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Why 9/11 still matters…and why the left would like you to forget

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I wrote this essay many years ago and have posted it several times.  The insights remain as valid today as ever.  Never forget…

~~~~~~~

In 1923, the world was still reeling to recover from the horrors of the trench warfare of World War I as the seeds of ideological conflict were being sown in the fertile soils of this country. The Bolshevik Revolution had just gotten a foothold in Russia, so the future focal point of liberal socialism/communism was still in its infancy. Part of the liberal vanguard in this country consisted of the theologians whose slow but steady progress into the minds and hearts of the new preachers of the day eventually overcame the efforts of the likes of J. Gresham Machen and his cohorts at Princeton, much to the detriment of our present culture. In his book Christianity and Liberalism, (Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, 1923), this godly man made an astute observation that is most relevant for today (emphases added):

At this point is detected one of the most obvious lines of cleavage between Christianity and the liberal Church. The older evangelism, says the modern liberal preacher, sought to rescue individuals, while the newer evangelism seeks to transform the whole organism of society: the older evangelism was individual; the newer evangelism is social.

This formulation of the issue is not entirely correct, but it contains an element of truth. It is true that historic Christianity is in conflict at many points with the collectivism of the present day; it does emphasize, against the claims of society, the worth of the individual soul. It provides for the individual a refuge from all the fluctuating currents of human opinion, a secret place of meditation where a man can come alone into the presence of God. It does give a man courage to stand, if need be, against the world; it resolutely refuses to make of the individual a mere means to an end, a mere element in the composition of society. It rejects altogether any means of salvation which deals with men in a mass; it brings the individual face to face with his God. In that sense, it is true that Christianity is individualistic and not social.

But though Christianity is individualistic, it is not only individualistic. It provides fully for the social needs of man." (page 152-153)

Thus we have succinctly expressed a significant part of the foundation for liberal opposition to religion in general and Christianity in particular.  Dr. Machen then goes on to explain briefly how Christianity provides for the social needs of man, showing conclusively that Christianity addresses both the individual and the group. While not ignoring the group, it is this value placed upon the individual that separates true applied Christianity from the cultural ideologies of the day that, though claiming to meet the needs of the individual, do so through the individual’s association with the group to the exclusion of considerations of the individuals that comprise the group.

This is not God’s way. God expresses His concern, oversight, and omniscient care over His individual creatures in a multitude of ways throughout Scripture. Let me suggest one such.

Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korahites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph. And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Elioenai the seventh. Moreover the sons of Obededom were, Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him. Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the house of their father: for they were mighty men of valour. The sons of Shemaiah; Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren were strong men, Elihu, and Semachiah. All these of the sons of Obededom: they and their sons and their brethren, able men for strength for the service, were threescore and two
of Obededom." (1Chronicles 26:1-8)

Chances are you’ve never heard of any of these men before. Why, you ask, did I just bore you with this obviously obscure passage of Scripture? There are many such passages listing names in the Old Testament. Those are the ones you usually speed read, or skip over entirely. Yet, if all Scripture is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and written for our admonition (1 Corinthians 10:11), what is God trying to communicate with these lists of names? Let me suggest that at least one reason these are included is because He knows each one of these people as individuals. He knows them by name and, in His omniscience, He knows all about them (just as He knows all about you, dear reader): their strengths and weaknesses, their joys and fears. God truly cares for the individual, and so should we.

The Ideology of Group

In contrast to this, the observations of Dr. Fred C. Schwarz in his book, You Can Trust the Communists (To Be Communists), regarding the historic fruit of the Marxist/Leninist ideology that is the basis of what we call liberalism today are stark (emphases added):

The record of Communism is one of recurrent fratricide and genocide. Their contempt for individual human life has known no bounds. Whether the life to be sacrificed was that of friend or foe appears to have been immaterial. The Communist Party of Russia devoured its own creators. Stalin put to death a majority of the original Bolsheviks. The Communists destroyed not only landlords and Capitalists, but peasants and workers, Kalmucks and Balts with equal ferocity. In spite of knowing this, the allegiance of many educated, apparently cultured American Communists has not been shattered. Many people are amazed that they do not turn from Communism in loathing and repulsion when confronted with its unutterable barbarism, brutality, and intellectual prostitution.

To the dedicated Communist, however, these are but the temporary necessary sacrifices which the glorious future demands. To wipe out the residual Capitalist debris is not murder but social science. Since any individual man is a mere historic accident, an undergraduate beast, it is stupid to regard him as of infinite value. It is the species and the class that are important. The Capitalist class has been rejected of history and must be destroyed.

Here is a fundamental reason why Christianity remains diametrically opposed to so much of the leftist policies that are being foisted upon Americans today by the liberals who have been allowed to permeate our country and culture. Here is a foundational reason liberals attack Christianity in the culture anytime they think they can get away with it. It is the value of the individual that, as a basic principle of biblical Christianity, forms the bedrock of our very government. The founding fathers constructed a government that has granted the maximum amount of freedom for individuals while acknowledging the need for associations of individuals into groups and seeking to provide appropriate boundaries for both while maximizing the potential for the prosperity of both. It was a monumental task that, amazingly enough, has succeeded to date. Our country has been one of the most prosperous nations on the face of the planet since history began.

