In late October of 2004, I flew to Miami to go deer hunting for the weekend of my 40th birthday. Doug Giles picked me up at the airport. He greeted me with a Cuban cigar. When I told him I also liked Cuban food he decided to take me down to Little Havana for the evening. We decided to drop off my luggage on the way.
When we arrived at Doug’s place I met his daughter Hannah. She was about 16 at the time. The first thing I noticed about her was an unusual pair of earrings she was wearing. They looked like the tusks off a wild hog. So, after we were formally introduced, I asked her the obvious question: “Umm, Hannah, are those wild hog tusks dangling from your ears?” That’s when she told me she shot a hog with her 30-30, pulled his tusks, and made a pair of earrings.
Before we went to Little Havana we had to drop Hannah and her sister (not “sisters”) off at their martial arts class. Doug and I probably see eye-to-eye (and hog tooth to hog tooth) on the issue of executing rapists. But it’s far better to give your daughter a gun so she can kill a rapist in self-defense before a rape ever occurs. But if, heaven forbid, your daughter encounters a rapist in a gun-free zone – otherwise known as a college campus – she needs to learn how to flip him on his back and break his arm before he accomplishes his mission. And, who knows, maybe she can rip his molars out and make a nice pair of earrings.
Doug and I returned from our hunting trip mid-Saturday afternoon. I stayed over until Sunday so I could speak to his congregation. I talked about the assault on Christian values taking place on our campuses – and in our culture. I urged everyone to do something about it. And I hope I gave them some specific ideas.
There were a number of young people present. A few students came over from Miami University. And, of course, Hannah was there. I closed my speech as I often do with the story of the twelve spies of Israel and their chance to retake the Promised Land. I reminded everyone that Joshua and Caleb were surrounded by ten cowards afraid to reclaim the land. That is why the people wandered in the desert for forty years.
Whenever I’m speaking to young people I also argue that America has been wandering in the desert for about forty years (since the 1960s). And I argue that today – just as in the days of Joshua and Caleb – cowards outnumber the brave by a ratio of at least five to one. And the only way to change that is to go charging down the mountainside to reclaim the Promised Land hoping that one’s example will become contagious.
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