It’s hard to believe that fourteen years have passed since that horror descended upon New York City and the Pentagon. It is my generation’s JFK assassination and no matter how much time passes, it will remain indelibly impressed upon my memory. I remember where I was when we got the news and I spent most of the rest of that day in front of the today watching in disbelief. Fourteen years have passed and I can’t imagine that those who lost their loved ones and those who were in the midst of the carnage have even a slightly diminished recollection of that morning. It still defies sensibility that such atrocity could be perpetrated by people against other people, but this has been humanity’s way.
This is a stern reminder not of any inherent danger of religion nor of its practice, but of the incalculable destructive potential of fundamentalism of any sort, especially when it’s charged with a divine sanction. Once your mind is closed to the possibility that you could be wrong about an idea, you’ve begun the descent into fundamentalism. Once there, it’s not terribly far from the maniacal fanaticism that brought down the twin towers, gouged a hole into the side of the Pentagon, brought down the plane in a Pennsylvania field, and ultimately killed nearly 3,000 people.
As a religious person, a Christ follower specifically, it’s beyond disheartening when acts of violence are perpetrated in the name of religion (and certainly in the name of Christ). It’s beyond unfortunate the damage the attacks of 9/11 have caused the Muslim population in general. Muslims are no more terrorists as a whole than Christians are, or Buddhists, Hindus, etc. Extremists, however, are another issue–they don’t represent the populace. They represent a fringe of fanatics whose insular interpretations of texts and culture lead them only to one conclusion–see things their way or prepare to pay the price. This is NOT the way of Christ and anyone who teaches otherwise is a heretic and a liar–they bear false witness against God and Christ.
Let us, as Christ followers, be known by our love for one another and our love for others, no matter what holy book they live by, if they live by no holy book at all, the color of their skin, or what language they speak.
For all those who lost loved ones fourteen years ago today, may you find peace and comfort. For those who risked their lives to save others on that day (and every day), may God bless you with strength to continue in your service of others.
Αυτω η δοξα