See our little blooming idiot in the basket? That’s 8-Ball. She’s the one that got hurt last week, requiring a trip to the vet. What you can’t see is that basket is on the top of a bookcase that’s about 5 feet tall. She is named 8-Ball because her stripes form a figure 8 on her side. We still don’t know how she got hurt, but I’m not at all surprised.
Friday Five: Army Capt. David French
‘It’s one thing to talk about “sacrifice” and “patriotism” in the abstract; it’s another thing to stand attention as an honor guard carries the bodies of men you knew and loved to helicopters.’
The mainstream media provide one view of the war in Iraq. David French provides a very different one.
French, a graduate of Harvard Law School and David Lipscomb University, is a captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the Army Reserve. He’s also an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).
He’s the author of four books and is regularly interviewed by both print and broadcast media.
French told his story to CitizenLink from the front lines in Iraq.
1. What made you, a husband and father of two, join the Army at age 36?
In late 2005, I was reading an article about recruiting shortfalls in recruiting, and I can remember turning to my wife and saying, “I’m not sure that this country has what it takes to fight a long war. We’re too prosperous and comfortable in our own lives.”
As soon as I said those words, I felt a deep sense of conviction. Why was I regretting other people’s choices when I had made the same choice? There is no doubt that it is unbelievably difficult to leave my wife and kids, but my wife and I both believe that my year in Iraq will be a formative year in my kids’ lives — teaching them at this young age to value their country, to understand what it means to sacrifice, and to persevere in the face of uncertainty, fear (my kids know what happens in war), and separation.
2. What has been your most eye-opening moment in Iraq? And what would you say to Americans who are tired of the war and just want it to be over?
I can’t even begin to describe the shock and despair of suddenly losing friends, men who are husbands and fathers. It’s one thing to talk about “sacrifice” and “patriotism” in the abstract; it’s another thing entirely to stand at attention at 3:30 a.m. on a desolate landing pad near Iran as an honor guard carries the bodies of men you knew and loved to helicopters to begin their long journey home.
At the same time, the depravity of the enemy has to be seen to be believed. In America, we have no frame of reference for this kind of evil, for individuals whose ability to inflict pain and death on innocent people is limited only by their imagination and power. We have no option but to defeat them, or we (and others in the world) will face truly barbaric terror.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
If a Christian doubts that fighting al-Qaida and trying to give Iraqis a chance to live a decent life is not “doing good,” then they neither understand our enemy nor the plight of the people of Iraq.
3. We see your name in ADF stories. What motivates you to use your legal skills to defend liberty?
Simply put, this is what I feel called to do. We all have our parts in the Body of Christ, and this is my part. There is no question we must constantly defend our most fundamental liberties, and it makes little sense to only defend them after they’re gone. As I’ve told my friends at ADF, their work defending liberty at home helps keep America a place worth defending abroad.
4. How would you encourage Christians to stand strong, even in the face of same-sex “marriage” and other crises?
I’m puzzled that Christians would be tempted not to “stand strong” in the face of things like adverse court rulings. Rulings like the recent (same-sex “marriage”) case in California should only motivate us to be greater witnesses for truth. If cases like that don’t tell us that this nation truly needs a humble yet confident (in God and his grace) Christian witness, I don’t know what does. Yet we have Christians who more afraid of disapproving looks or social awkwardness than some of our soldiers are of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and snipers. Don’t be afraid, too fearful, to exercise the freedoms that good men died to give you.
5. Why do you have hope for the future of our country?
Even as the cultural winds seem to blow against us on some vital issues, we are making real progress elsewhere. This generation of young adults may be the most pro-life since Roe. So many of the most radical ideas of the Sixties — ideas that seemed poised to completely dominate our culture — have been discredited. We must remain vigilant and have the courage to speak the truth with grace and love every day, but there remain millions upon millions of Americans who have not “bowed the knee to Baal,” and so long as that remains true, there is great hope.
If you don’t believe me, spend five minutes out here in eastern Diyala province, then go back to America. You’ll see our country with new eyes.
9th Circuit to Decide on Constitutionality of Anti-Catholic Resolution
San Francisco calls the Catholic Church’s teachings hateful, defamatory and insensitive.
The liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether a scathing anti-Catholic resolution from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is unconstitutional.
The resolution, passed unanimously in 2006, accused the Vatican of operating as a “foreign country” and called the Church’s teachings “hateful,” “defamatory,” “insensitive,” “ignorant” and “insulting to all San Franciscans.” It was issued in response to the Church’s requirement that adoptive children be brought up by families with a mom and dad.
“They’re condemning the Catholic Church as ‘hateful’ and ‘harmful,’ and that is clearly a violation of constitutional law, where no government entity is to be hostile to any particular religion,” said Brian Rooney, an attorney with the Thomas More Law Center, who represented the Church in court this week.
Susan Fani, director of communications at the Catholic League, called the resolution a scare tactic that had to be challenged.
“So many times we’re told the Church needs to butt out of the state,” she said, “but here we have a perfect situation of what the First Amendment is addressing.
“Our goal is that they don’t do this again, that they learn to step back and not overstep their authority.”
Around the same time, the San Francisco board also voted to banish 25,000 evangelical teens who had gathered in the city to pray.
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