Christian Voices on the Anniversary of September 11
Published on: September 12, 2011
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  • The Century did also publish a set of reflections in the previous issue: http://christiancentury.org/article/2011-08/911-ten-years-later –Steve Thorngate, assistant editor, the Christian Century

  • glenn

    People miss the point of things because they want to.Because if they get the point of fundamental Islam they have to do something about it. Same reason the Brits and the French pandered to Hitler.

  • Ben D

    Describing Christianity Today as “conservative protestant” is kind of amusing.

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    Christians, both postmodern liberals and conservatives, have in general never understood that the Iraq War was indirect warfare and have misperceived it as a manufactured war or a wrong “choice,” not a moral “necessity.”

    Of course the Iraq War was a war of choice by President Bush, as pointed out in Lawrence Freedman’s book *A Choice of Enemies.* Although al Qaeda has always been self-attributed to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, as Freedman points out in his book the Saudis and Pakistan are the most suspicious sponsors or co-conspirators. The Saudis in particular were motivated to provoke the U.S. into fighting a war for them against Iranian expansionism. Faced with the unambiguous situation of who attacked the U.S. after 9/11, but the ambiguity of who was behind the attack and the moral “necessity” to retaliate, Bush had to “choose” an enemy. Bush apparently picked the *low hanging fruit* of Iraq and Afghanistan instead of provoking war with the Saudis (oil), Pakis (nukes), or directly with Iran (Islam). Thus, Bush “chose” indirect warfare focused mainly on containing Iranian Jihadist expansion.

    But the American public never has understood that these wars are indirect wars, and thus has perceived them in postmodern terms as a “choice” that could have been avoided. Wars of “choice” or indirect warfare are always more difficult to legitimize especially to postmodern Christians of either liberal or conservative stripe.

    Niccolo Machiavelli wrote about indirect warfare in Book II, Chapter 9 of his Discourses the following: “this method of starting war has always been common among the powerful and among those who still have respect for both their own word and that of others. For if I wish to wage war upon a prince with whom I have long-respected treaties, I can attack one of his friends with more justification and excuse than I can attack the prince, knowing for a certainty that if I attack his friend he will either resent it (and I shall fulfill my intention of waging war upon him) or not resent it, in which case he will reveal his weakness or lack of faith by not defending one of his dependents. Either one of these two alternatives suffices to lessen his reputation and to facilitate my plans.”

    Dr. Berger’s 1976 article “The Greening of American Foreign Policy” presaged this postmodern perception of war as “choice” rather than “necessity” when he wrote: “the agenda (of Green intellectuals) was to “substitute moral rhetoric and commercial activity for military and political power.” As Berger pointed out in that article the “alternatives” to war were always “less power – or less American power.” This postmodern relativism has obscured the moral imperatives surrounding America’s response to 9/11.

  • Pingback: A Christian Response to 9/11 | Well-Exercised Intelligence()

  • Kris

    Ah yes, well I remember the Exodus story: the children of Israel leave Egypt, God immediately parts the Red Sea to let them through, and closes it again before the pursuing Egyptians arrive. The two parties are thus bloodlessly separated, and they all live happily ever after.

  • Kris

    Regarding Gandhi. I lay no claim to expertise, so take the following with a grain of salt, and please correct me if I’m wrong:

    It has been argued to me that Gandhi considered combating evil to be the prime moral imperative. While it is morally preferable to combat evil using non-violence, should one face the (not-so) hypothetical choice of either violently fighting evil or effectively ignoring it, the first alternative is preferable.

    While I don’t agree with this philosophy, I can at least respect its adherents as being neither cowards nor indifferent to evil. This in contradistinction to too many of the “anti-war” protesters of the West.

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