Another act of senseless violence occurred this week in what has become a litany of death and destruction in public places in America. At the finish line of Monday’s Boston Marathon, explosions took the lives of three people, including an eight-year old boy who was waiting for his father to finish the race. His six-year old sister and their mother were seriously injured.
In addition, over 175 people sustained severed limbs, shrapnel wounds and other severe injuries. At this writing, 17 are still in critical condition. Many victims were near exhaustion from just having completed the 26.2 mile run through the streets of that historic town. Please pray for the grieving families who lost loved ones, those who struggle for life and those who face lengthy recovery.
Obviously, attacks of violence are not new. They’ve been occurring for years, even in America. My brief review of recorded suicide bombs, car bombs, multiple bomb blasts, explosions, sniper attacks and other violent activities around the world produced an astonishing catalog of such manifestations of man’s inhumanity to man.
Wikipedia, a well known but not entirely dependable internet resource, provided a chronological listing of such activities that have occurred around the world since the September 11, 2001, destruction of the World Trade Center towers. Between 2001 and 2007, more than 450 terrorist activities have occurred around the world. Here are the astonishing numbers from 2008-2012:
· 2008: 281
· 2009: 290
· 2010: 106
· 2011: 357
· 2012: 253
Total from 2008-2012: 1,287
The Heritage Foundation’s survey of terrorist incidents around the world between 1969 and 2009 indicates that 7.8% were directed against the U.S. My non-exhaustive research did not discover similar information from that source (or any other) for the past three years.
It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of these heinous activities took place in countries other than America. Among the leaders in this category (a nebulous distinction) are Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and a number of other Middle Eastern, European and African countries.
However, the question in my mind these days (and I know I’m not alone) is to what extent the freedom we enjoy in America has become super fertile ground for the proliferation of terrorist activities in the United States.
Are we living in a new reality that enemies of freedom and of Christianity will accelerate the frequency and severity of their dastardly deeds in the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Lord, have mercy!