Written September 18, 2001
United we stand; Divided we fall.
The Flag is our national symbol. We rally around it in displays of Patriotism in the aftermath of threats to our country, our citizens, and our precious way of life. Last week was no exception, as Americans in huge numbers bought up any Flag insight in a nearly unprecedented display of Patriotism. Those Americans who in the past have trampled on it, spat upon it, wiped their filthy shoes on it, and burned it, are today cowering in company with the terrorists in their holes, nowhere to be seen. Indeed, were they to do their dirty deeds at this time, they might not survive. Last week, as we rallied around our national symbol . . .
We watched: We watched as passenger planes driven by suicidal maniacs collide with the twin towering monuments to mankind’s achievements and other passenger planes driven by their equally depraved comrades dive into the landscape of geometric shape and open field, in each case ripping a gigantic hole in the fabric of civilized society everywhere. We watched friendly Governments, and not-so-friendly Governments around the world react in diplomatic diatribes expressing the disgust of common humanity. We watched and imagined, as our gut wrenched at the free fall of our fellow citizens and those entrusted with our protection, firemen and women, policemen and women, as they plummeted to earth and banged among the pulverized concrete and bent steel girders. We gasped and staggered at the sight of our two financial icons literally destroying themselves as, one by one, in a matter of 15 seconds, one hundred and ten layers literally pancaked onto each other in an incredible flurry of destruction ending in a 100-foot high pile of mangled ruble and disbursed into the wind broken, dismembered, pulverized human bodies across city blocks. We watched the Congressional leaders of our land elbow to elbow singing the same song from the same page on the Capitol steps – “God Bless America.” We watched. And we watched. And we watched. Over and over and over and over. The hell never ended, as though someone had slipped a continuously repeating movie reel into the video recorders of our minds. And we will never forget.
They spoke: The President spoke eloquently of America’s resolve. “America is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger.” Does the average non-American really comprehend the magnificence and simple eloquence of the President’s promise? The Reverend Nathan Baxter prayed: “[May we have the] wisdom of the grace of God that, as we act, we not become the evil we deplore.” Does the average non-American really believe that we can execute just punishment without descending into the evil that we attempt to eradicate? The Reverend Billy Graham said: “Tragedies like this could have torn our country apart, but instead it has united us, and we are a family.” United we stand. Does the average non-American really comprehend the strength of our resolve in unified purpose? I think not.
Can any non-American truly “feel” the kind of Patriotism that wells up in every American when our brethren are made victims en masse by evil people, by evil incarnate. I don’t think so.
We remembered: We remember the old images of the American Flag being trampled as it cleaned the soles of dirty Iranian boots and was burned by their brainwashed children, while our American brothers and sisters were paraded day after day, blindfolded and beleaguered, by Iranian “student” international criminals in front of a watchful world and an irate America with the American Embassy in the background. We remembered the Iranian patriotic chants of laughable threats to America’s survival, the infidel nation of greedy warmongers who must be destroyed by these ants of idiocy. America’s Patriotism reigned at near fever levels during those 444 days of indignation in 1979-81 through the failed rescue attempt of a victimized President and his exasperation at being deprived of victory January 21, 1981, as he handed over the reigns of Government to his successor at the very moment, the hostages were spitefully released so that neither President could claim victory and the outgoing President, an honorable man, must settle for a career unfairly characterized by weakness. Between then and now, we remember countless similar images of our American citizens and our Flag subjected to similar indiscretions and indignities as Patriotism eroded incrementally with each successive incident because each was met with increasing indifference by a forgetful, apathetic public, and increasingly weak-kneed responses by the Government of the nineties. Meanwhile, the perpetrators of these indiscretions against the hated Americans demonstrated their brand of shallow unity, their brand of false bravado, their brand of hollow patriotism.
We also remember the one saving grace, an action by a President – the President who ended the cold war by bringing down the evil empire. We remember his action to bomb a cowering Miramar Kadafi, whose blustering braggadocio thereafter became the silence of a bloodied bully and who has not been heard from since.
We cried. During all this, as we watched, they spoke, and we remembered, we also cried as our American brand of Patriotism again welled up when, this time, the bullies attacked the head and heart of our country – at our very existence as a nation – attempting to “decapitate our Government” and silence the pulse of our financial heartbeat.
