not mean that the US should blindly open its doors to MS-13 gang members to set up shop in elementary schools on the basis that they should not be feared. That would be of unsound mind.
Psychology Today and the Bible appear to agree that dulling our God given fear instinct to flee from that which can harm or kill us is dangerous. It also deturs us from fleeing towards “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness”.
Opinions are my own.