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How to Die in Prison


Decisions Credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Decisions Credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Creative Commons

There is a news story developing, in Syria, that is very sad. As the last territory controlled by ISIS is overrun, and the militants face defeat, many people are trying to escape with their lives. ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, is described as a terrorist organization and it is accused of many atrocities. The horror stories have shocked the world, and now no-one wants the refugees. People who participated in organized evil against so many innocent victims, are not wanted back in their home countries.

One refugee from ISIS is Shamima Begum, a young woman who is now nine months pregnant. Shamima left her home in England when she was fifteen, and travelled to Turkey with two other your girls, and then they crossed the border into ISIS territory to become brides of ISIS fighters. She was legally a child when she left England, and in ISIS territory she had two babies, both dead now, and she is about to have her third baby. She is appealing to the British government to let her return home, before her baby is born. She wants the baby to get good British medical care.

Apparently Shamima is not sorry that she joined ISIS, she is not opposed to them now, and she claims that life was normal in her terrorist home. She also says that she saw bins of severed human heads, and it didn’t bother her. She does not claim to be innocent.

I think this story is part of a trend.

I am a father, and I hate to see young adults surrender their freedom to a teenage fad. Shamima will probably return to England, some time, and I hope the new baby survives. God needs to protect the innocent ones.

At the age of fifteen, a young girl from England put herself into a prison, and she will never be free. Her own decisions gave her a life sentence. When she returns home to England, she will be investigated, and she might spend some time in an actual prison; and then, for the rest of her life, she will always be a female Islamic terrorist. Life will never be normal for Shamimah. I am sure that childish decision will look very different to her when she is 35, or 55. She can never unring that bell.

Shamimah is one of many, and the world has a problem. Evidence of crimes committed in a war zone, is easily lost, and courts need evidence to make a conviction. That means some real monsters will soon be living among us. This is already happening, and the results are disturbing.

A young Yazidi girl named Ashwaq, was captured by ISIS invaders in Iraq and sold to one of their fighters for one hundred dollars. She was treated brutally, as a slave, but she managed to escape after several months, and eventually she was sent to Germany as a refugee. One day, as she walked down a street in a safe German city, someone called her name. It was her former slave owner, who had also managed to get into Germany as a refugee. He threatened her, and she left Germany and returned to Iraq, near the war zone, where she felt safer.

I believe in the existence of the Devil, and I think there is a strategy to destroy the future of teens and young adults, in these times. Juvenile fads have extreme consequences, and simple decisions bring life sentences. This is partly because of electronic communication; the Internet never forgets. More than a few movie stars and politicians have been ruined by information about their past that they wanted to hide.

We also have choices that are severely destructive. Shamimah Begum made decisions as a young teen, and the destruction will follow her for a life time. Also, someone made destructive decisions and then forced them on a fourteen-year-old girl named Ashwaq. She is also in a prison, as an innocent victim, and the effects will probably stay with her for a lifetime. Consequences are not fair.

We are living in times where we might make decisions, or others might force something on us, and those one-way decisions will bring severe and life-long consequences. I think that is a winning strategy for the Devil and the dark side.

I remember growing my hair long, or as long as my father allowed. That bad hair decision was easily erased in about ten minutes, in a barber chair, when I needed a job. I will try to include an embarrassing picture with this article. Those were innocent times, when even tattoos were uncommon and consequences were lite.

I know several people who actively lived a homosexual life style, with a partner, and then changed their minds and married someone of the opposite sex. From conversations with them, the attitude was like ‘that was then, this is now.’ They just changed their minds; the way people do.

Today teens may have hormone treatments, or even surgery, to ‘transition’ them to a new gender. I am opposed to radical, one-way decisions, with severe and life-long consequences, made by juvenile minds. Many feel that way, but we are living in a time when that is normal.

Jesus had a better way, and He still does. As a follower of Jesus, I once left a church and went to another one. And what radical theological truth motivated that extreme move? The first church had a small parking lot and only one driveway, and the other church was also good. I may be shallow, but I can’t see any pattern of religious guilt or coercion in my history. When I read the sad stories in the news, it’s easy to see that I have found freedom in Jesus. In this world, the promise of freedom and better things, is often a disguise for a prison.

If you know someone who is bound in one of our modern prisons, I hope they will find this light:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61: 1 to 3)

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