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Guest Column: It’s been a year 9/11/01-02

July 1, 1993

Guest Column: It’s been a year 9/11/01-02

By By Dr. Robert R. Kopp

I’ve been asked to write about the year since 9/11. Quite frankly, I hadn’t thought too much about it until asked.

I’m not sure why.

Maybe it’s too painful to go back and resurrect such buried burning feelings.

Maybe it’s too early to assess Paul’s promise: “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

I don’t know anyone who sees that yet.

But a sage said, “People who don’t deal with the past are doomed to repeat it.” Many can see that.

Strangely, recent reflections on 9/11 have caused my mind to wander back over four decades ago to Grace Blanchard’s boys-only Sunday school class in the First United Presbyterian Church of Forty Fort, Pa.

Miss Blanchard was 103 when I entered her class. Before these days of thinking something is funky when minors of one gender are taught by someone from the other gender, we just went to learn about Jesus without any thought to the sexual orientation of the class or teacher.

Those were good old days.

Anyway, Miss Blanchard would always begin the first 15 minutes of every class with this introduction: “Now, boys, it’s time for S-O-S – same old stuff.” Essentially, we’d review the basics of our faith.

It was so positive.

But when I think of S-O-S since 9/11, my feelings are more unsettled to cynical.

The Cubs still aren’t going to the win World Series.

Major League Baseball thinks people care if they strike before the season ends; which, by the way, is a relief for Cubs fans, who can revel in nobody playing in the post-season either.

Al Gore is still re-inventing himself; but fooling nobody this time around.

Anna Kournikova, who can’t win a tennis tournament, and Britney Spears, who sounds like a frog on crack, prove sex sells more than talent in America.

Bob Dole who-would-be-President justifies those who didn’t vote for him by hawking Viagra and looking like a dirty old man getting off on Britney Spears videos to plug Pepsi. People sue tobacco and fast food companies because they can’t handle the consequences of their volition.

Mainline denominations can’t figure out why they’ve moved to the sidelines of religious life in America, though the churches with SRO crowds can tell them.

Wealthy Westerners continue to turn deaf ears to the cries of people outside and within their borders for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and hope; betraying their more feigned than real ignorance by asking, “Why do they hate us so much?”

Some still suggest one religion is as good as another.

Too many still think Arafat isn’t a baby-killing diabolical liar.

And, surely, Iraq isn’t preparing to kill our boys as we hand over our military playbook to them via open debates in government through CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News, Nickelodeon, Oprah, Phil, Jenny Jones, and, I suspect, forwarded e-mails to Saddam Hussein from leaking Leahys.

Yep.

S-O-S.

It’s just one year later.

Another sage understood the problem: “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11).

Here’s the solution: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” ( 2 Chronicles 7:14).

Again, it’s S-O-S.

Let’s pray and work to redeem, not repeat history.

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

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