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FIRST-PERSON: Will insanity prevail?

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–Country singer Roger Miller once crooned, “England swings like a pendulum do, bobbies on bicycles, two by two. Westminster Abbey the tower of Big Ben, the rosy red cheeks of the little children.”

As London residents come to grips with the terror attack perpetrated July 7, “swinging” is not foremost on their minds. The dominant mood in the United Kingdom’s most prominent city is stunned sorrow. It is an emotion shared throughout the world.

If it was not already abundantly clear, the attack on London should drive home the stark reality that Islamofascist terror is a global reality. There is no place on the planet that is immune from a terror strike.

Terrorists seek to gain an advantage by carrying out calculated attacks on innocent civilians. The bombs planted in London were designed to dissolve England’s resolve to stand firm in the fight against international terrorism.

While a similar attack carried out in Madrid proved successful (Spain complied with terrorists demands that it pull its troops from Iraq), if British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s initial rhetoric is any indication England will not be cowed into submission.

“It’s important … that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world,” Blair told reporters.

While a strong rhetorical response is important in rallying the troops against the reality of Islamofascist terror, words deter terrorists about as much as rain affects residents of Oregon — which is not at all.

Because Islamofascists are driven by ideology, many experts believe eliminating the world completely of their particular brand of terror is unrealistic. Instead, a more practical goal should be to resist, fight and reduce its reality.

Resistance is first and foremost a resolve to refuse terrorist demands. If the countries of the world stood together on this one issue, the “bark” of terror would lose some of its “bite.” As long as countries like Spain are willing to capitulate to the demands of terrorists, terrorists will continue export their brand of “diplomacy.”

Standing together against terrorism also means standing alone. Every country must make it extremely difficult for terrorists to operate within its borders. In America this will require some significant changes in the way we currently operate.

Fighting Islamofascists on U.S. soil will require a substantial tightening of our borders. Currently, illegal immigrants not only are waltzing into America like they were invited, they are being treated like honored guests.

In Oregon, for example, government workers are forbidden from asking a person for proof of citizenship. This makes it easy for illegal immigrants to secure driving licenses, which allows them to register to vote in the Beaver State.

Like other states, Oregon rewards this group of lawbreakers with free social services and even tuition breaks at state colleges. And, to date, the city of Portland refuses to cooperate with the federal government’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. This is despite the arrests and subsequent conviction of six individuals with terrorist ties who were residents of the Rose City.

So long as our borders are porous and illegal immigrants are coddled, the United States is especially vulnerable to future terrorist attacks.

Another change that must occur in America’s standard operating procedure is racial profiling, especially as it relates to air travel.

The random mode of searching airline passengers is as ridiculous as it is effective. Instead of spending time and energy frisking little old ladies and nursing moms, attention should be given to those who are most likely to be terrorists.

If a Caucasian male in his 40’s with a stocky build and brown hair perpetrated a crime in the Pacific Northwest, I would expect to undergo extra scrutiny; and law enforcement would be wise to do so.

So long as we allow politically correct sensitivities to guide our approach to detecting and deterring possible terrorists, we remain open to a terror attack.

Albert Einstein once observed, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The terror attack on London is a reminder that terrorists are still alive and well and willing to kill and be killed for their cause. Unless we take serious the ubiquitous threat posed by Islamofascists and are willing to make significant changes designed to deal with their possible presence, we will be more vulnerable to attack than need be; and that is simply insane.
Kelly Boggs is pastor of the Portland-area Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore. His column appears each Friday in Baptist Press.

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