From our archives:
I’ve been alive for more than a half of a century. I have studied and
taught American history. I love reading about American history, and I
thought that I understood what I was learning. But I have never truly
understood President Franklin Roosevelt’s warning of “We have nothing to
fear but fear itself” until the past few weeks.
I have made a number of flights since the September 11 disaster and I see
fear on people’s faces wherever I go. Our country is truly suffering from
fear! People constantly ask, “Aren’t you afraid to fly?” Why should I be,
our country is taking more precautions than ever. Actually, I feel safer
flying now than before September 11.
Yet, most of American people are afraid – asking what’s next? We have
allowed a comparatively small handful of crazies accomplish their goal of
terrorizing the greatest nation in the history of the world. We are so
afraid to fly that airlines have had to layoff more than 100,000 employees.
The stock market has experienced the biggest loss ever because we are afraid
to invest in our future. Our economy has been pushed into a recession by in
large because we are afraid to go about our normal lives.
I’m not saying that we should disregard what has happened – I will NEVER
forget – but we shouldn’t become paralyzed by it. America has lost its
collective virginity; we are no longer invincible to outside attacks. We
are now like the rest of the world. Now we have to be more cautious in our
travel and other areas of our lives then we were before September 11. We
may receive more terrorist attacks, but we can’t be waiting for the next
shoe to drop! If we do, they won!
Why are we so fearful? I’m sure that much of our fear is the result of the
news media continually showing us pictures of “ground zero,” speculating
about anthrax attacks, and telling us to expect more. I don’t believe they
mean to, but our news outlets are playing into the hands of the terrorists
by “scaring us to death” with their “over covering” of the disaster.
Yes there is a possibility we could be attacked again in one form or
another, but that has been a possibility for years! Only we
weren’t aware of it. Now that we are aware we should take the
needed precautions, not cower in fear.
As Christians, we need to see these as exciting times – not fearful times.
People are asking questions about life and the future as never before. I
have had more non-Christians ask me about my beliefs in the past few weeks
than I have in the past few years. And we have the answer. God is in
control. The events since September 11 haven’t surprised Him. If we get
caught up in watching the news ten hours a day, we will lose our focus. It
is time for Christians to limit our news intake and open the Bible? We need
to be a beacon of light and hope to a confused world.
I love our nation’s renewed sense of patriotism, but patriotism is more than
waving flags and singing “God Bless America.” The most patriotic thing we
can do is to show the terrorists that they haven’t won. We should be
cautious, but we need to go about our lives as we did before September 11.
We will never be the same and we will never forget, but FDR was right. Our
biggest fear is fear itself.
From our archives 11/1/1
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