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September 20, 2023

September 11

This week marked the 22nd anniversary of the savage attack on the United States by radical Islamists. The day was filled with death and destruction, but it also brought out the courage and faith of millions of Americans.

Christians are divided today on the fundamental question of what our role is in "the public square." I think our model of Christian citizenship was Todd Beamer on one of the hijacked flights, United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco, on that fateful morning.

Beamer was one of the passengers who tried to call home as the plane went off course and headed toward Washington, D.C. He ended up speaking with a woman named Lisa Jefferson, who worked in the GTE phone company headquarters in Chicago. Beamer and Jefferson talked for 13 minutes. She promised him that if he didn't survive the hijacking she would pass on his love to his pregnant wife and their two children.

Then Todd and Lisa recited together the Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23, "...though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Lisa Jefferson said she could hear other passengers joining in. Moments later, she heard Todd Beamer yelling, "Are you ready? Okay. Let's roll."

The passengers then can be heard fighting the hijackers in a battle that ultimately brought down the plane in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, with no survivors.

The attack on America that day brought great pain and suffering to countless people. But our enemies wanted it to be even worse. Experts believe Flight 93 was headed to the White House or Congress. Others think the target was a nuclear power plant. But the worst didn't happen because, among others, a faithful Christian man laid down his life to save his fellow citizens.

If America is going to be saved today, Christian men and women must pray for God's strength and courage. Then we must boldly act to save and restore our country as "One Nation Under God."

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