Monday, September 11, 2006

Refelctions on September 11

My friend and colleague Tripp(I will get to his instalation as pastor in another post), reminded me, through his saying that today is the not only the 5th aniversary of the 9/11 attacks but of his beginning seminary, that 5 years ago I was in my last semester of seminary. Five years ago as I sat watching the news waiting to go to class or possibly meet with a professor (I had two independent studies that last semester, one on rhetoric the other on Heideger's Being and Time, and what I rember most is that words of the prophets and of Revelations ran through my head and feeling conflicted that this is what the burning and then collapsed towers evoked, knowing the numbers of people who had died and effected by those brief moments. The burning and colapse of the World Trade Center Towers seemed to invoke portions of Revelations 18. While I believed and still believe there was and is some truth to this association, on so many levels it is not helpful, or at least it is a prophetic and not so pastoral interpretation of the events. But I do struggle with our concepts of inocence, the constant use of the phrase "inocent victims." I am not inocent very few humans if any are truly inocent. The horific nature of what happened has nothing to do with peoples inocence, but rather, whatever the interpretation one gives, (and as Huw Rapael points out there are various naratives and we shouldn't necesarily simply accept the governments spin), the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers and its aftermath show the degree to which Death still attempts to rule and overshadow life.

Unfortunately in the very least our government has used this spector of death to invoke fear in its citizens and paint an enemy as the power of evil and death as if its own dependence on war and destruction doesn't also show itself to be under the rule of that same power. In using fear our president and current administration (and those who blindly support it) show themselves to be not so very Christian, and to essentially deny that 'Christ by death beat down death!" (and thus we who follow Christ have nothing to fear in Death and should not use that fear as motivation). The confidence of our patriotism has everything to do with our confidence in our military might and our values freedom and democracy. Sorry to say this but that is not a Christian or even a vaguely Biblical responce. The only hope and confidence for the Christian is in the God, who became incarnate in Jesus Christ, and through his death and resurection was victorious over death and all powers, and showed that all things and all powers and all governements are subject to him in the end.
Lord have mercy.
PS. visit the Yong Fogey for some other thoughts and stories.