The worldviews of people are shaped by their life experiences. Mine was shaped by a seven week summer study program in Krefeld, Germany and later European bicycle trips in 1981 and 1984. In 1981 I traveled to Berlin by train through two of the three corridors and saw the DDR propaganda firsthand, visiting an area of East Berlin away from the tourist area the government wanted you to see.
In 1984 I visited Yugoslavia (now Slovenia and Croatia) and Hungary for a few weeks. I’d enjoyed the beautiful scenery and my visit with the friendly people, but was glad to be headed back across the border to Austria that day.
I told the German cyclists I was riding with that I was headed to Austria and asked if they were too, and their reply is etched in my memory: “Wir dürfen nicht; wir sind Ost-Deutscher.” (We’re not allowed to; we’re East Germans.)
Winston Churchill was Right
Winston Churchill was proven right about the Iron Curtain that had descended from “Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic.” Something is wrong with an economic system that builds fences to keep people in and lies about the outside world to control them.
In God’s providence, anti-communism shaped Ronald Reagan’s thinking and brought down the Berlin Wall and the rest of the Iron Curtain in 1989, with the help of Pope John Paul, Margaret Thatcher and other world leaders and the prayers of faithful people.
A friend from Krefeld, Germany sent the attached file on September 12: “September 11, 2011, a horrible terror attack. God save the United States of America and our free world! All the Germans.” To remember the eleventh anniversary, I put it up on my wall at work again.
Civilians as Targets
Terrorists no longer hijack airliners to get their demands met. Now airplanes are commandeered to be used as weapons of mass destruction targeting civilians as victims instead of mere hostage taking.
This has taken trans-national guerrilla warfare to new depths where nothing is too despicable to achieve the end result. It makes one long for the good old days where everyone wore uniforms of their country to fight wars.
There is no end to the terror that can be unleashed once the boundaries are removed: bio-terrorism, a rogue nuclear weapon. The possibilities are truly frightening.
Free people everywhere will not bow to evil, nor will we allow some to redefine evil as justice or a “man-caused disaster” because of perceived wrongs. Evil is evil. Period.
Collision of Three Worldviews
Robert Stearns’ book “No, We Can’t, Radical Islam, Militant Secularism and the Myth of Coexistence” describes the struggle between the Judeo-Christian worldview America was founded with and two competing worldviews.
The first chapter begins with a bank marketing campaign, “Different values make the world a richer place.” A picture of the back of a shaved head ran with different captions in different cities: “Style”, “Soldier” and “Survivor” (cancer).
Stearns says an image of the Twin Towers collapsing on September 11 could have three captions for the competing worldviews: “Terror” (Judeo-Christian), “Victory” (Radical Islam), and “Justice” (Militant Secularism).
As much as reasonable people would like to have all views coexist, Stearns is convinced that it won’t happen. “I would like to wake up one day and discover that I have been wrong all along: that the radical Islamists no longer want to kill me, and that the militant secularists are no longer intent on turning my Christmas tree into a ‘holiday shrub.’ But I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that hell is more likely to freeze over than for either of those two things to happen.”
Christians and Jews Agree
Robert Stearns’ book is endorsed by Christians and prominent Jewish leaders like Rabbi David Wolpe and Senator Joseph Lieberman. I don’t agree with everything I’ve read so far (he holds the most popular of four possible biblical endtimes scenarios; I favor the more optimistic postmillennial view held by R.C. Sproul and other theologians), but Stearns gives us food for thought about competing worldviews.
Both Secularists and Islamists need to be restrained if true coexistence of worldviews is to happen. Jewish talk show host Dennis Prager says the bumper sticker Coexist is needed elsewhere in the world much more than America where all views get along reasonably well.
Linear Views of History
Ironically, all three worldviews believe in a linear view of history. Shia Islam believes in a return of the 12th imam to usher in an Islamic caliphate with the whole world subject to Allah. Iran’s President to the U.N. General Assembly: “Today, we should define our economic, cultural and political policies based on the policy of Imam Mahdi’s return.”
Secularists believe the earth is millions of years old and will last until the sun burns out if only we take drastic steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of their leading prophets Al Gore has said, “We know from the history of climate changes that they can cause unprecedented social and political upheavals.”
The drastic steps are causing social and political upheavals right now, but that is a topic for another article.
Axis of Evil
President George W. Bush was derided by many for calling Iraq, Iran and North Korea an Axis of Evil. History has shown that to be true, with a belligerent Iran on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons that could wipe the lone democracy in the Middle East off the map to fulfill its 12th imam prophecy.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s people starve while the son of Dear Leader Kim Jong-il continues his nuclear blackmail of the world.
Some on the Left call the Iraq war “ill-advised” even though 69% of the U.S. House and 77% of the Senate authorized the use of force to enforce U.N. Resolutions, including 58% of Senate Democrats.
Hindsight is always 20-20 when you are a leftist, and America has no moral authority to stop evil because we are not perfect.
President Obama’s supporters say he has governed from the center, but it is only because he has been restrained by his own party in the first two years and the Republican “obstructionists” the last two years. Barack Obama is the most liberal president we have ever had, more like candidate George McGovern on foreign policy and expanding the role of government like Franklin Roosevelt.
On social issues such as abortion and gay marriage he has been even more extreme, going so far as to violate the conscience of religious minorities.
His actions this year and comments to the Russian President “This is my last election; after my election I have more flexibility.” provide a chilling foretaste of the next four years when he won’t be running for reelection.
Like any religion, Muslims would like to persuade others to follow it too. Here in America where there is freedom of religion they can persuade others, as can Christians, Jews, Hindus and Secularists.
Some, especially overseas in Muslim countries, would restrict religious freedom and coerce others to follow their religion. Only a small percentage of practicing Muslims wish to impose their religion by force, although many of their leaders and Secularists seek to deceive others that they are an oppressed minority.
Notice that I said Islamist, not Islamic. There is a difference, a big difference. Islamists seek to impose Islam by force, Muslims by persuasion. The latter is OK, the former is not.
Let us Never Forget
Some things cannot be redefined to make it all nice. The price of not resisting evil is just too high: being ruled by it.
We can forgive our enemies, but we must never forget their brutal unprovoked act of war, nor must we allow it to be redefined as “justice” by those who would seek to see it from their twisted point of view.
Let us never forget the loss of innocence during that awful week when we grieved with our fellow Americans and the planes were grounded. We hugged our children tighter and learned about Al Queda and Osama bin Laden for the first time.
We put aside our political differences for a season and resolved to never forget the heroes and victims of September 11.
This week we also remember the comfort we received from God and other friends of freedom around the world.