There are three Christian journals that I peruse regularly””National Catholic Reporter (liberal Catholic), Christian Century (liberal Protestant) and Christianity Today (conservative Protestant). The adjective “liberal” in the first two journals refers both to their theological and political orientation; Christianity Today is theologically conservative, but has no single political line. The three journals usually appear in my mailbox within days of each other, and with the anniversary of September 11 looming just ahead, I thought it would be interesting to compare how they deal with the event. It is indeed interesting. And I will admit (this is a non-value-free statement) that I was shocked….
The treatments of September 11 in NCR and Christian Century did not surprise me. The one in Christianity Today did. I had expected something a little different from standard political correctness. There were some cases of this in the September issue, such as two pieces that assume the continuing Christian duty, despite the danger, to convert Muslims. But there is little if any difference in the treatment of September 11. The coverage is extensive (it must be noted that this journal, unlike the other two, is a monthly)….
In all these texts there is not one word about the obvious moral reality of the event: That the United States was brutally attacked by an enemy of unmitigated evil, against whom violent force was fully justified. Both the goal of Jihadist terror””the establishment of a tyranny with systemic violation of human rights””and the means to get there””indiscriminate mass murder and torture””are utterly evil in the perspective of Biblical faith. That should be at the center of any Christian reflection about September 11.