The people of Philadelphia woke up Thursday morning to more ransacked businesses, broken glass, and reports of more arrests. After three nights of unrest, police tried to lock down the city with a 9 p.m. curfew, but even that didn't stop a series of ATM explosions and more looting. As many as 200 storefronts have been hit in a wave of crime and destruction that's making the city council's $33 million in police cuts look like an example of what not to do.
Back in June, when liberals -- including Joe Biden -- were arguing to strip away funds from the police, Philadelphia was one of the areas that made drastic cuts. Now, heading into day four of a riot that could level the city of so-called Brotherly Love, suddenly the Left's rally cry is being exposed for what it is: dangerous to communities and deadly to the economy.
Wednesday, the decision looked even more foolish, when law enforcement stumbled on a van filled with explosives, propane, torches, and other coordinated riot equipment. Suddenly, the cries of "justice for Walter Wallace" have all the familiar fingerprints of another organized city takeover from the likes of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. It's "open-source network insurgency," undercover reporters at the Daily Caller say. This isn't a spontaneous reaction to the incident involving Wallace -- it's a well-planned terror attack designed to bring more chaos and anarchy to our streets.
"Across the country, we're seeing horrific violence. We're seeing our country torn apart. Violent anarchists and Marxists are exploiting protests to transform them into riots and direct assaults on the lives and safety of their fellow Americans," Senator Ted Cruz has argued. These are not "mere coincidences." These are acts "designed to instill fear and tear down the fundamental institutions of government."
In one especially tragic story, an entire church was burned to the ground in Philadelphia -- a "total loss," the distraught pastor said. The Vietnamese Baptist Church had been in the same spot for 15 years, serving as a community center for locals who needed immigration help, marriage counseling, or tax filing. "I have no idea why they attacked our church," Pastor Philip Pham told reporters. "They threw flammable chemicals on the roof and [flames] burned through the roof" and on down. Almost nothing remains -- except a portion of a single hard drive that he'd prayed God would protect.
Some people think the targeting of churches like Pham's is random. It isn't. These radical extremists know that the church is one of the only things standing between America and their goal of burning Western civilization and its Christian origins to the ground. This election is their best shot at a revolution. And there are a lot of parallels, Larry Taunton explained on "Washington Watch," to what happened in places like the Soviet Union and what's happening right here in the United States.
Fortunately, he pointed out, "The United States government has many more institutional pillars. And those are the family, our tradition, our patriotism, the church -- which is the key institutional pillar -- our government, our laws. [These rioters] seek through cultural Marxism to penetrate all of those and to rock them from within. And that's what we're seeing." Nothing about this is happenstance. There is a driving, evil, destructive force behind what's happening on our streets. And we need to heed the words of Pastor Pham, who said (quoting James 1:20) "The anger of man does not bring about the righteousness of God."
Even today, despite the catastrophic loss, his faith hasn't wavered. "Just trust God," he said. "Do right. Don't copy [those who practice violence] but do what the Bible says and what He wants us to do. Love them and pray for them that they may know Christ, that the Holy Spirit may convict them, and they may seek God." In the end, that's what it will take to save our country: faith, courage, and truth. Not fear.