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Getting over 9/11

David Epps's picture

Several days ago I was reading about the proposed mosque to be built near the scene of the 9/11 attacks in New York. The nationally known newspaper had interviewed a number of persons and the opinions on the subject were varied. One, however, stood out to me.

Commenting on the opposition to putting the mosque near the attack site, one person, a young American woman, said something like this: “The 9/11 attacks were nine years ago. Isn’t it about time people got over this?”

Throughout the years, I have seen bumper stickers and t-shirts on sale in the South that depict a grizzled old Confederate soldier sporting a long grey beard and holding a musket and clutching a Rebel flag. With his teeth gritted and a steely glint in his eyes, the caption says, “Fergit, hell!”

Minus the musket and the flag, that was my response to the person urging Americans to “get over” Sept. 11, 2001.

My dad died 14 years ago last Thursday. I’m not fully over that yet. My mom followed some six years later. I’m not over that either.

A week or so ago my 15-year-old granddaughter interviewed me for a class she is taking. As she questioned me about my past, where I grew up, what lessons I had learned from my parents, and so on, I was flooded with memories.

As I remembered my childhood and youth and as I thought about my folks, my eyes became moist and I found it hard to speak. I still miss my parents.

It’s not so easy to “get over” a great loss. True, we have to “move on” but moving on and getting over are not the same.

In the case of 9/11, the perpetrator of the evil deeds, the mass murderer who took 3,000 lives, is still at large and is still planning additional mayhem.

Osama bin Laden has apparently outsmarted both the Bush and Obama administrations and remains free. There are still human remains from the attacks that have not yet been identified. The wound has not healed; the sore is still open, oozing, and raw.

“Get over it?” You must be kidding.

We are currently at war against a treacherous and devious foe. This enemy wantonly kills civilians, including children, by any means possible. No one is spared.

From hidden explosives along roadsides or in market places, to bombs detonated in houses of worship, to suicide bombers sent into crowds, to armed combat against soldiers and marines, the goal is to slaughter. Lest we forget, this implacable foe has beheaded civilian victims and has released the recordings of these horrendous deeds to the media.

I remember being at home writing an article when I received a call to turn on the television. The first tower had been struck by an airliner. While I was watching, the second plane hit the second tower. Then came news of the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93 in a field in Pennsylvania. By day’s end, the world had changed forever.

Get over it? My parent’s generation never quite “got over” Pearl Harbor. Would this young lady tell the victims of the Holocaust, Hitler’s “final solution,” to just “get over it”?

The nation has moved on. The families of the victims have moved on. New York City, the employees at the Pentagon have moved on. I would bet a week’s pay that few of them have “gotten over it.”

Christopher Rodgers, of Griffin, Ga., was 11 years old when he saw the newscasts on 9/11. He told his family that someday he would join the Marines and be on the front lines. A few days ago this little boy, now 20 years old, was killed in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Christopher Blake Rodgers, USMC, died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

“Get over” 9/11? Not while people are still dying and not while the evil men who planned the attack, and those who seek to do their bidding, are still at large. There are some tragedies you just can’t get over.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. (www.ctkcec,org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese ( and may be contacted at]


Indeed, well said.

Better words could have been used such as, we can't let that continue to influence decisions we need to make that protect our constitution such as freedom of religion and private property.

As to Pearl Harbor, we think enough of the Japanese now (most of whom weren't alive in 1941 as adults) to borrow half our money from them to run our wars.

I also don't see the correlation between 3200 or so dead at the towers and about 5000 dead of ours in our wars, and 40,000 wounded and brain rattled, not to mention 300,000 dead approximately, & unknown millions of wounded, of the civilians of the wars.
Destroyed families, destruction of the National Guard for the future and probably the Reserves, and allowing contractors to violate human nature!

Bombs and no-fly was doing the job in Iraq!
For 7000 years (and I'll bet you know this) the people of the middle east area have fought each other and just about everyone else over either religion or economics, and will continue to do so for 7000 more years!
Democracy is foreign and unacceptable to them.

