May 3, 2000

 "Things Precious Have Been Trampled"
Elian's Terror, The Lies Should Haunt Us!


"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers... On the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness... You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Matthew 23:14, 27, 33)

Every American should let nothing, absolutely nothing, let fade the look of terror in the eyes of little Elian Gonzales and his cries when he was brutally seized from his home at the point of a gun in a storm-trooper style raid early on April 22.

Not the pictures put out later of him with his father, showing Elian smiling.

Not the deceitful rhetoric from the administration telling us why storming the home of Elian's great-uncle, Lazaro Gonzalez in the darkness, spraying tear-gas, breaking down doors, beating people and ripping away Elian, was so compellingly necessary.

That raid should not have happened. Not in America! It trampled on things very precious, the heart of a child and freedom.

Unless a child is in imminent danger, which Elian was clearly not, such a traumatic action is inexcusable. Elian's life was needlessly put in danger. Michael Kelly, writing in the Washington Post, said, "In taking the child by force, the attorney general, with the approval of the president, risked the child's life."

And the lives of others. Janet Reno and Bill Clinton sent heavily armed agents to grab Elian; so we have to assume Miss Reno and Mr. Clinton were prepared to have those weapons used. Are we to believe that they were ready to have someone killed just to reunite the boy with his father?

There were other peaceful alternatives: An agreement with the Gonzales family we now are told was imminent to surrender the boy peaceably, and a date in a court was coming in early May. Yet Bill Clinton and Janet Reno chose the jack-booted way. And not only was Elian traumatized, but his five-year-old cousin, Lazarito Martell, who was in the house during the raid, is undergoing psychotherapy Lazarito's father says. To terrorize children unnecessarily is like child abuse.

Before the raid Mr. Clinton apparently was not first anxious about the effect of the raid on Elian, or whether people could be hurt, but with whether the public would go along with the use of force. So, as Robert Novak reports, he took a poll. Michael Barone, writing about the Elian raid in the US News and World Report, says "Bill Clinton has no respect for the rule of law; it is only a phrase he uses when it is convenient to his purposes."

The raid may not have been legal. Constitutional law expert Alan Dershowitz said: "This is an end-run around the Constitution. What they did was improper and unlawful." And Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe said the Elian case "strikes at the heart of constitutional government and shakes the safeguards of liberty." Barone says, "lawless behavior is typical of this administration."

The Elian debacle epitomizes the moral vacuum of the Clinton-Gore administration, that the end justifies the means? Their ends, their means, something we've seen before when Mr. Clinton (with Al Gore's endorsement) vetoes banning partial-birth abortion, or bombs an aspirin factory in the Sudan, or bombs civilians in Kosovo

And oh the lies. A few weeks before the raid, Janet Reno said such an event wouldn't happen. And Senator Bob Graham (D-Fl) said the president told him in the Oval Office that it would not take place. The senator now says the president lied to him while the president says he never gave the assurance (most Democrats, we are told, believe Senator Graham, not the president). Eric Holder, Janet Reno's assistant, on Meet the Press maintained with a straight face that they did not go in at night: "We waited til five in the morning, just before dawn." We now have the debate over the definition of "night."

The lies, spin and distortions that we are hearing from the Clinton-Gore administration about Elian is characteristic of the pattern of lying they have had. This brings to mind an encounter I had with a very outgoing Texan some years ago. In his delightful accent he asked me, "Pardner, do you know how to tell when a Texan is lyin'?" Not realizing he was teasing, I answered " No." "When his mouth is movin'," he said.

The administration has lost credibility. The ones any more who try to believe Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and their cohorts such as Janet Reno, are the main stream media, far-left liberals, yellow dog Democrats, feminists and assorted groups who live off government.

However, now that the Elian's abduction is over, Hillary Clinton and other spinners are only glad "that Elian is back with his father," and so happy that no one got hurt; after all it was the mulish relatives of Elian who made the raid necessary; and anyway the psychiatrist who examined the child said it's likely he suffered no lasting harm from the armed raid, and on and on.... Callous spin. Crafty words. Calculated talk. Blame shifting. They want us to go back to sleep.

And back to sleep we are going. Because as disgraceful as what the administration has done, there is something even more damning: Many of us approve of the raid and are unconcerned about the feelings of the child or of any trampling on our freedoms! One poll has our approval at 57 percent, another at 39 percent. In fact Janet Reno was showered with flowers from across the country.

Many are stunned at these percentages and are asking, What has happened to us? What are we becoming? And why? Is it because the economy is going well? Are we gullible pawns of the left-leaning media? Or of the administration? Has our national conscience been seared?

From Romans 1, God could be giving us up, giving us up to immorality, perversion and a reprobate mind. It is a reprobate mind, after all, which convolutes reasoning so that sin such as mistreating a child, killing the unborn, approving immorality or endorsing homosexual marriage are sanctioned. Ponder Romans 1:28-32.

What should we do? In the earliest days of our history through to the era of Abraham Lincoln, when serious issues faced our forefathers, many times they called for a solemn assembly type of meeting, times for "humiliation, fasting and prayer" to repent and seek the Lord. Abraham Lincoln and the Senate called several in the Civil War.

We need such times now.

Let this be a call to pastors and government leaders to set aside such times. Soon! It is urgent. Let them be called between now and our national elections. (Let us know if you have called one so we can join you in prayer, or if we can assist you.)

"It is time to seek the Lord!" (Hosea 10:12)

One thing we must not do is to stand by any longer and allow things priceless to be trampled on.

Let us pray::

Gracious Heavenly Father, we exalt you. We praise You for Your love, Your holiness, Your grace, Your justice, Your mercy. We have a country because of You. In the imperious raid to take Elian, we saw things cherished trampled upon, and then rationalized and defended by a major segment of our citizens. We cry to you, What have we become? How empty is our national soul? Are you judging us by giving us up to a reprobate mind? Father, we beseech you for mercy. We deserve only judgment. We repent for our sinning nation. Forgive us for our pride, our arrogance, our self-absorption. Forgive me. And Father, we pray that there will be revival in your Church, and spiritual awakening in our beloved land.

John Anderson has been in ministry over 34 years, including 24 years serving three churches. Since 1988 he and his wife, Esther, have been in traveling ministry across the world. Recently they have based their CRY OF THE INNOCENTS MINISTRY near Washington, D.C. John is editor of The Pastor's Alert, a publication of The Alliance for Revival and Reformation. He is author of two books, CRY OF THE INNOCENTS and THE CRY OF COMPASSION. He and his wife travel extensively in speaking engagements; and is one of those available from The Alliance for such engagements. You can reach him via e-mail at