Everybody else will probably be asking “Where were you?” so I’ve decided I’ll do something a little different for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Anybody who knows me knows that I have a passion for language—specifically, its proper use. One of the things that I absolutely cannot stand is when people use the word “tragedy” for something that is not a tragedy. Let me explain.
A 4-year-old dies of leukemia. A young mother is paralyzed in a car accident. A teenager mistakenly runs over his little sister with the family van. These are tragedies.
The same is true of the September 11th attacks. I am sure all of you have seen them described as a “tragedy” many times, in many places. I even saw Peggy Noonan doing this the other day. But were they a tragedy? No. The planes didn’t fly into the buildings because their engines malfunctioned. The pilots didn’t fall asleep at the wheel. They were Muslim terrorists who knew exactly what they were doing and where they were going, and they coldly chose to murder thousands of innocent lives as an act of war against the country they hate so much. The correct word here is “murder.” Not “tragedy.”
My challenge to you, my fellow Christians, is this: Be clear, precise, and unflinching in your condemnation of evil actions, be they aborting a child or flying a plane into the World Trade Center. Let us call them what they are: not “tragic,” but “evil.”