And returning to Dr. Machen:

Only – and here emerges the enormous difference of opinion – the Christian man believes that there can be no applied Christianity unless there be ‘a Christianity to apply.’ That is where the Christian man differs from the modern liberal. The liberal believes that applied Christianity is all there is of Christianity, Christianity being merely a way of life; the Christian man believes that applied Christianity is the result of an initial act of God." (page 155)

The Ideology of God

The Judeo-Christian ethic places not just a high value on the individual, but also on individual responsibility, and asserts that principle throughout the Bible. Responsibility goes hand in hand with privilege. Privilege in God’s sight does not lead to coddling. Each individual is responsible for his own choices, and will be held accountable for them by a holy God. Here we see a two-fold basis for the opposition of the liberal to biblical Christianity. Not only do they not like the emphasis on individual responsibility, let alone the individual himself, but individual accountability to a transcendent Being is not to be tolerated. The herd is much more impersonal, and gives him so many others to blame for his actions.

But this herd mentality causes a dependency on the group that is unhealthy and irresponsible, so that when disaster strikes, paralysis ensues, multiplying the death and destruction. Since noone is responsible, everybody assumes somebody else is responsible, and nothing gets done. The clearest example in recent history is the stark contrast between the school buses under water in New Orleans compared to those bussing people out of Texas during the Katrina debacle.

Machen makes another interesting observation regarding the social institutions established in biblical Christianity:

The most important of such institutions, according to Christian teaching, is the family. And that institution is being pushed more and more into the background. It is being pushed into the background by undue encroachments of the community and of the state. Modern life is tending more and more toward the contraction of the sphere of parental control and parental influence." (page 154)

These ideas of the individual and the family group are connected, because it is in the family that the individual receives the best nurture as an individual that will fit him for the social. Dysfunctional families produce dysfunctional individuals which significantly diminish the society in which they participate. This is why God tells His people, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuternomy 6:6-7)

Thus, an ideology that would diminish the individual and promote the group must attack the family, and that is one of the battlefields of the culture wars today. It really does not take a village to raise a child, just the complementary input of a mother and a father, but liberals really don’t believe that, and don’t want you to do so either.

Why 9/11 Has Had Such a Visceral Impact

This Judeo-Christian ideology/anthropology of the individual provides us some insight into why 9/11 has had such a diverse impact on the psyche of this country. I would submit that it revolves around which side of the individual versus the group concept you embrace. The Islamofascists see themselves as a group, and their victims as the opposing group. Compassion for individuals is completely foreign to their mindset. Leftists in this respect are the same. They see the victims as a group (especially a group they can exploit, but that is another post) and thus we can hear outrageously hateful and hurtful tripe comparing the people who were in the Twin Towers to "little Eichmanns" simply because they worked there.

Not a single 9/11 retrospective? (vanity)But the majority of Americans, whether they are Christians or not, still have the Judeo-Christian value system in their practical daily living, and do not see those who lost their lives as a collective to be pitied or used, but a set of individuals to be known and mourned and avenged. Each body that hurtled through the air to avoid a fiery death, or that was crushed in the tons of rubble, was a unique human being created in the image of God and had an intrinsic value all their own.

And that is why we must remember 9/11. That is why we should see those horrific images on a regular basis. Until the ideology of hate that engendered that and so many other barbarisms in the world is ground into the dust bin of history, we must not forget these individuals, nor those fighting to protect us all from further such atrocities. Until those individuals who embrace this ideology of hate are reformed by truth or exterminated by force, they will not relent, and neither can we.

We must not forget. God won’t, and neither should we.

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With Respect

(and a hat tip to MajorGeeks)

Categories: History, Military Tags: ,

End of Watch

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

 

I am the police, and I’m here to arrest you. You’ve broken the law. I did not write the law. I may even disagree with the law but I will enforce it. No matter how you plead, cajole, beg or attempt to stir my sympathies, nothing you do will stop me from placing you in a steel cage with gray bars. If you run away I will chase you. If you fight me I will fight back. If you shoot at me I will shoot back. By law I am unable to walk away. I am a consequence. I am the unpaid bill. I am fate with a badge and a gun. Behind my badge is a heart like yours. I bleed, I think, I love, and yes I can be killed. And although I am but one man, I have thousands of brothers and sisters who are the same as me. They will lay down their lives for me, and I them. We stand watch together. The thin-blue-line, protecting the prey from the predators, the good from the bad. We are the police.

(Note:  this quote comes from an R rated movie, End of Watch, that I don’t really recommend.  But these opening lines are poignant and true nonetheless.)

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

 

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

 

Truly, the only hope:

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Categories: Culture & Media Tags: ,

May we never forget!

 

Peanuts

Categories: History, Military Tags: ,

On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs – Dave Grossman

This brief essay came to my attention back in 2006 and I’ve found and reposted it here.  The recent deal with Iran demonstrates rather conclusively that the liberal left has the mindset of sheep, and unfortunately, they have been voted into leadership by the other sheep of this nation.  (Emphases added.)


By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing."

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for?

– William J. Bennett – in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

Let me expand on this old soldier’s excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let’s roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers – athletes, business people and parents. — from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. – Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn’t have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy’s body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn’t bring your gun, you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation:

…denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn’t so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling.

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself…

"Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

The Price of Freedom

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Gratitude

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Thank you!

10 Nov 2014 1 comment

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 

True Heros…A Debt We Cannot Pay