Tomorrow is the fiftieth (50th) anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church here in Birmingham, Alabama. I was nearly 12 years old when that happened. My whole future was ahead of me. I am now an old man with seven grandchildren. Three of the girls were a little older than I was. One girl was younger. None got the opportunity to have a future. They would probably have been grandmothers by now.
Bill Cosby makes some good points in the video. A terrorist is a terrorist regardless of the cause they espouse. The whole purpose of the bombing, as he says, was to strike fear into the hearts of the black community. It was a warning that if they continued to be involved in civil rights, innocents would suffer. Today’s jihadists and today’s dictatorial repressive governments use the same tactic, that of indiscriminate violence and murder against innocents. There is a sameness about it that dates back several thousand years.
If you read about the tactics of Babylon in the Old Testament, they most certainly qualify as state-sponsored terrorism. If you did not immediately submit to them and they defeated you, many of your leaders would be impaled, or led away with a hook through their jaw, etc. The treatment of captured peoples by Babylon, and the later corruption of Babylon’s leadership, was so bad that Babylon becomes a symbol in the Book of Revelation for both terroristic killing (I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.) and for corruption.
The Antichrist also shows up in the Book of Revelation. But, Saint John the Evangelist gives us a warning about what will happen before the Lord returns. He says, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” That is, there are many people around that already are showing the same behavioral traits as the Antichrist who is to come, the same behavioral traits as Babylon that is to come (yes, I know the two are different).
Those who commit terrorism show the behavior of a Babylon of an antichrist. One caveat, simply rebelling against a government does not make a group a terrorist group. Repressive governments quickly misuse the term in order to legitimize their state-sponsored terrorism against those who wish to overthrow them. One becomes a terrorist when one switches over to the indiscriminate untargeted killing of people for the sole purpose of causing fear.
What happened in Birmingham 50 years ago was terrorism. What happened in Birmingham 50 years ago was some antichrists at work. As Cosby explains, we need to remember Birmingham, and 9/11, etc., in order that we may know what is terrorism, in order that we might be able to spot the antichrists who would come among us and deceive those whom they could.
“Little children, it is the last hour; … even now many antichrists have come ….”