Remember how WW2 started! Did we stand up to the Japs and the Nazis? We still remember what happen back then. WE defeated them at a hugh cost in American lives. Even though I wasn't alive then, it still bothers me when I think about the all thoose people who lost theeir lives in that war, including six million Jews to Hitler's hands! Get over it,I don't think so!

PTC Observer's picture

No one ever gets over this type of thing, my parents talked of Pearl Harbor until they died. The eruption of hate coming out of our media toward those that want to build a mosque at ground zero suggests that we put all Muslims into the same “pot”. However Muslim extremists don’t represent all Muslims. Clearly I think we all agree that they don't. Does anyone ever stop to think that Muslims were killed in the 9/11 attacks? Well 57 were killed that day all innocent victims of Muslim extremism, most were Americans but some were not.

“Imagine being the family of Salman Hamdani. The 23-year-old New York City police cadet was a part-time ambulance driver, incoming medical student, and devout Muslim. When he disappeared on September 11, law enforcement officials came to his family, seeking him for questioning in relation to the terrorist attacks. They allegedly believed he was somehow involved. His whereabouts were undetermined for over six months, until his remains were finally identified. He was found near the North Tower, with his EMT medical bag beside him, presumably doing everything he could to help those in need. His family could finally rest, knowing that he died the hero they always knew him to be.”

I don’t agree with President Obama on a lot of things, most things, but when he said yesterday that if we can build a church, a temple, a synagogue, at ground zero surely we can build a mosque. A mosque at ground zero is a symbol of religious freedom, it is as much a symbolic alter for what we are fighting for in Iraq and Afghanistan as is a church. Muslims have every right to honor their dead there.

We do a have problem with the Muslims. There are 800 million of them and if only 10% believe that we should be destroyed our problems will not go away anytime soon, but let’s don’t forget what we are fighting against and let’s remember what we are fighting for too.

NUK_1's picture

if only everyone else could read and reflect on that a little while.

Observerofu's picture

Churchs are not being allowed to be built at Ground Zero. Look to the Greek Orthodox church which was DESTROYED on 9/11. They have been a fixture there for decades but they have been trying to get the permits to rebuild since 2002. Last December they were told to forget about it. They were not going to be allowed to re-build.

The same zoning committee that has denied the Christians to REBUILD is allowing the Mosque to be built.

A Greek Orthodox congregation has been waiting longer—and working harder—than Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to restore the church that was destroyed on September 11, 2001.

"<cite>Father Mark Arey won’t put it quite this way, but he doesn’t see why Muslims are getting all the attention for their religious building near Ground Zero. Especially when the church he represents, St. Nicholas Church, was actually at Ground Zero; was obliterated when the South Tower fell on September 11, 2001; and has never gotten the green light to proceed rebuilding—despite nine years of promises by the Port Authority that were reiterated last week by New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg.</cite>"

So in the spirit of fairness rebuild what was already there then consider the Mosque permits.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

I recognize that a "church vs. mosque" story validates a lot of "We Christians is persecuted" talkin' points, but if you scratch beneath the surface you'd find two widely dissimilar stories.

It seems the mosque folks want to build their Islamic cultural center with...horrors!....their own money.

The Greek Orthodox church, on the other hand, is faced with a dwindling congregation and limited fiscal resources. They decided to pursue the Dubya-era technique of asking for millions of dollars in taxpayers subsidies in order to build their house of worship. Since there is no longer a Republican in the White House, this has understandably caused some delay.

<a href=" is a link to with a good take on the story. I know you won't click it because your mind is made up and you don't want to be confused with facts, but some folks who base their opinions on available facts might enjoy the read.

Observerofu's picture

Let's see an opinion with no sources or a sourced and KNOWN news outlet.

I don't need to spend much time here.

btw.. Just where is the "Self"-funding of the Mosque coming from?

How about the waiter that went from making 15K a year who is now a MULTI-MILLIONAIRE who is part of the funding? Where did he get his money?

Too many unknowns and not enough over-site.

