While we were sleeping, the wolf was at our door in the early morning hours Sunday. It is being ranked as the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. An act of terrorism, an act of hate, or maybe both. The shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub has left the state of Florida and certainly the U.S. mourning the loss of 49 people. A single event made up of a hundred tragedies, each with a story, a face, a life, and a family. All left to mourn, grieve, and for some to heal their physical wounds. The FBI is investigating this as a terror attack, as the shooter, whose name will not be mentioned here, had both a leaning toward radical Islam and according to his father, a hatred for gays. He was equipped, according to reports, with a suicide vest and guns.
The war on terror is never far from wherever we are. Where there is freedom, there will be terror attacks. The Islamic terrorists hate us because we are not of their belief and our freedoms violate their ideals. And our democracy and way of life has led them straight to our door, and our democracy and way of life has allowed them to enjoy and live under the freedoms they hate. In some cases, we monitor them secretly, but we still allow them to stay – hoping they will continue to sleep in their “sleeper cell.” This idealistic society we have is a really a double-edged sword. We preach tolerance, open-mindedness, equality for everyone, bathrooms for everyone and respect for all so much so that we are even tolerating the ideals of the very terrorists that come to destroy us. We think, “well maybe if we just show them acceptance, they will change their ways.” Or, “just because they want to kill us doesn’t mean we can’t be nice.” It’s ignorant, pernicious and laughable, but it is what is happening today. We are so politically correct that we don’t even want to hurt the terrorists’ feelings. Just say it – they are terrorists, radical Islamists, extremists, murderers, haters. They hold to those ideals – not ours.
If we end up as a society with no core beliefs then we open the door for the wolf to enter and kill what we refuse to stand up for and believe in. If it is no longer important to us, we won’t fight for it. Alexander Hamilton said, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” Psychiatrists and psychologists who were involved in the intense debriefings Vietnam POWs received in 1973 after their release validated the efficacy of this old adage. They determined that the majority of prisoners who survived believed in God and that focused belief spurred them to withstand starvation, physical and mental torture and to ultimately survive.
We have to wake up. We used to be a giant among nations, respected by all others. We stood by our beliefs and we fought for them. Now, we stand aside, confused as to what is the right thing to do. Public prayer has gone away. Why? Because people are offended. Whatever happened to just standing by while others pray? We have raised a generation to think that we are no better than any other nation, embarrassed about our colonial origins and capitalistic way of life and that it is to blame for the attacks as if we have done something wrong, and that it is somehow rude to display our pride in America. Folks, our nation is better than any other for a million reasons; look at the people that die trying to get into this country daily. And we should be proud of this great land, our opportunities, and the choices we have. We should show it every day. And when the wolf shows up, he should be taken down, because in the end our freedom must prevail.