God’s Not Dead, Chapter 3 – 9/11/2001 (pt29)
If evil has an anniversary, this might be the date. It was on this day that our world changed forever. Lives were lost because of the acts of terror; our vulnerability was exposed. Everyone alive knows those images of planes crashing into the World Trade Center, people fleeing in terror, and New York’s Finest searching for survivors.
I will agree that this was a terrible occurrence but exaggerations need to be avoided. “Everyone alive” doesn’t actually know about this attack. There are people living in parts of the world that don’t have press, don’t have electronics, and even in our own country there are people alive who don’t know about it. I have two daughters who don’t, they will someday but will simply be a history lesson to them, unlikely to be as poignant to them as it was for the people who witnessed it. It isn’t surprising that this author would be this exaggerated and closed minded, also unsurprisingly the author makes no mention of the motivation for the actions; religion.
That moment sparked a new mission in my heart, a mission to help the people of New York in the best way I knew how; starting a church in Manhattan that would minister to the city on a daily basis.
I’m sure that the people of the city needed actual help during this time. This is a big problem for religious people. Good can be done for other people without preaching to those you are helping. Soup kitchens, missions to the third world countries, or starting a church amid a nation-wide disaster are needlessly stroking the ego of the higher ups. Why can’t the churches come in and help without attempting to convert everyone they help?
The men who committed the atrocities of September 11 were certainly not ‘cowards,’ as they were repeatedly described in the Western media, nor were they lunatics in any ordinary sense. They were men of faith – perfect faith, as it turns out – and this, it must finally be acknowledged, is a terrible thing to be.
This quote is from Sam Harris, the author uses it as evidence against Harris for “gathering the worst aspects of various expressions of faith into one big picture”. Nothing like the author continually gathering the same four names against atheism, Zedong, Pot, Hitler, and Stalin. Harris’ position doesn’t need me to defend it but I must say that he wasn’t simply showing the bad parts to show the bad parts of religion. He wanted to point out the problems with faith, believing without enough evidence.
Somehow these people can’t tell the difference between a suicide bomber and a Sunday school teacher.
It can be argued that the difference between a Sunday school teacher and a suicide bomber is a slippery slope but the extremists the author speaks of are simply following the most basic principles and tenets of their religion. They understand the world thinks their views are wrong but they are so determined they are correct and their faith is true that they will do what they deem necessary. The author has written this book in opposition of atheists denouncing his god’s existence claim, but I wonder how much the author understands that his certainty in his god is shared with those suicide bombers’ certainty in their’s.