Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rosary for the win.

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme made headlines in April when he announced that Jesus Christ had appeared to him in a vision, "offering him a rosary and saying the words, 'Boko Haram is gone.'" From this the bishop concluded that the Lord meant him to know that praying the rosary was the means by which the evil Boko Haram would be expelled.

It probably was a good thing that the major news outlets of the West largely ignored the story, because they would have run it as a look-at-those-wacky-Catholics kind of piece.

Not that they have any answers to the problem of Islamic terrorism.

Boko Haram is usually interpreted to mean something like "Western education is forbidden," but the name literally means "Books are forbidden." You'd think the American Library Association, with its "Banned Books Week," would be calling to bomb them into the stone age, but they haven't taken a position on it. (To the organization's credit, they did have Ayaan Hirsi Ali speak last January at the ALA Midwinter meeting while timid little college campuses have run away from the author like scared mice. I'm an admirer of Hirsi Ali, but her staunch atheist views seem to have blinded her to the benefits of good religion---understandably, considering the brutal abuse she has suffered. Still, she ought to be welcome as a serious writer on any American campus.)

Anyway, a few weeks after Bishop Dashe Doeme went public with his vision, the Nigerian military claimed to have rescued 677 women and children kidnapped by Boko Haram, Coincidence? Pressure from the bishop forcing the military's hand? Answer to a prayer?

If the military accomplished this rescue as stated than they deserve immense credit. News reports following the mass abduction last year showed how difficult finding and defeating a large rebel army would be in Nigeria, a country about twice the size of California with 4.5 times the population, half of them Muslim. Like Cyrus, praised by Isaiah as the agent of the Lord, so is the Nigerian military and those who helped them.

Would it have happened without the rosary? Maybe not. We know God uses people to work out His purposes; otherwise there would have been no need to commission Apostles.

Well, the story is not yet over. The women rescued endured the most diabolical torture, including that favorite of mindless thugs, rape; many are pregnant with the children of their captors. And Boko Haram has just attacked Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, and they really don't care who they kill. A mosque was bombed with worshipers in it. This is not really a battle of Muslim vs. Christian so much as a death cult vs. everybody else.

If you're Catholic, or otherwise pray the rosary, consider doing so in support of the good people of Nigeria. They need your help.

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