Sunday, September 11, 2005It's September 11. That means three things.
First, it my mother's birthday. She is an incredible woman. Sweet, kind, gentle. She loves Jesus and taught me to do the same. She works hard and loves her family fiercely. She is also a terrific cook. I love you, Mom.
Second, it is the birthday of the greatest coach in college football history. He was the best and no one will ever be better. Here's a good Coach Bryant quote:
"I'm just a simple plow hand from Arkansas, but I have learned over the years how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm others down, until finally they've got one heartbeat, together, a team." Bryant, when asked why he was so successful as a coach."
Today is also the anniversary of September 11. I don't know that I could ever discuss the tragedy and outrage of that day better than Christopher Hitchens. Read this essay here. Try this quote:
"This steely injunction is diluted by Ground Zero kitsch or by yellow-ribbon type events, which make the huge mistake of marking the event as a "tribute" of some sort to those who happened to die that day. One must be firm in insisting that these unfortunates, or rather their survivors, have no claim to ownership. They stand symbolically, as making the point that theocratic terrorism murders without distinction. But that's it. The time to commemorate the fallen is, or always has been, after the war is over. This war has barely begun. The printing of crayon daubs by upset schoolchildren and the tussle over who gets what from the compensation slush fund are strictly irrelevant and possibly distracting. Dry your eyes, sister. You, too, brother. Stiffen up."
I want to be careful here. I am not a warmonger, and I do not encourage wanton violence. I want to always maintain a Christ-like sense of charity and goodwill to my neighbors. And yet I hope with all sincerity that 9/11 never leaves our national conscience. It must always remain in our minds, not so that we harrass our neighbors, but so that we forever remain aware that there is evil in this world. Sometimes that evil must be defeated by strength of arms. Our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq are not in vain. The fight for freedom against religious hatred in Iran is not in vain. These struggles, if made successful, will bear fruit - freedom for the citizens of those beleagured nations and security for our own. We must defend ourselves and we must, as much as we can, strive to provide freedom to millions who cannot defend themselves in nations like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, North Korea and the former Soviet states. I pray that our leaders exercise our power judiciously, but I pray that have the courage to use it when necessary. And I will always pray that the Church remain vigilant in spreading the Gospel, making known the glory of Christ and His supremacy in all things, demonstrating kindness and mercy to all men.