No one seems able to figure out what is the powerful attraction that draws young people to commit the monstrous atrocities of Islamic Jihad terrorism.

That’s because it’s a religious issue you don’t want to hear.

Ordinary people are sucked into Jihad by Islam’s innately stronger tweaking of the same religious harp-string as Christians have long used in altar calls: a way back from a life they’ve screwed up so terribly that it can otherwise never be undone — absolution.

The Christian supposition promises “forgiveness and eternal salvation” that rests on putting one’s life totally, unreservedly, in the belief in a man-god scapegoat for their redemption.

But that core Christian hypothesis is also its innate weakness: no one is without some nagging doubt. No on knows if they believe totally, unreservedly. Coming up short in belief implies falling short of salvation and forgiveness. Often, those with the most deeply buried doubts are the very ones who most publicly and vehemently insist they believe in the hope that, by convincing others, it will corroborate their own belief — and convince themselves.

And there’s the weakness that Islamic Jihadist trump.

Christianity ignores concealed doubts because it cannot cope. Down deep, where no one else can see, folks have doubts about how completely they believe self-contradicting doctrines that defy the historical record and reality; creating doubts that gnaw at their “assurance of salvation.”

But Islam offers the remedy for those doubts. The drawing power of Islamic Jihad, especially among young people, trumps the Christian dependence on doubt-ridden belief for absolution. Islam proposes two, alternative, paths to absolution and paradise:

  1. The better-known path of living a life according to Sharia, or
  2. Contrary to the Sharia-life image it projects, Muslim Jihadists paint a quick and easy alternative path to paradise. As recently parroted by Yerushalayim Sheikh Khaled al-Maghrabi, “The shahid (martyr) is absolved with the first drop of his blood.” No matter how impossibly you’ve screwed up your life, you’re promised instant absolution for one act, one moment in time, of self-sacrifice in cleansing the world of immoral, filthy and “slutty,” kuphar (non-Muslim infidels). Anyone, even those unwilling to live a life according to Sharia, can stand up for one instant, one act.

Only Islamic Jihad promises, through the undeniable (breaking news, often global) hard-evidence of one single act (rather than belief over a lifetime that can be doubted), in a moment, to irreversibly transform the hopeless sinner, even the worst outcast from society — whether a prostitute, a thief, a homosexual, a pedophile, incestuous, a rapist, a murderer, or whatever — into an instant Shahid (martyr-saint) globally famous hero celebrity, whose face is splashed on billboards and painted on the exteriors of buildings.

And if you’re not a Muslim, no problem. Non-Muslims need only recite a prescribed sentence before a Muslim cleric and they’re a Muslim who can then pursue this instant absolution.

And that’s what Islamic Jihadists are selling to the instant gratification generation — instant, unconditional absolution based on one moment and one deed of cleaning up the world of the perceived immoral, slutty, filthy kuphar (infidels). From hopeless societal outcast to hero saint in one small step of self-sacrificing faithfulness, one small step in cleansing the world that most anyone can see is presently in free fall immorality, perverseness and depravity.

Even the most hopeless, who can’t really believe any scapegoat could help them, can stand up for one moment, one act. For these, it’s the ONLY perceived light at the end of the tunnel.

Everyone who has ever “sinned” and has doubts about their eternal situation (and is willing to accept the assurances and promise of human religious clerics) is a candidate to be drawn to Islamic Jihad’s far more attractive promise.

When one analyzes who is attracted to commit such atrocities, the evidence overwhelmingly contradicts other factors. Terrorists run the gamut from poor to rich, from highly intelligent intellectuals to near-morons, from Sunni to Shia, from born-Muslims to converts.

Only one theme is consistent in every candidate massacrist: every candidate has (at least in their own mind) — irremediably and hopelessly — screwed up their life beyond remedy, many of whom feel hopelessly outcast by society or in their own estimation, unwilling to discipline themselves to a lifetime under any religious standard and, therefore, see only one solution: that single redemptive act of Jihad that brings instant — and irreversible — absolution and paradise.

Though politicians lack the courage to address the potentially explosive issue of religious connections in any state-related context, to survive, the predominantly Christian Western democracies and other non-Muslims must come to understand that the recruiting of Islamic Jihad terrorists cannot be remedied without acknowledging that the allure of Islam is no less religious than the allure of Christianity.

Force can only (and must) defer the imposition of religion, never conquer it. Religion can only be conquered by a superior ideology. And Christianity cannot match Islam’s promise.

There is also another plague attached to both of these religions’ promise of paradise independent of one’s life practice: eternal reward disconnected from personal responsibility and accountability. Society is in free fall resulting from the decoupling (unconditional forgiveness) of people from their responsibility and accountability for their actions.

Failing to counter Islamic Jihad’s prime religious attraction with effective theological polemics and apologetics will ensure that the Christian world continues to fail. The next Islamic Jihad atrocity — whether in the Middle East, Europe or America — will be proof of that.