First, let me say that every peaceful and freedom loving American has to sympathize with the French people who lost 132 of their countrymen and women with another 350 wounded, 99 seriously, in a series of dastardly and cowardly attacks on Friday. Innocent people gathering to watch a sporting event, a concert, or just out for a nice dinner with loved ones - all were indiscriminately and ruthlessly slaughtered, in the name of Allah. Our prayers, to our God, for the victims, their families and friends are legion at a time when other such attacks and threats against the west continue to mount. My wife, Vicki, sends out a "Prayer of the Day" email, each and every day, to family and friends. Today's prayer was:
I grieve with the people of Paris.
I grieve for the lives lost in senseless violence.
My tears are shed for those who have been wounded.
My heart aches for those who are consumed by hate.
Please give wisdom to those who make decisions.
Give your strength to those who seek to protect.
Give guidance to those who must respond.
Lord have mercy.
Two things stand out to me in this heavenly petition - give wisdom to those who make decisions and guidance to those who MUST respond. Was this prayer answered as Hollande declared all out war on radical Islamic terrorism (ISIS, Al Queda, et al) and escalated the bombing of suspected terrorist strongholds? I wish I could answer that question definitively. But I can't. All I know is there appears to be no way to peacefully negotiate with these people.
I liken it to being naked in a closed room with a thousand bees, one hundred of which are angry killer bees. You are getting stung here and there and it is very painful. You fight back. Swatting a bee here and one there but, sadly there are too many of them. They are coming at you from every direction, stealthily, and you can’t see them all coming. You are totally vulnerable and as the attacks increase you come to the realization there is a strong possibility you will eventually suffer death from a 1,000 stings. All along you have had a can of Raidtm wasp spray by your side. This is a powerful fogger which has the capability to kill bees on contact. You have been reluctant to use it because it will mean killing some of the docile and productive honey bees along with the evil killer bees who are doing the stinging. Using the Raid will end the attacks, once and for all, but there will be a price to pay. What do you do?
The French have said their response to the attacks in Paris will be “merciless”. Is that the guidance they have gotten from God or is it purely a vengeful – and in my mind understandable – response, driven by grief, the horror of the situation and the realization that it will only get worse. ISIS not only took "credit" (a dubious choice of words) for the Paris attacks, but went on to say that "there will be more attacks and the United States is next". If you are trying to convince yourself that you should take that threat with a grain of salt, I am afraid you are making the same mistake our current administration has made for the past seven years. Despite Obama's assertion that the threat from radical Islamic terrorism has been diminished, I think last Friday's events show exactly the opposite. These terrorists are not going away unless we put them away.
I am conflicted, as any Christian would be. Do we apply the "turn the other cheek" principle and pray for forgiveness for these mentally deranged perpetrators of evil or do we fight to defend our people and our freedoms and eradicate this horrific perversion of one of the world's three great monotheistic religions. And if you pick the later, are you going to be willing watch some of the honey bees die along with the killer bees? Do you continue to swat at one here or there or do you get out the can of Raid and end this thing? Lord have mercy.
I would love to hear how you feel about it. Comments?