A New York City police officer clambered over debris from the World Trade
Center Towers, felled like mighty trees by terrorists on September 11, 2001,
to retrieve an American flag on a lone standing pole amid the smoking rubble.
It soon became known as the Freedom Flag. Many of the New York victims' families
signed the flag and included prayers. The U.S. Marines then transported this
emblem of American sovereignty to Afghanistan and hoisted it above Kandahar
airport, giving poignant backing to the most famous line penned upon it: "These
Colors Don't Run."
Patriotism is back with a vengeance. Headway seems to be sure in the elusive
"war on terrorism." But the deepest questions remain haunting for
many, totally unresolved for some: How could an all-powerful, loving Creator--if
one exists--allow such evil? How do the survivors deal with their losses?
What were the perpetrators thinking? How could they act so callously in God's
name? Since life has returned to a revised "normalcy" across the
nation, many still wrestle with lingering doubts about the meaning of life
and conflict. What is the best response to terrorism for ours or any nation?
With all the bloodshed and suffering in the world, is hope a naive sentiment
or can one truly transcend man's inhumanity to man and believe with sufficient
assurance in a better afterlife? To most, the repetition of this horror is
a foregone conclusion.
That raises the question, "Will we be ready?" We cannot speak to
the logistical or physical security angle, but we do aim to make a contribution
on the spiritual and intellectual side. Leadership
University has been dealing with these very questions and many
others during the past year. We now offer a compendium of resources from the
intervening year's Special Focus collections as well as pertinent individual
articles from our archives. We cover everything from the Just War doctrine
to theological viewpoints on suffering and evil. We share a bit of insight
into the tough but victorious life of Lisa Beamer, whose heroic husband became
legendary for shouting, "Let's roll!" on the soon-to-be-downed airliner
over Pennsylvania. We hope this look back and within proves compelling to
you. We welcome your feedback.
—Leadership University Editor/Webmaster, Byron Barlowe
World cover story
Lisa Beamer's odyssey through a year of recovery from the loss of her beloved
husband, Todd, has been marked by multiple talkshow appearances and interviews.
She's also seen her faith in the Person of Jesus Christ and her reliance on
the Bible's promises provide peace and assurance. She tells of her very personal
journey of faith, including background accounts of what happened that unforgettable
An anniversary we didn't want:
Are we different people because of Sept. 11?
Politicians, preachers, and parents will all wrestle with the same question:
How do you mark the anniversary of an event that never should have happened?
Not just an event that's embarrassing or regrettable; but one that shook an
entire nation, that scarred our collective consciousness and made us question
our deepest assumptions.
As we mourn the losses of so many--and the loss of our sense of security--deep
questions nag us: Where is God? How could He allow this, if He truly exists?
Is there meaning in evil and suffering? Where is the hope? Is this all there
is, or is there promise for beyond the grave? For Christians, what is a Biblical
response to terrorism? There is a power that transcends wealth and military
strength in any tragedy. We see the image of God in the deeds of those who
served and even died for others. But is that all we can hope for?
LeadershipU has collected a variety of resources to help bring perspective
to the history-altering events of September 11, 2001. See the pages below
for links that you can read, print and distribute and forward to others as
we all come to grips with tragedy.
Courage at 36,000 Feet
Beth J. Lueders
Interview with Lisa Beamer, widow of a hijacked 9/11 hero. "Todd Beamer's
now immortal words echo across the world: 'Are you ready? Let's roll.' Calmly,
the 32-year-old software salesman ended his September 11 phone call to a GTE
Airfone operator from United Flight 93."
How Could God Allow This?
Where is the Hope?
Dealing with Fear
Love Not Hate
A Permanent Solution
A Christian Viewpoint on Terrorism
and the 9-11 Tragedy
Nature of Islam
Since the murderous terrorism of September 11 and the subsequent war--seen
by many Muslims as war on their religion--many Westerners have sought greater
knowledge of Islam. Is it, as is now increasingly claimed, a religion of peace?
What do Muslims believe, in general and in particular, regarding war and violence?
How do these views compare with Christianity's? See our Special
Onward Christian Soldiers? Christian Perspectives
Timothy J. Demy
What should be the Christian attitude and response to the death, destruction,
and devastation caused by war?
The Paradox of War and Pacifism
Mark T. Clark
This article examines the paradox of war and pacifism in the Bible, where
paradox means apparent contradiction. The examination includes a review
of the major positions Christians have taken on the paradox historically,
from that of pacifism, to qualified participation, to the crusade.
of engaging "quick reads" and essays on a breadth of issues surrounding
the September 11 attacks and the soul-searching issues such things evoke.
Also features personal eyewitness accounts of that momentous day's events.
Headings include Tough Issues, True Peace, The Journey and more.
the interest of never forgetting the deep groanings of our hearts evoked by
911, we recommend this touchingly personal Flash! presentation site. It features
a genuine-sounding song by the same title and well-done visuals. Be sure to
see the pages: About and Update: One Year Later for some perspective
from the creator. (And be sure to wait until the visual aspect of the presentation
is completely finished.)
Go here to see our past Special Focus features.