9/11 and the Politics of Evil
Three days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the worst and most murderous attack on the United States in history, President George W. Bush declared "a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance."
He went to the National Cathedral and spoke to the nation, casting the horrible event in theological light, saying that the United States must "answer these attacks and rid the world of evil."
Bush said we live in a world "of moral design" and he appealed to "Almighty God to watch over our nation."
Three months later, he addressed Congress in his State of the Union message and defined nations supporting terror as an "axis of evil."
Others also cast the attack in theological light but were denounced rather than supported by Bush.
Evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson discussed what happened on Robertson's television show and cast the event as divine retribution for what they defined as evil occurring inside our country.
As reported by The New York Times, "The Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson set off a minor explosion of their own when they asserted ... that an angry God had allowed the terrorists to succeed in their deadly mission because the United States had become a nation of abortion, homosexuality, secular schools and courts, and the American Civil Liberties Union."
Per Bush's spokesman, the president "does not share those views and believes that those remarks are inappropriate."
What is certainly clear is the activities that Falwell and Robertson talked about and condemned are defined in the Bible as sin, and therefore evil.
As a born-again Christian, we do indeed live in a world, as Bush said, "of moral design," and the idea of good and evil has meaning only if there are consequences.
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