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Guest Column: Business as usual (The continuing horror of 9/11)

July 1, 1993

Guest Column: Business as usual (The continuing horror of 9/11)

By Dr. Robert R. Kopp

I have been keeping a secret since September 11, 2001.

I was part of a church meeting near Chicago that day when news broke about the attacks on America.

Initially surprised and increasingly saddened over the past 365 days by our immediate reaction, an announcement was made, concern expressed within the corpus of a previously prepared prayer, and then it was back to business as usual.

The world was changing for the worse moment by moment, and we were moving and debating ecclesiastical matters with about as much impact upon humanity as Tiger Woods’ collapse in the third round of the 2002 British Open.

Lest anyone assume I am ignoring my logs to expose somebody else’s specks (read Matthew 7:1-5), I regret not begging a halt to business as usual in favor of immediate, concentrated, and unscripted prayer for our world and nation.

And as I consider life in America since 9/11, I’ve seen fewer and fewer flags, prayer services, patriotic rallies, or expressions of national unity unadulterated by political posturings and religious rivalries. Slowly and certainly, there’s been a return to business as usual.

Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, it’s still politically correct to pretend one religion is as good as another.

Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, some folks with two feet planted firmly in the air still assume it’s not illogical to be rational with the irrational.

Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, Pollyannas persuade us to trust the future intentions of those who fund and harbor terrorism; betraying the wisdom of an ostrich whose only asset is providing a good target.

Yeah, I know folks are getting together around this year’s 9/11 to say how much they remember; but surveying the past year with its dissipating patriotism and deference to the Almighty, my optimism for sustained national and spiritual fidelities is only matched by an expectation of the Cubs getting to the World Series before Jesus returns.

My prayer is for abandoning business as usual and adopting the saving strategy of a 12-year-old who said many years ago, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49).

His business is love.

Here’s His counsel for what ails us: “Love each other just as much as I love you” (John 13:34).

That means praying and working for the highest good for everyone in the world regardless of who, what, where, or when without the expectation or need for response, regard, or reward.

Or simply, as we say at the end of worship every Sunday at Bethany, “Love God and be kind to one another.”

That’s not business as usual.

It’s deliverance from the continuing horror of 9/11.

Dr. Robert Kopp is the pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Loves Park.

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