I watched "United 93" last night to commemorate the day. I vowed six years ago that I'll never forget September 11, 2001 - neither the evil perpetrated nor the heroes and the virtues they blessed us with.
While I watched it I noted some of the passengers' actions that were commendable: the people who rose to the occasion and fought back; the courage and determination in the face of their fate; how the men (appropriate) led the response; how many of the passengers prayed the Lord's Prayer. And as I noted these things I realized that there are sadly many now who would point out the same actions by the hijackers: they fought for their cause; they prayed; men leading the attack; and their determination and some would say courage.
There are many who can only compare the similarity of the outward action, equating them with no moral distinctions. But an "action" isn't only the outward action; an "action" includes the intent and purpose. There are moral and religious differences, tremendous, significant differences between the heroes of United 93 and the hijackers. That's why we can identify the passengers' actions as virtuous and the hijackers as evil. I don't hesitate for a moment to make that moral judgment because it's quite obvious that killing innocent people for a diabolical religious purpose is evil and fighting back is virtuous.There are moral distinctions and proper judgments to be made and we should never be ashamed to make them when needed. There is true religion and flase religion. September 11 and it's memory is such an instance. I thank God for the men and women on United 93 who recognized evil that day, recognized the moral difference between the hijackers and them, and took action. Instead of equivocating on morality and religion, we should engage in intelligent discussions about what is right and true. Only by making those proper distinctions can we do the good we should do and worship as we should.