I think those of us who don't accept the traditional Christian God and who therefore aren't arguing over how God/Jesus would want us to react to 9/11 are asking different questions. It's creepy that our public leaders feel so obligated to conflate religion and civic policy. Certainly, for believers, the one informs the other so I guess that's fair. But it just seems our civic leaders have a need to make such an ostentatious show of their piety (directly contravening Jesus' admonition to pray privately, by the way). I guess it gets them votes.
But for we who don't accept this model, it's more fair to ask other questions. FTK1234 below goes to lengths to demonstrate that we are at least partly to blame for the attack, and I understand his or her point about karmic pushback, but that's equivalent to saying a murdered hooker got what she deserved. Of course this country has done and continues to do bad things, and if one believes in justice then there should be a price for that. But 9/11 was assymmetrical and outrageous, no sense of justice or equivalency could excuse it. I'm sure the U.S. government has been responsible for the "disappearance" or slaughter of more than 3000 people in its history, and that's wrong. Slaughtering Americans in return might feel just, but is justice merely about evening up the body count?. Furthermore, the attackers, or at least their bosses, knew in advance what our reaction was likely to be. As another commenter said, there was no way the U.S. government would have reacted by extending olive branches and showering the world with foreign aid. They had to know that we would double down on our militarism and bloodlust, and to our national shame we have.
So I guess ultimately those of us who do not accept the traditional Christian personal God have substituted the state, and rather than debate about what God would want us to do, we debate about what the state should do. Rather than debate God's shortcomings and abilities, we debate the state's, and we frame our reactions to 9/11, and everything else for that matter, in those terms. Maybe that's why the believers and non-believers have such a hard time reconciling. Ulitmately we're talking about the same thing, and I suspect we actually want most of the same policies, but the somehow the language of God and duty doesn't translate well into the language of secularism and realpolitik.
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