Saturday, November 07, 2009

Fort Hood shooting: the hero and the zero

As you know by now, there has been a horrific shooting at Fort Hood in Texas. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a devout Muslim and a member of the Obama transition team, opened fire, killing thirteen and wounding 37, all of them by regulation disarmed and defenseless.

Doctor Hasan was stopped by an amazingly brave policewoman, Sgt. Kimberly Denise Munley, who ran towards the gunfire and, along with her partner (if a Mother Jones article can be believed), ended it. This tiny little 5'3" lady did all she could to put down the mass murderer long before he'd finished. Nor was it her first act of heroism.

You all remember 9/11, and how President Bush was meeting with a group of children when the first attack occurred. He was alerted to the tragedy during the event, and responded by continuing calmly with the children while information was gathered. Barking loons still try to fault Bush's behavior, reading back all we know now into the everything we didn't know then. Evidently they think he should have leapt up, screamed like a girl, and told all the children to hide under their desks. Or he should have ripped off his suit to reveal a flight uniform underneath, and announced he was going to pilot a jet and kill the terrorists.

So how did President Obama respond to this horrible terrorist attack on our own soil? Unlike 9/11, the nature of the attack was basically known from the start. Obama was not in the middle of an event, though he had a completely-missable talk scheduled. What did Obama do?

You can see for yourself. The Commander in Chief went right right ahead with business as usual. He starts lightly, says "I wanna give a shout-out" to someone present. He chit-chats and schmoozes, drinks in the applause. A dozen of the soldiers under his command lie dead, killed by an American terrorist in the army, dozens more are wounded, but that (to Obama) is no reason to upset this pleasant little event where he can talk about himself and his constituents.

Then at about two minutes he mentions the tragic event, and makes a number of self-referential remarks about it. Then goes on with his speech, 150 seconds later.

Appropriately, Obama's lightness has horrified many. One is surprised to read an article about the President's "frightening insensitivity" over at the NBC Chicago site, including the description of "a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president."


Yet even that article goes on to lay the blame at the feet of... Obama? No no; his advisors, his political machine. Not him.

Anyone think Ronald Reagan would have needed someone to tell him how to respond to a tragedy of this nature? Or even accepting the premise, does Obama get a pass for who he selects to advise him?

The best, wisest, most sobering and alarming observations I've read thus far come from Mark Steyn. These violent acts did not spring up without warning; there were many clear and horrifying signs in this soldier's online, public words. But a PoMo, diversity-mad culture shielded him and betrayed his victims.

Steyn concludes, "America has the best troops and fiercest firepower, but no strategy for throttling the ideology that drives the enemy – in Afghanistan and in Texas."

I voiced similar concerns over three years ago. Here is some of what I wrote, with a little added emphasis:
So the President tells us we're at war with terror, with terrorism, with people who have hijacked Islam. They're the bad guys, we're the good guys, and we'll win. That's what he says. And what I read among conservatives is that we'll surely win, because we've got the best-trained, best-equipped army in the world. They revel in videos of American hardware taking out buildings and people with amazing precision, and devastating effectiveness. It may take time, but we'll win. We're in the right, and we have the best army and the most withering firepower.

Do you see anything worrisome in that?

Of course they are the bad guys. Despicable monsters who deliberately target non-combatants, who sneak in and use our very humaneness against us, who slaughter women and children with fervent glee -- that isn't a hard call. They need to be opposed, sought out, exterminated.

Are we the good guys? Here's where it gets stickier. How many millions of children have been slaughtered now, on the altar of immorality without consequences? How many practices and attitudes that God declares repulsive have we embraced, lionized, and fostered -- even in our professedly Christian churches?

"Better" guys, maybe. But "good"? In God's eyes? That worries me.
...What is it we really need, then? In a word, repentance. National, wide-reaching, root-to-branches repentance. Nothing more, less, nor other. We haven't the ghost of an echo of an excuse for our moral and spiritual condition before God, not one, and we should stop fabricating them.

But we're not even close to that point yet. Do you remember, after 9/11, when a preacher or two even dared to suggest that it might in any sense be a judgment from God? What happened? Did this spark a national, soul-searching discussion, humbling, mourning over our sins? No. They upstarts were buried alive under howls of derision. It wasn't that they were judged and proven wrong; it was that the very suggestion was obscene, impermissible, unspeakable. Worse still, it was in bad taste! Grammar school kids can be taught about homosexuality, but adults cannot be asked to consider whether their actions merit God's judgment.

