Getting our national priorities straight

As a nation, we have many ongoing problems to solve in the next four years and beyond. Our assignment of priorities will have an irrevocable effect on our lives and the lives of our children.

We can set environmental concerns, global warming, pollution, preserving wetlands, snail darters and bunnies as our top national priority or we can put out the terrorist fires that are breaking out all over the world first. I am a nature lover and feed deer in my back yard every day, but my attention is on the world scene and the ignorance that supports the growing threat of creeping terrorism.

There are those who choose to ignore that we are in a war for our very existence as a nation and prefer to focus on the fact that environmental issues are not being given the priority that they could be. They do not seem to understand that ignoring or appeasing terrorists is not an option. If we do not ensure the security of our country first, there will be no opportunity to protect our natural resources.

There are those who have conveniently forgotten about the events of 9-11 and insist, as Michael Moore does, “There is no terrorist threat!” How blind and self-serving can they be?

People who remain oblivious to the threats to our way of life are bent and determined on reenacting the sinking of the Titanic. They will be rearranging deck chairs as the ship goes down instead of recognizing that terrorists are like icebergs, most of the problem is hidden where you can’t see it.

Ignoring the realities of the current international scene to carp about the government ignoring some pet project is like allowing the ship of state to sink while we fuss with polishing the brasswork.

As far as pacificism is concerned, turning the other cheek does not work for terrorists, wife beaters, sociopaths, or bullies. The high-minded churchmen who put their names to pacifist rants against the current administration would be better occupied to go into the nearest inner city and practice what they preach. Let them spend a month on the streets and then share their findings.

We have a dedicated force of insane killers attempting to undermine our way of life. We can twiddle our thumbs and agonize about the unfairness of it all, or we can set things right so we and our children will be able to build a better America.

Kerry wishes to work with those who were bribed by Saddam’s oil for food money (France, Russia, Kofi Annan of the UN). He has embraced every side of every issue and his position changes as he meets opposition. His voting record as a Senator says more about his performance than anything I could add.

Bush has had the courage to hold firm and as a result, Iraqis will be holding elections in a few months. I’ll put my money on the man who has actually demonstrates that he will follow through on his promises, no matter how difficult that is.

Defending ourselves from the insanity of Islamic terrorism requires hard work and patience. Get that done and we have the time to clean up our environment. Fail to do so and we won’t be in a position to worry about our environment.

You either recognize that terrorism is a threat or you don’t. Vote accordingly.

UPDATE: Laughing Wolf lays it out more eloquently, Remember that it is much more than a vote for an ephemeral party or candidate, for it is literally a vote for your philosophical and practical future.

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0 Responses to Getting our national priorities straight

  1. fred1st says:


    Sojourners by history arose out of and continues to be very involved in ministry to inner city DC and many other urban areas. There are few Christian organizations more grass-roots. My experience is that they walk the talk.

  2. Thanks. That wasn’t apparent in their article. I respect opinions of those who have been in difficult situations and kept their faith alive.

    My experiences with inner city ministers is that they worked to help the victims of crime and to deter crime by creating a safer environment. They did not, as I recall, deal directly with murderers or bring them to justice.

    Ministers have their place in the world and so do soldiers and policemen. Anyone who really thinks they have the same responsibilities is treading on shaky ground. Try calling a minister when your house has been robbed or your nation has been attacked.

    Let the administration and the armed forces keep the country safe. Let the ministry give us hope for the future. We need both.

  3. Michael Coy says:

    The events of 9/11 were horrible, and we should do everything possible to bring those responsible to justice. What would be a better deterrant for those contemplating another attack?

    Consider, on the other hand, what Mr. Bush has done. The real criminals still run free, while we have invaded a country which has never attacked us and posed no threat. Our occupation of Iraq has produced more terrorists than it has eradicated. And yet, Mr. Bush claims that the “War on Terror” is going well?

    Mr. Bush would like to scare us into voting for him, but I for one will not fall for that trap. Give me a President who tells the truth, or at least has the humility to admit when he is wrong!

  4. Carrie says:

    I disagree on who is better to lead the USA but really have no right to say since I’m not American.

