This past Sunday was the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The wife and I (the husband in this scenario) spent our Sunday morning teaching the K-2nd students. I realized that none of the students we had were even a glimmer in their parents eyes when the attacks happened. I felt a little older realizing this (and that they have no idea that most of their favorite cartoons are remakes of originals from when I was their age). Later in the day I read some articles that kind of ruffled my feathers.
Apparently many public schools do not teach about the attacks so much as having respect and tolerance for Muslims and other cultures. The most some schools say is something about the attacks bringing an awareness to the plight of Muslims in our world, not that Muslims were responsible.
I am not flustered that they are teaching that we need to get along with others. We do. Even the Bible teaches that (“Love your neighbor as yourself” ring any bells?). We must also realize that most Muslims will not try to kill all unbelieving infidels. Some are merely “cultural Muslims” (believing because they are required by law), and many just want to live their lives like any other sensible person.
My issue is that truth is glossed over or even removed altogether. If we cannot properly teach history we cannot learn from it nor grow past it.
And this has happened before.
God told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8 “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. . . . If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.” (vv. 2 and 19)
Over the first few hundred years living in the borders of Israel, they constantly forgot and had to have judges sent to lead them, restore them, and save them from their enemies. (See the book of Judges) Then they were given kings who were supposed to write the Law in their own hand to help them remember God’s commands. Within a few generations (Solomon’s children) this was largely forgotten, and soon prophets were sent to remind them (most of them killed, see 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles).
In just a few short centuries, Israel went from a bastion of freedom and a nation of God to being destroyed and carried off to another country. This is God’s chosen people! They were destroyed … TWICE!
Today, a nation built on the principles of the Bible, is beginning to look a lot like ancient Israel. Even our President seems to be able to rightly say “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation.” Sadly, this administration has done much to attempt to rewrite parts of history. This is not a political jab, just a statement on the state of our nation.
Are we going to remember our past, both on the national and individual levels? Are going to check ourselves on a regular basis or allow mistruths and outright lies guide our lives? Are we going to be people of redemption and grace or use the name of the Lord our God in vain by claiming to be His while walking away from Him?