After 9/11 happened, we were told to keep our eyes open and report anything out of the ordinary, no matter how small. The realization that the foreign terrorists had been hiding in plain sight for an extended period of time, even taking flying lessons without wanting to learn how to takeoff or land, was jarring.
We weren't noticing the red flags, and we needed to if we wanted to survive.
Now here we are 18 years later, and survival is clearly a relative term. Several terrorist attacks have indeed been thwarted in that time, but terrorizing ourselves has become the dominant game in town. Gun violence in schools and public places is chronic. Antifa runs the streets like a feral pack of wild dogs. And the Rainbow Jihad hijacks bathrooms, women's athletics, and story time at the library while nonetheless demanding that they have their own banks. Oh, and Planned Parenthood has killed more Americans than the combined forces of Jihadists could ever fever dream — while getting a half billion in taxpayer subsidies per year.
I could add countless other items from this land of confusion to the list. But the point should be clear by now: Who needs terrorists from far away lands, when we are so damn good at killing our culture all by ourselves?
Yet the signs of our self-inflicted demise continue to endlessly be ignored or explained away with vigor. For example, I've largely recused myself from the Sohrab Ahmari/David French debate, because I originally suspected it was a leftover proxy fight from the 2016 election. Between what remains of Never Trump, and the "this is the United 93 election" crowd. I did those arguments three years ago, and am permanently retired from the often mindless and nihilistic 2016 campaign, which I'd like to revisit about as much as last year's Michigan-Ohio State game.
However, as the dialogue has raged on it has proven me wrong, and some real substance about the path forward for conservatism is being discussed. French's side claims that adult drag queens having regular public access to spaces often dominated by children, for the explicit purpose of normalizing their depraved behavior, is simply the cost of doing business in a free society. Otherwise, Christians may one day be the ones getting the short end of the stick.
One day? That's happening right now by even accepting such a premise, let alone dealing with the amount of actual storylines available from the last decade of forced cake baking and other pagan delights.
No, David, it's because Christianity has been marginalized that these pagan delights are filling the void. Nature, after all, abhors a vacuum. Especially fallen, unrepentant human nature. For once it believes it has killed God, it will then declare itself to be gods and attempt to help itself to His space. And throughout history, the coercive force of government has been their favorite tool for making it so.
That the French side of the argument believes there's some attainable coexistence between polar opposite worldviews, each with vastly different definitions of existential fundamentals and constitutional principles, is more unicorns than an episode of "My Little Pony." Unicorns, by the way, aren't real. Just like the pagan's definition of the term "tolerance."
You can't negotiate or compromise with the mob outside Lot's House. They're grabbing the public square specifically to impose their will, not simply for equal time. This is a worldview steel cage match. Two worldviews will enter, but only one will leave. They have their phasers set to kill, and we're arguing about which spork to politely bring to the OK Corral.
Thus, the best way to honor 9/11's fallen is by casting into the ash bin of history the notion that our public square need honor all manner of difference. Because not only shouldn't it, it must not. Some ideas simply must be defeated without equivocation before they defeat you.
If we didn't learn that from 9/11, we never will.