Monicks: Unleashed

Thinking Critically


Where was god on 9/11? – Ten years later

We can't go back in time, but we can educate the world and strive for a better future in a world without religion.

We can’t go back in time, but we can educate the world and strive for a better future in a world without religion.

You must have heard that line hundreds of times; especially from atheists and skeptics; but when was the last time you heard a believer ask this question to an atheist, and expect an honest answer?

Today I was addressed by a sweet catholic lady, an elder woman, she had one question for me: “Where was god on 9/11?”

She was upset, and rightfully so.

Her local priest brought up the question, and told her (and everyone else attending mass today) that god was very busy preventing hundreds of people from boarding the planes that were hijacked that morning, giving strength to those who crashed the plane in Pennsylvania, giving spiritual support to those who knew their loved ones were inside the Twin Towers as they collapsed, receiving with open arms all these souls into heaven; that this event must have made the world a better place in a way that we, poor humans, cannot understand because god works in mysterious ways.

God was very busy, working in effing mysterious ways.


Exactly how can anyone justify any of this without sounding like a brainless moron? How can anyone justify the hundreds of people who lost their lives trying to save other people’s lives? How can anyone say that the world is a better place because of this, and justify the over 100,000 1,000,000 lives lost in Iraq as the result of years of invasion, triggered by these events?

You can’t.

Is this the best your god can do to comfort you? Really?

Is this the best your god can do to comfort you? Really?

Ten years ago today the entire world witnessed what, in my opinion, was the most revealing account of the real dangers of religious extremism; its effects continue killing innocents today. No, it’s not over, and the world’s psychological wounds have not healed.

We can’t go back in time and change the events of 2001, but we can, and ought to educate the world, help religious people grow out of their ancient fairy tales, and strive for a better future in a world without religion.

My heart goes out to all those whose lives were dramatically changed by the loss of their loved ones, not only on 9/11/2001, but also by all of the aftermath deaths we can hold 9/11 accountable for. This insight might give you comfort.

Instead of asking where god was on 9/11, ask where those hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives on 9/11, and because of 9/11 would be today if we had lived in a world without religion.

Ten years ago today Islam showed the world what irrational beliefs can do to humanity, on a big scale. Irrational deeds against innocent human beings, in the hopes of irrational rewards in the afterlife. These are the fruits of religious fundamentalism. These are the fruits of faith.

I’ve never seen faith move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to skyscrapers.

36 Responses to Where was god on 9/11? – Ten years later

  1. Linda says:

    Just found you via Twitter! Excellent post, took the words right out of my mouth. 

  2. Ian Sadler says:

    As always very wise words 🙂

  3. André says:

    “and justify the over 100,000 lives lost in Iraq as the result of years of invasion”? I think you dropped a zero there…

  4. krissthesexyatheist says:

    Wow that guy is a ‘leader’ in a church. He’s in charge. Feel sorry for good and smart believers. That answer is so childish. I guess pastor brainiac didn’t get the memo that The Mighty New Atheist (many say because of 9/11) are on the scene and have evolved the conversation. We have been calling out believers for saying “mysterious ways” for the last ten years, and some have even ditched the childish answers like that and have become more eloquent in defending their belief or…changed teams. “Mysterious ways….” Please. Awesomeness buddy, 


    ps TeamAtheistForever 

  5. Monicks says:

    Thank you for your comment, Linda. Nice to meet you!

  6. Monicks says:

    Thanks, Ian. Very kind of you.

  7. Monicks says:

    Oh! I’d have to check those numbers. Thank you.

  8. Monicks says:

    I know, right? We can only hope they continue this kind of oxymoronic rhetoric, so that people finally understand how irrational religion is. With this kind of discourse religion wil invalidate itself, at least for the ones who still have a kittle bit of reason within them.
    Thanks for your comment, Kriss.

  9. Thanks Monica, brilliant as always. As I said at my blog, “The images of the smoking towers serve as a reminder of humanity’s ability to destroy one another, claiming righteous truth, but ultimately by just killing each other.

