It is the day after the ten year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It was an anniversary marked by all-day news coverage of memorial services in New York where the finished 9/11 memorial was unveiled. The President of the United States read the 46th Psalm and numerous people related to victims were interviewed.
Given the incredible push culturally to replace Christianity with materialistic philosophies, based on Darwin’s pet theories, the President reading the Psalm and the constant playing of the “Amazing Grace” came across as shallow political posturing and sentimental trinkets conjured for the emotions of the moment. So apparently we are a “Christian” nation when it is politically and culturally expedient.
What struck me were the messages by mainstream church leaders of forgiveness, of Americans forgiving those who carried out the attacks. But it was more than that. It was an insinuation that Americans were taking their vengeance out on innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan. One minister compared the 9/11 attacks to the gunmen who killed Amish children, making the point that the Amish showed incredible forgiveness through their kindness towards the gunman’s family, setting an example for Americans towards 9/11. The whole day left me feeling pretty disillusioned.
The constant talk of forgiveness sounds like the religious message of pacifism common among liberal Christians. It is as if Americans should feel guilt for wanting justice for the violence visited on 9/11. The multicultural diversity of those who died in those towers is brought to mind time and again, along with the effort to draw some sort human link between the survivors and terrorists, hinting at some universal brotherhood that forgiveness is meant to heal. It wouldn’t surprise me if these church leaders viewed the situation as white people getting vengeance against non-whites, as if the military actions were racially motivated.
I have another word in mind when it comes to 9/11: repentance.
Maybe Americans need to repent of casually destroying marriage through divorce, killing our young in utero, and commercializing sacred scripture in the name of “the gospel.” Also, the church has become obsessed over praise and worship and the bigger the better. While it is good to praise God for His goodness (to remind the Christian of that goodness), this drive to deluge His altar with praise may be less out of gratitude and more out of fear. Christians look like they’re trying to incur God’s favor by presenting an ever larger offering of praise. It is as if God is a fickle and angry deity who needs to be won over by more and more praise, tithes, holiness, etc. Christians are treating their Father like a pagan god. And this after Christ died to rescue them from a pagan mind. Living for pleasure, killing the young, selling the sacred and then trying to win God over fit right into a pagan way of thinking.
At least the memorials in New York were really nice.