Genuine asks, ‘Are our children safe from terror?’

‘I want to explain the war on terror to my children, but I’m not sure how I can explain something to them that I can’t seem to understand myself….They seem to grasp what war is, but the concept of a man wanting to kill another man because he doesn’t like him seems to get a little blurry….All I have been able to do at this point is to reassure them that Daddy will protect them from harm, but is that true? I wish I had the answer to that question.’

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Are our children safe? I suppose that depends on what we mean by ‘safe’. If we mean ‘invulnerable’, then, no. Even discounting terrorism, we’ve never been invulnerable. Bad things have always happened, with or without terrorists, politics, or religion. It’s the nature of the world. Terrorists are nothing but bullies with bigger fists, and bullies have been around since Cain met Abel.

I worry about my son; whether he’ll do well at school, whether he’ll be happy, whether he’ll be confident and proud to be who he is, whether he’ll finally stop falling flat on his face. Whether he’ll answer that gentle knocking on his door. But safety? I haven’t lost a wink.

Most of us live in areas which aren’t considered to be prime terrorist targets. The St. Louis Arch looks pretty on a postcard, but I can’t imagine any terrorist hating frozen custard that strongly. Security may have been tightened at a few strategic choke points, but are we safer at the mall now than we were before 9/11? Of course not. Nor, I believe, are we less safe.

On the whole, our children aren’t in any further danger than before. We’re simply more aware of its extent.

I can, and will, teach Ian to be aware and cautious, to think before he speaks, and to understand that his world is not the world. But that’s just common sense.

Above all, it’s important that our children learn not to be ruled by the uncertainties of life, and to place their trust in the one who can protect them, guide them, and who will never, ever, fail them.

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