Friday nights in the fall are supposed to be devoted to good things: family, football, and fire pits.

But last Friday night, our normal fall routines were interrupted by news of an all-too-frequent reminder that we live in a dangerous world. In Paris, as locals sat in restaurants, watched a soccer match, and attended a concert, at least eight terrorists roamed the streets, setting off suicide bombs and shooting innocent bystanders with AK-47s.

As of today, over 130 people are dead, and countless more are injured. France is under a State of Emergency. Major cities across the world remain on alert for suspicious activity. The freedom-loving world is once again fearful.

In a heartening turn of events, the people across the globe have united in sympathy for – and solidarity with – our Parisian brothers and sisters.

But sympathy and solidarity can only do so much to prevent attacks like this from happening in the future. As we move forward from these horrific events, we must rethink everything and take steps to stop events like what happened in Paris from ever taking place in our own neighborhoods.

We can stop ISIS (or as many are now calling it, a more appropriately derogatory name: “Daesh“, which means “a bigot who imposes his view on others”), but to better understand how we get there, we have to ask ourselves — and our leaders — three key questions:

  1. If we are at war with ISIS, are we doing enough to take the fight to our enemy, so they are not able to attack us at home?
  2. If more needs to be done, what should we do? Since so many experts believe the current strategy is clearly not working, what is the right strategy to win?
  3. What should we do about the Syrian refugee crisis? Can we show compassion for people escaping the very evil that perpetrated the Paris attacks and stop terrorists from taking advantage of them to put our own security at risk?

For America and her European allies to formulate a post-Paris strategy that works, these questions require answers. ISIS must be destroyed, not contained. To achieve an outcome that protects innocent lives from organized terrorism will take more than lip-service and limited military action.

We can only hope that our leaders agree, that they recognize the current plan isn’t working, and that they will work together to put in place a strategy that works.

In the meantime, we will continue to pray for Paris.

What are your thoughts? How should we respond? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

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