September 11

Questions Amidst the Silence: One Canadian’s Ethical Reflections on September 11th

[1] Silence. My important memory of September 11th was the silence that fell over Canada in the wake of the horrific attacks. It was not a quiet silence, but rather the very veneer of a people who with their U.S. neighbors were silenced by the dark mystery of evil, by a world they no longer […]

Naming What is at Stake

[1] In her reflections on the recent terror, Karen Bloomquist writes, “An adequate response by the churches needs to begin with a clear theological naming of what is at stake.” That strikes me as insightful and fruitful for our shared deliberations. Of course these events came already named as acts of terror. Terrorism means targeting […]

Nonviolence after September 11?

[1] After the Gulf war, God dragged me kicking and screaming from an ambivalent absolute pacifism to an equally conflicted “realistic pacifism” something like that advocated by Martin Luther King, Jr. Even before September 11, my pacifism had become so “realistic” as to allow that military action in response to a terrorist assault might be […]

Peace-Making as One Response to Terrorist Violence

[1] The three Abrahamic religions all share hope for God’s peace on earth. For Jews, Muslims, and Middle Eastern Christians the word for peace is shared as well: the Hebrew shalom is, in Arabic, salaam. Arabic speakers often greet others with salaam aleik, “peace be with you,” followed by the typical reply, Allah i salmik, […]

​A Sermon from September 16, 2001

[1] As one of the thousands of ELCA pastors who struggled to find words to speak in their September 16 sermons, I found the scripture texts for that particular Sunday to be challenging but also profoundly helpful, reminding us we are all sinners dependent on the infinite mercy of God. That Sunday’s gospel parable of […]

Building up Good

[1] Having been literally engulfed in the dusk cloud created by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, I can attest to overwhelming sense of being encompassed by pure evil. Stephen Jay Gould wrote in the New York Times on September 26th, “The tragedy of human history lies in the enormous potential for destruction […]

Implications of Luther’s Theological Ethic for the U.S. War on Terrorism

The World’s Two Kingdoms (God or Satan; grace or sin) 1. God’s Kingdom. “God created humankind in his image.” (Gen. 1:27) [1] Insights from Christian Tradition. All persons made in their Creator’s holy and loving image are commanded to live in love as a universal human family in peace, justice and freedom under God. They […]

Los atentados del 11 de septiembre: la expresión de un conflicto con Raices Multiples

[1] Como todo conflicto humano, los atentados del 11 de septiembre poseen multiples dimensiones, obedecen a varias causas y tiene diversos actores con mayor o menor grado de responsabilidad. Seria un grave error interpretarlo y sobre todo resolverlo de manera simplista. Enumeremos algunos de esos factores : a) Desde la perspectiva de la Discriminación Racial […]

The Attacks of September 11th: The Expression of a Conflict with Multiple Roots

[1] Like all human conflict, the attacks of September 11 possess multiple dimensions, arises out of various causes, and have diverse actors with greater and lesser degrees of responsibility. It would be a grave error to interpret, and above all to attempt to resolve, this event in a simplistic way. Let me enumerate some of […]

A Call to End the Cycle of Violence in Israel and Palestine

[1] As the United States considers various responses to the September 11 attacks, including bringing to justice the perpetrators of the attacks, we, as a nation, should be giving attention to the root causes of terrorism and the anger, fear, and sense of hopelessness that prompt a few to act desperately and violently. [2] All […]