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Taking the Terror Out of Terrorism

October 22, 2001

PERFECT PEACE. The root word of "terrorism" is "terror." The purpose of the Attack on September 11 was not only to kill thousands of Americans, nor was it just to hurt our nation financially. The main purpose of the anthrax mail was not to kill or sicken the people who open the mail. No, the primary purpose behind these atrocities is the same as the purpose behind the rumors being spread about suitcase nuclear bombs and attacks on our water supplies. It is to strike terror into our hearts.

I am proud of America. We have not fallen into the terror trap. Sure, there are some who won’t fly, and others who haven’t left their homes since September 11. But by and large, America has said, "We’re not going to let you terrorize us. We won’t let terror overtake us. We are going to live our lives."

Different people use different methods to keep terror at bay. Some ignore the things that are happening around them. "If I keep busy and don’t think about it, I’ll be OK." Others are still running on anger adrenalin. Still others use various rationalizations. "Statistically, it’s still safer to fly in an airplane than to drive on the Interstate." "I have a greater chance of hitting the Lottery than I do of contracting anthrax."

I know a better way. For thousands of years readers of the Bible have found great peace in the verse that says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3). It’s very simple. Don’t concentrate on the terror. Keep your mind on the only One you can really trust, and you will have perfect peace.

Perfect peace. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? It is. You see, terror and peace can’t reside in the same heart. There isn’t room. If we trust in the Lord and allow Him to fill our hearts with His peace, terror has to go.

There’s another wonderful Bible verse along these same lines. "...perfect love casteth out all fear; because fear hath torment" (I John 4:18). We can’t love perfectly, but God can love through us. Just like perfect peace, when our hearts are full of His love, fear gets evicted. "Fear knocked at the door. Love answered. No one was there."

If terrorists can disable us with fear, they have won. They won’t need to hijack one more plane, nor distribute another poison. All they will need to do is start rumors, and they can disable our entire nation. If people are afraid to travel, to congregate in public places, or to do any of the things that make life worth living, the terror has won. But when we put terror on the run, we have won.

Psalm 91:5 speaks to those who trust in the Lord: "Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror by night." If you are overcome with terror, if fear is your close companion, look up the verses I mentioned, and read the entire chapters which contain those verses. Then look around. There are thousands of verses in the Bible that will help you understand what is happening in our nation, and in your own heart. This Book has comforted millions of people for thousands of years. There’s a reason why it is the best-selling Book of all time.


We have not run this segment for a while, but so many of each have emerged in the last month that it seemed time to highlight them. If you would like to nominate someone as a Hero or a Villain, send your suggestion to Submit@ConservativeTruth.org . This is also the address to use for article submissions, story ideas, or great emails that you think our readers might enjoy.


PRESIDENT GEORGE WALKER BUSH for not rushing into hasty action following the Attack, and for his firm and calming manner which has helped avoid panic. This was confirmed by the recent national poll in which 72% of Americans said they were glad Bush was President during this crisis instead of Clinton. Only 20% said they wished Clinton was still in charge.

LISA BEAMER, pregnant widow of Flight 93 hero Mark Beamer, for having the courage to set an example for America. She flew on the same United flight on which her husband died.

THE HEROES OF FLIGHT 93 who saved so many lives by their selfless actions.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for being the first nation ever to supply aid to the victims of war while attacking their rogue government. The food drops will go a long way toward convincing the Afghan people that they are not our enemies, that we are only after the terrorists.

THE EMERGENCY PERSONNEL who worked tirelessly at the Pentagon and the WTC. We usually find our heroes in the military when we go to war. So far in the War on Terrorism, the heroes that have emerged have been our firefighters, police, paramedics and EMT’s.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHCROFT for making it crystal clear that perpetrators of terrorist hoaxes will be prosecuted and could get up to life in prison. These hoaxes divert precious (and scarce) resources from saving lives in real situations.

THE THOUSANDS OF ORDINARY AMERICANS who gave blood, searched the rubble, fed and sheltered victims of the Attack, gave to the relief funds, and generally acted like the generous people that we are.