Can any non-American truly feel and know of the kind of Patriotism that wells up in us – U.S. – when our American brethren are made victims? When they put our existence in jeopardy? I don’t think so! No, I don’t think so! Their brand of patriotism is foundationless, therefore shallow and empty. The patriotism of terrorists is built on the false bravado of comradeship nourished by the selfish, individualistic pursuit of the conquest of eternal life through personal suicide. Scripture describes the man a fool who builds his house on (shifting) sand because, when it is battered, the eroding sand causes his house to fall, but the man as wise who builds his house on a (solid) foundation of rock because when battered, his house is strengthened by the rock and does not fall. Scripture calls this foundation – this rock – “God.” Most every American, whether willing to admit it or not, has at least thought about that Rock in the past week, if not calling upon him at least once. The haunting exclamation of the horror of the woman who, seeing the tower collapse straight down before her eyes, petitions in three short, increasingly horrified bursts: “Oh, God! …. OH, GOD !!! …. OH G hah-hah-hah-O D !!!! as, in an instant, her heart descends into three successively deeper levels of despair. Her cry will pierce my memory and my heart forever. The horror of an entire nation is captured in an instant in this woman’s eyewitness exclamation of sheer, naked, monstrous terror.
From the beginning, whether or not some are willing to admit, our nation – our “house” – was founded on the solid ground of “truth.” “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator . . . .”
Our patriotism is not shallow, it is not hollow. It was not founded on shifting sand. It was founded on solid ground. Our Patriotism rallies around the Flag, our symbol – the icon of America – that nourishes and flourishes and magnifies our Patriotism. Contrasted with the empty patriotism of terrorist bullies, our Patriotism is built on Rock.
Deep down inside, every American citizen knows subconsciously, if not consciously, that our Patriotism – the nationwide Patriotism of the kind seen this past week (to use an accurate sports cliché’) rises to the “next level.” I have said for years, having participated, that the value of sports is the discipline we learn in pushing and pushing and pushing ourselves to greater and greater accomplishment. We discover of what we are made. Every championship team and every individual performer tells us over and over and over that victory on the field requires – requires – rising to the “next level” – a euphemism for pushing ourselves beyond our perceived limits to heights we did not know were possible; to perform above and outside of ourselves. THE NEXT LEVEL.
In like manner, American Patriotism is not baseless bravado. American Patriotism, when really “stirred to anger,” rises to that next level, a level known by few other nations. What is that next level? Simple. Deep down inside, whether consciously or subconsciously, every citizen of America is comforted by the knowledge that what pulls us and pushes us and prods us and draws us Americans together to levels of unity far above the unity of any other nation is the gut knowledge that America was founded on and continues to stand on the side of RIGHT and GOOD. I hold this truth to be self-evident, that deep down, every American, whether consciously or subconsciously, has the gut knowledge that to be on the side of RIGHT and GOOD is to be on the side of GOD. God’s side; the living God of the living Bible. This is the foundation of American Patriotism. Yes, United We Stand — for RIGHT and for GOOD and for GOD.
Mohammed and Jesus Christ both lived. Both are historical facts. Both Mohammed and Jesus Christ died. Both are historical facts. Mohammed did not resurrect; Jesus Christ did. Both are historical facts.
Both Islam and Radical Islam claim to derive from Mohammed. Mohammed’s religion is based on mankind’s attempts to “achieve” entrance into Heaven. Radical Islam has perverted even its own religion by declaring that, through some perversion of twisted logic, one’s eternal life can be achieved through killing another human being. And the more, the better!
Jesus Christ’s religion of God declares that entrance into Heaven by achievement is prohibited. Yes. God prohibits you entering his Heavenly kingdom by “achieving” your way in. Instead, God provided another way. Mohammedanism and Radical Islam attempt to reach up to Heaven, just like mankind’s early attempt to climb to Heaven by building a gigantic tower – the Tower of Babel. All mankind’s attempts to reach Heaven are miserable failures. But God’s provision was to send Jesus Christ to us to do it for us; to “achieve” it for us, His way; to enter on His terms – not by us reaching up to Heaven, but by Him reaching DOWN to us. Remember Paul Harvey’s annual Christmas reading of the story of the confused birds?
If we today do not stand on the solid rock of our God – the FOUNDATION of our way of life – while rallying in unity around our Flag – merely the ICON of our way of life – we will fall to the evil of terrorism in all its forms. We will fall! The evil that infects our world stretches from the smallest act of road rage; to the unforgivable act of declaring guilty by association all Muslims, all Israelis, all Arabs, all Blacks, all Orientals, all Germans, all Italians, all Yugoslavians, all Iranians, all Iraqi’s, etc; to the horrific deed of our Towers of Babel disintegrating to dust. We will fall! WAKE UP, AMERICA! A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND! (also from the Bible). We can never allow our American brand of Godly Patriotism to erode again.
We stand on the side of the “truths” spoken of earlier that proclaim confidently for all the world to hear that “we were endowed by our Creator.” We were endowed by our Creator with the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” All nations and peoples were intended by God to have these inalienable rights, but we are among the few who possess them. We stand on the side of RIGHT, and GOOD, and GOD. That is the next level where American Patriotism resides and unites us, and against this house, with God’s help, and with our fervent prayers of national repentance, shall no one prevail.
Our American Patriotism is like none other. Our Patriotism excels over all others, and we will continue to survive as long as we continue to stand on the side of RIGHT, and GOOD, and GOD.