How Will You Spend 9/11?

Filed under:9/11,Religion — posted by Anwyn on September 8, 2007 @ 12:04 am

I will be going about my usual life, with some thoughts of those who were killed in the horrendous attack and some thoughts for those who are working to dispel lies.

What I will not be doing is going over to Bilal Mosque, the same folks who sent their friendly neighborhood outreach representative to my church, for an “open house” that my church invites us to attend in our latest newsletter.

On Behalf of Bilal Mosque, we would like to invite you all to our sixth annual 9/11 commemoration and open house at Bilal Mosque. We started this open house right after 9-11 mostly to answer questions on Islam and related issues.

Since then it has become a yearly ritual. We hope our friends, neighbors, any one who is interested — will drop by, share some food, ask questions, have a dialogue, pray for peace and justice and generally get to know one another.

I get the feeling it’s time to start church shopping. Or maybe just become one of those “spiritual, but not religious” people I keep reading about.


  1. If you lived in Chicago I’d invite you to attend a service at our church. For thirty years we had a priest right off the mountain with a very down to earth attitude about religion … well … not to slander him but I thought it was something like “I bother God so you won’t have to” (and a very good singing voice — his Ave Maria could make your hair stand on end). He retired and now we have a young seminary-trained theology major who manages to insult every other religion and denomination by about three minutes into his sermon. I’d tell him about your church’s reaching out to the Bilal Mosque but I don’t want him to get apoplexy.

    Comment by nk — September 9, 2007 @ 4:41 am

  2. It’s not that I’m looking to insult other religions. It’s that, whatever the brass at my church may *think* they are doing, it’s *not* “reaching out” to the mosque–it’s encouraging my church members to absorb uncritically the message the mosque is putting out to *us.* And from what I saw and heard the last go-round, their “outreach” to us is something of a smokescreen for their real, highly questionable and occasionally even atrocious opinions.

    Comment by Anwyn — September 9, 2007 @ 8:47 am

  3. Well, not even a smokescreen, but feelers, to see how many of us already agree with some of their positions and to cement those attitudes as much as they can.

    Funny enough, the first church I went to after 9/11 was an Episcopal church in a suburb of Chicago, though, that I had never been to before and was at maybe only once more since, with some friends of mine.

    Comment by Anwyn — September 9, 2007 @ 8:56 am

  4. Please forgive any implication that you were looking to insult other religions. If I had a point it may have been that the church militant is alive and well. A second point, possibly, that religion and spirituality are not necessarily incompatible but that dogmatism and spirituality are. I did read your previous post about the Bilal Mosque (even before Patterico linked it) and I agree that the reaching out here seems to be strictly one-way. And that when it comes to Islam, dogmatism is an understatement.

    Comment by nk — September 9, 2007 @ 11:20 am

  5. It’s not even that I’m looking for militantism or heavy dogmatism. It’s that I object, strenuously, to my church encouraging a mosque to come in and make political points on us. If it were about the two religions, I wouldn’t necessarily have so much ire, but it’s not–it’s political, and I’ll be damned if I let a mosque score political points on me on 9/11–and I object to my church encouraging its members to let them do so.

    Comment by Anwyn — September 9, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

  6. I get it. BTW, was the Episcopalian church you went to in Riverside? Half the parish has gone over to the Catholic church because they have problems with the minister.

    Comment by nk — September 9, 2007 @ 7:24 pm

  7. No, not Riverside–hard to remember for sure, actually. Somewhere between Orland Park and Joliet–Mokena, I’m thinking.

    Comment by Anwyn — September 9, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

  8. I’m going to do my level best to avoid the news and blogs that day. I have observed that some people (and I’m not including anyone here in this criticism) have turned 9/11 into a kind of fetish. The events of that day were horrific enough on their own; they need no embellishment. The images of that day are permanently burned into my mind.

    While I’m not a religious person, I will spend a moment to reflect on the lives cut short and to wish continued healing for the people who lost loved ones that day.

    My $0.02.

    Comment by Allen — September 10, 2007 @ 8:05 am

  9. I agree with Allen. These days it seems that the media doesn’t know when to stop. A lot of images in the news today I find too graphic and offensive for viewing, not specifically in reference to 9/11, but often in relation to the war in Iraq.

    Anwyn: As for the church invite to the mosque….that is too much to ask. I would be inclined to find a new church if I were you.

    I did hear of kind of a neat “silent” tribute asking everyone to drive with their headlights on all day on 9/11. I may do that.

    “Always remember to never forget” -William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

    Comment by thelmajoy — September 10, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace