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Faith And Doubt At Ground Zero By

1035 words - 5 pages

In the 12 years since the terrorist attacks on the world trade towers in New York city, thousands of hours of research and interviews has been conducted, scores of books have been written, and countless documentaries and films have been produced in an effort to help us understand how and why terrorists were able to carry out the massacre of nearly 3500 people. Despite the plethora of religious and nonreligious beliefs represented by the friends and family of those who died, one universal belief binds them all: the belief that an unspeakable act of cruelty has changed our nation and our people for all time. The name ascribed to this act of terrorism is debated widely. Some call it evil. ...view middle of the document...

God isn’t anywhere.” Using this worldview, if the events of 9-11 are a part of all, and all is God, then there is no hope in which to hold onto as a means of dealing with the evil acts executed that day. Therefore, the Rabbi clings to the only good thing he can find in the midst of the tragedy - the final voice messages left to loved ones just moments before their death. Strung together in a haunting chant, he “prays” the messages every morning before starting the day.
Several interviewees document their journey from a faith in God (or at least a god out there somewhere) to a strong unbelief as a result of 9-11. An understandably impassioned man who lost 30 friends in the terrorist attack describes his anger toward God. He talks about how he can no longer believe in the God who would allow this to happen. He “looks at him now as a barbarian.” Among others, a Catholic priest, an Episcopalian priest, an agnostic photographer, and the wife of a firefighter make similar claims. What they share is the idea that if the God they believed in prior to 9-11 would choose not to prevent the terrorist attacks (the death of their loved one) then he is not worthy of their belief. In essence, if God is not willing to stop evil, then they are not willing to put their faith in him. This method of dealing with evil only serves to blame evil on God, thus reducing God to nothing more than an indifferent, cold-hearted God. As such, there is no hope, no solution to the problem of evil.
A thought-provoking view is posited by a professor of Middle Eastern Issues, Kanan Makiya, wherein he articulates his atheistic response to 9-11. “It shook my belief in the one last foundation of everything, in the human race.” He articulates feelings of isolation and hopelessness and further asserts, “That’s a spiritual crisis. But it’s not one involving God.” Not surprisingly, this view also provides no means of comfort in the...

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