Love in the Age of Terror

As I watched the news about recent Jihad attacks, I became glued to the TV. My immediate response was that my life’s work, Healing Through Love, was suddenly meaningless. There seemed to be no point in teaching people about love if we are all facing unfathomable terror and destruction.


Then I watched a video describing 3 stages of Jihad, one leading to the next and all quite negative and unloving.

Fortunately, I watched the video to the end when the speaker finally shared that our Muslim friends and colleagues may be at level zero, a stage where they know nothing about Jihad. I came to realize it is not because they know nothing about Jihad but rather that they choose to interpret the Koran in a loving and peaceful way.

That loving view was corroborated when I watched a video of the live event in Mombai, when terrorists murdered about 52 people. One Muslim couple, facing an assault weapon, chose to pray and recited a peaceful verse from the Koran. The would-be murderer let them go. Another example was a young lady in France who described her last few moments while facing imminent death. She chose love. In that moment of total terror, she verbally expressed her love toward everyone around her. And fortunately she survived.

Who Would be Willing to Sacrifice their Life

and Murder Innocent People in the Process?


Clown Suicide

It seems to be the belief in a cause, a belief that something bigger than one self is worth dying for. However, in the case of terrorism it is often a lonely, mistreated child or teen that is reaching out to belong to a family. The same video that captured the events as they unraveled in Mumbai, shared the voice and words of the ISIS leader speaking with one of the young terrorists on a cell phone, providing instructions and encouragement and then telling him it is time to die.

One of the terrorists was captured alive. This young teen explained that his father from Pakistan had sold him to ISIS and that he had been promised there would be a glow on his face after he was sacrificed to heaven. The detectives brought this young man to see the bloodied faces of his cohorts who had died. There was no glow surrounding them. The young man finally seemed to grasp that he had been betrayed, that he had willingly sacrificed his life and ended the lives of so many others, for a lie.

The Lie is that Hatred is More Powerful than Love

As the popular singer Siedah Garrett shares in a beautiful song: “No matter what the question, the answer is always love.” Love does not mean accepting and enduring abuse. Love does not mean putting yourself in the path of danger for some higher perspective. Love is doing what is necessary in the least aggressive, least violent and least destructive way possible. In the process of defending the value of love, we also teach, by example, just how much more powerful is love than hate.

discover the power of love for yourself

One Example of Love Defeating Hate

happened in 1979, when Johnny Lee Clary, Ku Klux Klan leader at age 22, attended a radio debate with Rev. Wade Watts, state leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who had worked with Martin Luther King.

Johnny was immediately caught off guard, expecting a black militant with a big Afro haircut and a boom box spouting words of hate. Rev Wade came in the room wearing a suit and tie, carrying a bible, and he reached out his hand and said: “I just want to tell you I love you and Jesus loves you.” Johnny, shocked to find himself shaking this black man’s hand realizing he had just broken a Klan rule, quickly jerked his hand back and started staring at his hand as an insult. He remembered the Klan Rule book which says “The physical touch of a non-white is pollution”

Rev. Wade saw Johnny looking at his hand and immediately said “Don’t worry Johnny, it don’t come off”. Johnny started calling him names and Rev. Wade responded by saying: “God bless you Johnny. You can’t do enough to make me hate you. I’m gonna love you and I’m gonna pray for you, whether you like it or not.” Johnny on YouTube

The seeds of love had been planted but Johnny was not yet transformed.  He organized his Klan to continue to harass Rev. Wade. The Klan members rode by the Reverend’s home, calling him names. They threw trash all over his lawn. They showed up with sheets and hoods and stood out there saying: “Boy, come outside, we’ve got something for you.”

Rev. Wade bravely came out and confronted the Klan by saying: “Boys, Halloween is 6 months away. I’ve got a trick or treat in here for you, come back in October.” And he went back into the house. Then the Klan burned a cross across the street from his house. Rev. Wade came outside and asked if they needed hot dogs and marshmallows for a barbecue. Finally, the Klan set fire to his church. Johnny called, trying to disguise my voice and the reverend replied: “Hello Johnny.”

