: I had a bad moment at church this morning, Easter morning. I choked for a moment in the middle of singing the Hallelujah Chorus as I thought of the families of the victims of 9.11 at the same time that I was suffering my every-Easter doubts about resurrection and life everlasting and the very foundations of this day and this faith.
I’ve learned to live with these doubts. I measure the gap between doubt and certainty and call that faith. I’m not sure about this mystery, never have been, never will be (until I die). I choose to accept it, on faith.
But today, it hurt again to think about those people who fell and burned and crashed on 9.11 — for my doubts, my failure of faith, meant that I was not sure whether there was any comfort for them and their families in an afterlife, in meaning. I felt as if I failed them.
And as I kept thinking about this and about all the victims in this war — the innocents in the Middle East who have been blown up merely for the sin of living — I realized, as I often do, that if it were not for the resurrection and a belief in the afterlife and a few other fine points of theology, I might as well be Jewish (and this is why I have always wondered why Christianity separated itself so far from Judaism and its traditions; why do we not celebrate Passover together?). 9.11 made me feel closer to them.
Part of me wishes that we could send everyone in the Middle East to their rooms together until they can get along together — and leave us in peace. But, of course, the rest of me, the sane part, realizes that they can no longer be left to their own devices and that the time has come to take action and take sides. I choose to get past history — for it’s hard to decide how far back one has to go to decide who started this fight: to 1948 or to the pharoahs? I choose to judge the players on their actions today. I choose to ally myself with other victims of terrorism against terrorism.
The Passover murders are Easter murders as well. That is a lesson for today.
: David Warren arrives at the same place — namely, Jerusalem — from a different route.
My mind cannot wander to Jerusalem this year, without feeling a deep solidarity with my Jewish brothers and sisters, in Israel, under daily assault from suicide bombers, and in the shadow cast by a horrible war — the backward shadow of a war that is approaching. I pray for the Muslims, too, with all who stand at Heaven’s Gate, who must walk through “the valley of the shadow of death.”
But for the Jews I pray in solidarity, for they are once again under attack, not because there is a war, but because they are Jews.
After the Holocaust we vowed, Never again. Have we already forgotten?
It is time for all Christendom to remember, Never again. That we will not stand by, as Jewish people — as pregnant mothers, children, teenagers, old women and old men — are selected for extermination. That we are not indifferent in this matter, that we are not neutrals as between the victim and the murderer. That as Christians, and in the name of Christ, we stand by our brother and sister Jews.
: Arafat is looking like a cult leader, pure and simple. He reminds me of Jim Jones in the days before Jonestown, all paranoia and wishful martyrdom. Listen to Arafat on Arab TV:
…we ask Allah to grant us martyrdom, to grant us martyrdom. To Jerusalem we march