Seldom have I been prouder of my alma mater, Liberty University.
Last week the President of Liberty, Jerry Falwell, Jr., was speaking to the students in convocation, the world’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students. In that gathering, Mr. Falwell said that students should arm themselves and receive handgun instruction in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and California; incidentally two of the places in the world with the strictest gun control laws. President Falwell also said that if Islamic terrorists tried to harm his students, they would have another thing coming to them.
Mr. Falwell’s comments were right on the mark.
History has shown that there is no compromise with radical Islam. None. These people are out to kill. They want to kill the infidels; the Christians and the Jews. They also want to kill Muslims who adopt Western ways. They also believe, according to their book, that it is ok to beat a non-submissive wife. There is no stopping these ideas other than total obliteration, as was seen in the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan.
It is mind boggling, illogical, and wholly in keeping with leftist priorities that they would be upset that a successful man and leader stood up and calmly told his students to exercise their constitutional rights and Christian duty to protect others. The left supposedly doesn’t trust the police either but does not want citizens to be armed. They especially like to frighten the most vulnerable into believing firearms are inherently bad. Leftist elites are only interested in political power and not the real responsibility of protecting people.
One of the responsibilities, indeed an admonition and above all a judgment, of Christians is to declare the truth of Jesus Christ. One of those truths of Jesus is to demonstrate, as he did, that there is no greater love than to be willing to lay down our lives for our friends. Mr. Falwell spoke that truth last week and if others did so, the world would be a much safer place. Jesus declared that if we do not speak His life on earth than He will not speak on our behalf in Heaven. As Christians we have that duty to not just think of ourselves but rather the safety and security of others. Another of the truths of Jesus is his very balanced approach in dealing with different levels of provocation.
The most commonly cited admonition by the leftists is Jesus turning the other cheek means total nonviolence even if violence is being perpetrated against others. Despite the fact that leftists as a whole go to church less than those on the right, their argument has been swallowed by many, even in the Church. It is a false argument.
Turn the other cheek has to do with a verbal insults and situations akin to a verbal insult. If you face someone and that person smites you on the right cheek, as Jesus said, that means the individual was given a backhanded slap. How so? Most of the world being right handed. Few people punch someone on the right cheek with their right hand. Jesus was talking about slapping and verbal insults. Slapping someone was akin to the schoolyard bully in Jesus day. The way to defeat a weak schoolyard bully is to smile until your tongue bleeds. That is what Jesus was referring to.
However, if someone is trying to harm you physically, kill, steal, destroy, plunder, or harm your family or neighbor, all of which radical Islam has pledged to do, we have every right, and indeed the obligation by law, to protect others. Our duty as Christians, and as Americans, is to restrain evil and promote justice. That is what government is in America and the Bible. Romans 13 says that the rulers “do not bear the sword in vain.” In America, it is the people that rule and tell the government what to do. The people are the sword and that is why the Founders gave us the Second Amendment. And it is Jesus who overturned tables in the holiest of places, the Temple.
Leftist also cite Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as evidence of the correctness of pacifism in the wake of radical Islam. This is utter rubbish. Blessed be the peacemakers was intended to show us how to live without escalation. However, the Apostle Paul also gives an important caveat in saying “As much as it be possible” live in peace with others. Absence of conflict is not always possible. The absence of conflict is also not always peace. The escalation that the Sermon on the Mount tries to prevent sadly happens often, even in the Bible.
Believing Jesus to be a part of the God Trinity, Jesus was also there when the Lord gave commands to armies. In the New Testament, Jesus’ Second Coming shows Him coming on a horse and His robes are dripped in blood. David was celebrated as a warrior who protected God’s people. The first person to come to Christ after the Crucifixion was none other than a soldier. Jesus called out prostitution and government tax collectors. But he never called out those who were armed like soldiers. In fact, Jesus praised the profession of bearing arms, and soldiering was used as an analogy in 2nd Timothy 2: 3 of how to live for Christ. God would not have allowed such verses if Jesus was a pacifist. Jesus is a loving, compassionate, and balanced God.
Radical Islam demonstrates, more than any other public force, the fallen world we live in. This is evil that takes pride in people jumping from the top of the World Trade Center, or beheading innocent Christians in Syria and Iraq. This evil visited American soil even before September 11, 2001 and it is here still. Confronting such an evil with force, or the threat of force, is the best way to achieve lasting peace. Some ex Nazis and Emperor worshipers could attest to that. Sadly, but boldly, we should arm ourselves and, in doing so, be not afraid. If someone is trying to kill you have every right to defend yourself. If you are amongst those rare few who feels led to die without struggle so be it but that is where it ends.
No Christian is a responsible person Christian if he or she lets other kill their spouse, their children, or their classmates. Jesus never preached that. 1 Timothy 5:8 teaches that if a man does not take care of his own household, he is someone who denies the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. It is not a stretch to say that it is more than o.k. to protect others.
The pacifist approach will especially never work in the wake of radical Islam. In fact, Osama Bin Laden expressed near exasperation that the United States did so little after the Khobar Towers bombing in 1995, the African Embassy attacks in 1998, and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000.
He just kept hitting us harder and harder until the events of September 11, 2001. There is no peace with radical Islam; an ideology that is here in America and we will see more of. The Islamic terrorists have at least done us the favor of telling us that.
Knowing that, President Falwell spoke nothing but truth to his students. Having known the man for almost ten years his number one concern, after duty to God and his family, is protecting the lives of his students. Most of his daily communications are with students. Officials at other universities are chastised for the distance they keep from their students but President Falwell gives of his time as much as any human can to the largest Christian university in the world. Right before his supposedly controversial comments, Mr. Falwell spoke of trying to offer scholarships to children of the terrorists victims. What has the left done for the victims other than deny, as long as possible, what ideology was behind this cowardly act and pull out of the area of the world that breeds this hatred?
Another great man who held the title of President said that we “should trust but verify.” Carrying a weapon responsibly does that and more. I know many students, especially female students, who said they felt safer after hearing the comments of the President of Liberty University and are now encouraged to protect themselves and others.
Mr. Falwell’s comments not only took on radical Islam, but also the legalism of the left. The left can’t stand Americans governing themselves, for it is the left who have people with automatic weapons protecting them while they tell ordinary Americans how they should live their lives.
Millions of decent Americans, including a growing number of young people, feel the same way Mr. Falwell does. They protect their classmates, their friends, and their families with their weapons, keeping them safe from criminals, terrorists, and government tyranny. In protecting others with their Second Amendment rights they, and he, will sleep well at night knowing they have done their duty. They are peacemakers and may they be blessed.