The “soldiers” of ISIS are battered, bloody and on the run in Iraq, but they’re making with big talk for the holidays which they have no reluctance to call by their right name, “the Christmas season.”

They’re promising to torch the National Episcopal Cathedral in Washington, to burn the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Temple (the formal name for the Mormon church) in San Diego, and even hint angrily at Times Square in New York, which is not ever, by anybody here, confused with a church.)

ISIS has even put up a video on social media, with the National Cathedral in flames, with a soldier in the camouflage of jihad standing guard in front of the Gothic church, ready to slay anyone fleeing the flames. There’s even an ISIS poster circulating on terrorist channels with an image taken from an article about the cathedral on Wikipedia.

There’s further a poster of Santa — bearded Santa look-alikes are easily available across the Islamic plain — lugging a case of dynamite to Times Square with the caption, “We meet at Christmas in New York soon.”

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Christmas and the Crusades are obsessions of ISIS. The terrorist who attempted to blow up a subway tunnel in New York last week and succeeded only in burning himself and has spent the days since “assisting police in their investigation” as the London newspapers typically describe it, told police that he wanted to blow up the subway tunnel because he was offended by Christmas posters. But there were no such Christmas posters, only a series of jolly advertisements for smartphones and a mural of marbles that he apparently mistook for Christmas-tree ornaments. A radical Islamic terrorist is not always the sharpest scimitar in an executioner’s scabbard.

Holy bumblers or not, terrorists claiming ISIS connections have killed and wounded hundreds in Christmas seasons past, such as in an attack on a Christmas party in San Bernardino, Calif., two years ago, and a truck was driven through a Berlin Christmas market last year, killing a dozen and wounding 50 shoppers.

ISIS sometimes gives cultural Christians in the West more credit for faith and belief in Christ than they actually warrant. Washington’s National Cathedral, for example, is more sensitive to excessive Christianity than ISIS might imagine. Speakers from other Christian denominations are typically told by presiding Episcopal prelates to avoid mentioning the name of Christ in their remarks lest they offend Muslim guests. Faith can move mountains, as the Bible teaches us, but sometimes mere artifice sinks in the swamp.

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