Today we remember the events of 9/11/01. I have been wondering lately how these events have impacted our faith and the faith of our children in North America. How is our faith being tested by the ongoing loss of life and unrest in Iraq, or are most of us happy just living in our newly patched bubbles, or so busy we can’t/won’t spend the energy attending to it? Most of us would admit to very mixed feelings about the use of power by the U.S. government even as we critique our politicians for demonstrating similar uncertainty – the limits of our collective wisdom seem quickly reached.
As I look out of my office window across East Paris Avenue, I see flags flying at half-staff at our governor’s request to honor fallen soldiers from Michigan. Framed by the flagpoles I see trees being cut down and a building site being prepared for our new neighbors – a Muslim temple. What a different world than 6, 10 or 15 years ago – could we have imagined? Whatever else, the events of 9/11/01 pierced the last bubble of insularity and invincibility – we find our world has been forever changed – and in many ways for the better, even as we place less trust in government …or airport security. Yet have these last six years increased our faith or our cynicism and fear?
How have we approached this issue with students? I think that those of us who lived through the Vietnam War are seeing many similarities – great intentions versus questions arising regarding the role of the world’s superpower in the affairs of other countries. How do we balance issues of justice and devastation with allocation of resources away from domestic justice issues? How we handle these difficult issues contributes significantly to the development of a Christian worldview and individual faith development. How have you dealt with these issues with students in a “fair and balanced” manner and toward distinctively Christian understandings?