Islamic terrorists attack Paris, more than 150 killed

Islamic terrorists attacked Paris, hitting six targets (maybe more)–a concert hall, a soccer stadium, and popular restaurants–with AK47s and explosives, killing, as of the latest count, more than 150 people.  [Read more…]

Russia attacks ISIS

Russia is doing what many people hoped the United States would do.  It has gone into Syria and is bombing ISIS, reportedly wiping out its command center.  True, Vladimir Putin is supporting the Syrian government, which we don’t approve of, against its various factions of rebels.  He is also presenting Russia as the defender of humane values against the evils of terrorism.  But this is surely good news for the United States.  Let Russia get entangled in another mideast war.  And if Russia stops ISIS, that would be good news for everyone. [Read more…]

9/11

Today is September 11, aka 9/11, a date that still resonates in infamy.  Where are we as a nation 14 years after those terrorist attacks?  We have waged two wars, more or less inspired by our anger over 9/11.  We killed Osama bin Laden and struck a strong blow against Al Qaeda, but now we have an even more monstrous enemy in ISIS.  We were brought together as a nation 14 years ago, but now we are polarized again.  In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, artists announced that “irony is dead,” but now irony, compounded by cynicism and nihilism are ascendant again.  Postmodern relativism was also supposed to be dead in the period of moral clarity right after the attacks, but now relativism has resumed its works of demolition.

So did the terrorists win?  Or was it just our naivete that collapsed with those towers?  Or was it something more?  Or have we settled into a long war against terrorism that we realize now will not be easy and that will take a nation-wide patience?  Or what?

One of the heroes on that French train is a Lutheran

You know those three unarmed Americans who took out the armed-to-the-teeth terrorist on that French train?  One of them was a Missouri Synod Lutheran.  What difference does that make?  Not much on one level.

But surely when you heard about this, if you are from the USA, you felt a surge of connectedness that these guys were fellow Americans.  When a fellow Christian does something, the tie is even stronger, because of what the Apostle’s Creed calls “the Communion of the Saints.”  According to 1 Corinthians 12, we are all different organs of the same body, so that what happens to one member happens to all of us.  So, for me, a part of the body that writes and blogs in safety, I rejoiced at the part that had the courage to tackle a terrorist with an AK-47 who was shooting a pistol, saving who knows how many lives.  And that he shares my confession and that we commune with each other makes for a particularly close kind of unity.

So my fellow Lutherans who read this blog, as well as my fellow Christians and my fellow Americans, can all claim a connection to what happened on that train, though the heroism of those young men is all their own.

Details about Army National Guardsman Aleksander Skarlatos of St. Paul Lutheran, Roseburg, Oregon, after the jump. [Read more…]

Terrorist kills five in Tennessee

Yet another Islamic terrorist attack on American soil.  Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeezhis shot up two military facilities in Chattanooga, killing four Marines.  He also wounded two other service members and a police officer before he was shot and killed.  The authorities are investigating any terrorist connections he might have.  ISIS has called for “lone wolf” attacks during Ramadan, which ends Friday.

UPDATE:  One of the wounded died, bringing the toll to five.

[Read more…]

Airport insecurity

In a recent test of airport security measures, 70 attempts were made to smuggle weapons and explosives past TSA checkpoints.  67 got through, a failure rate of 96%.

Apparently, the details from the classified report are worse than that.  Freshman Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb)–the only politician I know personally–is taking up the cause.  He wrote an op-ed piece for USA Today on the problem. [Read more…]