From my dear friend and colleague, an all-around good guy with a heart for Jesus and a better world, The Rev. Robert Dahl, of Holland, Michigan.
On Sept. 11, 2001 3,000 people died in the attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon. It was a tragedy.
In the ten years hence, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of lives of American soldiers have been lost and tens of thousands of American soldiers have been severely wounded (saved from death by modern medical technology and costing the US countless dollars for longterm care) and a trillion plus dollars have been spent with more lives and more money to come.
All this and the US just killed the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
Proportionately, was any of this response appropriate?
Jesus said that we have heard that the law is an "eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" but then Jesus tells us not to resist an evildoer. Elsewhere (Matthew 18:21-22), Jesus, in response to St. Peter, admonishes him to forgive seventy times seven times not just the generosity of seven times which was a vast improvement on the vengeance that preceded that law of the Hebrews originally taken from the Mesopotamians.
How many times does our nation forgive? What if we had just forgiven Osama bin Ladin while pragmatically beefing up protection against terrorist attacks? We held 95% world support in the days following 9/11. What if we had stood tall and simply had forgiven the evildoer? Wouldn't we have retained 95% support instead of squandering all that in the years to come? We have squandered lives and dollars out of fear and false machismo.
This nation isn't even acting by ancient, humanitarian law. This nation, by historical standards, is acting barbarically. This nation is light years away from living out the command of Jesus. And yet, politicians are scrambling to outdo each other on who is the more conservative, bible believing Christian.
I think that ignoring and violating the laws of God do have consequences. God's law of love, compassion, justice and peace revealed to us in Jesus will not be mocked. This is sort of reverse retaliation. God's justice will be accomplished which I think means that "love wins." If that means that we lose, so be it.
Osama bin Ladin is dead (We all die.); but Osama bin Ladin won partially and almost won totally. What do I mean? Osama bin Ladin, for all his boredom and self-imposed house arrest and cache of porno, won. He got the US to do what he knew would hurt us much more than that initial attack. He was counting on our all out of proportion reaction to bring our economy to its knees. The disastrous policy of the last US administration in reaction to 9/11 along with totally misguided tax cuts and deregulation of the financial market almost took the world economy into chaos; that's the world economy. That's the world economy.
The United States, in part, because of the motivation of vengeance coupled with a misguided attempt to confiscate the oil reserves of Iraq for US energy needs, along with totally misguided economic theory of how to stimulate the economy, was on the brink of economic disaster and may yet suffer grievously because of an enormous budget deficit and gargantuan national debt.
The ultra-wealthy have been enormously greedy, the politicians have been enormously selfish to think primarily of re-election and have pandered to the lobbyists hired by the ultra-wealthy, the elected officials are slaking their thirst for blood and oil in the Middle East and all of them have ignored the impending environmental disaster.
And God is not mocked. And it isn't nice to try to fool Mother Nature.
God and Mother Nature will prevail and we will reap what we sow.
That's not a vengeful God and a reactionary Mother Nature. That's just the way it is.
P.S. Be sure to check out Cost of War.