So, as of that date, America was not prepared even to frame the discussion, let alone humble itself appropriately.

To be plain, I wouldn't leap to a one-for-one conclusion that this horrid tragedy happened because of this or that sin. But I would say, without hesitation or fear of contradiction, that America deserves God's further judgment. If He were to wipe us from the face of the earth today, none could gainsay His justice. That's how bad it is.

So that is what worries me about the Global War on Terror. Not that it isn't a just cause, and not that President Bush isn't a good man with at least some of the right ideas on what is needed. It's the widespread notion that we'll win because we're good, or strong. It's the thought that an ideology can be defeated and replaced with nothing. We're ready to tell the Islamofascists that they're wrong, and yet in America we can't even publicly suggest the relatively colorless notion of Intelligent Design without sparking a chorus of insults and abuse. Being a practicing Christian disqualifies one from holding public office. Obscenity can be presented in public, but the Ten Commandments cannot. We aren't even permitted the categories that would allow the discussion to move in the right direction. We can't even ask the questions.

If you're not worrying with me yet, let me add one last, chilling thought.

If what has happened to us thus far hasn't even provoked the first beginnings of real soul-searching (and it hasn't)...

...what will it take?
UPDATE: here's a refreshing perspective from a reporter for The Telegraph, titled Bloodless President Barack Obama makes Americans wistful for George W Bush. Money-quotation, referring to Obama's second attempt to talk about the attack: "Completely missing was the eloquence that Mr Obama employs when talking about himself."


Gordon Cheng said...

Dan, Obama's reaction was gobsmacking. Shallow and self-absorbed.

Mark Steyn's article was good, and highlights the necessity of dealing with the underlying and, let's be brave and say it, Muslim theology that caused the Major to attack his fellow soldiers.

Good also to highlight the necessity for repentance.

The other conclusion I'd invite you to draw is that Christians, as well as supporting the legitimate actions of their government, ought to be far more committed to sending evangelists to Afghanistan and supporting organizations like Barnabas Aid through prayer and giving.

Mike Riccardi said...

Dan, remember last October and November when we talked about judgment vs. mercy?

Actions have consequences, America.

Of course Obama didn't conspire with the terrorist, but his measurable interest before this tragedy as well as his attitude afterwards is just appalling.

Just one more reason (among many more to come, I fear) for professing Christians who voted for Obama to repent.

DJP said...

Absolutely right, Mike. He is not a substantial man nor a serious president, let alone a good leader. He's only intent on making a name for himself, and moving American towards amoral totalitarianism

Gordon Cheng - yes! Missions, evangelism. Exactly right, thank you.

SandMan said...

I have been thinking about this very thing for a while now. I am studying Jeremiah in my personal reading and the spiritual condition of Israel at her last, just prior to Nebuchadnezzar's conquest, is strikingly similar to America's spiritual condition today. As I read Jeremiah 2, God's tender love for Israel is described so vividly and her subsequent betrayal of Him only serves to condemn her further as He presents His case for her demise. See if you can read it without being broken-hearted for God, and ashamed of your own personal sins, and afraid for your country, U.S.A. In the end, I am grateful that my citizenship is in Heaven, but I love my earthly country and am compelled to pray for her and plead with as many as possible to repent. My final thought I'll share as I have read this book: If God will deal thus with Israel, why not America?

JackW said...

Without fanfare, President Bush visits Fort Hood to comfort those who are hurting. Class act.

The Doulos said...

All well stated Dan. I find it almost inconceivable that a guy like this, a Muslim with well documented instability and jihadist sympathies can be allowed to walk freely, armed, as a member of the US armed forces. When will we face the inconvenient truth that the most devoted Muslims, by definition, want to destroy us.

bob said...

We're ready to tell the Islamofascists that they're wrong, and yet in America we can't even publicly suggest the relatively colorless notion of Intelligent Design without sparking a chorus of insults and abuse.

Islamofascists also believe in your intelligent design creationism. How can you tell Muslim terrorists they are wrong when you have so much in common with them?

SandMan said...

Well said, Doulos.

But, hey, he is our President.

Oh, my bad, you were talking about the shooter in Texas.


DJP said...

What an odd, random non-sequitur, Bob. Yeah, they drink water and use toilets, too. Apart from that whole infinite divide about the Lordship of Jesus Christ, could be the same exact person, right?

