Adam, the Little Christian Boy Who Confronted Islamic Terrorists
He was small in height and mind (being only three), yet he stood up to the terrorists and gave the world a message that it desperately needs. He showed us what it means to "Be not afraid" in the face of overwhelming evil. In contrast to the utter destruction of evil, he showed us the beauty and goodness of a child - and human life.
Attack on church in Iraq
Three-year-old Adam murdered on October 31, 2010. Photo found at Christians For Iraq.
KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - We have passed the one month anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Syrian Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Deliverance in Baghdad. Close to 60 innocent people were killed and 75 more wounded while they were attending Mass that day on October 31st. The dead included children and two priests. Given the genocidal attacks against Catholics in Iraq in recent years, these victims are martyrs for the faith.
What stands out most for me about that day is a story that Cardinal George told during his final address to the Catholic Conference of Bishops in mid-November about a little boy who confronted the terrorists. This powerful story reminds me of our failure to confront the reality of evil, but it also reminds me of hope.
On that tragic day, "three-year-old Adam witnessed the horror of dozens of deaths, including that of his own parents. He wandered among the corpses and the blood, following the terrorists around and admonishing them, 'enough, enough, enough.' According to witnesses, this continued for two hours until Adam was himself murdered." That is all I know about Adam, but I cannot get his story out of my head. I believe Adam gave us a message for the whole world.
The reason I believe Adam gave us a message is because what he did and said seems so unnatural to me. I find it incomprehensible that a three-year-old child could witness so much death around him, even his mother and father, and then follow the murderers amongst the carnage admonishing them for hours. I would think that most children would be frozen with fear or hysterical, but Adam was not. Rather, out of the mouth of this brave little child came the words of pure truth.
When I first read these words "enough, enough, enough," I sensed that they were exactly what needed to be said, that they were divinely inspired. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, "When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you" (10:19-20).
In a certain sense, Adam was handed over that day. As a result, I believe this innocent child was inspired and given what to say, that the Holy Spirit spoke through him. I even imagine that the purpose of Adam's short life was fulfilled to a certain extent in those surreal moments leading up to and culminating in his martyrdom. With these thoughts in mind, I feel compelled to try to understand the message, especially as it may pertain to Catholics in America.
Clearly, the message has meaning on more than one level. On the most obvious and immediate level, Adam was telling the terrorists in the Church that day to stop the killing. On another level, we can easily envision Adam telling terrorists to stop the genocide of Catholics in Iraq; but this can be expanded, as Cardinal George noted, to include all persecuted Christians throughout the Middle East, in India and Pakistan, in China and in Vietnam, and in Sudan and African countries. On the most general level, perhaps Adam is telling all of us to look at evil for what it truly is, and avoid doing evil.
This final message may seem obvious, but it is not at all obvious in an age when people think they can decide what is good and evil. Take Frances Kissling. She was president of the National Abortion Federation and president of Catholics for Choice (an anti-Catholic organization) for many years. At present, she is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. Wanting to justify killing the unborn, at a conference on abortion in October, she said, "We have to get rid of the 'idea' of evil" (emphasis added).
Notice, she does not really want to get rid of evil; she merely wants to justify abortion, which she knows kills children. Thus, we are speaking about moral evil. Also note that this kind of tactic seems to be a pattern for those who want to move away from traditional Christian morality and toward a secular state. This tactic is called moral relativism, though it can go by other names.
Moral relativism is an ethical philosophy. The Catholic philosopher and author Peter Kreeft contrasts this modern philosophy with the traditional view of morality. He says relativism treats moral laws as man-made rules like the rules of a game that children play. But if we create these rules, then we can also change them. Although it is more involved, this comment shows us that moral relativism has no solid foundation.
On the other hand, the traditional view holds that moral laws are not rules but laws based on our nature that we discover, like the laws of science. This helps explain why we say that moral laws are grounded in objective reality, which is a solid foundation, and why they are referred to as the natural law (however, all natural law is ultimately grounded in God). ...
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