Attack on America: A Christian Response
by Bob Enyart, pastor of Denver Bible Church
(Partly delivered on live radio during the attack on Sept. 11th and then posted online on Sept. 12th, 2001.)
- Airline Security The hijackings were not a failure of airport security personnel, but were a failure of security strategy! Hijackers will always be able to get weapons of some type onto airplanes, even ceramic or plastic knives invisible to metal detectors. Pilots should be armed and crewmembers should have access to weapons. As on Israel’s El Al airlines, undercover armed security guards should fly, at least on random flights. Also, police and government officials should fly armed. This type of hijacking would not have succeeded on El Al.
- Self-defense Heroism on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania prevented that plane from crashing into the White House offices. We should encourage and teach self defense. Our war against guns has created a victim mentality. Pilots have heretofore been taught to comply with hijackers, as consistent with our victim-mentality war against guns. Guns enable self defense and deter criminals.
- Prosecution Pass legislation to prosecute all members of known terrorist organizations for murder; and prosecute all supporters of known terrorist organizations for conspiracy to murder.
- Deterrence If a foreign nation harbors or supports terrorists, America should dismantle their government if possible. Nations bear full responsibility for any act of war perpetrated by their terrorists. We should not just punish such a terrorist government. If possible, we should destroy that government. This will help deter future governments from supporting terrorism.
- Osama bin Laden As the crises unfolded, I was in studio at the Information Radio Network during the hour when the final plane crashed. We discussed that the Palestinians would have done this, but were incapable. Rather, this terror was done on their behalf against Israel’s ally, and on behalf of the radical Islamic world by Osama bin Laden, the international terrorist protected by the Taliban government in Afghanistan. As the pastor of Denver Bible Church, I had no access to government intelligence. But we easily presumed Al-Qaeda's involvement because these Islamic terrorists had already bombed this same World Trade Center in 1993, and because of the public promise by Al-Qaeda's bin Laden to continue attacking America, and because of the recent videotape by which bin Laden effectively claimed responsibility for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. Those actions had already provided sufficient cause for America to attack the Taliban government and pursue Bin Laden by force and assassinate him if necessary or apprehend and execute him after trial.
- Israel When we condemn Israel for punishing terrorists, we unwittingly take the side of the terrorists, and encourage them and terrorism generally.
- Respecting Terrorists Treating terrorists as dignitaries and terrorist regimes as valid governments, invites more terrorism. When we conduct diplomacy with terrorists like Yasser Arafat we unwittingly validate terrorist tactics. Young terrorists see in Arafat a justification of their strategy, and hope that terrorism will one day bring them, or their compatriots, to the bargaining table with world leaders.
- Allies and Enemies America saw the widespread Palestinian celebration, and the spontaneous dancing in the streets at the news of our tragedy. At the same time we heard Israel declare a national day of mourning. This contrast provides strong evidence of who is our ally and who is our enemy.
- Justice America should fastidiously maintain justice in our foreign relations, for enemies have long memories. When we wrong a nation, we should confess and repent. When we punish a nation, we should do so swiftly and painfully and not drag out punishments for many years, increasing bitterness.
- Foreign Aid Stop all foreign aid. Welfare is wrong, whether to individuals, to corporations, or to nations. And foreign aid is welfare to countries. Individual Americans privately and freely send billions of dollars of charity a year to other counties. But the government should not send national welfare, because charity must be freely given, not coerced. Forced charity, including foreign aid, creates unnecessary animosity.
- Fear Countless millions of Islamic people fear America, believing that our immoral culture is threatening their own families. America’s culture is seducing the world. Arab families see their children attracted to Hollywood’s smut videos and satellite transmissions, and they fear that we will thereby destroy their families, just as we have destroyed our own. They hate America for exporting our immorality. An Arab teenage boy employed to do laundry at a western hotel sneaks into rooms to watch naked lesbians having sex in American movies. After having broken our own homes, they watch as our exported immorality begins to destroy their families. Our government should oppose all sexual immorality including pornography, fornication, adultery, and no-fault divorce; and defend sex only within marriage; oppose abortion and euthanasia. We should do right and thus rob the Islamic world of these charges against us.
