Our military response is the only one that could be expected given the act of war that was perpetrated on the United States on Sept. 11.

One of the many examples of the moral difference between the United States and its allies, i.e. the civilized world, and our opponents, the forces of barbarism and terror, is that we are taking great pains to minimize civilian, noncombatant casualties and we are targeting only legitimate military targets.

Religious Support for Fighting Back

Warrior Buddhists
Buddhists cannot hurt a fly...unless that fly is hurting someone. By Lawrence Pintak

Fighting Terrorism Is Moral
"If someone comes to kill you, wake up early and kill him first." By Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

Advice from a Cold War Theologian
Mobilize against attacks, but keep examining your own flaws.

Discuss: Religion, just war, and retaliation

Complete 9/11 coverage
The terrorists deliberately attacked our civilian population in an attempt to inflict maximum loss of human life, all of it noncombatant. We hold the Taliban accountable for aiding and abetting these murderous thugs. We have a duty to answer acts of terrorism.

We know who the enemy is and it is not the Afghan people. I applaud President Bush for seeking to give emergency relief aid, food and medical kits to the starving Afghan civilian population about whom Osama bin Laden and the Taliban seem to care very little. I imagine that that contrast is not lost on the tens of thousands of Afghans for whom American humanitarian aid will make a life-and-death difference in the coming winter months.

When all the diplomatic efforts to secure justice fail, the only way to safeguard our nation is to strike at the source of this evil. The 13th chapter of the Book of Romans tells us that government has the biblical authority to use lethal force to exact justice.

We should all pause to pray for our servicemen and servicewomen who are bravely going into harm's way to "defend civilization," as British Prime Minister Blair so aptly stated. They are also saving many lives around the world in the process. We would be remiss if we did not also pray for their families, asking God to give them a special sense of His peace in this difficult time.

The allied military response that began Oct. 7 was a defensive action. If we did nothing, the terrorist acts would escalate. Bin Laden and his fanatical followers will not stop until they are disabled and disarmed. We must remove their safe havens and camps that allow them to strike at a time of their choosing against innocent men, women and children. If you want to get rid of the malaria of international terrorism, you just can't swat mosquitoes; you have to drain the swamp.

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