[I am re-posting this, slighly edited, on April 15, 2014, the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing.]
You are undoubtedly aware of the horrific events of last year in Boston. On Monday, April 15, 2013 terrorists exploded two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people died, including an eight-year-old boy. 176 were injured, 17 critically. At least eight of the wounded were children. Then for good measure, Thursday night the terrorists assassinated a 26-year-old MIT campus policeman and engaged in an intense firefight with Boston police. A 33-year-old police officer for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was critically wounded, but did survive.
Thanks to a phenomenal effort on the part of law enforcement officials, we quickly learned who was responsible. Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, immigrants from Chechnya and radicalized Muslims, planted the bombs that killed and wounded all of those innocent participants. In the Thursday night gunfight Tamerlan was killed, while Dzhokhar, wounded, escaped. After an incredible all-night manhunt he was captured the next day. He was treated in a Boston hospital – ironically, Beth Israel Deaconess, a Jewish (!) medical center. In a further irony, that hospital treated some of his victims at the same time it was treating him.
What those first responders and even the spectators at the Marathon did in the immediate aftermath of the explosions was heroic beyond belief. People rushed in to help the victims before the smoke cleared, before they could know whether or not there were more explosions to come. Hundreds, including many who had just run 26.2 miles, donated blood. The medical centers in the area undoubtedly saved dozens, maybe even scores of lives.
You probably also witnessed the incredible outpouring of support in Boston and around the country, even around the world. I watched replays of the crowds at the Boston Bruins game at the TD Garden and Red Sox fans at Fenway Park singing the National Anthem with a lump in my throat. The show of support at the following Sunday’s London Marathon was also especially heartwarming.
Since we know who was responsible for the carnage, I thought it worthwhile to point out what we did not see in Boston or anywhere else in America in response to the bloodshed. We did not see Americans:
· Taking to the streets shouting, “Death to Chechnya!”
· Burning Chechen flags
· Attacking Chechen embassies
· Assassinating Chechen ambassadors, murdering Chechen embassy personnel
· Attacking Chechens and/or Muslims in other countries
· Attacking mosques
· Burning copies of the Qur’an
· Parading the wounded bodies (or coffins) of children and others before television cameras
We didn’t see these things,* and we don’t do these things, because we’re Americans. As such we function on at least the memory of, the vestiges of a Judeo-Christian worldview, even as we increasingly ignore, reject and disavow any such thing. That Judeo-Christian worldview is why we respond to such mindless barbarism, such egregious assaults on us and on all that is good and decent the way we do.
And the way we do not.
Worldview matters. If you don’t believe me, ask the people in and around Boston.
Praying for peace, for continued recovery for all those injured – and comfort for those who lost loved ones – and for people everywhere to see the stark contrast between the Biblical worldview that sees all of human life as sacred, and that of radical Islam which sees only jihadists and infidels,
*Sadly, we also did not see nor hear from Islamic leaders – imams, mullahs, even ayatollahs – condemning these events, and others like them, in clear, unequivocal terms. Until and unless that occurs, these acts of unmitigated, unvarnished hatred and terror will continue.