I appreciated Charles C. W. Cooke’s post distinguishing Holly Fisher from Sherafiyah Lewthwaite, but it suffers from a fatal flaw: It uses reason and logic to rebut an internet meme about anything but. Truth be told, no sentient leftist would feel threatened by Holly Fisher if he met her, but most would be terrified to the point of incoherence by any true encounter with a woman like Ms. Lewthwaite. No, the visual comparison between a peaceful American intentionally trolling the Left and a vicious terrorist is all about shame and stigma, trying to place the Holly Fishers of the world outside the pale of civilized discourse.
It’s a very targeted shame, attacking two key instruments of American and individual independence, Holly’s Bible and her gun.
The Bible is by far the most important of the two. By embracing the truth within its pages, a person is guaranteed a spiritual independence that is beyond the reach of any earthly tyranny or ideology. Through dependence on God, a person is free from dependence on man, empowered to reject not just the shallow, scornful ideologies of the modern secular Left (an ideological paper tiger) but also the far more vicious ideologies of the jihadist Middle East or North Korea, where even now women like Meriam Ibrahim or men like Pastor Saeed Abedini have the God-granted strength of will to face persecution we can scarcely imagine.
This importance of this belief is of course demonstrated by the Founders’ wisdom in protecting religious freedom as the first freedom in the Bill of Rights. Any state that stands squarely against the peaceful, free exercise of faith is doomed to fail. No earthly ideology can provide an adequate replacement for eternal hope, so a sustainable state is one that grants faith its rightful, primary role in the human heart.
The gun, while less important than the Bible, is still vital to the preservation of liberty. Not only does it mean that Holly can offer the first line of defense for her family, it also means that Holly — collectively with other armed citizens — acts as an implicit check on the growth of state power, rendering it far less likely that our state will encroach (like North Korea or Iran) on the deepest realms of freedom of conscience.
The Founders also knew of the importance of an armed citizenry, and recognized that in the Second Amendment. A state confronting an armed people is far more likely to remain within its constitutional bounds.
All of this is painfully basic. Indeed, it’s embarrassing to even type when most NRO readers have grasped these truths since grade school, but we live in an era when even the most basic truths are intentionally hidden from generations of Americans who are taught to scorn the Bible and fear the gun — often “taught” through the same kind of misleading imagery Charlie highlighted in his post.
The Left can mock, shame, and rage all it wants, but the fact remains — if a leftist ever does encounter a Sherafiyah Lewthwaite, he would feel far, far better if a Holly Fisher was nearby.
This article first appeared on National Review.