THE BRAVE PEOPLE who overpowered the man who tried to crash the Greyhound bus. Thank God we are finally starting to realize that we can’t wait for "someone else" to take action in a crisis.

MY 4-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER SARAH, for reminding me to pray for the President. During our morning prayers (which we call Buenos Dias Jesus, because she’s leaning Spanish), if I forget to pray for him, she always says, "The President!!" Let’s all remember to pray for him and his family. They are under great stress.



THE TALIBAN, for telling their starving people not to eat the U.S. air-dropped food, claiming it is poisoned.

THREE MIAMI FIREFIGHTERS (who, for some reason, don’t want their names used) for refusing to answer emergency calls until the American Flag (which they called a "Symbol of Oppression") was removed from their fire truck.

THE BROKEN ARROW, OK., SCHOOL BOARD for removing "God Bless America" signs from schools because, "Someone might be offended."

THE MADISON, WI., SCHOOL BOARD for banning the Pledge of Allegiance because it mentions God. Public outrage forced these socialists to reverse their decision.

LONG ISLAND’S CHANNEL 12 TV, for ordering flags removed from the news room and from the lapels of reporters, because the owners felt that our nation’s flag might give the appearance that "they lean one way or another."

THE BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA CITY COUNCIL for issuing a possibly treasonous (and definitely despicable) resolution condemning our nation for fighting back against the terrorists in Afghanistan, and for banning U.S. flags from city fire trucks because they didn’t want to "offend" anyone in their liberal community.

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON for drastically cutting funds for human intelligence in favor of technological gimmicks. If we had had effective human spies in Afghanistan and other countries where bin Ladin hides out, the Attack might have been discovered and thwarted, as many others have been in the past. President Bush is now actively recruiting agents who speak Arabic languages, which will help repair the damage done to our intelligence services.

THE HEAD LIBRARIAN AT FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY, who, in an "act of tolerance" ordered "Proud to be an American" signs removed because they might "...offend international students." (Whose country is this? And where in the Bill of Rights were we granted the right "not to ever be offended by anything?")

IRRESPONSIBLE MEDIA TYPES who jeopardize national security by revealing sensitive information on troop and aircraft movements which is helpful to the Taliban. These same "journalists", citing the public’s "need to know" (where is that in the Constitution?), blabbed about the CIA monitoring Osama bin Ladin’s cell phone calls. It is possible that, using information from those calls, authorities might have caught him prior to September 11.

THE HOLLYWOOD ELITE for canceling the Emmy Awards. Not that I missed them, but because it shows both their arrogance (they think they are so important that they would be a prime candidate for terrorists) and their cowardice.

PROFITEERING "BUSINESSMEN" who jacked up gas prices to as high as $5 per gallon on September 11 & 12, and others who today are charging outrageous prices for gas masks and American Flags. Shame on you.



"Ye shall know them by their fruits."
By John F. Schmidt

The liberal news establishment has long infuriated the average American citizen by its negative, one-sided and unfair characterizations of our nation’s actions in both foreign and domestic issues. One example of this bias (out of hundreds) presented itself October 10, 2001 on the Today Show when NBC news commentator Matt Lauer challenged Air Force General D.L. Johnson, who is in charge of the food air drops in Afghanistan. Lauer said, "You can’t deny that when you drop these [meals], you’re sending U.S. propaganda." Johnson replied with a dignity of which Lauer seems incapable, "We’re saying this is a gift of food and nourishment to people who are starving."

Lauer and some international aid workers in Afghanistan have been critical of the U.S. for dropping food, claiming that it doesn’t get distributed properly and that the air-dropped food is too little and not available in the right locations. Lauer and others apparently feel that for the U.S. to receive any credit internationally, or with the people of Afghanistan, is unacceptable and hypocritical. To them, it is just "U.S. propaganda."