I think I will still choose the Greek Church over the other for me.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Okay, you're more than welcome to your opinion that is just a "blog". Very few blogs, however, are wholly owned subsidiaries of Rupert Murdoch's Fox empire. Look it up on Google: Beliefnet AND FoxFaith.

Since you won't accept a "blog", how about a New York Times article? <a href="">LINK</a> The Greek Orthodox Church...all 70 families....wants $20 million Taxpayer Dollars from the Port Authority of New York.

Insofar as we don't know who is funding the Cordoba project, my reply is...who cares? If it's not taxpayer money, why should anyone care? Do you want government dollars building houses of worship in America? Hmmm?

Observerofu's picture

Well if the funds are coming from Hamas, Hezbollah or their supporters then it might stand to reason the real reason they want it there is not for the stated purpose don't you think?

btw-I would rather have 20 mil go to them then all the Millions going to pet pork projects currently being funded. Oh and maybe you should read all of your article. The agreement was an offer by the Port Authority for a LAND SWAP. They would rather REBUILD on their original spot.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

PTC Observer's picture

Built both, it's the American way.

Very well said pastor. We need more public discussion similar to yours.


We just can't "get over it." I thought my husband was in NYC that day and it was absolute "terror" even when I found out he was okay - it was still "terror" for others. There is a country song that says the footage of the 911 attacks ought to play everything - I agree. Never forget, never ever forget.

The comments by Mr. Epps here lend credence to my theory that many professed Christians, especially here in the Bible belt, have merely adopted Jesus as a kind of mascot for their own culture and ideas, and have no intention of following the words in the New Testament.

Does no one else find it bewildering that a man of the cloth, like Mr. Epps, so emphatically espouses that one should cling to hurt that others have inflicted upon us? Mr. Epps, could you please point out where in the New Testament that we, as Christians, should hold on to sins committed against us? It would seem that the NT commands us to do just the opposite.

From the Book of Matthew (NIV Bible)

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Many things are used by church leaders to instill a common tie among their members.
One of the most used, other than quoting snatches from the Bible, is being consistent about wars, politics, principles, integrity, and current scary happenings!

If saying we should not forget the past about anything and that binds the group together for a common cause then it will be used.

Patriotism, with the use of flags, marching, bands, firecrackers, military in uniform, and washing aside anyone who says they care not for such shenanigans, is quite common.

The automatic heroism of such as cops, firemen, soldiers, and such as those on talk radio who rouse up the crowds, is also a method of binding groups.

Heroes are big in red-nekin and preachin. They call it worshipin.

I just got to look around and He knows I know.

Ninja Guy, well put. I am glad that you brought this up because the issue you bring up is misunderstood by many people. You quoted Jesus from the "Sermon of the Mount." Allow me to quote from Luke while Jesus was giving his followers some final instructions: "But now," he said, "take your money and a traveler's bag. And if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!"(Luke 22:36).

On the surface this appears to be a contradiction in the teachings of Jesus. The "Sermon on the Mount" is certainly a high ideal. It represents a goal. When discussing the Kingdom of God, many theologians speak of the "already but not yet." The Kingdom of God is here but it is not fully established. It is sort of like the WWII example of the allied troops landing in Normandy. That beachhead made it certain that there would be a final victory in Europe. Jesus' death and resurrection gives us the same assurance that Jesus will return and fully establish his kingdom. Until Jesus returns, Christians need to love and pray for their enemies but also hold a sword to defend our families.

It would seem there there is more to Luke 22. After verse 36, the disciples say that they have two swords, and Jesus indicates that this number is sufficient.

Luke 22:38
The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.

Hmm, I don't think two swords among the 9 remaining disciples would be sufficient protection in the scenario you painted in your previous post.

Plus, when Peter does use a weapon to cut off that fellow's ear, Jesus rebukes him.

Luke 22:51
But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.

So, I think most would conclude that Luke 22 does NOT endorse the use of weaponry. Instead, I think you and others might be succumbing to your cultural beliefs and looking for Biblical snippets in support of them.

