Sunday, September 11, 2005
At another anniversary of September 11th I watched again the Frontline documentary "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero", a very fascinating film made a year after the event interviewing people either at the scene and/or who lost friends or family members in the tragedy. As someone who believes in God it strikes me how this film captures the ebb and flow of ‘faith’ and how that ‘faith’ either grows, reforms or perishes in the face of 9/11. Western christianity has the market on a self focused belief in and idea of God. Almost every person interviewed approaches the camera with a "how could God do this to me", in a sort of standing in the place of God as God and judging God. The phrases "America is a blessed country…how can God do this to America? ‘God bless America’ were spoken throughout. Certainly these are hurting folks and disillusioned folks. For them there isn’t only the tragic loss of life, but the complete loss of entire belief systems and ideologies, whole structures that lives were built upon. That happened to me when I went from athiest to true believer and it is tremendously stressful. But this attitude, and quite frankly the attitude dispised by much of the rest of the world, is very telling about our tendancy to form God in our own image. I do it myself. It is a product of a society raised from birth on entitlement. We feel entitled to have everything go swell, we live to avoid pain, discomfort, difficulty…and are offended when we encounter it. These are the things that most of the rest of the planet faces on a daily basis and because we have the means or drive to mostly avoid them our faith, our character, our growth has been gravely injured. And I talk to myself. I get pissy when I have a runny nose. Every time.