Attacks took place on Thursday when two suicide bombers and a gunman targeted the large crowds of Afghan people swarming Kabul’s airport in an attempt to flee the Taliban’s reign. The Islamic State group (ISIS-K) took responsibility for the attacks, which in addition to the deaths of 13 U.S. troops, claimed the lives of at least 92 Afghans and injured over 140 more (these numbers continue to rise).
The President of the United States directed stern words toward the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), the group believed to behind the attack, during his Thursday afternoon press conference. Biden said, “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
“I will defend our interest in our people with every measure at my command,” Biden reassured the country. The President then shared that terrorists will not deter the United States aggressive Afghanistan evacuation mission.
U.S. Commanders have been ordered to develop plans to strike ISIS-K assets, its leadership, and facilities. The U.S. response to the attacks will be of the U.S.’s choosing and timing, Biden explained.
“These ISIS terrorists will not win…America will not be intimidated.”
Drawing Inspiration From the Book of Isaiah
The President, who is Catholic, referenced the Bible in an effort to honor the servicemen and servicewomen who willingly go places such as Afghanistan. Using the Old Testament passage Isaiah 6:8, Biden said, “Those who have served through the ages have drawn inspiration from the book of Isaiah when the Lord says, ‘Whom shall I send? Who shall go for us?’”
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
“American military has been answering for a long time, ‘Here I am, Lord, send me,’ ” Biden declared. “Each one of these women and men of our armed forces are the heirs of that tradition of sacrifice of volunteering to go into harm’s way to risk everything not for glory, not for profit, but to defend what we love and the people we love.”
Biden then asked for everyone to join him in a “moment of silence for all those in uniform and out uniform – military and civilian, who have given the last full measure of devotion.”
Before taking questions from reporters, the President said, “Thank you. May God bless you all. And may God protect those troops and all those standing watch for America. We have so much to do. It’s within our capacity to do it. We just have to remain steadfast.”
Using Scripture Out of Context
Some faith leaders took to Twitter after Biden used the Bible reference in his address and pointed out that the Scripture was used out of context. Pastor Dwight McKissic agreed with pastor D.J. Jenkins when he posted, “No. Just no. This is the type of ridiculous attributing Scripture out of context to something directly in the United States that we’ve seen on the Right. It’s no less wrong when the Left does it. The Kingdom of the United States ≠ The Kingdom of God.”
— Dwight McKissic (@pastordmack) August 27, 2021
Outreach Magazine’s editor-in-chief Ed Stetzer wrote: “It was deeply jarring for me and other Christians to hear Isaiah 6:8 used by President Biden in his recent address… Let me be clear: It is never appropriate to take the mission of God in Scripture and apply it to the American military, the American dream or the American way of life. They are not interchangeable. The Kingdom of God and earthly kingdoms are not one and the same, nor does the kingdom of God depend on the success of earthly governments, movements, campaigns or wars.”
You can watch President Biden’s press conference below: