On that day America became united. At that moment, racism took a back seat. Christian denominations took a back seat. Other religions took a back seat. We were Americans and over 3000 of our countrymen died. Wives would never see their husbands again. Children would never see their parents again. Families were forever broken apart and it was all due to radical Muslims who had years earlier declared an Islamic jihad on America. I remember the days after the attack. Enemies found a way to either become friends or surprisingly coexist. People prayed like never before. Churches filled up. Suddenly our mortality became ever present before our eyes. There was no denying the frailty of life.
But something happened as time passed. It is true that time heals all wounds, but some wounds leave scars. The wound inflicted on September 11th left a gaping scar in the hearts of Americans across the mainland and into Alaska and Hawaii. The commonwealths felt the pain. Our allies felt the pain. The world would ultimately feel the pain. But just like any scar, it remains but the memory fades. As time has moved on the divide started again. Racism reared its ugly head. Christian denominations quit partnering together and instead turned our bully pulpits on one another. The average Christian left the church to become a seasonal, cultural Christian which one may argue doesn't truly exist . . .
As time passed, many who voted and supported the fight against terror changed their minds. Others felt it wasn't necessary. Tell that to the thousands of young men and women and retired vets who enlisted and re-enlisted just to go find the culprits who hurt our people! We turned on one another. The political parties went from fighting against one another to fighting amongst themselves and one another. In the Christian realm, there has been more church splits since 9-11 than before. Ideological shifts have taken place on a massive scale. Suddenly protection from offenses overtook the protection of freedoms. Suddenly the God, Jehovah God, whom America cried out to so fervently on that fateful day was being pushed further into a back corner as abortion rights were lauded and homosexual marriage started its major push. The defense of Islam resulted in the attack of Christianity. Granted, the church hasn't done much to deflect the attacks, but the nature of the attacks is the resident evil. In short, many forgot about 9-11.
Fast forward to May 1, 2011. Our President, Barack Obama, announced the killing of Usama Bin Laden. What should have been a joyful occasion, and was for many, hasn't even lasted a full 24 hours without the divide rearing its ugly head. Already there are many who claim Obama made the whole thing up or waited for the perfect time to kill Bin Laden so that his poll numbers would go up. The pundits have come out in full force to declare George W. Bush should get all the credit and Obama is wrong if he takes any. Many more are angry at the way the President handled the press conference or even the funeral service at sea today for Bin Laden. It's another reminder that America is so divided that even the unifying cry of "USA . . . USA . . . USA" has reservations in it. For those who want to blame our President for that demise, wake up and look in the mirror. We are all guilty to some degree, some more than others. The sins of omission and negligence are right in line with the sins of commission and premeditation.
I won't pretend to defend Obama's policies. I don't like them at all. I think they have roots in the deepest pits of hell's planning committees. But Obama hasn't made America what it is. No, he's not ruined America. He's only been able to do what he's done because America overwhelmingly voted him into office. America is the culprit. If you didn't vote for him just as I didn't, then we may have the ability to sit back and say "Told you so!" But in the same moment, may we not spend energy degrading one another, our President, our country, or our "enemies." If we want America different, it's got to start in the grass roots. It's got to start in our faith groups. It's got to start with a recommitting to Biblical values. America was founded on them and as our forefathers well knew, the Constitution apart from the Bible was simply a piece of paper. When we attempt to manipulate and understand the Constitution apart from the Bible, then we will always end up with a clouded judgment.
Overall, Bin Laden is dead. For that I'm grateful. I have no remorse for a man that single handedly over the course of his life help orchestrate the deaths of almost 10,000 people across the world. If anyone has ever been turned over to a reprobate mind as Paul suggested in Romans 1, I think Bin Laden would fit the bill. I'm proud of our President. Yes George W. Bush should get credit. He started the chase and the intelligence gathered under his administration was no doubt extremely helpful in Bin Laden's death. In his autobiography, President Bush acknowledges what we now know for fact . . . Bin Laden was in Pakistan the whole time. Give President Obama credit for ordering the operation that got Bin Laden knowing the potential rift and ramifications it would cause. Give him credit for looking after the intelligence. Give him credit for knowing how to take care of this death announcement and proceedings to hopefully not provoke an even greater retaliation that is possibly already being planned. If we can't give credit to a man that deserves it simply because we don't like him, then we are no better than bigots.
May God bless our troops for all their hard work. May God bless our intelligence community for all their hard work. May God bless President Bush for his work to make the people who knocked down the towers pay as he promised they would. May God bless President Obama for not surrendering the pursuit but continuing the fight until it was finished. And may God bless America and may we get past our divisions and fight ourselves united once again as Obama said last night . . . "one nation, under God, indivisible . . ."