The news of twenty-one Coptic Christians beheaded on a Libyan beach by Islamic radicals proclaiming their allegiance to ISIS is heartbreaking.
It is also deeply troubling that, in the desire to remove religion from the discussion, the White House comment lamenting the murders only designated those beheaded on the beach in Libya as "Egyptian citizens." No mention of any religion whatsoever. Since these twenty-one were slain, according to their murderers, because they were among the "crusaders," the omission is baffling.
Apparently the whole world, without their knowledge of consent, has been unilaterally assumed to embrace the politely privatized religious assumptions of western Europe and the U.S. It seems that many in the west have no framework to grasp any reality where religion might be more central to a person's primary identity than family, tribe, nation-state or ideology. This loss of framework has left many without the grammar to comprehend words being shouted right at them.
For a much clearer voice, here is a link to the reaction of Pope Francis: