September 11th

James Alison’s (Catholic priest, and Girardian theologian) take on September 11th: “Some brothers of ours committed simple acts of suicide with significant collateral murder, meaning nothing at all.”

1 thought on “September 11th

  1. I actually wanted to read the full text of this to get a good idea where Alison was coming from. Weeks later, I finally got around to it.

    I can actually see what the guy is saying…and I believe some of it to be true. I’ve always had this sad feeling that people use bad events to make them feel better about themselves. Some people cry at funerals to show “how much” they miss a person, not out of genuine grief. Other people find grief as an opportunity to socialize and/or gossip, just as a party would be.

    I think the author was trying to point out that September 11th forced some people to have fake reactions, that at its smallest level, it was a suicide attempt, and thousands of suicides happen each day with less media coverage. But now we have these two planes crashing into a building and it was almost like, with such a huge impact, people forced themselves to have a reaction.

    I’ve always felt that most Americans are…ego centric. They don’t care what happens to any other country because it doesn’t affect them. Many more people have died from acts of terrorism on foreign territory than here in the US. But Americans can rarely name them and could care less. But now that it happens on OUR territory, there has to be this banding together, this nationalism and pride, this call for justice, and it almost seems fake. Because where was all of this when it was happening to others? And when it happens again, to someone else, are these people going to lend a helping hand? Probably not.

    Everyone here in the US says that they were affected by September 11th. And I wonder how many people truly were. I remember watching the twin towers collapse at work, hardly believing what my eyes saw. And I had a friend on a plane going from JFK airport the morning of September 11th, and spent 8 days not knowing if he was okay. But there are many people who have never been outside their town, on an airplane, they’ve never seen New York. It is just a textbook reference for them. I don’t say they aren’t allowed to feel bad about what happened, but I think there is a percentage of the population that reacted only because that is what you were supposed to do. Because they knew that the cameras were rolling

    So in a big picture view, I think he expressed it horribly, but I know what he is saying. But that’s the problem with the big picture, things stop being thought of at a human level. And we stop caring about it. Those people who were killed by the Hitler Regime, they’re not just 6 million jews. They are someones grandmother or grandfather. And that is the beauty of people like you Simon. Everyone has a face and name, and we should never stop caring about those things. And that’s why September 11th wasn’t simply a “meaningless” simple act of suicide. Because those suicides impacted thousands of lives. Brothers and sisters and mom’s and dad’s were lost that day. And any time that someone takes a life instead of leaving that to God, it is a tragedy

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