You know, I may be a rare type person, but I think back with pride on September 11. I remember not that we were attacked and so forth, but that we came together in our suffering and realized that we were something more than a bunch of silly scared fools sitting around waiting for the next plane to fall out of the sky. As then President George Bush put it so well: “Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.”
To me, that was so significant, that even the President realized that we were responding to this crisis rather than reacting to it. These days I hear that folks “Just want to forget the past and ‘move on.'” It’s so very silly to think that we can just move ahead without any consideration for those who lost their lives, and what’s more to ignore the agenda of the terrorists who caused such a disaster to begin with. We live in a world that is not what we think it is, neither is it what we want it to be, nor is it something that is under our control. The illusion that we can make our world into what we want is wishful thinking at its most desperate. There are real forces at work here that most of us haven’t even the slightest idea what they are.
Suffice it to say that many years ago I would have agreed with those who say we must “Move on” but today, I realize that we must do something different. We must not only do things differently – we must strive to do right things. We have lived in this country for an extended period following on the footsteps of “The Greatest Generation” as Tom Brokaw calls them. They were those who were trained to lead and conquer a desperate and despicable enemy: Fascism. Hitler was convinced that his troops, driven by fanaticism would never be defeated by a “Citizen’s army” of mostly volunteers and conscripts. What he didn’t realize, and possibly his greatest failure was that an army of free people is much stronger than an army of slaves. Freedom is what won us our greatest victory in this modern world!
Today, we don’t live in a world that values freedom. We pay it lip service and say things like: “If it feels good – do it!” The meaning of that appears clear on the surface for those fools who utter it and they think it means they can do whatever they want, whenever they want and with whomever they please. I have news for you folks: That’s Bohemianism, not Liberty. The Apostle Paul says it so well in 1 Corinthians 10:23 “I can do all things, but not everything is profitable.” The message is clear: We should be trying to do right things and not be slaves to the fleshly lusts and desires. How do you know the things you do are right? Simple – you have a measuring tool. In our society, we have increasingly moved away from the moral compass that we know as the Bible. Why? Because folks don’t want to be measured by it, or have anyone tell them what they can and cannot do. Again, we want to be in charge (it’s human nature) of our own lives and not have God or anyone else tell us what is right and what is wrong.
Does that make God any less relevant, or the Bible – or Christianity? Certainly not! In the end analysis, it is our morality that lifts us above the slime as Darwin would have said. Without God, we are just like slime, no purpose, no reason, no direction, no hope. With God, all things are meaningful and purposeful! Without morality, only the strong will survive, and surprisingly, as Hitler found out, that does not seem to be the case. A moral society, founded on real freedom, freedom to worship as we please, freedom found in Jesus Christ and the Word of God, is one that will stand up to and prevail against the gates of Hell every time.
On this 9/11 anniversary, I don’t choose to sit around feeling sorry for those who lost their lives. I choose to remember the brave who gave their lives so that many would live, and those who responded to the crisis with the best that is America. We mustn’t sit around feeling there is no hope or future for us, we must get up and stand up for what we believe in! If that means, as some have found, that we have to go 1/2 way around the world and help others fight for their freedom from oppression and totalitarianism, then that’s what we must do. We must stand up to bullies now and whenever and wherever they are found. Otherwise, we will find ourselves having to wage another total war, as in World War II against the forces of darkness and those who would deprive us of our freedom and hope.
Stand up and be proud America!
My own tribute page done soon after the 9/11 attacks (just a collection of various things):