My friend the Ninja, the defense needs to be in proportion to the possible attack. At the time Jesus was bodily on the earth, the Roman authorities maintained civil peace. Defense was required from bandits and robbers, not from armies of gorilla suicide bombers...

Jesus' intent was to surrender to be crucified as an atonement in our salvation. Peter's action was contrary to Jesus' plan.

The American national defense needs to be adequate to find and stop attacks on our aircraft and cities. There is no doubt there are enemies of our civilization that desire to destroy us. Our defense must be in proportion to the enemy's strength.

May the Lord bless the Ninja as he studies the Word of God.

NUK_1's picture

Oh wow, terrorists will indeed stop at nothing! What's PETA have to say about this?

Lol, Nuk. I think using gorillas instead of guerrillas is a stroke of genius. They are much easier to spot on planes.

Really? Two swords among nine guys would be equal to the weaponry of a would-be band of robbers? Did the disciples use these two swords after the Resurrection? I think many of them were martyred by government authorities. Your prime concern here appears to be with protecting 'our civilization' and not abiding by the New Testament. You are helping prove my point that many Bible-belt Christians blindly use the Bible to uphold ingrained cultural beliefs.

My friend the Ninja, in the Apostolic times, I am not aware of the early church physically fighting government authorities. We should normally be submissive to government authorities. I would think that two swords would be adequate defense for a typical band of bandits in Apostolic times. The purpose of the swords would be deterrence.

My friend, perhaps your interest in this matter would lead you to read Thomas Aquinas' The Summa Theologica. In it Aquinas discusses "just war." There are English translations readily available on the Internet.

Ninja, there are a lot of people out there that are a lot smarter and more educated than us, that have discussed both sides of this issue. And they do it without personal attacks.

I'm a Yankee, born in and live in Minnesota. This version of Christianity is more prevalent than being just in the Bible belt.

May the Lord bless the Ninja as he studies theology.

Yes, I am familiar with Aquinas and his Just War Theory, which has been adopted as an official position by the Catholic Church.

Just finished a book about the life of Aquinas a few months back. Not yet tackled Summa, but should be a great read.

All I am pointing out is that many Christians are overzealous in their support of the military, warfare, and retribution based on scripture. It seems that in many cases reverence for the former trumps the latter, particularly in the case of Mr. Epps, who seems to be clinging to old hurts rather than justifying his views on Just War Theory. Do you really think he had Just War Theory on this mind when he wrote his article? Personally, I don't think so. But, I will leave it to Mr. Epps to clarify his views here.

Thanks for pointing out that this version of Christianity is not just a Southern thing. I have lived in Europe and Asia for extended periods, but only in the south in the US. As for personal attacks, I don't think I have engaged in that. But, if you feel attacked personally, my apologies.

Dear Ninja, as there are many tensions between people in society similar tensions are in the church. This is a link from a young man that is creating a tension for the church to go the direction I think you would approve

May the Lord richly bless the Ninja with the understanding and influence the church needs.

My friend the Ninja,

There is a controversial Christian author and theologian whose writings are often contrary to the stereo typical Southern Christian's thinking. His name is Greg A. Boyd. You might want to check out his blogs: and Two books I would suggest are Myth of a Christian Nation and Myth of a Christian Religion.

Be blessed!

I watched a few minutes of the guy with dredlocks, but he was taking to long to get to the point. Greg Boyd seems more promising, but his site is not that user friendly. I will try to look into the two Myth books as well. Thanks for the info.

Just how far do you think a preacher here would get if he gave a sermon that indicated NASCAR racing was dreadfully wasteful, dangerous unnecessarily, appealed to the crash mentality thrill, and a place to get drunk in company. Also, sermon two might be on the cruelty of war and the use of torture. Then sermon three could be on turning the other cheek when criticized.
Then four could be about quitting saying that all 7 billion non-Christians were going to hell, even if they had not heard of Christ.
And finally, five might be about being proud of such things, shooting fircrackers, wearing uniforms and marching. Like the KKK used to do!