  10. Beast says:

    Another result of all this in the name of religion crap; we now have the “home land security” IE gestapo not to mention the rest of the (Patriot? Act).

  11. Sylvia says:

    Best post I have read.  Love this line:  “I’ve never seen faith move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to skyscrapers”  Thank you.

  12. hoverFrog says:

    According to there have been 4,474 US troop casualties and 318 other coalition troop casualties but 1,455,590 Iraqi casualties.  100,000 is either far too low or far too high depending on whether you count Iraqi soldiers and civilians.

  13. hoverFrog says:

    According to this lady’s priest their god is too weak to have prevented the terrorists from hijacking the planes but was powerful enough to convince some wait for the dead in heaven.  Why would someone worship a god who can’t even cause a plane to break down on the runway?

    On the other hand we shouldn’t forget that the terrorists were Muslims.  Muslims worship the same God of Abraham and Isaac as the Jews and the Christians do.  They have the same prophets and the same origins.  God was powerful enough to give the terrorists strength to destroy the lives of 3000 people.  God was powerful enough to plunge the West and the Middle East into war that have lasting repercussions.  God was powerful enough to bring the West to the brink of bankruptcy.  After all you can’t give God the credit for saving ‘giving strength to those who crashed the plane in Pennsylvania’ and not lay the blame at his feet as well.  If God does not approve then let him step out of his hidey hole and say something.

    What sort of mental gymnastics does it take to believe that a god who is good and loving exists while the world sees a monstrosity like the bombing of the Twin Towers?  What sort of cognitive dissonance accepts the trite explanation of ‘mysterious ways’ when we see images of people falling and we hear the cries of those calling for help or passing on last minute messages to loved ones?  What sort of coward imagines how the world is made a better place by the horrific murder of 3000 people?

  14. edluzardo says:

    Excellent post Monica.. and that final quote is solid gold

  15. djheru says:

    I second that. Somebody make 1,000,000 bumperstickers of that, quick!

  16. Monicks says:

    Thank you, Marty. This post of yours that your comment links to is fantastic, Marty, you did an excellent job!

  17. Monicks says:

    Thank you for your kind comment, Sylvia.

  18. Monicks says:

    Exactly. You have to make a lot of rationalization to make that whole thing fit in a sane brain. 

    The person I’m referring to in my post was obviously feeling that discomfort, characteristic of cognitive dissonance. She went through all the whys; she was taught that god could change the course of events by just saying it, or by just wishing it. It didn’t make sense to her, either. 

    Sadly, she decided that, no matter what, she chooses to believe in god, which is kind of dishonest to my eyes. Hopefully one day she will recognize that she’s lying to herself.

    Thank you for your comment.

  19. Monicks says:

    Thank you, Ed.

  20. Fred Tracy says:

    That last line was particularly striking.

    I’ve got to agree with this post – religion may have been useful a long time ago, but that usefulness is slowly ticking away and we’re left with some pretty bizarre beliefs and actions.

  21. David says:

    Ughhh you’re so right Monica, but seriously religion gives “God” such a bad name. When people define God as some kind of personality that holds court over the universe, I get sick.

    If god is anything, god is everything…I think that is like the first rule of god according to every religion. So god was in the hearts of the awful terrorists and the heroic responders to ground zero. It has to go both ways, any other interpretation is indefensible.

    If you can accept god as both “good” and “bad”, then you are expanding the definition and it is quite obvious where god was on that terrible day…everywhere!

    Now, I don’t know how useful that definition of god is to people at church, but I find it useful in my life.

  22. hoverfrog says:

    “If you can accept god as both “good” and “bad”, then you are expanding the definition and it is quite obvious where god was on that terrible day…everywhere!” 

    Or nowhere. 

  23. Graham says:

    “God moves in mysterious ways, his miracles to perform”. Really? To spout that kind of stuff is intellectual cowardice, nothing less.

