And the Hard Questions

Who can blame those who lost friends and loved ones on 9/11 for thinking God let them down? And who can blame them for thinking that a benevolent and loving deity, if it exists, is not so benevolent and kind? And after all the falling concrete, steel, and blood, who can blame them for thinking that 9/11 proved once and for all that God does not exist?

I certainly can’t. If they all went running into a dark cave filled with the dust of doubt, I’d be there with them. For me the only thing that I know a year after 9/11 is that it happened. And that 9/11 begs a million questions.

Like a snake eating its own tail we were offered a glimpse of our own human horribleness on 9/11. And regardless of who is to blame it’s clear that what happened was thoroughly human. 9/11 is ours in a borderless and all-inclusive way. As tragic for terrorist as for firefighter.You think that’s vulgar, my including the terrorist? Think of how all this got started in the first place. And think of how that anger begs another 9/11. It’s all a senseless crusade�as much Hiroshima as Pearl Harbor.

Although it has made for the most horrifying film footage mankind has ever seen, 9/11 outdoes any horror film. “Towering Inferno” paled in comparison. Unlike horror movies�which offer a glimpse of a deity (director? screenwriter?) who will save us from utter tragedy with a happy ending, 9/11 had no such end. It’s ongoing�unreeling into history like blood from a wound. Like that snake eating it’s tail.

Which leaves us where we started…back at Ground Zero�and all those questions. So where was God on 9/11? Did God skip town after making us in his own image? And was that image some delusion of grandeur? Was it as evil as it was good? Or have we locked God away in some windowless apartment or temple and forgotten the address? Can any of the tragedies that happened on 9/11 be told without adding a question mark to each sentence?

It’s all a question mark with no answers on the horizon. That is the only other certainty. And that fact makes me absolutely horror-stricken at what it means to be human.