I just finished watching the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, address the Congress of the United States. I personally felt his speech was both inspiring and well-reasoned. I appreciated the enthusiastic welcome he was given by our Congress, and disappointed, once again, by the political machinations of the highest office in our land, who seems to be able to find the time to golf, vacation, and watch MBA games, but can’t find 30 minutes in his schedule to accommodate one of our greatest allies and strategic partners.
I believe that like the events of 9-11, this speech represents a turning point for the future of our country, and the freedoms that we enjoy. How America responds to his speech, will impact generations of our children.
My personal passion is history. I have always been fascinated with historical events, and how they played out. History is in effect, what happened yesterday, and how we perceived it. To Americans, the American Revolution was a righteous war against an oppressive king, fought for the right of self-determination. To the British, it was a rebellion by colonists against the lawful government that funded them. Same incident, different perceptions. In reality, the American Revolution, despite the glory and pride inherent in the events that occurred, and the foundational documents delineating basic human rights that resulted, boils down to essentially, a tax revolt.
That being said, that revolt gave rise to one of the greatest countries the world has ever seen, with millions of people flocking to its shores to participate in the “Great Experiment.”
I have personally had the great fortune to travel to many places in the world, both in service to my country, and most importantly, in service to Christ. I have been able to see America from the lens of several “third-world” nations, as well as our more industrialized sister nations. The viewpoints are often telling.
Many years ago, a tragedy occurred in Texas, where someone illegally transporting people across the border in a semi-truck, left the truck abandoned, leaving 62 men, women, and children, to suffocate and die in the Texas heat. 18 of the 62 did die. American news agencies ran the headline “Semi-trailer becomes death trap as smugglers lock illegal aliens inside.” I happened to travel to Central America a few days after the incident, and bought a local paper, which headline screamed “18 Mexican Citizens murdered in Texas.” Same incident, totally opposed perceptions, and a totally diametric view of history.
In the same manner, I have made several excursions to Haiti. In any country I visit, I always make an effort to find locally published books, and attempt to teach myself the language, as well as learn about the culture. Being a former corpsman assigned to the Marine Corps, I have always taken great pride in the heroism and tales of the Marine’s actions in Haiti, during the Caco Wars of 1915. 8 medals of Honor were awarded to Marines in that campaign. Imagine both my shock and dismay to read local accounts of the same events. Haitians have an entirely different viewpoint of that campaign, as well as a long list of atrocities purportedly committed by the United States.
I have also traveled the length and breadth of Israel, and into Jordan, and met both Jewish and Arab peoples. I encountered people that idealize and see America as a great friend and ally, as well as people that hate every American to the core.
I realize that I may appear to be rambling, and have strayed from my original purpose in the article, but bear with me. Many people feel that America has no business “interfering” in world politics, and that we should practice isolationism. I disagree with this premise. America, as a “Christian Nation” should be involved in trying to make the world a better place for everyone. America as “No longer a Christian Nation,” (quote) should tread these waters lightly.
Despite my great pride in my country, both as a veteran and a citizen, my love of history has allowed me to see what happens when America “stands aside” and tries to “appease” our enemies. America stood aside, when the Bolsheviks murdered Tsar Nicholas of Russia, and our ally, Russia, ultimately became the U.S.S.R., and the iron curtain fell. Over 40 million innocents died. America stood aside when Hitler invaded Poland, and ultimately, 60 million people paid the price. America stood aside when the Communists took China. The rule of Mao Tse Tung and communism ultimately took 70 million lives. The list goes on. Even in places where we did involve ourselves, Viet Nam, Korea, etc., politics handicapped our troops, we withdrew, and the atrocities continue to the present day. We stood aside when the Shah of Iran was deposed (Thanks Jimmy) and allowed the Ayatollah to gain power. Instead of an ally, which the Shah was, we now have a militant, terror sponsoring enemy.
The population of Germany around 1940 was about 67 million. The population of the United States at the same time was about 135 million. Does any rational student of history honestly believe that the United States could not potentially become a fascist state? I believe the length of time it took for Germany to collapse from a democracy to rule of the Nazi party was about 6 years. 60 MILLION died in the subsequent war, because AMERICA initially stood aside. When we DID get dragged kicking and screaming into the conflict, we took names and handed Hitler his behind.
The United States and Israel is facing a similar enemy today. Militant Islam is set on nothing less than world domination, and this time around, the lunatics in the asylum have access to nuclear weapons. There is a REASON that “Mein Kamph” is a “best seller” in Arab lands. Since 9-11, as of today. There have been over 20,022 acts of terrorism perpetuated by Islamic militants. The 20,000th came a few days ago when a Jewish woman was cut in pieces in IRAN by religious radicals “intent on expanding a mosque.” Some 1,800 deadly Muslim terror attacks happen each year, amounting to about 150 a month and five a day. This makes one act of terror EVERY FIVE HOURS. (www.religionofpeace.com). Does anybody care to guess the number of terrorists acts perpetrated by Christians since 9-11? Despite the bizarre, irritating, and decidedly “non-Christian” acts of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, and a couple of isolated incidents where deranged INDIVIDUALS claiming to be Christians shot an abortionist or bombed a clinic, the answer is “ZERO.” (Mathew 7:16-17 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.”)
Radical or militant “Christians” don’t behead or crucify people. They instead build hospitals, feed the homeless, participate in disaster relief efforts, and sometimes, gives their lives as martyrs trying to bring the Gospel to unreached peoples. Moderate Christians tend to just go to church on Sunday, give to the Lottie Moon fund, and listen to K-LOVE.
Ultimately, my point here is that despite American Exceptional-ism, which I firmly believe in, and the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which I firmly uphold, America is not the promised land, nor is our founding documents the Bible. When our politics and our faith conflict, our ultimate duty is to our faith.
We as Christians have a duty to our country, but we also have a duty to Israel. In my opinion, both the modern Israel, and the one our faith springs from. The Bible tells us in 2nd Timothy 3:12-13 that “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” It also tells us in 2nd Timothy 2:3-4 “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”
We WILL suffer persecution as Christians. We must endure it for the sake of the Gospel. I will, and have, endured persecution for my faith, and I will continue to do so. Nowhere in the Bible that I know of, does it say I have to lay down and allow the enemies of God and decency to murder me or any innocent for the sake of political correctness, political expediency, or most importantly, for the sake of “their” god. In this regard, if my country “stands aside,” I most certainly, will not. Nor will I be silent.
In conclusion, we as Templars have a duty to advance the faith, as well as protect the Temple. We must stand with Israel, and in addition to our motto of Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name give glory), we should add the Israeli Special Forces motto of “Never Again.”