The Only Hope on 9/11

was and remains Christ crucified:

Since this black day, Caesar and Mammon have used the tragedy to amass for themselves wealth and tyrannical power, as they always do. The only One who cares for us in what we suffered and lost that day, the only One who can rescue the victims of that day from the first and second death, the only One who plunged willingly into the suffering of that day and of all sufferers everywhere is Christ crucified and risen.

This September 11 I am foregoing the flags and the Empire and the police state and the jingoism and the eagles and the exploitation of politicians and I am praying for us to search and try our ways and turn again to the Lord. I will thank God for the unbelievable courage of the first responders who lay down their lives like Christ. I will pray for the victims. I will pray for forgiveness for the monsters who did it. I will pray for the troops who, in good faith and noble love of country, went to defend us from future attacks.

And I will pray for forgiveness for the Ruling Class who have cynically exploited all that shock and suffering to enrich themselves, to treat our troops with contempt, to oversee the death of thousands of innocents, and with firm and measured pace, to proceed to enslave us. They will have a heavy reckoning in the Great Assizes and will need every prayer of mercy they can get.

But above all, today I will pray in thanksgiving to Jesus Christ crucified, who can take the worst thing in the world–his own monstrously unjust murder–and turn it to mercy for a race such as ours. If he can do it with that, he can surely do it with the tragedy of September 11. May all who died that day find light, mercy, peace and never-ending joy. And may we who mourn them someday laugh with them at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, when all tears will be dried and the terrorist will be remembered only as a figure of fun like Rabadash the Ridiculous.

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  • Thank you, Mark, for articulating this! I am doing (or rather, not doing) the same thing–avoiding the patriotic platitudes this 9/11. Glad I’m not alone.

  • Some good prayers, though I think I will still hang the flag. I’ll also add one more prayer for the American people who, like it or no, have played our own part in much of the mischief we lament.

  • Ellen

    Amen. May all the terrorists be laughed to scorn – and pompous politicians as well.

    • Perhaps we should laugh all sinners to scorn?

    • Ted Seeber

      I’m re-reading the 2nd Foundation Trilogy, the one written by the Three B’s after the Great Worm Unknown to The Universe went to the great beyond.

      In the first book, the psychohistorian Hari Seldon gave the Emperor the best advice I’ve ever heard for stopping copycat crimes, especially terrorism (unfortunately, it would take a worldwide dictatorship to accomplish it): Erase them. Execute them. Assign them a number. Then erase their name from every book, every news outlet. Replace it with the number. Let them not have one ounce of notoriety in death. Do not acknowledge their crime, do not acknowledge their existence. Remove all memory of them from the public record of mankind.

      The Seldon Method only took the lives of 50 terrorists to end the problem forever. With no change coming from their crime, there was no reason to commit terrorist acts.

  • rachel

    Very good post Mark. I have done the same thing, only posting the prayer of the dead on my facebook page. Its interesting that you compare the terrorists to Rabadash. If you remember the story, Rabadash eventually repented to a degree (never strayed from Tashaban since he didn’t want his generals to get all the glory) and strove for peace. This is also why its so important to pray for our enemies. No one is beyond redemption completely. Through our prayers and the grace of the Holy Spirit, many powerful conversions can take place, even those of the terrorists. I saw a movie not too long ago. It was a dark comedy and satire on terrorism but it did give a new face to the terrorists, a more human face. No, terrorism was not glorified nor condoned. By the end of the movie, one is sad and feels pity because there are better ways. They don’t need to resort to suck tactics. Yes, there are those who are blinded by ideology but there are others who think they have no choice but commit terrorism or might have been pressured into it. Who knows. This is why we must always pray for them. I don’t think that we pray for our enemies enough and that is one of the commands of our Lord. God bless all of you :).

    • It is difficult for our enemies to repent when the act of calling them to repentance is a death sentence crime in their heartland. If there is a use for Caesar in this war, it is protecting the lives and freedom of those who call sinners to repentance from the wrath of those who have strayed so far from God’s path.

      • rachel

        Even though that’s the case, we still pray for our enemies and hope they repent. The martyrs during Ancient Rome did the same thing and many were eventually converted. Besides, Caesar isn’t fighting wars to protect anyone’s lives. They go to war to protect their own interests.

      • I’m reminded of some sage advise dispensed by an old friend in my ministry days. He reminded me that we are called to pray for our enemies, love our enemies, forgive our enemies and even feed our enemies. But at no point should we ever think that this automatically means they will cease to be our enemies.

        • rachel

          This is a true statement. There are real enemies out there but we know that the enemy is the devil himself. As for as those who wish to harm us, etc we must pray for them that their hearts will change. Sure, they still might want to wish us harm but we must always strive to pray for them and pray for peace. Conversions can happen but that is only through the grace of the Holy Spirit.

          • I agree completely. But that’s the straddling of life in the fallen world. Praying for those you are prepared to fight. It’s an odd tension, and one I’m not sure is as easy to do as it is to say. Right now, I have nobody of military age in my family, and there is no draft anyway, and the odds of my little corner of the globe being hit by terrorism is slightly better than the odds of me winning the lottery. So it’s almost too easy to have an opinion. Just like it’s easy to forgive folks who have cost me very little personally (if you don’t count America unraveling after the attacks and all). It’s at times like this that I think it might be more beneficial to work on that person across the street who has wronged me, or the fellow employee (figuratively speaking) who has screwed me over. That’s where the love and forgiveness really hits the fan.

  • Very well said, and worth repeating.

  • Thomas

    Yes by no means let’s be as cynical as we can about our politicians and never, ever give them the benefit of a doubt. Because they are a subspecies of human after all.

    • Michael

      Not never, ever. In this case, they have abused the benefit of the doubt to the point that it can no longer be given. When they announce and work towards the day that the wars of occupation will be over and we will once again be a free society we will drop our cynicism. Until then, may God have mercy upon their damnable souls.

      • You might want to rephrase that. There for a minute I thought I was at a fire and brimstone fundamentalist tent meeting.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Oh, yes, it’s all the fault of our own politicians, if not America itself! And little Eichmans. And so on. And so forth.

    Not, a certain peaceable religion, which shall not be mentioned here. /Sarc.

    “You may not be interested in war, but war is intereted in you.”

    • How do you feel when Christianity is blamed for the Crusades, the inquisitions, colonialism and spread of AIDS? Pretty sure that very bad, right? And pretty sure you’d say “this things go against my religion and my religion wasn’t the cause, at least not a main one” and I completley agree. So don’t do the same with another religion.