Here We Are Again
So here we are again, in the wake of another massive terrorist attack. And our response is predictable. We shade our avatars with a flag. We hashtag prayers for a European city. We talk about the need for love instead of hate. We maybe donate blood or give money to the Red Cross or “send some thoughts” (whatever that means) toward victims, and then get back to our reality TV and current sports obsession, selective protesting, and debates over what constitutes a boy or a girl. We add another place and date (Nice, July 2016) to the list, move on, and forget.
And then it happens again.
I’m sick of it. I’m sick of these barbarians, these butchers, these boils on the backside of humanity. I’m equally sick of the feckless and foolish responses of our leaders, of our failure to fight the threat. I’m sick of having little recourse other than to rant, rail, and rage on Facebook. So I’ve thought about it. I’ve prayed about it. And I’ve come up with five things we all can do. Even if you’re just a “nobody” like me, this is how you can fight back:
First, pray. Hard. Don’t tweet out a #PrayForSuch-and-Such-a-Place hashtag and call it good. Actually pray. Pray for God to draw people to His Son, Jesus Christ—everyone from the leaders of ISIS to the leaders of the United States, and from the victims whose lives have been torn apart by the most recent tragedy to your neighbor living the high life in relative obliviousness. Pray that God’s love and truth would fill every Christian, that they might then show that love and truth to the world. But don’t stop there. Pray that God will act in a mighty way, fighting against the forces of evil that manifest themselves in jihad. Pray that He will stop these terrorists from slaughtering more victims, that He will frustrate their plans and bring them to ruin. Pray that He would raise up wise, willing soldiers (literal and figurative) to fight against this evil, and that He would bless their efforts.
But we need to do more than pray. Not because we don’t trust God or because He’s not capable of handling things, but because we live in a physical, practical world. Yes, there are times to pray and get out of the way. But there are also times to pray and get to work. Look at the Old Testament, how God guided the Israelites. At times He essentially told them to stand back and let Him wipe out their enemies. At other times, He told them to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty—to go to war. And that is what we need to do.
Second, since you or I don’t have the powers to declare war, refuse to vote for anyone (president, senator, congressman, governor, state legislator, mayor, sheriff, or dogcatcher) who will not recognize the threat we face from so-called “radical Islam” and who will not commit to exterminating jihadists. This is not a time for moral ambiguity or diplomacy. This is a time, like when combatting the Nazis in WWII, to annihilate the enemy. Sadly, many of those in power seem more concerned about offending moderate Muslims. Tell me, when was the last time a Bible-thumping, gun-toting Christian drove a truck into a crowd of peaceful Muslims? When was the last time a person stood up in a crowded theater, mall, or school, screamed “Praise the Lord Jesus Christ,” and then opened fire or detonated a bomb. I’ll wait . . .
Third, remember. Not by listening to James Taylor while waving a cell phone back and forth. Not by stacking flowers against a fence or attending a vigil or by changing your social media profile picture, although you can do those things if you want. But remember by not getting distracted. I’m not saying you can’t be devoted to your family, can’t watch the NFL or The Bachelorette, can’t have a good time with friends, can’t enjoy life. But America is turning into the capitol on The Hunger Games. For the love of Katniss Everdeen, can we go about our daily life without ignoring the reality of the world around us, without indulging so deeply in our precious pop culture and entertainment that we can’t even see what’s happening to us? We’re being distracted by antagonists and activists who would have us believe all cops hate black people, that gender is a feeling or concept, that lies and corruption are just part of the process, and that if you put your faith and trust in the government, they will spoon-feed you with your best interests at heart. WAKE UP! Rome is crumbling, the emperor is tuning his fiddle, the Visigoths are at the gate, and we’re more concerned with what scent of bath salts to use and whose fault it was that we were not entertained by Maximus in the Coliseum yesterday.
Fourth, speak the truth. Don’t be muzzled by political correctness or fear of offending someone. Yes, be kind, “speaking the truth in love” as Scripture admonishes. But do not stand down. We have a sworn enemy (sworn, that is, to kill us) in radical Islam. I’m sick of politicians telling us Islam is a religion of peace in the wake of members of Islam perpetrating mass killings. I’m sick of politicians blaming guns when it’s repeatedly guns used by radical Muslims that precipitate such remarks. I’m sick of being made to feel like a bigot for stating the obvious. No one in their right mind is stating that all or even most Muslims are terrorists, nor is any sane person saying we should round up all Muslims into internment camps or mistreat them. But by the same token, no right-minded person can deny there is a common theme to the repeated acts of terrorism we keep witnessing (Hint: it isn’t Mormonism). Don’t be a bigot or a racist. But don’t be a fool either.
Fifth, arm yourself. If you don’t have a gun, buy one. Learn how to use it, how to safely and properly handle it. Get comfortable with it. Train with it. Become an expert marksman. Hopefully you’ll never need it. Hopefully, a terrorist in refugee’s clothing won’t break into your house one night. Hopefully your wife or daughter won’t be attacked. Hopefully you’ll never find yourself in a crowd when a jihadist opens fire. But if you do, you’ll be prepared. Instead of cowering in fear and hoping and praying he won’t kill you (he will) you can fight back.
What difference will all this make? Who knows? I fear not enough. But doing nothing, sticking my head in the sand and hoping it isn’t my rear end that gets blown off next certainly isn’t enough. I’m hoping it’s not enough for you either. If it’s not enough for enough of us, maybe that will end up being enough to make a difference.