I wasn’t going to post anything about 9/11 originally. I thought I’d put up a post about our Presbytery Meeting (Grace – North Texas) yesterday. But I’ve decided I’ll do the Presbytery post tomorrow, and say a few words about today, today. At the end of the piece, I’ll have several blogs with other people’s thoughts. Read them – read them all!
I remember how disappointed I was at the President’s “gather the posse – saddle up – let’s ride!” attitude immediately after the attacks. I still am – more disappointed than angry – but angry, too. This was an opportunity for us to show what a real “Christian” country could and should do. We should have been conciliatory, forgiving, and loving to the Muslim world, while making it clear that we didn’t blame an entire people/religion for attacks that were clearly carried out by a small fringe terrorist group. Instead we behaved much as we had immediately after Pearl Harbor, when we incarcerated our own citizens who happened to be of Japanese descent. Will we never learn?
One good thing that has come out of the 9/11 attacks is our friendship with the Turkish community here in Dallas. THEY reached out and continue reaching out to us. We have joined them in their homes for Iftar (the fast-breaking during Ramadan). Many people have joined them on trips to Turkey to learn about their people and to be welcomed into their homes. The organization actively goes to Christian and Jewish communities to ask them to join in. The Ladies’ Auxillary here in Dallas is the Turkish American Women Association (TAWA). They sponsor cooking classes, educational luncheons, and an Annual Intercultural Friendship and Dialog Dinner. If anyone in Dallas wants to go this year, it is being held on September 16th. Speakers include Elizabeth G. Thornburg, Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University; Becky Miller, Former Carrollton Mayor and Dr. Abdullah Kumas, Institute of Interfaith Dialog (IID) representative. I’ll be glad to make a reservation for you if you’d like to go with me. (We’re a little late with the reservations, but I feel sure they can add us in.)
Following are some additional things you should be reading. If you’d like to add additional blogs, post them in the comments.
http://networkedblogs.com/7K7HZ (This is a long one, but worth the read, particularly the discussion in the comments.)
http://marktime.org/?p=345 (Written as an eye-witness account, three years after the fact.)
Diana Butler Bass said on Facebook today, “Of the books I’ve written, the most heart-rending was an extended theological meditation on 9/11 entitled, “Broken We Kneel.” A number of people said it was a “personal lament” in the tradition of Reinhold Niebuhr–and a few would not speak to me after it was published. I reread it today, and the words still tug at my soul. I was very critical of the war–and President Bush–and a particular overly patriotic church of which I was a member! In those days (early 2003), few people in DC openly criticized such things. The air was thick with fear of dissent.”