Gary Bauer greets a well-wisher at the MFI banquet.

Gary Bauer Identifies the Enemy at MFI Banquet

Was Eyewitness to Pentagon Explosion

Four Citizens Given Awards

By Amy Contrada
December 2001

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 do.”

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 their children?’

“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 about it.”

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 state.”

Bauer had expected the tenth annual banquet would be celebratory–until the events of September 11.

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 mentoring.

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 or contact them at 381 Elliot Street, Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464-1156, phone 617-928-0800.



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