One Black Man Defeated the Ku Klux Klan

Finally, the Klan followed Rev. Wade into a restaurant and said “We’re gonna do the same thing to you that you do to the chicken, so think hard.” The Reverend picked up and kissed the chicken. Even the clan was laughing.  The Klan Never Bothered Rev. Watts again.That one black man defeated the Ku Klux Klan by standing tall in the face of real danger, praying silently and continuing to feel love and forgiveness in his heart.

Learn How YOU Can Create Lasting Love

Johnny Lee Clary’s Story

Johnny Lee Clary’s story is probably not so different from the stories of gang members, dangerous criminals and members of terrorist organizations. In this case, a man who knew only hate was gradually transformed by the teachings of a man who understood and practiced the power of love.

Johnny’s story begins with abuse in his family, witnessing his mother often cheating on his father and his father being upset to the point of shooting himself in the head. After his father’s death when Johnny was 14, his mother threw him out of the house and put him on a bus to go live with his sister in California. Johnny hated everyone and could not cope with life in multi-racial Los Angeles, living with abuse from his sister’s live in boyfriend.

Johnny’s Family Was the Klan

Ready to end his own life, Johnny heard on TV the words of David Duke, the leader of the Ku Klux Klan saying: “White people needed to stick together.” This made Johnny feel more connected to his dad. And so he wrote a letter to Duke telling his life story. And then there was a knock on Johnny’s door, a friend of David Duke, who said The Klan told him: “We’re here to protect you, son. What you need is a family.”  For the next four years different Klansmen mentored and taught Johnny how to be a true Klansman.

Believing he could finally amount to something in life, at age 18, Johnny returned to Oklahoma to start his own Klan chapter. He traveled and gave speeches at different Klan rallies until the FBI began investigating him. He had fallen in love with one of the agents who had betrayed his trust. To avoid prison, he wanted to step down as a leader and was told by Klan members: “If you were a true Arian warrior, you would be happy to go to prison for the White race.”

Love Wins the Battle Against Hate

At that point he felt they all hated him. He felt all alone, unable to even get a job and he started drinking. In his despair he got on his knees and said “God, I told You if You’d help me, I’d go to church.” When he was offered a job, he went to church where he saw loving behavior, blacks and whites actually sitting together. That led him to ask Rev Wade Watts to mentor him. Finally understanding how to love and live in unity with all people, Johnny Lee Clary became the first Caucasian elder in the Church of God in Christ, a predominantly African-American denomination. He was no longer that mixed up kid looking for a family.  Read about Johnny’s rebirth into love.

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Dr. Erica



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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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14 thoughts on “Love in the Age of Terror

  1. Hi Erica

    I am inspired by the fact that Love will always be victorious. It is sad that the media tries to instil fear and hatred but Love will always triumph.

    What a story and I am inspired by Rev Wade’s love despite being abused, harassed and embarrassed. He showered love on the Klans.

    Thanks for sharing. Take Care

  2. Hi Erica, I am always quite dismayed at the media reporting of events and how they instil fear and hatred in people. It seems there are less people who are prepared to read more and learn all the facts before making any judgements.

    Enjoy the journey!

  3. Hi Erica,

    I loved your stories and it’s good to hear some happy endings – even if only occasionally.

    Where I live there are many Muslims, but they are all really nice people and we watch out for each other in the neighbourhood, and just respect that we have different customs. It doesn’t really come up for discussion!

    Wish everyone had the love and stability in their lives to feel the same. What a dreadful thing to be sold by your father 🙁

    Please continue your work of love.


    • Joy,

      I believe that most people who choose to commit violent acts, especially when pre-meditated and intentional, have lost their belief in love or their understanding of how wonderful love is. Hate is merely the absence of love. So happy to hear you have a warm relationships with the Muslims living in your area.


