"... they teach that it’s how you look at the words that matters." - Howard Hendershot, p. 156
Howard is sure of his role as a soldier of Christ : he's a resolute fundamentalist inspired by his elders' choice and interpretation of Holy Scripture, willing to follow wherever they lead. Like al-Bagdadhi’s ISIS recruits, Pope Urban’s Crusading knights, and Alamut's assassins, Howard believes himself a tool of God such that any behavior, no matter how monstrous, can be justified in His name.
History teaches that most faiths spawn holy warriors (the Hopi and Quakers are noteworthy exceptions), almost always young men convinced by older ones that their sacred literature dictates a course of action that in any other circumstance would be barbarous. As demonstrated by the followers of ISIS, these young fighters share a common and unexpected trait: most have little knowledge of their faith's sacred writings. They depend on their leaders' warped perspective to know which verses are worthwhile and what each one means.
History knows the result of of such blind faith to be consistent and predictable: massacres and genocides based on charismatic figures' twisted interpretations of holy writing. Like Joshua's mass murder in the Old Testament's, Germans extermination of six million for being Jews, and the Turk's slaughter of Orthodox Armenians (to cite a few of hundreds), the righteous atrocities continue. Today's ritual beheadings in the name of the prophet are but the latest example. More will come.
Did you know that most militant zealots are not religious, that they're ignorant of their scripture and dependent on others to interpret the passages that inspire thier acts?