JACKSBORO, Texas, September 16, 2012 — We are living in a strange new age, an age where fighting isn’t between standing armies, where wars are fought with no front lines, where soldiers no longer face each other in heated battle over clearly defined territory. We’re fighting a war in which we don’t capture hills and plant the flag.
We face an enemy that has no face, no uniform, that poses as friend and then plants a bomb, that hides in holes and behind its own family. It is the most cowardly of all enemies, its purpose to dominate by force and by force convert the world to its own ideology: Islam.
In the Middle East this month, we’ve seen our flag burned, our embassies stormed, our diplomats murdered. Our flag was replaced with the flag of the Muslim Brotherhood. The guards at one embassy, local citizens, abandoned their posts to allow protestors to enter.
The ostensible reason for this is a film that appeared on YouTube, a film harshly critical of Mohammed and Islam. Our country is one that honors the freedom to speak your mind on any subject, political or religious, as you see fit. This right is fundamental. Our government doesn’t grant it; its job is rather to protect it. This should be a source of pride, and yet our government sees it often as an embarrassment and a reason for apology.
And so it is now. Rather than tell Muslims and their dictators in absolute, crystal-clear terms that Americans can say what they please about Islam (and Christianity, national icons, Democrats and Republicans) and that they alone are responsible for their barbaric violence, we’ve temporized. “We understand why you’re so upset, we really wish we could stop this sort of thing, we’re so sorry about the unkind words about Mohammed, but…”
The First Amendment is not a “but.” The least that a government that actively funds “art” like Serrano’s “Piss Christ” can do is clearly explain that nothing on YouTube, no act of speech, however offensive, is a matter for consideration, explanation or excuse with regards to attacks on our citizens and our embassies.
“Innocence of Muslims” must be utterly irrelevant to our response to the crimes of Islamic mobs.
What is not irrelevant are al Qaeda, Islamist radicals, and the war being waged on the First Amendment and the rule of law from within this country in the name of “tolerance.” We have a right to exercise religion as we see fit, according to the dictates of conscience, without constraint or threat of violence. We have no right to love, respect, or even tolerance as we do it.
Enemies of free speech for individuals attack it under the guise of supporting the speech of groups. They infiltrate our society, knowing that it would be impossible to take it by force, but, tearing it down a piece at a time, slowly eroding constitutional liberties to the point they are non-existent. When they have accomplished this feat, then they are in a position manipulate the issues under the guise of religious tolerance.
Terror is the weapon of our enemies in the Middle East, fear of seeming ignorant and intolerant the weapon of their enablers here. Until we learn to recognize our enemies, our unwillingness to do so will dramatically alter and stunt the hope for peace among all nations.
Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East, lives every day with radical Islam looking to its total destruction, and it knows that in the Islamic world, “radical Islam” is mainstream. Moderate Islam is so rare as to be remarkable, as when demonstrators raised signs in support of America and our slain ambassador in Benghazi. The apologies of local governments have been perfunctory and pro forma, an admission of their galling need for American money and resources rather than a sincere expression of sorrow.
America must come to grips with the notion that the very people who take our money are not our friends, but our enemies, and the money we throw at them buys us no good will. The Obama Administration has up to now convinced them that we’re weak. Yes, we throw missiles at terrorist leaders (another cause for hatred - they can’t stop our drones, we kill their children as collateral damage, and them pretend that a remote-control war that puts no Americans at risk is really bloodless), but we won’t put our own blood on the line, and they can.
So what can we do?
We’re a Christian nation, regardless of what our tolerance brigade says. There’s no mention of God in the Constitution, but that document is a set of instructions for organizing a government, not a statement of principles or belief. Some of the Founding Fathers may not have been devout, but their sensibilities and traditions were Christian to the core, and to say that this nation isn’t Christian is like denying that its institutions are also deeply European.
And so first of all we should act like Christians. We should pray. We should live our ideals. We should treat others as we wish to be treated.
Second, we should listen carefully to the statements and promises of our politicians. We should ask whether they pay lip service to the Constitution or whether they act as if it’s the most important secular document in the world.
Third, we should remember that we’re not just a Christian nation, but a constitutional republic, and the most notable, long-lived experiment in that form of government in the world. We should teach our children the greatness of a free America, how blessed they are to live in a country where they have the freedom to believe as they please, to say what they please, and where all things are possible. This is a place where women as well as men, blacks as well as whites, Mormons and Catholics as well as Protestants, children born in poverty as well as children born in wealth can realistically aspire to the highest office in the land.
Life isn’t perfect here, but we should teach our children to see that it is beautiful, and help them dream ways to make it more beautiful. What we can achieve in a free society is breathtaking and amazing beyond words. It deserves to be protected.
Come November, we will be called upon to elect a leader of this free land. We are at a crossroads. We must decide what we want to be, and then live as if that’s what we are. Let us hope that the choice is to live as free men and women who will stand up for freedom of religion and expression, then apologize to no one for taking those freedoms seriously.
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