No. 461



Several years ago I heard my friend Bob Murphy, the famous humorist, tell the story about a woman who was arrested and brought before the judge on a morals charge. After a bit of irrelevant conversation, this judge asked the woman, "Are you a virtuous woman?" She said, "Of course I'm virtuous. Now, I ain't no fanatic about it." At this point it might be well to pause and ask you this question. Are you a fanatic? Based on the definition of the word "fanatic" from the dictionary, while I have some strong views and convictions, I don't believe I am a fanatic. The word "fanatic" means, "a person who is moved by a frenzy of enthusiasm or zeal, especially a religious zealot." People who are fanatics are usually bad news and that's what I want to talk with you about from my heart in this edition today.

In a recent article titled "Up Against Fanaticism," Phil Lucas, executive editor of The News Herald of Panama City, Florida, makes a compelling case for why Americans better learn who our enemy is and what the consequences will be if we don't win the war on terrorism. I have contacted Mr. Lucas and he has given me permission to share some of the information in this column with you. This is a tremendous help because he and his staff have done the research and what he has to say is something every loyal citizen of our country needs to understand. A better understanding by all Americans is my goal here.

Since the blatant, pre-meditated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I have come to fully appreciate who we are at war with and fully support our president and all the men and women of our Armed Forces. We have lost too many good men and women already, but we stand to lose many, many more if we don't understand the nature of this conflict. Most Americans already know, but I am convinced, based on the news and radio talk shows, that many do not. I might also add that as a Christian, I have been in somewhat of a dilemma, because my Bible teaches me that I am to turn the other cheek. If you doubt what I am saying, you can read that in Matthew Chapter Five. Ironically, in this same chapter, Jesus also said, "I did not come to change or abolish the Law and the Prophets but to fulfill." In the days of the Law and the Prophets, which is Old Testament, the law was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Plainly and simply, when Jesus said, "Turn the other cheek," He was not talking about a vicious terrorist enemy flying jetliners into buildings and killing thousands of innocent people. If you have had some of the same concerns, maybe this will help.

Phil Lucas states, "We could fill the newspaper every morning with mobs of fanatical Muslims. They can't get along with their neighbors on much of the planet: France, Chechnya, Bosnia, Indonesia, Spain, Morocco, India, Tunisia, Somalia, etc.etc.etc. Can anybody name three ongoing world conflicts in which Muslims are not involved? Today, where there is war, there are fanatical Muslims. We might quibble about who started what conflicts, but look at the sheer number of them. One thing is for sure, Muslim killers started the one we are in now when they slaughtered more than 3,000 people, including fellow Muslims, in New York City."

As Phil summarizes his column he asks these questions, "Who do you think will win? You? Or them? Think you can take your ball and go home and they will leave you alone? Read a little history. Start with the last week, last month, last year, and every year back for half a century. Then go back a thousand years. Nobody hides from this fight. Like it or not, that's the way it was and that's the way it is." He ends by saying, "But many Americans don't get it." My fellow citizens, this is the reason I decided to write this particular column. All of us better get it and understand the reasons why.

Not all Muslims are fanatics by any means and many are good, honest, and hard working, family-oriented people. However, it is also important to understand that there are differences in our culture and also in our religion. It is my belief, the reason most Muslims in Arab countries hate us is because of our long-standing support and historical relationship with the nation of Israel, the archenemy of the Arabs. They also hate us because we have transported our materialistic and permissive culture right to their doorstep. If history is the best prognosticator, the Muslim fanatics are not going away, and for the very survival of our nation, we had better understand that. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)