They are apparently unwilling to acknowledge the positive side of this humanitarian aid issue, and it is fair to ask why not. What is so bad about trying to minimize the suffering of the civilians, who, after all, are truly pawns in this war? Would they be happier if all aid were stopped? After all, most of it comes from the U.S. in the first place. Why wasn’t it "propaganda" before the bombing began?

U.S. food relief was in place long before the war began. Afghanistan has been devastated for a decade, unable to supply its own food needs. The U.S. government didn’t create the conditions that led to starvation, but it should be to our credit that we have long been helping alleviate it, even in the face of terrorist activities by the Taliban. Dropping food to the beleaguered citizens of Afghanistan while dropping bombs on their renegade government is not propaganda, it is simply doing what we have to do against terrorists, while trying to minimize the impact on the innocent. In my opinion, the whole food air-drop plan was motivated as a work of faith, and is not a P.R. move to mollify Muslims, as some have claimed.

The generosity of Americans has always sprung out of "the better angels of our nature" as a religious people, and is not some selfish or callous means of achieving a propaganda goal. We have been poignantly reminded of the real sacrificial character of the average folks who make up this country by the many stories surrounding the terrorist attacks on September 11. This character was not confined to the official rescue workers, but was seen in thousands of acts of love, bravery and self-sacrifice by ordinary people in the aftermath of that act of hatred.

That spirit is who we really are as Americans, and it was deeply refreshing and encouraging to see it in action, after so many had questioned whether it still lived. The terrorists certainly did not count on it being there.

In examining the animus contained in the remarks of Matt Lauer and his ilk, we need to ask how he could miss something that is so characteristically American: extending the hand of friendship to starving, oppressed people, while dealing sternly with their evil government.

I believe Lauer’s animosity springs out of his disdain for our Judeo-Christian roots. People who are part of the liberal elite are typically antagonistic toward people of faith. And I believe the U.S. decision to air-drop food was made primarily on the basis of faith, influenced by the convictions of President George W. Bush. I believe the liberals’ criticism of the air-drop policy is based on their correct perception that such magnanimity hints at a faith-based agenda. But liberals can’t accept faith as a premise because they lack faith, and regard anyone who professes to live altruistically as an insincere hypocrite. They can’t take goodness at face value because they don’t believe in goodness. They take it for granted that everything is done to secure a selfish advantage. So they call our gifts of food a propaganda ploy because they don’t believe that any person or nation could be truly charitable and good out of a sincere heart. The truly sad thing is that they are blind to the truth of what is really going on.

The Apostle Paul described them accurately when he said, "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."

So the next time you hear a liberal "news" commentator trashing the good deeds of your nation, just consider the source of the criticism and remember the Bible’s description of them. If you truly want to do something constructive, pray earnestly for them. The Lord can work all things (and people’s hearts) after the counsel of His will. Let’s ask Him to straighten these guys out.

(EDITOR’S NOTE. We would like to welcome John Schmidt, a veteran web author, in this, his first contribution to Conservative Truth. John’s articles will also be seen in the upcoming commentator’s section on our website, www.ConservativeTruth.org . Visit John’s website, www.inalienable-rights.org , for a graphic depiction of the difference between our society and those who would destroy it.)

AUTHORS: NEW! We are now accepting submissions from commentators for our website. Please see our website for submission requirements. You may send a sample of your work to Editor-in-Chief Lori Cutshall at Commentators@ConservativeTruth.org.

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Copyright ©2001 Tom Barrett

Dr. Tom Barrett is a pastor, teacher, author, conference keynote speaker, professor, certified executive coach, and marketplace minister. His teaching and coaching have blessed both church and business leaders. He has been ordained for over 40 years, and has pastored in seven churches over that time. Today he “pastors pastors” as he oversees ordained and licensed ministers in Florida for his ministerial fellowship.

He has written thousands of articles that have been republished in national newspapers and on hundreds of websites, and is a frequent guest on radio and television shows. His weekly Conservative Truth article (which is read by 250,000) offers a unique viewpoint on social, moral and political issues from a Biblical worldview. This has resulted in invitations to speak internationally at churches, conferences, Money Shows, universities, and on TV (including the 700 Club).

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