Well, not very far. Collections would probably be way down that Sunday. Still, you haven't provided any thoughts on the origins of this psychological bent. I used to think culture, then intelligence level, but as mentioned previously, I am now leaning more toward brain structure, as this way of thinking seems to cut across culture and IQ levels, though definitely skewed toward the cheaper NASCAR tickets.

Don't wait for Mr. Epps or any preacher to start defending himself or the church on this site!
He may be prejudiced about religion and war, etc., but he ain't dumb!

If he started responding (as does our Mayor) he would just get in deeper.

Face it, there are certain subjects, patriotism (USA only), church principles (Christian), Military (ours), public tax payroll servants (ours), and republicans (even the TEAS), that are popular with certain breeds.

I hope he doesn't start, because it is a losing cause.

Well, I guess I erroneously assumed that anyone writing a long piece on a public forum would enjoy some back and forth. Guess not. I just think it is curious and interesting how the issues you mentioned often get tied up in the same ball of thought. Patriot=Christian=Republican/Tea=Pro Military=The Good Guys. As our friend from Minnesota pointed out, this kind of thinking is not limited to the NASCAR belt (since I can't use Bible belt anymore). Makes me wonder about the origins of this psychological makeup. I used to think it was mostly cultural, but now I am leaning more toward brain structure.


I hold ministerial credentials . . . i.e. I'm a retired preacher in your language.

I think I have had a good interaction with the Ninja here.

Blessings to you also, CourtHouseRules.

I watched a bit of Greg Boyd on YouTube. Interesting guy. As a retired preacher, perhaps you can enlighten me on this subject. Mr. Boyd refers to himself as a Bible-believing Christian. What exactly does this mean? I've not heard of many Christians groups that profess NOT to believe in the Bible. When younger, I took it to mean that the speaker attended a Baptist church. Now, with the proliferation of so-call non-denominational churches, the Bible-believers seem to have migrated there in large numbers. Though it seems sometimes that they are more enamored with jumbo-sized TV screens than the word of God.

Ninja my friend,

The term "Bible believing Christian" is not a very descriptive. Today there are those that say the Bible is completely without error including matters of science and history. Others claim infallibility in matters of faith and practice but not science and history. Thomas Jefferson was a Deist and felt that Jesus was the world's greatest philosopher but recopied the Gospels excluding anything miraculous. There is an interesting group of theologians called the Jesus Seminar. Members of this seminar use colored marbles to vote whether they believe Jesus definitely said a certain verse, probably said it, probably did not say it, or definitely did not say it. Except for Jefferson, each of the above people would probably say they are Bible believing Christians.

Some would say the King James Version is the only accurate English translation. Most claim accuracy for only the original manuscripts of which none exist but leads to a soft science (textual criticism)of examining old texts to attempt determining what the original text was.

More specifically concerning Boyd, his church's website says, "The Bible is the inspired, infallible word of God." For Boyd, I think this means infallibility in matters of faith and practice but not science and history. (

Most people that claim the Bible is inerrant believe complete accuracy of the original copy including science and history. Infallibility concerning the Bible is sometimes defined as complete in-errancy including science and history, others define it as in-errancy in faith and practice but not science and history. For a group to belong to the National Association of Evangelicals, the group must claim infallibility.

May the Lord richly bless the Ninja as he examines matters of faith.

Ninja my friend,

To be a Christian I believe that a person must:
1. repent of his sins,
2. believe Jesus died for our sins, and
3. steadfastly try, with God's help, to live as described in the New Testament.

Ninja, are you willing to do these three things?

This old essay by Epps says Bin Laden is still alive, and he was then, but are we to get over 9/11 now?

My puzzlement though is about something I read in this paper recently by Epps talking about the death of Bin Laden and I now can't find it!

I wanted o double check it and see why he never mentioned the President, as my memory serves. Maybe he thinks Obama had nothing to do with it, or maybe he refuses to acknowledge our President!

He must be of the Cal Thomas school who though also evangelical, believes in torture for good cause.

What happened to that article, please? Anyone else read it?

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