Part IV of our series on the six ways Jesus changed the world deals with forgiveness. Truthfully, I could combine the last three using today’s subject…, and I think I will, just not all at once. Which is not really combining is it? Oh well. It’s 9-11 again and, as usual, I’ve been dreading it for a week now. I suppose you’re wondering why I chose the video above; I was originally going to call this post “Here It Comes Again” and, being a Kenny Wayne Shepherd fan, I immediately thought of this song and realized the title was perfect. “Deja Voodoo” is a play on the phrase déjà vu, which means “already seen”. Voodoo is “cultural form of the Afro-American religions which developed within the French, Spanish, and Creole speaking African-American population of the U.S. state of Louisiana.” Though it’s not true, many white Americans have a dark view of voodoo and that fits in well with what we’re talking about today. Because today we’re going to bombarded with all sorts of nationalistic propaganda from the right and all sorts blame Bush propaganda from the left. Neither are really true and neither are effective at healing the hole in the heart of our people.
First, I’ll take on the right. I don’t need flags waving, martial music or even a cross found in the debris to help me remember what happened 11 years ago, those scenes are burned into my brain. I promise you all the flag waving, chest beating “American is the greatest country on earth” bullshit won’t make me feel any better. And, the cross at Ground Zero? That’s a slap in the face to every non-Christian who lost a family member that day. We either need to move somewhere else, or acknowledge every one the religion of everyone who was there. It’s the right thing to do.
Now, for the left. The problems that brought about 9-11 didn’t just spring up in 2001, they’ve been simmering for almost 60 years. One of the early memes about 9-11 was that it occurred because the Islāmic terrorists hated our freedom. In reality, it was our constant meddling in the affairs of middle eastern countries, from the Iranian coup of 1953 to our support of Israel, that’s pissed them off. It’s no suprise that there was a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, tt was just a matter of the terrorists getting lucky. The Bush Administration’s culpability in 9-11 was the intelligence community having their heads up their asses.
There are those who claim that America is a Christian nation. If that’s true, why aren’t we following Christ’s directives about forgiveness and loving our enemies? Our outlook is more like Genghis Khan’s
“The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters.”
What might happen if, instead of bombing the shit out of these people, occupying their country and killing their young men and women, we sent them aid so they move out of the 1st century and into the 21st. What might happen if, instead of burning their sacred book, we embraced it as we do our own sacred book, the Bible. What might happen if, instead of demonizing them and their religion, we accepted them as People of the Book? What if we, instead of hating these people and blaming them for our misery this day, forgave them as Jesus commanded:
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times
That’s not a literal 77. Seven meant perfection to Hebrew scholars. I think to practice perfect forgiveness is to forgive everyone, every time, no matter what the situation. I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m not even saying I do it. What I’m doing is asking what kind of world would it be if we lived that way?