On September 11, 2001, a group of evil men hijacked four planes. Two crashed into the World Trade Center towers. One crashed into the Pentagon. One crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
The intent of the attacks was plain as day: to strike fear into the hearts of Americans. To let them know that they weren’t safe. That there was a group out there that wanted to destroy them. It was a harsh reality for a country that had lived securely in the idea that no one was bold enough to strike at the heart of our great nation.
These men, these evil men, belonged to a group that seeks to destroy through chaos. They seek to instill fear in their enemies, and they seek to do so by indiscriminately killing men, women, and children. They have struck subways. They have struck marketplaces. They have struck concerts. They have struck marathons. Though they don’t all belong to the same creed, they share the same intention.
They intend to do evil.
They claim that it is for a higher purpose. That it is their religion that demands their actions. But, we know better. We know that it is a dedication to death, to chaos, that drives these people to do what they do.
They are not just a people based out of the Middle East anymore, either. There is a noticeable trend of people from our own nation and others heading to these bases of evil to join them. It is interesting, in a somewhat horrifying way, that what draws people from the West to this cult of death is an absence of spirituality in their own lives.
There was, a ways back, a piece from BuzzFeed that described a young woman who left a comfortable life in the United States to go to Syria and live in ISIS controlled territory as a member of the Islamic State. It is in this story that we see some of the first – but not only – testimony that it was the need to believe in something more that drove this woman to where she is now. From the end of the piece:
And while the specific reason why Ariel’s made the decisions she has is elusive, her closest friend believes that at its core is her desire to shed a feeling of “spiritual desperation.”
“Be it religion, be it a man, be it a marriage, be it a child, be it ISIS, Ariel was always looking for something to define herself, an identity to cling to.”
This cult of death was appealing to her because she wanted so much to believe in something.
It is no coincidence, then, that the uptick in terror attacks across the globe, and the sudden rush of Westerners to flee to these awful places come at a time in human history when secularism is at an all-time high. The push for moral relativism and the continuous assault on Christianity have left a moral vacuum that many have attempted to fill by swearing their allegiance to evil.
Sixteen years ago today, evil men committed an evil act on American soil. That evil still exists today, and we lose our own to it because we won’t confront it as evil. That refusal comes at our own peril.