Sheesh. Personal issues, much?

trogdor said...

It wasn't much better during his remarks Friday. Even after a day to process what happened and the reaction to his callously flippant disgusting routine the day before, neither he nor the TOTUS could muster anything amounting to serious remarks.

What do we get from the leader of the free world? (1) Don't jump to conclusions about an actual muslim with a record of being pro-suicide bomber shouting allahu akbar while attacking; there's really no clue as to what could have set him off, but it sure isn't the obvious. (2) People are grieving, so we'll lower flags for a few days. (3) We'll keep you posted. (4) Three times as long talking about what an awesome job he's done with the economy, and how much Bush sucked.

That's it. That's all our president could muster the ability to say about a terrorist strike against American soldiers. Unbelievable.

Also, count me as one who was incredulous to find out that someone could so openly traitorous could possibly be part of the military, let alone given fast-track promotions.

Fred Butler said...

Hey Bob!!!
I'm glad you found Dan's place.

Sorry about that Dan. I got infected by this troll a few weeks ago. He must be going through my links like a Facebook virus.

Maybe he will make his way over to triablogue.

CR said...

Wow, I didn't know that about Hasan that he was part of the Obama Transition team. When I first perused this I thought you were just being humorous about it and then I read it later and I checked the link.

You're not kidding! That's scary. Has state-run media even reported this?!

DJP said...

Yeah, Fred. The ability to lower a meta's collective IQ by several points with just one comment is... unenviable.

SandMan said...

Yeah, Fred. The ability to lower a meta's collective IQ by several points with just one comment is... unenviable.

I'm afraid I do that too, but it isn't malicious and certainly not on purpose.

DJP said...

Never that I've noticed.

candy said...

Two things (among others) that perplexed me about this affair.

1. Diane Sawyer said on the newscast the other day, "Too bad it wasn't someone with the last name of Smith." Wha..???

2.Our President who berated the Cambridge police force for racism regarding his professor buddy before knowing all the facts tells us not to jump to conclusions in this situation.

CR said...

Am I worried? No. This is exactly what the Scriptures predict.

Let's focus on what former President Bush said. We don't even have to focus on President Obama. He is a no-brainer.

As much as I liked and respected President Bush, his statement doesn't surprise me at all, nor does it worry me. Does it anger me? Yes, but it doesn't deviate from the blatant heretical statements he's made about the salvation. (Sorry, hate to say this, but it's true).

President Bush's statement perfectly reflects what has happened to the church (in America at least). It is disenfranchised, pushed by the secular community to the outer fringe of cultural life and only exists to give spiritual consolation and comfort to people in a tiny compartment in our lives and is not a revolutionary way of life where all life is to be brought into conformity with the image of Christ and under the sovereignty of God.

Now, I say this because President Bush has made statements where the Christian faith (specifically he mentions Jesus) has revolutionized his life. But, sadly, the Christian faith has nothing to do with penetrating the life of the world around us. It has become only private and personal. But sadly, we do not bear witness to the reign of God over all life.

And before we knock President Bush (I'm not saying we shouldn't) we need to ask ourselves this: in the world around us, do we do the same.

President Bush was probably ignorant of the real problem you have described. But even if he wasn't, the question is, would he have said anything. Do we say anything?

I agree with you that we do need national repentance. Will it happen? I don't know. It's rare. The pattern of the Lord Jesus in history (as it was with Israel) was the church was always a remnant - a petty band of misfits, and only in times of revival do we see great majorities being saved. It was a privilege to have one revival in our country's history (while prior to it becoming an actual country I guess) in the Great Awakening. What a privilige it would be to have a second one.

The one example I'm reminded of is when Abraham asks God if there were 10 people in Sodom, would He spare it. He said, yes, God couldn't find 10 people.

As believers in this country we can plead with the Lord, remember mercy, remember mercy, will you remember mercy if you find ______ no. of people. And the Lord will use ignoramuses and haters of Him, perhaps, to spare our country a little bit longer.

I love my country. I love the people in the country, but I'm not worried and I'm not worried because what is happening is proof that the Scriptures are correct.

Sir Aaron said...

Wasn't it Chalmers who preached that you can't replace an unGodly affection with nothing? You must replace it with an affection for Christ.

Being in law enforcement myself, I see the idiocy all the time. We are asked to prevent crime all the while turning our back on the pre-indicators of crime. So we are left with merely responding, or rather investigating crimes well after they have occurred.