  24. krissthesexyatheist says:

    Awh marty and monica. y’all should team up (blog) and counter that New Zealand Christian blog M&M. You two could be the atheist M&M. I dunno, I think it would be awesome.


  25. Kirk says:

    Where was God? God is always here, always there! With all due respect, questioning God is totally absurd.

  26. Anthony says:

    The 9/11 is a very sensitive issue. I think the priest should had thought through how his answer would be taken. I am just amazed that we are actually making an effort to go on with our lives though we know that no one could actually ever recover.

  27. edluzardo says:

    God is totally absurd.

  28. Michael says:

    This is one of the best things I’ve read in quite some time, very well done!

  29. ????
    Did you mean to say not questioning god is absurd?

    Nothing else would make sense. What was typed is just saying believe what someone else told me without question nor thought.

    The fact you’re reading this thread, and that was your best response. Either your faith is in crisis or you just had nothing but, rhetoric. I hope it is the first, if so welcome to sanity and enjoying life, instead of delusion and living in constant fear of a thought crime.

  30. Pingback: Shit Christians Say to Atheists — Let us reply. « Monicks: Unleashed

  31. reverendbuki says:

    The day the planes hit the towers, and I was close enough to see the smoke, the first thought that came to mind was “Religious fanatics” as that was the only cause I could reason out that someone would fly a plane into a building for.
    That isn’t quite accurate in this case, despite all the rhetoric, but there was an undeniable religious base for this action by the terrorists.
    So where was God?
    Well, depending on your definition, you could say he was in the cockpits. About 1 billion people on the planet would agree with you.

  32. Haseebah Armstrong says:

    I disagree with everything you have said. Even the fact the 9/11 happened because of Islamic Extremists. It was set up. Just so people like you think like this. And also, to give an excuse to invade other countries and steal. Which is going against the laws of war. But no, america can get away with it, just with everything.

  33. Jose Antonio Lugo says:

    God is evil. Let me start with, He is real there could not be any other explanation for the earth and mans intelligence over all animals and his abilities. But I will start with facts; In the beginning the word was God and he is the Alfa the beginning and the end. He was the maker of all things in life. He knows all things from past to future before they happen as the bilble shows with profecies that have come to light. So when created lucifer / satan he knew what would happen before it happen. When he created Adam, Adam had no sin. He than created Eve and there was sin, hardship and death for Adam. There was no second chance for Adam or mercy. Adam died ! What is merciful about Jehovah or just? He demands fear and loyalty and through life all that he shows is not love but hardships, pain and death with a promise of peace and love in his heavens above. Who do you know and no not Jesus Christ who has come back to say trust in The Lord for I have seen heaven. Not one of millions wo have persisted believing. Many have died in the name of faith with trust in The Lord and died. Everything written here by me is true and why so many will not accept it I do not know. I hope maybe some will read this and come to a realistic conclusion which isyes there is a God but he is evil.

  34. Jonathan says:

    Jose Antonio Lugo, what are you talking about? Nothing written there by you is true, no matter how much you like to believe it. No-body on Earth will read what you’ve written and believe it because it’s nonsense. The majority of it doesn’t even make sense. You’re giving examples from the Bible, meaning that you’re referring to the Christian God that you believe exists, but then you call Him evil. That is illogical. You can either believe He doesn’t exist, or that He exists and is good. Even if you don’t believe the Christian faith to be true, the fact still stands that according to Christianity the Bible is God’s word, and the Bible states that God came to sacrifice Himself to pay the wage for our sins because of His love, and that this actually happens through Jesus Christ. So if, like me, you believe that God exists in Christianity, you must also believe His word is true (as that’s how we find out about God), and that He paid the price for us because of His great love. So, it isn’t an option to say that the Christian God exists AND He’s evil, that makes about as much sense as a round square.

  35. Tim Goral says:

    The others here have already said everything I wanted to say (well, the ones who aren’t trolls). I’ll just add: Thanks Monica for making us think.


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