Religion's Failure to Confront Evil: Thoughts on 9/11
by Thomas Katsampes

September 12, 2007

I did not post anything on 9/11 because of lack of time more than anything. Now that I have a few spare moments, I wanted to address a couple of important facts about 9/11 that we may have forgotten.
  • 9/11 was an act of war against the United States of America
  • 9/11 was not a "tragedy." Hurricane Katrina was a tragedy. 9/11 was an evil, intentional act of mass murder brought about by human monsters.
What concerns me the most is religion's inability to "morally process" the events of 9/11. I don't think that Christianity, whether Evangelical or Orthodox, left or right, seems to be able to both condemn the attack and support our fighting back. For example, among the liberal churches the reaction was "what can we do to understand them (the terrorists) better?" "Why is America hated in the world? What did we do to deserve this?" Some conservative churches were able to call 9/11 an "evil act" but then cannot now bring themselves to urge the faithful to pray for victory in the war against terror (in which the war in Iraq is a major front).

Religion's - specifically Christianity's - desire to overcome great evil must be greater than the Islamic terrorist's religious "inspiration"to murder innocents. Because billions of people draw on their Christian faith for moral guidance, the inability of Christianity to decisively condemn and confront evil, and its seeming inability to urge the faithful to ask God for victory over evil, has led so many otherwise well-intentioned people down a horrific moral path - the path of appeasement and unrestrained, destructive self-criticism.

In short, where is the Christian church that believes:
  1. 9/11 was an act of murder by truly evil people bent on the annihilation of innocents
  2. There is nothing America has done or could do that would ever justify this act of evil.
  3. The so-called "god" of Islam is a false god, for any "god" that would command such evil in the name of "god" must be false and we should condemn it as such. (The Bible clearly does not have a problem condemning the worship of false gods - why should we?)
  4. Our desire to defeat Islamic evil must be greater than the terrorists' desire to inflict evil upon us - this requires not only a physical commitment but also a commitment of every fiber in our spiritual being as well.
  5. To that end, we must always ask God for victory and for the utter destruction of such evil, if civilization as we understand it is to survive. In this way, we "shall burn out the evil from your midst." This means, for example, every time we "pray for the safe return of the troops" we must also pray for a swift and decisive victory.
We should always remember that when Christ said "turn the other cheek" and "resist not evil," He was not addressing how nations should react when faced with horrific acts of war committed against them. He was addressing how we should treat one another in our personal relationships.

Turning the other cheek to Islamic terrorists is suicide. The Bible, like the U.S. Constitution, is not a suicide pact.


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