It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.Galatians 5:1
Today I almost made the decision to avoid writing anything about the events of September 11, 2001. What more can be said, and thought, and written that has not already been addressed? This is, after all, just another day on the calendar, and what is true and worth saying could be said at any time.
But then I realized the essential intention of this blog has – always – been to suggest another way of looking, an alternative perspective, a fresh and potentially redemptive point of view.
The Twin Towers, representing the wealth and influence of world trade, standing as a symbolic billboard of economic power, were completely destroyed. The Pentagon, the brainstem of American military might, was damaged but not disabled. Then the United States Capitol, the beating heart of democracy and in a sense the soul of how we understand the mechanisms of freedom, was saved because of the heroic actions of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93.
The most important symbol of our American life, it turns out, was saved not by might, not by wealth, but by the people themselves.
All this is seared into our consciousness and we can relive every hour of that day in our memories.
So I would like us – and by “us” I mean all Americans, and all people who live in any kind of a representative democracy – to take this opportunity to recommit ourselves to the community-based values and ideals that must be respected and sustained if we are to avoid – 20 years later – the greater tragedy of collapsing the United States Capitol (democracy) from the inside.
The freedoms we enjoy are mostly built on trust. Any mechanisms of law simply help keep the parameters defined, but the real experience of a free society is based on the trust we have for one another.
When people deliberately, systematically, and in a coordinated fashion cynically undermine the trust we have in one another and the trust we have in what the U.S. Capitol represents, then the effects – both long and short term – are more devastating and far-reaching and debilitating than the coordinated attacks we remember this day, September 11.
Because it really is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.