Ft. Hood Massacre - Psychological Or Theological Problem?
November 16, 2009
By Rev. Michael Bresciani
Nidal Malik Hasan is charged with shooting and killing 13 people and wounding 29 more on U.S. Army base Ft. Hood in Texas this week. Everyone is scrambling for answers and the first experts consulted have been psychiatrists.
It might seem a bit like asking a fox why another fox attacked the hen house and to others, the question of why the physician could not heal himself is not likely to be answered by his equally bewildered colleagues.
Hasan, who immigrated to America from an Arab village in Samaria, is a Muslim and according to the UK Telegraph November 8, 2009 "used to attend the same mosque as two of the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks on the U.S." FBI agents are working to ascertain what connections if any that Hasan had to terrorist groups.
Here is a counselor who needed counseling himself according to reports from Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he was formerly assigned. Apparently he had trouble dealing with some of his patients according to a former boss. The nature of his difficulty has yet to be revealed but the flags that went up did not result in a less strenuous assignment or a completely new task that would not include having to deal with soldiers returning from service in theatre.
While experts try to get to Hasan's motive very few are viewing the problem as an entire background and theological issue. As thirteen flag draped coffins leave Ft. Hood the question of motive is paramount but it is not likely that anyone will blame the tenants of the "peaceful religion" for much of anything.
It is and has always been a concern for the Pentagon because there are some 3,000 Muslims in military service in America. Their cultural knowledge and expertise in the Arab language has been one of the basic reasons that the military was willing to risk their service but other fears may also be prevalent although not as apparent.
Even when Hasan's motives are clearly known; it is the question of what means he chose to deal with his problems that will remain as the much larger question. Trying to skirt around the seething allusions to death that are so prevalent in the Muslim religion is what worries even those who are only vaguely familiar with the so-called "religion of peace."
Another fear is that the defense of 'temporary insanity' might come into the picture in the future if Mr. Hasan recovers completely. Naturally, if the insanity defense should be considered then perhaps anyone who was ever charged as a terrorist may take the cue and use the defense to wrangle free of culpability.
Both the Quranic and Imamic instruction for dealing with most of the problems confronting the Muslims has to do with fatwas, jihad, suicide bombings, beheading, and death to Israel, death to America and death to all infidels. The religion of peace it seems, knows no peace.
Could basic theology offer the answer everyone is scrambling for in the reasons for the massacre? Without sidestepping political correctness doesn't the question beg to be asked, what if he were a Christian? What theology would have guided him, what tenant of Biblical doctrine might have caused him to consider a completely different path?
If he saw every other soldier on the base as his enemy wouldn't he be compelled to consider the admonition of the Lord to forgive even his enemies?
Perhaps he may have chosen one of the only scripture passages that President Obama has ever alluded to favorably taken from the Sermon on the Mount. "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Mt 5:44)
If Mr. Hasan was beleaguered with worry about being shipped off to Afghanistan he may have found repose in Christ's words also taken from the Sermon on the Mount. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Mt 6:34)
Finally, regardless of the reasons for his outburst wouldn't he have been better advised and wouldn't the lives of others been kept safe if he knew and believed in the following proclamation made by Jesus Christ? It may be the single most important thing the 'religion of peace' could learn from the 'religion of life.' "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)