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web posted September 17, 2001
For the most part, people are attempting to avoid laying the blame on anyone for the terrorist attacks of September 11 with the obvious exception of Osama bin Laden, purported to be the mastermind of the attacks. Unfortunately, some liberals -- within a day or so of the attacks -- decided to use the tragedies to attack U.S. President George W. Bush, a decidedly crass thing to do.
They were, however, surpassed by conservative televangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. On September 13 during an appearance on the 700 Club, Falwell announced that "God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve."
"Jerry, that's my feeling," Robertson responded. "I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven't even begun to see what they can do to the major population."
Falwell then stated that the American Civil Liberties Association has "got to take a lot of blame for this," a statement Robertson once again agreed with.
Then Falwell broadened his blast to include the federal courts and others who he said were "throwing God out of the public square." He added: "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.' "
The irony, at least for me, was that aboard United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania, one of the men who may have helped bring it down before it crashed into the White House or Camp David was a prominent gay activist.
I'm not going to respond to their religious arguments. Religion, after all, is a personal philosophy and whether you agree or disagree with it is ultimately of no importance. Rather, this journal believes that a time of America's greatest suffering it is ill-served to begin laying the blame on people or groups who had nothing to do with the attack.
Our anger should uniformly be pointed at the cowards responsible for this, people who are afraid to stand on the field of battle with America. They are people for whom human lives are merely a scoreboard to record victories. They are the ones who unleashed a hell on earth imagined only by Dante. Blaming your fellow Americans -- ones just as affected by this tragedy -- is not only counterproductive but disgusting as well. I hope Falwell and Robertson apologized to their God after they made their comments. If they didn't, perhaps they should ask themselves a question, could they have made their remarks in front of Jesus Christ?
I think we all know the answer to that question.
There is an old Serbian proverb that says vinegar in freedom tastes better than honey in slavery. This award is meant for events and people Enter Stage Right considers to be positive.
web posted September 17, 2001
Most people in America today can't remember Pearl Harbor, an event which occurred 60 years ago in December. Outside of black and white films and photos, they don't understand the carnage visited on their nation for less than two hours by the Japanese military. I think, however, they do have a good understanding of the unity which developed in the days after.
Media reports state that over half a million American flags were sold by Wal-Mart and K-Mart within 24 hours of last week's terrorist bombings. Tens of millions of dollars have been donated by individuals, businesses and foundations. People waited long hours to donate blood. Thousands of people offered their services at the site of the World Trade Center. Thousands more help out in little -- but very important -- ways, everything from making sandwiches for the men and women providing search and rescue operations to providing grief counseling for those affected by the tragedy. Untold numbers more lit candles Friday evening to show their solidarity with the dead and wounded.
As I have stated in other forums, I have never been more impressed by America than I was last week. The terrorist attacks were designed to send a message. If Osama bin Laden was responsible, his message was: stay out of the Middle East, stop supporting Israel, and you are not powerful enough to challenge us. His attack was meant to break America's spirit.
Judging by the footage and photos I saw last week, bin Laden and his cohorts failed miserably. New York, long known as a tough town for tough people, united instantly. Petty divisions like race, politics and religion disappeared as Americans helped each other out of the rubble. Petty divisions disappeared when Americans ministered to the wounded. Petty divisions disappeared when they stood shoulder to shoulder to remember the dead. Petty divisions disappeared when Americans united to swear out a righteous anger and retribution against those responsible. I doubt that bin Laden understands the spirit in Americans that he has woken. I am a betting man and I would place a considerable wager that he will find out sooner rather than later.
web posted September 10, 2001
As Paul Weyrich points out in an essay this week, Phil Gramm's retirement announcement is bad news for the Republican Party.
That said, we're hear to praise Gramm. Back in 1981 as a Democrat in the House, Gramm secretely worked with the Reagan Whitehouse in order to pass a budget which contained tax and spending cuts, something that got him stripped of his committee assignment. He resigned his seat in order to run as a Republican -- he won in 1983 -- and then was elected to the Senate in 1984. Since, Gramm has been a reliable opponent of government growth.
Gramm said he was leaving because his goals - the balanced budget, tax cuts, welfare reform, Communism's decline - had been accomplished. "I am proud to be able to say today that not only did I fight for these things, not only did I play a leadership role in each and every one, but that in a very real sense, 25 years later these goals have been achieved."Damn right. The battle is far from over but we can honestly say, "Enjoy your retirement."
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