I wasn’t aware of Brigitte Gabriel, President and Founder of American Congress for Truth, until last March. I heard her speak at a retreat I attended in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the Leadership Program of the Rockies. At first, I wasn’t as excited to hear her speak as I was to hear other speakers, such as Dr. Yaron Brooks, President of the Ayn Rand Institute. The reason being that the war had been going on for years, and although I still care deeply for our soldiers and the cause of freedom and protecting this country, I just wasn’t into the discussion of terrorism. I just felt I heard it enough throughout the Bush years to last me a lifetime, and quite frankly, I didn’t know what to believe anymore. Besides, I had been studying free market capitalism as well as the philosophy of Objectivism, and I just wanted to hear more about that!
Once she began to speak I could not take my eyes off of her or stop listening to her story. A beautiful woman in her early forties, Brigitte was emphatic, full of life and proud to be an American by choice. She was born in Lebanon in 1965 into a Christian family. Not many years later, her and her family were in the middle of the Lebanese Civil War, which was not friendly to Christians. Her story was gripping, terrifying and utterly devastating. Although I expected her story to be the same old talk I’ve heard in the past, it was not ten minutes into her speech that I was tearing up uncontrollably. By the middle, I was all out sobbing. And I wasn’t the only one. The story Brigitte told was that of her life growing up. She talked about the constant fear her and her family suffered at the hands of those who hated them simply for being Christians. She told us why her parents wouldn’t take her to Beruit one year as a child for Christmas; because once the war started there were checkpoints set up throughout the country, and Christians were taken from their cars to be shot on the spot. She told us stories of how families hiding out in bomb shelters would be tortured and mutilated when found by the enemy. She told us such horrible stories that I could hardly bare to listen, yet I could not leave the room. She really opened my eyes, which have been shut for a while, to the reality that we face in this world; that there are people who hate us enough to kill us without knowing who we are. People from many different religions and walks of life. And while I won’t say that I now trust the government (which I see as separate from the military) to correctly determine which enemy poses an imminent threat to our lives and/or our freedom, I will say that I support, and would personally administer, any action necessary to keep myself and my loved ones alive and free. I would also support anyone who wanted to hear Brigitte speak. It is very much worth hearing what she has to say, even if it’s only through a youtube video.