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Posts Tagged ‘statism’


Spring 2001 from the Staten Island Ferry

Spring 2001 from the Staten Island Ferry

I was engaged to be married when it all happened.  CavWife to be was teaching in NW NJ, and could see the smoke from the parking lot. One of her students were among the few that lost parents in the building. Thankfully my parents decided to extend their stay in NH because they were booked on the flight out of Boston to LA that day.

Many of us have stories. There are faces we see, video clips that can never be erased from our minds. But I want to consider who we are, or have become in the last 12 years.

In October 2001, we had an engagement party at my future in-laws’ home. That was the day we began the invasion of Afghanistan. We have yet to leave. We have been fighting there my entire married life, forgetting one of the great blunders: don’t get involved in a land war in Asia.

America is increasingly weary of war. We have watched too many of our young people come home in body bags or missing limbs. We seem to have an entire generation suffering from PTSD.

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Someone sent me a link today for an article in Psychology Today called Why Atheism Will Replace Religion.  It claims to have evidence to support this assertion. To steal a phrase, “that’s mighty bold talk for a one-eyed fat man, I mean soft science!”

What is the evidence offered? First, atheism is on the rise in industrialized nations. It is most prominent in Europe, and nearly non-existent in sub-Sahara Africa.

Atheism is correlated with higher education and affluence. The author sees religion as a way of coping with fear. In those prosperous nations, there is less to fear. This is particularly true as they have developed extensive social welfare programs.

These nations, he notes, are also marked by a decreasing birth rate. This is because fewer people are needed to work the land. He sees a tie between an agrarian economy, birthrates and atheism.  The modern man has “tamed” much of life’s unpredictability, he thinks, and no longer needs God. Or children.

As an “evolutionary psychologist’ the author, Nigel Barber sees this as a good evolution.

So, what is the problem?

11 “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God,… Deuteronomy 8 (ESV)

Approximate 3,400 years ago God predicted this exact pattern in the life of Israel. It is not a new thing. Prosperity produces pride which means that people forget God. This begins with practical atheism and morphs into theoretical atheism. The rise of theoretical atheism in Europe should not surprise the biblically informed person. This has been happening for thousands of years!

But I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. 5 It was I who knew you in the wilderness,    in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me. Hosea 13 (ESV)

But can atheism replace religion? In the short term, yes. In the long term, no.

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It is hard to summarize the impact of an event.  I know I will not say all that could be said.  That’s because I don’t know all that could be said.  So, if you expect the authoritative statement of how 9/11 affected our nation and our world you will be sorely disappointed.

Some Positives

We Saw Heroic Actions- as we learned more about what transpired on 9/11 we learned of great acts of heroism.  We learned about some of the passengers on United 93 who fought the terrorists so they could not fulfill their plan.  They knew it would mean their own deaths, but the plane would not be used to kill others.

There were the many first responders who entered the twin towers knowing they probably, some definitely, would not make it out alive.  But they gave their lives to save the lives of others.  They are heroes.  As are the many people who surrendered days of their lives to search for survivors.

There are many heroes who decided, based on that day, to serve their country in far away places.  They loved their country and its citizens and offered their lives to keep them safe.

13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15

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