- Hatred Islam’s longstanding hatred of America should not be intensified needlessly. Hatred of America increased when Clinton bombed Arabs the night of his televised Monica Lewinski deposition. A media report at the time suggested that even a majority of American reporters believed that Clinton bombed Afghanistan and the Sudan as a mere diversion. Virtually all Muslims concurred that America’s planes bombed them just to cover-up a sex scandal, as life imitated art with the Hollywood film, Wag the Dog, playing widely in the Arab World. Clinton announced that bombing was the beginning of his war on terrorism, but some of us immediately doubted him predicting that the bombing would not be followed up but was a one-time distraction. In fact, his war against terror started and ended that night. The bombing was the beginning of nothing. A journalist even talked publicly about the White House press corps as a group going to see Wag the Dog and then their uneasiness reporting on Clinton's bombing which appeared even to them as cover for his scandal. Yet neither Congress nor the media ever condemned Clinton for his behavior and the Arabs never received an apology.
- Conspiracy Some Islamic fundamentalists including many Imams [Update: even here in Denver] have encouraged jihad including the killing of infidels. America should prosecute such imams and others for conspiracy to murder.
- Limited Government God gave governments responsibility only for infrastructure and defense. If government limited itself to its two just functions, thereby getting out of education, health care, farming, etc., it could better defend America.
- Full-time Campaign Our democratic form of government turns our leaders into full-time campaigners. President Bush effectively was campaigning in Florida when the hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center. No one can govern from a third grade classroom.
- Focus When the government focuses on education, parents lose focus of their primary role in educating their children. And when a government focuses on education, it cannot focus as well on governing. A successful business which branches out into thirty different areas typically does poorly in all areas, including its original core business. America must limit government to maintaining infrastructure and to defense of life, liberty, and property (through the criminal justice system and the military).
- Suicide America should oppose all worldviews that promote suicide. Suicide is inherently destabilizing. When cultures openly promote suicide as an acceptable way to solve problems, they disable standard deterrents. For example, as the American media and universities defend suicide, we have a growing epidemic of murder/suicide. Harris and Klebold assumed that they could escape punishment for Columbine if only they killed themselves in the attack, though they delivered themselves directly into the hands of the Judge of the whole world. Those who defend suicide promote the shedding of innocent blood. We must oppose them.
- Kamikazes September 11, 2001 was our own Pearl Harbor. Both radical Islam and the Japanese empire taught men that suicide, in opposition to Judeo-Christian teaching, would lead to glory in the afterlife. In both attacks, the kamikaze pilots of World War II, and the Islamic zealots of Pearl Harbor II, normal men became capable of mass murder because of their eagerness to die in the attack. America should recognize every defender of suicide as an enemy of security. Suicide is inherently destabilizing.
- Energy Independence America needs a national commitment to fully explore Alaska and all available lands and oceans for oil and gas, to move us toward energy independence. We should try to reduce the billions of dollars we transfer annually to OPEC and to some Islamic regimes which aid terrorists. The quickest way to turn the Arab world strongly against terrorism is to threaten to move toward energy independence with an emergency national mobilization toward that goal.
- Policy Wisdom Right-wing Christians have long presented such policy objectives, but the secular world generally ignores such wisdom. Christians who carefully study the Bible are best qualified to teach the world how it should be governed. Let’s change our way of life as little as possible, and the terrorists’ way of life as much as possible. We can comply with terrorists on one point, if they want to die in this battle, we can assist them.
Check out the Government Department in our KGOV Store for our DVDs titled God and the Death Penalty and Focus on the Strategy (it's dynamic) regarding Christian Political Strategy! And tune in the Bob Enyart Live news talk show in Denver on air or online at KGOV.com, and call Bob’s show weekdays at 1-800-8Enyart at 5:00 p.m. E.T.