Terrorists lump U.S. cultural freedom with low living | VailDaily.com

Terrorists lump U.S. cultural freedom with low living

Rev. Jack Van Ens

President George W. Bush heartily believes that America’s duty is to export liberty. We are God’s freedom fighters in the Middle East, he declares, destined to introduce a democracy that thrives by the consent of the governed.Islamic terrorists seethe because of our troops’ prolonged stay in Iraq. When Bush endearingly calls our overseas military “freedom fighters,” insurgents willing to blow themselves to smithereens damn our soldiers as occupation troops. The terrorists don’t trust Americans who peddle liberty. It leads to low living, terrorists charge.In contrast, our president, in his Second Inaugural Address, used language soaring with majestic phrases. He linked liberty with noble, not low, living. His speech rang with peals announcing freedom, as if the Liberty Bell loudly clanged again. In his 21-minute address, Bush referenced Abraham Lincoln’s stirring call to freedom. Our president paraphrased portions of the Declaration of Independence. He lifted from the Bible pertinent texts about liberty. The president used the word “freedom” 27 times in his Second Inaugural Address and struck the bell for “liberty” an additional 15 times.Bush referred to God as the “author of liberty.” He pointed out that Americans feel pride swelling within their chests when “captives are set free,” echoing the Bible’s insistence that Jesus came on earth “to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4: 18).America must press liberty’s fight against tyranny, the president repeatedly asserted. Upon freedom’s foundation the “edifice of character is … sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran and the varied faiths of our people.”Bush is realistic in admitting that planting a Republic in a land ruled by feudal demagogues like Saddam Hussein will not happen overnight. The democracy Iraq adopts will not replicate our U.S. Republic. “Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by its citizens, and sustained by rule of law and the protection of minorities,” observed President Bush. “And when the soul of the nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and practices very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.”Why do Islamic terrorists reject American freedom?These militant fundamentalists believe that freedom American style leads to decadence. The devil roams freely in our land, twisting the sacred into what’s tawdry, undignified and an insult to Allah who desires pure and decent lives. Look at what harm freedom of speech does in American society, extremists argue. Sex is trivialized. Commitment is diminished. Rules are laughed at. And America rejoices in passions gone wild.How so?”Desperate Housewives,” picturing suburban strumpets specializing in sleaze on Wisteria Lane, has landed 15 Emmy nominations. Islamic fundamentalists cringe at such disgusting news. Americans easily tolerate racy TV hits. We lose our ability to blush. Low-life stars are worshipped. At a presidential roast, Laura Bush joked that she felt like a desperate housewife because the president fell asleep so early in the evening.Terrorists cringe when a film critic on “Entertainment Tonight” gushes about the risqué movie, “Wedding Crashers.” “I liked it!” the critic slobbered, like a kid slurping a melting Popsicle on a sultry July afternoon. “Why, the movie will be a giant hit,” the critic predicted. “It made me laugh,” he squealed, lacking moral sensitivity.This movie follows two buddies who fulfill every 17-year-old boy’s fantasies. They crash wedding receptions, get girls to fall for their hard-luck stories, and then bed them. Islamic terrorists want nothing to do with this perverted brand of American liberty.Like a machine gunner, George W. Bush, rapidly fires liberty’s bullets at Iraq. In a carefully staged nationally televised speech at Ft. Bragg before respectful troops, Bush shot some bullets off target. He fudged what’s true. The president drew the war in Iraq alongside Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, saying this murderous union caused 9/11. Government reports keep telling the president that Saddam Hussein was not in cahoots with bin Laden and his terrorists. Whatever facts don’t support freedom’s cause in Iraq the president simply ignores.Bush reported, “The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September 11 … and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like bin Laden.”The president shies from pinpointing what country harbors the most violent strain of Islamic terrorists. Most of those who hi-jacked three planes on 9/11 grew up in a country other than Iraq. This nation, winking at virulent fundamentalist Islamic education that ignites the fires of terror, sends the largest number of suicide bombers into Iraq. What country? Our #1 ally in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia.”Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front on terror,” questioned Bush. “Among the terrorists, there is no debate.” Really? The source feeding terror, spewing a cauldron of hate against the U.S. for our low living, is Saudi Arabia. Did Bush attack the wrong country to root out terror and let freedom ring throughout the world? The Rev. Jack R. Van Ens is a Presbyterian minister who heads Creative Growth Ministries, enhancing Christian worship through storytelling and dramatic presentations. Van Ens’ book, “How Jefferson Made the Best of Bad Messes,” is available in local bookstores for $7.95.Vail, Colorado

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