What can be said that has not already been spoken of this day when 3,226 people were killed or wounded by Islamic terrorists on U.S. soil? Being people, many of these poor souls were probably very good, and some very bad. Some behaved heroically, perhaps for the only time in their lives cut short. Some were probably cowards, perhaps for the only time in their lives.
They were weak or strong in turn because they were like you and me, which is perhaps why some of us still burn with anger. Being people they had husbands and wives, sons and daughters, parents, lovers, friends and enemies. Being people they had plans for the future, for a next day and a day after. Some were going to lose weight, some were going to change jobs or start a new school, some were going to ask forgiveness, some were going to forgive. Being people, they were all of them worth immeasurably more than their lives were valued at the hands of their slaughterers.
And this is the crux of it, I suppose, that there are people in the world who worship a Death god, as there have always been. They did not pause before passing an infant through Molloch’s flames, nor do they pause before obliterating an Israeli schoolgirl. There is no mercy to be found in the Death god, nor among his followers.
We can complicate things if we like — and some people would very much like to — by pointing out the grievances of the people who kill, or suggesting that their quiet sympathizers are substantially different, or arguing that any effort to confront this death cult will only ever have bad consequences. Sometimes these complications are true and important to note, but at the end of it all people in the path of the Death god are left with three choices: submit, fight, or die.
The matter is obscured by time; Americans can afford to do nothing for a generation or two, maybe more, and hope that the Death worshippers will settle down, maybe get MTV and Xboxes and join the apathetic center. Europeans have less time, many parts of Asia and Africa even less. And perhaps the Death cult will peter out, collapsing under the weight of its own ignorance and tribalism.
I’m no expert on global politics. I can’t discern whether it’s better to find and kill Islamofascists with all the collateral damage that entails, or play a Clintonesque diplomacy shell game, or something in between. But I do know that right action springs from right thinking, and right thinking is reflected in clear words. So it seems to me that seven years after that awful morning we ought to remember clearly — every citizen and certainly every politician who wants to represent us — a few essential things:
- These men, women, and children were murdered.
- Their murderers were slaves to a cult that hates truth and peace.
- There is no reasoning nor negotiating with people who celebrated in the streets when they heard the news.
- If we choose to resist this death cult, some of us will die.
And finally, for the Christian, these truths: that the line between Dark and Light traverses every heart, that it is not by our own merit that we were born outside the death cult, that we are enjoined to pray for our enemies, and that the reason we do so is because, on that blessed day when vengeance pours down from Heaven, no dark thing will escape.