God on 9/11

September 11, 2007

Two very different kinds of emotions beamed from the Earth to God’s throne on this day six years ago: rejoicing and praise on the one hand, and pain, outrage and pleas for solace and revenge on the other. Some danced for joy that His will was done, that the towers of the infidels were no more, that His kingdom of goodness and light was on the way; some recoiled in horror at the evil mind that could conceive of hijacking plains full of people and smashing them against buildings full of people, and driven to despair by a thought that darkness and evil were about to overwhelm the world.

God heard all that – and one cannot help wondering what He though. Did He rise to greet nineteen noble martyrs for True Faith, offering to each the choicest pure virgins as a reward for selflessly doing His will? Or did He send them straight to the other place? Did He berate the thousands of souls just arrived from New York, Washington and Pennsylvania for not heeding the existence of True Faith, or did He give them comfort?

I do not pretend to know. But I strongly suspect that He was neither surprised, nor moved by what He saw and heard on that day.

Because He was around for longer than us, and what to us seemed an unthinkable, incomprehensible tragedy of historic proportions, to Him was something all-too-commonly seen on the planet Earth. Instances of murder – of sadistic mass murder, for that matter, with the sole purpose of pleasing Him and doing His will were so common in the past as to make a recital of them as tiresome as it would be sickening. Yet, every time that would happen – like when the Jews were killing each other over worship of the golden calf, or over whose interpretation of the Law was right; when the Christians were burning each other alive over heretical beliefs and killing each other in unceasing wars of religion; when the Moslems were butchering each other over who was the True and rightful successor of Mohammed – one suspects that God waited to see whether we Earthlings would pause to think, and realize that True Faith was an oxymoron; that the notion of “truth” is applicable only to what can be verified and proved or disproved – while the fact that God talked to someone who claims to be a “prophet” is, by the nature of things, not verifiable. Of all the faiths there are in the world, none can be proven to be “True,” though each can be claimed to be appealing – which is very different indeed.

So on 9/11, just as on every preceding occurrence of violent outburst of “True Faith,” the Lord God must have asked Himself, “will they, down there on Earth, start thinking seriously about Faith and Truth, and notice that mixing the two simply makes no sense? Or will their emotions find release in warfare unaccompanied by deeper thinking?”

But God’s 9/11 hope that humanity would finally discover that the notion of “True Faith” belongs in the ash heap of history, with such other delusional and murderous Truths as Communism and Nazism, did not come to fruition. No serious re-thinking of our attitude to religion occurred in the aftermath of the tragedy; no meaningful arguments were thrown back at the bin Ladens, Ahmadinejuds, Khomeneis and Nasrallahs who confront us under the banners of “True Faith,” to tell them that they are simply wrong because there is no way for them to know what they are talking about.

One suspects that seeing the deja vu repeated yet again, all God did on 9/11 was mumble sadly the wise but gloomy saying of His, “there is no new thing under the sun.”

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