It’s too easy to compare 9/11 with Pearl Harbour. The parallels are obvious: an unprovoked surprise attack, destruction and loss of life on an enormous scale, and a scar left on the American psyche forever. But there is one significant difference.
Pearl Harbour was an attack on a military target that Japan may have considered a threat to their homeland. The targeting of the towers on 9/11 was a direct attack on civilian personal that were no threat to the attackers.
This puts Al Qaida and its cronies in the same league as Saddam Hussein, Gadhafi, Stalin, Hitler, and other notorious leaders who slaughter and maim millions simply to obtain or retain power.
If ever there was an obvious face of evil and its intractable perversion of humankind, these instances are plain evidence. They defy liberal thinking that assumes the goodness of humankind with some correctable faults.
This incurable disease of evil infects us all to lesser or greater degree, that, at its least destructive, subverts our best intentions, or at its worst, reduces individual humans to its puppets. History, if nothing else, shows that human endeavour may alleviate, but will never eradicate evil.
In the face of this, Christianity is the one belief system that makes sense of this world, recognizing the presence and force of systemic evil in humanity and the need to deal with it in every individual. A change of heart is needed, not a change of attitude.
Furthermore, Christianity confirms the suspicion that our addiction to evil has root beyond ourselves. Our human battle is a reflection of spiritual warfare with the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Jesus Christ came to bring freedom from this chaos and entry into His rest. God’s offer of forgiveness, given in repentance for our contribution to evil, He purchased at infinite cost as His Son bore the penalty for our evil on the cross.
Whether we destroy human life on a grand scale, or simply devalue another’s dignity, the seizure of status or power at human cost will always be in league with the forces of evil and in conflict with the love of God for all humanity.