      Dr. Erica

  4. A major problem is that, because of the actions of extremists, discrimination against and distrust of peace loving Muslims increases. This can only serve influence the attitudes of the young, both Muslin and non-Muslim, especially those who already feel disenfranchised.

    I’d say your messages about love are more important than ever. No nation is free from those who hate and those who have little or no regard for human life. The actions of the Klan would be considered terrorism today, or at least I hope so.

    • Sue,
      It is certainly difficult to love when our trust has been betrayed and when we do not know who is to be trusted.
      Throughout history there have been people who hated and discriminated, and within those same groups there were also
      people who felt love and compassion. The question is: How do we love in spite of our fear and how do we bring out
      the love from within those who currently hate? Love is an internal personal experience. It has to be taught and we
      have to feel the love. Many different groups have been discriminated against. Some amongst them have risen up
      with vengeful hatred. Others have attempted to overcome the discrimination with hard work, assimilation, and standing
      up for what is good with understanding and genuine forgiveness.


      Dr. Erica

  5. Hello Dr Erica, I am not that big on watching the news now reading the paper, I cannot stand all the bad news, it seems there is just so much hate in this world.

    I do love to visit your site though and read your stories of the good that is out there..

    Great share my friend, Thank YOU for all you do.
    Happy New Year.!
    Chery :))

    • Hi Chery,

      I rarely watch the news but with the terror attacks I have been disturbed and trying so hard to make sense of why someone would dedicate and end their life intent upon harming innocent people. I know that it boils down to not feeling and understanding love. When we love and feel loved there is no way we would want to harm anybody else. So the key is to somehow reach out to disenfranchised people, especially when very young, with compassion and love and whatever help they need to get back to love.


      Dr. Erica

  6. Hi Dr.Erica ,this is not an easy subject.
    I know some kids who live in an environment of violence and they get brainwashed every day. In reality, they are loving people as well but get triggered by special words and pictures which glorify Jihad.
    I did talk to some and saw a change and made them think. It is very much manipulated.It would need education and the truth to change things.
    On the other site, I see here people talking about buying guns when shootings happen.Violence can not be eliminated by violence. Did not Jesus say; “If someone strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one as well”?”But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you?
    We are not able to change the whole, but if you teach people about love you plant seeds,which are very much needed. Keep doing the good work.
    At the end love always wins.
    Thank you

    • Erika,

      Thanks for your support and your true understanding of the way hate and violence take over the minds of otherwise good and even loving people. And they get affected at such a young age while their brains are still growing and developing synaptic connections.

      Each of us has the potential to show our caring and teach others about the value of love. And maybe we can make a small dent in the negativity inherent in the human condition, creating a small positive shift in thinking toward love.


      Dr. Erica

  7. Hi Erica

    This is my first visit to your blog and I simply loved it.

    The way you illustrated through stories that how ultimately love wins over everything is simply amazing. No doubt there is a lot of struggle involved and at times we may feel that we are giving up. but eventually love triuphs over hatred.

    Thanks for sharing

    Marry Christmas!

    • Hi Sonal,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, love triumphs but not necessarily in the time period expected. Over time, with enough love, people can transform. But they have to feel it inside and open up to receiving love. Then they become ready to share that love with others.

      Dr. Erica

  8. Monna,

    I know that love wins out over time but at first the evil and hate can take a strong grip. At first our fear may stop us but over time the fear takes a back seat to desire for love. Then our determination and creativity kicks in and we do whatever we can to bring back the love.


    Dr. Erica

  9. Hi Erica,

    A sentence in your first paragraph, “My immediate response was that my life’s work, Healing Through Love, was suddenly meaningless” really had me worried there for a minute, but then I read on.

    I admit I don’t know much about other religions and their practices and I have a tendency in my own mind to put them all together but I know I don’t have the answers and I do try very hard not to feel bad towards all because of what some do.

    I loved reading the stories where “Love” did win out over the evil. I believe love will save a lot of people if they let it.

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