Midweek Message

Reflection on the Twentieth Anniversary of 9-11

Jim Hopkins

September 10, 2021

Many people believed at the time that the trauma of 9/11 would change the world. My feeling was that our American response would be far more crucial. The President, after all, did not have to declare war. He could have called the terrorists mass murderers, their deeds crimes against humanity. He could have said to the American people and the world, “We will respond, but not in kind. We will not seek to avenge the death of innocent Americans by the death of innocent victims elsewhere, lest we become what we abhor. We refuse to ratchet up the cycle of violence that brings only ever more death, destruction and deprivation. What we will do is build coalitions with other nations. We will share intelligence, freeze assets and engage in forceful extraditions of terrorists if internationally sanctioned. I promise to do all in my power to see justice done, but by the force of law only, never by the law of force.”

It was a ripe moment–to educate the soul of the nation, to improve the quality of our suffering. We had lost our sense of invulnerability and superpower invincibility, but as these were only illusions, we should not have grieved their passing. Other nations too had been unfairly hurt, many of them, and far worse than we. But instead of deepening our kinship with the world’s suffering, the President chose to invoke an almost unlimited sense of entitlement to pursue in our own way what he termed a struggle “to rid the world of evil.”

From “Despair is Not an Option,’ William Sloane Coffin (Minister Emeritus, Riverside Church, NYC) 2004

Today on LABC Zoom – A Time For Prayer, 10:00 a.m.

Tomorrow is Pride Sunday at LABC. During the Children’s Time Pastor Jim will read “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” by Jill Twiss. He will also be wearing his Marlon Bundo tie.

Re-Gathering Survey The LABC Re-Gathering Task Force is seeking your input as it considers next step. It will be a great help to the church if you will complete this survey.