Gary Bauer greets a well-wisher at the MFI banquet.
Gary Bauer Identifies the Enemy at MFI Banquet
Was Eyewitness to Pentagon Explosion
Citizens Given Awards
Our enemies think we are a
civilization in decline, Gary Bauer, former Presidential candidate,
told a packed ballroom at the tenth annual banquet of the Massachusetts
Family Institute at the Newton Marriott last month.
“They believe we are fat,
lazy, decadent, and ready to die. They think if they push us hard
enough, we’ll go over in a corner somewhere and sort of curl up,
and that’ll be that. And in some ways, you can understand their
miscalculations, because they see certain things about us, and it
kind of drowns out everything else.”
Those enemies look at us and
conclude, “These guys are an easy mark,” said Bauer. “They are no
longer capable of producing the kind of men that we saw at Concord
Bridge, or on the fields of Antietam or on the beaches of Normandy.”
But he continued, “I think they miscalculated.”
Bauer witnessed the attack
on the Pentagon on Sept. 11.
“I happened to be driving
into Washington, D.C. that morning.
I was going to be doing a press conference on Capitol Hill
about the issue of Sudan, where there is terrible Christian persecution
taking place. In fact, there is a radical Islamic government in
power. Millions of people have been killed. A number of groups in
town felt that not enough was being done about that, so we were
going to hold a press conference, put a little bit of pressure on
the administration and on the Congress.
“I was in a massive traffic
jam, hadn’t moved more than a hundred yards in twenty minutes. My
office called to tell me about the first plane in New York, the
reaction was ‘horrible accident.’ And then they called about the
second plane, and clearly that meant something much worse was going
on. It was only then that I really noticed where I was in that traffic
jam. I was going past the Pentagon, really inching a yard or so
every couple of minutes. I had just passed the closest place the
Pentagon is to the exit on 395 . . . when all of a sudden I heard
the roar of a jet engine.
If the U.S. were to disappear, “the world would more closely
resemble hell than anything else. It is this nation and people
like you that stand between the strong preying on the weak.
Can you imagine the darkness that would descend upon the world
if America were not alive and well?”
“I looked at the woman sitting
in the car next to me. She had this startled look on her face. We
were all thinking the same thing. We looked out the front of our
windows to try to see the plane, and it wasn’t until a few seconds
later that we realized the jet was coming up behind us on that major
highway. And it veered to the right into the Pentagon. The blast
literally rocked all of our cars. It was an incredible moment.
“I ended up being able to
head on into Washington, D.C. My daughter works on Capitol Hill
and I wanted to find out if she was safe. I also just wanted to
be in Washington that day, to see if there was anything that I could
What Kind of People?
Bauer remembered Winston Churchill’s
reaction to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Churchill didn’t ask what
kind of people would do such a thing. Rather, he asked, “What kind
of people do they think we are?” How was it that those attackers
miscalculated, thinking that if they struck us with that treacherous
blow, our reaction would be to give up? Bauer asked the same question
about our current enemies.
Bauer, long a crusader against
Chinese human rights abuses, reminded the audience that the Chinese,
too, should be on our list of people who do not like us. He told
the story of the Chinese reporters in D.C. who burst into applause
at the news of the attack on the World Trade Center. They were soon
expelled by the State Department.
“Some of them have watched
us elevate the ‘right’ to take the lives of our own children to
a high Constitutional privilege, right up there with freedom of
speech and freedom of religion. And they’ve concluded, ‘If they
think taking the lives of their own children is a Constitutional
right, are they going to get that upset if we take the lives of
“They then look at our men,
and they’ve seen that we abandon our wives at the first sign of
a wrinkle in the face, or a thickening of the waist. Maybe they
see American men hunched over computers consuming more pornography
daily than any civilization in the history of the world.
“Maybe they’ve watched our
political leadership in the last decade or so. Seducing the young
women who they were charged to be responsible for, and American
voters didn’t seem really to be all that upset about it. I mean,
for crying out loud, the girls’ fathers didn’t seem to be that upset
Must Battle Our Faults and Terrorists
Bauer reminded his audience
that those bad things are every bit as important for us to battle
as the terrorists. He is confident that even in 2001 America, there
is still a reservoir of “family and faith, the depths of which even
we sometimes underestimate.”
