September 12, 2011
It’s been 10 years. I flew into New York’s LaGuardia Airport last night. Today, I’m with our local Master’s group for Session #7, in Mid-Town Manhattan. We’ve all been looking back to The Events; here was my Point of View on 09/17/01, after the horrible attacks on our culture:
Innocence shattered. Innocence is a winsome ignorance; it allows existence in the midst of evil, without an awareness of that evil. Innocence is dealt a fatal blow when reality invades…
Walt Disney built the Magic Kingdom in Anaheim with a binding commitment from the city: they would approve no construction around Disneyland that would affect the skyline inside the park. Once through the turnstiles, the images of the real-world outside would disappear. Urban innocence would prevail at the Happiest Place on Earth. Through those gates was Never-Never Land; freeways and high-rise hotels would be forgotten.
What Disneyland is in the Southern California jungle, America has been in a world marked by unrestrained evil. We read about wide-scale violence; we watch modern, undeclared acts of war on CNN, via satellite, over breakfast, half-a-world away. But this is America: once you're through the checkpoint in San Ysidro, or clear customs in Miami, you're home free. A few gang-banger drive-bys are the nuisance of the inner cities, but worlds away from the suits and Suburbans.
The United States of America has just kissed globalization on the lips, and we've caught the disease that, up-to-now we've only heard about. Unrestrained terrorist acts are no longer just a concern for people heading to the Holy Land; you can ride the elevator to work in the most prestigious high-rise in the world and be in the center of the crosshairs of extremism. Where can an American now be safe?
We haven't had much of a break from the exploration of these issues in the last six days, have we? The networks and news channels have been 24/7 with coverage of the excavations at Ground Zero. The network Talking Heads presume to describe the genesis of the heinous acts that pitted one Osama bin Laden and his ground troops against 280 million Americans. What more can be said?
That depends on the basis for your Point of View. Missing from the musings has been any reference to the real core of the conspiracies. No one has any question that the Muslim martyrs in the cockpits weren't the brains of the outfit; just the hit-men who pulled the trigger. Fingers point at bin Laden. Is he really the source of the macabre evil manifested on Manhattan last week?
Sure… unless you look through the lens of Scripture for a more precise answer. He has rigid ideology, pools of dollars and bands of Bedouins willing to die for a shot at primacy in Paradise. But, can you explain the worldwide destruction he has incited with him as the vital source?
Law enforcement is known to look for micro evidence to determine macro answers. A strand of human hair for DNA; a piece of broken glass with a fingerprint: if a snippet of overlookable waste can be examined closely, it will often point to the bigger-than-life identity of the perpetrator(s).
Jesus gave us a critical clue in the search for source in matters like this: "The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy…" (John 10:10a) In this excerpt from Jesus' response to the Jewish religious leaders, he refers to Satan as "the thief." His approach is always the same: steal, kill, and destroy. When you find those indicators in abundance, you find his calling card. Osama bin Laden is not the evil patriarch; he's a patsy for an evil even greater than he. Do you buy the involvement of Satan in human affairs?
Today, 99% of Americans believe in the existence of bin Laden. According to the polls, about 57% believe in the existence of Satan … and that number is dropping. Don't be ignorant: God says that Satan – the enemy of God – is very real. Deny him to your own peril. We're fighting a powerful, spiritual enemy. We won't beat him with our own strength; we need an alliance with Providence.