    I am sorry I missed your birthday!! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! 🙂

  5. Da Goddess says:

    You hit every point right on the head.

  6. Da Goddess says:

    P.S. I’m still trying to figure out how I ended up with a trackback ping from this post. Hmmm.

  7. Joanie,

    I think I pinged you when I read the line that read: “Election determines fate of nation.”

    I agree with what you posted. Just wanted to add another viewpoint to Matthew’s article.

  8. Chuck Conway says:

    Great ‘log. I admire your wisdom on many issues.

    I agree with you concerns. However I must disagree with you on this issue. Terrorism is a serious threat to our nation, only because we have made it so.

    Blame always looks better when someone else is wearing it.

    Has anyone ever stopped and asked “Why did the terrorists attack us in the first place?”

    We call them terrorist, we sub-humanize them and then we justify attacking them.

    Bush’s invasion of Iraq has created a birthing ground out of Iraq. Blunders such as the prison abuses and 400 tons of missing explosives will keep terrorists in action for years come.

    I implore you to read:

  9. Chuck,

    Thanks for your comments. I have never had a visitor who was an apologist for terrorists before.

    Terrorists are not sane. The biggest mistake one can make is to act as though they are.

    You may not have dealt with sociopaths before. Understanding a sociopath comes after capturing him and rendering him/her harmless to society at large.

    I have visited your website and you appear to show a great deal of common sense in other areas. I especially liked your comment,
    How can someone continuously color the truth? I wonder if you tell so many versions of the truth that you forget the ‘real’ truth.

    My Great-Grandma use to say:

    ”A man’s only as good as his word”

    Great comments, but the test is in how you apply them.

  10. Jon Strande says:


    Great post!! Great comments by everyone. I’m still waiting for you and the other people who support the Iraq war to comment/rationalize Bush giving up on getting bin Laden… as Michael Coy mentioned in an early comment here.

    Before I continue let me state a couple of things:

    1.) I think what happened on 9/11 was a tragedy and the memory of it still lingers. I can recall with vivid detail what I was doing that day
    2.) The people responsible for it should be made to pay
    3.) Any regime that slaughters innocent people, like in Iraq, need to be dealt with

    That having beend said…

    As far as labeling terrorists as not sane, as you state:

    “Terrorists are not sane. The biggest mistake one can make is to act as though they are.”

    Yes, they are quite sane. They don’t share your worldview – in fact, the only thing that seperates them from others is their willingness to die for their cause. Consider their life and their beleifs before you label them as being insane… labeling someone as insane helps us sleep better at night, but gets us nowhere close to a real solution for how to deal with the problem of terrorism.

    I’m not apologizing for terrorists, nothing could be further from the truth… again, I do believe that they should be made to pay for their actions.

    However, the problem I have is that most people are incapable of even beginning to understand what causes them to do what they do.

    You write:

    “Defending ourselves from the insanity of Islamic terrorism requires hard work and patience.”

    First off, it isn’t Islamic terrorism, it is fundamentalist terrorism.

    Second, you should check out Karen Stephenson’s work with the defense department (I’ll try to find a link and send it to you) as she helps them figure out ways to use network theories to undermine trust in the hierarchies of terror networks. Violence is not the only weapon against hate.

    Yes, terrorism is a threat and it has been a way of life for years in other countries… I heard a great quote recently: “The world didn’t change on 9/11. America joined the world.” How true, huh?

    It’s funny – I think you and I are more alike than we are different. I too love wildlife and nature, I too feed deer in my backyard and enjoy the freedoms that we have in this country.

    But just because I don’t agree with your worldview doesn’t mean that I’m any less compassionate, or care any less for the future of this country, the people in it or the lives of people in other countries. I think that suggesting people who don’t see the validity in the Iraq war the same way you do are somehow less concerned about human life might be a little misguided.

    We have far too much preaching of what we should do and not enough debate of what we can do.

    David, again, thought provoking, well-written post! Thank you for taking the time to write it. As always, I’m smarter as a result of reading the thoughts and ideas of people like you.


    Here is the other thing –

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