The NYTimes should be required reading for all preachers, in my humble opinion. You never know what you’ll find in there.
Thomas Friedman’s Op-Ed entitled, “9/11 is over,” is an attack on Rudy Guiliani. But, some of the things that he says really resonate. Commenting on a story in the satirical publication, The Onion, Friedman writes (emphasis mine):
Like all good satire, the story made me both laugh and cry, because it reflected something so true — how much, since 9/11, we’ve become “The United States of Fighting Terrorism.” Times columnists are not allowed to endorse candidates, but there’s no rule against saying who will not get my vote: I will not vote for any candidate running on 9/11. We don’t need another president of 9/11. We need a president for 9/12. I will only vote for the 9/12 candidate.
What does that mean? This: 9/11 has made us stupid. I honor, and weep for, all those murdered on that day. But our reaction to 9/11 — mine included — has knocked America completely out of balance, and it is time to get things right again.
It is not that I thought we had new enemies that day and now I don’t. Yes, in the wake of 9/11, we need new precautions, new barriers. But we also need our old habits and sense of openness. For me, the candidate of 9/12 is the one who will not only understand who our enemies are, but who we are.
Before 9/11, the world thought America’s slogan was: “Where anything is possible for anybody.” But that is not our global brand anymore. Our government has been exporting fear, not hope: “Give me your tired, your poor and your fingerprints.”
All I can say is, Amen to that! The rest of the article is worth a read, so do follow the link above.
I’m also reminded of a verse from one of our lectionary readings for this coming Sunday: for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)