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Viewpoint

In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?

“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.

Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders. 

Secret Service’s Not-So-Secret Mission

View Point

Your service as a Christian citizen

By James N. Watkins

President Donald Trump is determined to undo many of former President Barack Obama’s accomplishments—including being the most threatened president in history. Currently Obama holds the record with more than 30 death threats per day. During his campaign and just four weeks in office, Trump has received 12,000 death threats! There’s even a hashtag: #AssassinateTrump!

While the Secret Service can’t investigate all of the threats, it does single out those that appear to be the most serious such as repeat threats and those that include details. And, the threat to presidents is real as evidenced in recent history by the assassination of John F. Kennedy (1963) and the non-fatal shootings of Gerald Ford (1975) and Ronald Reagan (1981).

The over-stretched Secret Service, a division of Homeland Security, does their best to protect the president, vice-president, and their families with some high-tech tools.

Home security

The White House is surrounded by an iron fence. When unwanted visitors scaling it recently became routine, steel spikes were added. Concrete barriers block the iron gates from a straight-line attack. Every window is made of ballistic glass, but that has not stopped regular pot shots at the inviting target. The airspace over and around the White House is restricted with rooftop radar and lasers enforcing the no-fly zone.

Since 9/11, every visitor to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue must undergo a rigorous background check and pass through a magnetometer. High profile breeches in security include Carlos Allen, Mchaele Salahi and Tareq Salahi who sneaked into a state dinner in 2009, Omar Gonzalez, who jumped the fence and strolled through the unlocked North Portico doors in 2014, and this January, YouTube and Disney Channel personality, Jake Paul, claims he was able to illegally gain access to a White House bathroom during a social media event. (This has not been confirmed).

Air travel safety

The president travels in a flying fortress. The Boeing 747-200B is reinforced to be able to withstand a nuclear blast from the ground and includes bomb-proof windows. It’s also equipped with radar-jamming technology and can fire flares from the wing to confuse enemy missiles.

The 4,000 square feet of interior floor space, includes all the amenities of a five-star hotel and office suite as well as an operating room—complete with surgeon on every flight. According the Freedom of Information Act, it costs $206,337 per hour to operate. (I do hope that includes WiFi, headphones and complimentary soft drinks!)

Safety-rated car

The president’s vehicle, nicknamed "The Beast," is actually twelve identical limos designed by the Secret Service and built by General Motors. The luxury tank boasts eight-inch thick doors with five-inch bullet-proof glass. Kevlar reinforced tires make them puncture-proof, although it can run on its steel tire rims. The foam-sealed gas tank is impervious to explosions, even if taking a direct hit. The interior has its own oxygen supply and is completely sealed to withstand a biochemical attack. In the trunk, one will find the usual flashlight, jumper cables and extra quart of oil, but also firefighting equipment, oxygen tanks, and sealed bags of the president’s blood. And concealed in the front end are tear gas cannons and night vision cameras. It also features a built-in satellite phone with direct link to the vice president and Pentagon.

When the president takes The Beast out for a spin, he is surrounded by 45 other armed vehicles, including an identical decoy, local police, a mobile communications center and an ambulance. Unfortunately, the $1.5 million-dollar ride gets only 3.7 miles per gallon!

However, as has been seen, all the "James Bond" technology is not 100 percent failsafe.

What about the rest of us?

During the Cold War, students were drilled to hide under their wooden desks for protection in the event of a nuclear attack. Not even the kindergarteners were buying that a half-inch of piece of plywood was a defense against a thermo-nuclear warhead! So, I asked my dad why we weren’t building a bomb shelter in our basement. He wisely replied, "We already have one made of feathers." "Huh?!"

He then quoted Psalm 91:4, in the King James Version, of course: "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust."

While my home is protected with security lights and deadbolt locks, my trust—ultimately—is based on "the God of angel armies" (Psalm 24:10). Yours should be, too.

So, let us pray that His power protects our president, vice-president, and all government officials from the White House to the local court house…He who is in us is greater than five-inch thick, bullet-proof glass!

James N. Watkins is a humorist and author and contributor to 24 books and over 2,000 articles on social and spiritual issues.

 




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