“We’re the kind of country
who produced such policemen and firemen, those blue-collar guys
who ran up the steps of the World Trade Center into the jaws of
hell, to rescue the titans of industry and finance. There wasn’t
much class warfare going on that morning, was there? We are the
nation who has been freedom’s army. ... We have not sent our sons
to conquer territory or to accumulate wealth,” but only to protect
somebody else’s freedom.
If the U.S. were to disappear,
“the world would more closely resemble hell than anything else.
It is this nation and people like you that stand between the strong
preying on the weak. Can you imagine the darkness that would descend
upon the world if America were not alive and well?”
The heroism of the ordinary
Americans aboard the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania prevented
some additional horrific picture – a smoldering White House, a nuclear
power plant in meltdown.
A ‘Turn Moment’
Bauer considers September
11 a “turn moment” in our nation’s history. It should make us re-examine
many things. We must now build up our defenses, stop short-changing
the defense budget, pay our servicemen and women a living wage and
get serious about immigration reform and intelligence gathering.
But it will also be a turn
moment “that will make us want to win the battle for family, faith,
and freedom right here in America.”
“Because . . . if it’s a turn
moment, we can’t keep doing the things we’ve been doing. We saw
death head-on that morning. We’ve got to stop embracing death,”
as we do in allowing a million of our babies to die each year.
If September 11 was a turn
moment, then we can no longer cower in front of “a radical movement
that wants to redefine two thousand years of Judeo-Christian civilization
so that men can marry men, and women can marry women; a movement
that wants to browbeat the Boy Scouts and the Salvation Army into
changing the rules about who they are; and who wants to call men
and women like you ‘bigots,’ in the hope that you’ll be silent.
If September 11 is a change moment, that movement will lose. And
make it start here in Massachusetts in a few weeks.”
Bauer asked who our enemy
is. It’s easy to identify Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein. But the real
enemy we are battling “is a much more ancient foe. He was there
walking with Stalin, when Stalin decided it was okay to kill 20
million of his own people, and do it without an ounce of remorse.
“He was there with Hitler,
whispered in his ear that idea on Auschwitz, brought the world into
a war that brought incredible damage that even today we cannot totally
comprehend. You know, as we’re all in the foxhole together, remember
that the good people of London were bombed for 67 straight nights.
At the end of it, 13,000 of them were dead. They made it through;
so will we.
“The real enemy was there
that spring morning in Littleton, Colorado.” Though the two student
killers died that day, Bauer reminded the audience, their complete
plans included an escape to Denver to hijack a plane, and then force
it to crash into the World Trade Center. “You know, the enemy, when
he gets an idea into his mind, he doesn’t let it go easily.”
Bauer’s overall message was
positive, expressing confidence in our nation’s leadership and military.
On the spiritual level, too, he is confident. “Everybody in this
room believes in a couple of truths: that God is still in charge,
and that we have been promised that the gates of hell will not prevail.
That’s good enough for me. That’s a pretty good Valium for the soul,
to keep us calm in these times of troubles.”
Former Head of Family Research Council
Bauer was formerly head of
the Family Research Council and candidate for the Republican Presidential
nomination in 2000. He is now chairman of the Campaign for Working
Families. Ten years ago, he was the speaker at MFI’s first banquet.
He admitted that he left that affair doubting success for any such
conservative, pro-family organization in the rocky soil of New England.
“Oh come on, it’s Massachusetts!
These guys aren’t gonna last for more than a couple of weeks.” But,
contrary to his fears, he said MFI has “thrived” in its ten years
and had “an incredible impact on public policy, even in this liberal
Bauer had expected the tenth
annual banquet would be celebratory–until the events of September
Let’s Not be Distracted
The overriding message of
the evening was that recent events should not distract people from
supporting MFI’s pro-family causes.
Its president Ronald Crews
said, “We see that things that were important to us prior to September
11 are still important to us now.” A sovereign God is at work around
us, and we need to pray that He will “have mercy on our nation once
again, and lead us as a nation to repentance and faith.”
Crews announced a new MFI
initiative in cooperation with Massachusetts churches called “Marriage
Matters.” Its aim is to strengthen marriages and decrease divorce,
by encouraging churches to develop pre-marriage counseling and couples
MFI’s new program with A Woman’s
Concern, called “Dad’s the Man,” seeks the men responsible for the
pregnancies of the women coming to the pregnancy resource center,
and encourages marriage when possible.
This year, MFI is helping
to defend the traditional definition of marriage as between one
man and one woman.
For more information on Massachusetts
Family Institute, see www.mafamily.org
or contact them at 381 Elliot Street, Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464-1156,