There is no doubt that September 11, 2001 changed our nation. Since that horrific day we have seen the unity that emerged fall into bitter hate between "liberals" and "conservatives". We have seen debate degenerate into name calling and slander simply because others dare to disagree with us. At root is the knee jerk to make those responsible "pay" and to root out enemies.
We must remember that what happened Sept. 11, 2001 was carried out by 19 men that at any moment could have backed out. They could have refused. Instead they chose willingly to kill over 3000 innocent people who had absolutely nothing to do with their situations and had done nothing to deserve the murder they suffered. Nor did those who suffered in the aftermath.
To blame governments, politicians, religions, and dictators is to diminish the holocaust that 19 men inflicted. They are the ones guilty. Osama Bin Laden may have provided the opportunity and training, but those 19 men carried out the murders.
We must also remember we live in a fallen world. We live in a world where sin has strong power and is capable of turning human beings into means to an end. A world that Satan and his minions have strong influence and power. One only need to read the Epistles of James, 1 Peter, and Romans to see that human sin and sinful desires are what motivate fellow humans to do such horror.
As Christians we must take to heart what Jesus says our response should be. We are to forgive our enemies, those who wish us harm, and those who hurt us. We are to pray for their forgiveness and their conversion. We are to allow God the vengeance and to plead our cause.
September 11 happened because 19 young men looked at their fellow humans as less than human. They saw humanity as enemies instead of as brothers and sisters. They saw 3000 innocent people less deserving of life than they. They allowed their hate to distort their hearts and corrupt their love. We as Christians allowed our need for revenge to paint our response with violence. Forgetting that "those who live by the sword shall die by the sword."
May we find the courage to forgive those who hurt us and wish us harm. May we allow God to be our strength, our salvation, and our refuge in trouble.