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Author Topic: Ted Gunderson 9/11 Truth Symposium  (Read 6729 times)

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patrick jane

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Re: Ted Gunderson 9/11 Truth Symposium
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2020, 08:43:43 am »
Killed?
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Re: Ted Gunderson 9/11 Truth Symposium
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2021, 11:07:23 am »
The 20 year anniversary is fast approaching. Nobody talks about it anymore, it's like a faded memory we just accept as part of our lives. May God help those that are still affected by the smoke and chemicals, cancers and lung diseases among other medical issues caused from the events that day.


Of course we bless and remember all of the people we lost that day, 20 years ago. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. We may never know the real truth behind many of the tragic events that take place at the highest levels of world secrecy.



Never Forget !!!
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Re: Ted Gunderson 9/11 Truth Symposium
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2021, 02:59:10 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/september/911-ground-zero-first-responders-never-forget-health.html








Ministering to the 9/11 First Responders Who Never Had to Be Told to ‘Never Forget’







Twenty years after terrorist attack, the spiritual needs of survivors continue.


The news media and the nation would later call the site of the largest terrorist attacks in United States history by the name “ground zero.” The firefighters and other first responders who rushed to the scene when two 110-floor buildings collapsed into 14.6 acres of mangled steel and concrete would call it “the Pit.”

But when Andrew Columbia, a pastor and retired New York City police officer, arrived that Tuesday morning in September, those names hadn’t yet emerged from the acrid smoke. Twenty years later, Columbia remembers the gray dust and, out of that dust, the faces of the police officers, medics, and firefighters who had seen devastation beyond comprehension.

“They were weeping. No one was really talking. They were in shock. I just walked up and offered prayer. Didn’t even ask,” Columbia said. “No one refused it.”

In the years since then, as anniversaries have come and gone and the wreckage has been transformed into a memorial, Columbia has heard the periodic reminders to “Never Forget.” But the first-responder community and the New York City pastors who minister to them have never needed that slogan. Forgetting has proved impossible.

The trauma of 9/11 has been a daily reality and a spiritual need for many in the past two decades.

This doesn’t mean they always talked about their experience in terms of post-trauma. “Up until that time, post-traumatic stress just wasn’t language that we had,” said John Picarello, pastor of House on the Rock Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational church on Staten Island.

Like many pastors of small congregations in the outer boroughs, Picarello was bivocational in 2001. Or really, trivocational. He pastored the church, served as an active-duty member of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), and baked bagels to pay the bills. He was working in Brooklyn as a fire chief’s aide on the night of September 10 and was still on duty when the planes hit the twin towers.

In the initial months after 9/11, Picarello’s small church saw attendance at Sunday services and midweek prayer meetings swell. Everyone seemed to be turning to God and the church to make sense of the earth-shattering tragedy. He heard this was happening at the rest of the churches in Staten Island too, and in the other boroughs, and across the country.

But then there was a cooling off. Attendance deflated. A year passed and time moved on, but the memory of the event didn’t disappear, and the stress, anxiety, mental health concerns, and ongoing effects of trauma actually began to be more apparent to local pastors.

“A lot of us feel like we did not capitalize correctly … and take that opportunity to really reach out to families in a way to bring them into the church. And a lot of them came in initially and then left,” said Columbia, who was then an associate pastor at International Christian Center on Staten Island. “And, you know … I don’t think, in the long term, things turned out much different.”

Over the next 14 years, more than 3,700 firefighters would be diagnosed with stress-related mental health conditions that began after the attacks. Columbia and Picarello say they had to learn what that meant. They really weren’t prepared, and there was no church infrastructure in place at that time to address the immediate needs of firefighters, police officers, emergency medical services workers, and their families, so a lot of the first-responder communities turned inward as they grappled with the challenges of day-to-day life after a tragedy.

Even without the looming specter of a massive tragedy, it’s difficult to overstate how isolated many people are in these insular communities. Predominately men, they tend to want to carry the weight of “the job” in solitude. When they do reach out, it’s typically to one of their own: another cop, firefighter, or EMS worker.

Picarello recalls an influx of late-night theological conversations post-9/11, many of them in the quiet of the firehouse kitchen. Fellow firefighters would seek out his spiritual counsel—but away from others’ prying ears, lest spiritual needs threaten their sense of self-sufficiency, strength, and emotional endurance. Picarello says he once smuggled a Bible to a sheepish coworker in a covert operation to get it into someone’s locker.

But it was clear, even at the time, that kitchen conversations weren’t going to be enough. The FDNY’s own Counseling Services Unit—then a small outfit with 11 employees in a single office—responded to the burgeoning mental health crisis by overhauling its entire approach. The unit began to deploy peer counselors directly to emergency service workers experiencing mental health difficulties.

“Without people knocking on the door, letting our members know what’s available, they wouldn’t come in for help,” said Frank Leto, a FDNY veteran and deputy director of the counseling unit. “We can go to firehouses, sit down at kitchen tables, and talk with our members. Our peer program allows us to have eyes and ears in the field, to be a bridge to the clinical services.”

Even as the number of people receiving counseling increased, there were still unmet spiritual needs. Firefighters for Christ, an international organization based out of California, had only established its New York City chapter in 1997. For the past several years, the organization has met monthly in a Queens diner. About 60 active and retired firefighters gather to talk about the challenges of merging Christian faith with the job.

The churches have developed new spaces too. Columbia hosts a first-responder support group at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Carmel, New York, an outpost for cops and firefighters who live beyond the city limits.

“They need a refuge. They need a place to decompress,” Columbia said. “Personally, I know that, because part of my testimony is exactly that. I didn’t know how to decompress before I found Christ, which led me to have a lot of problems dealing with a lot of anger.”

Recently, first responders seeking support have talked less about PTSD and more about the long-term physical health impacts of 9/11. Not long ago the fire department had to relocate a wall dedicated to the memory of those who had died, because of the additional names of those who succumbed to illnesses related to the inhalation of toxic dust. COVID-19 also disproportionately harmed 9/11 first responders.

Fewer people come to the 9/11 first responders’ funerals now, but Picarello, Columbia and others still minister to those who never had to be reminded to never forget.

“Our little motto is this: We understand the job, and we care. So, you know, we know what you’re going through,” Columbia said.

After 20 years, that basic spiritual need hasn’t changed. As Billy Graham said in an address to the nation on September 14, 2001, “The lesson of this event is not only about the mystery of iniquity and evil, but, second, it’s a lesson about our need for each other.”





Kathryn Watson is a reporter from New York City.
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Re: Ted Gunderson 9/11 Truth Symposium
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2021, 03:04:57 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/september-web-only/september-11-why-911-brought-neither-unity-nor-revival.html








Why 9/11 Brought Neither Unity Nor Revival







Many Christians think spiritual renewal followed the terrorist attacks, but the record shows otherwise.


The immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, was a strange and fearful time, but it also seemed a hopeful time.

“A massive shift in perspective happened to our country on September 11,” wrote Philip Yancey in 2001. For a little while, he mused, the sense that everything had changed in a single morning “made us look at our land, our society, and ourselves in a new way.” It made us “live in conscious awareness of death,” made us notice that “many of us fill our lives with trivialities,” and forced us to “turn to our spiritual roots.”

Talk of unity was everywhere. Church attendance spiked, and Christian leaders began predicting a national revival. In a 2001 speech, President George W. Bush praised Americans for our decency, kindness, and commitment to one another. Now, on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with the US military withdrawn from Afghanistan, we should ask: Were those hopes fulfilled?

We certainly didn’t maintain that sense of unity. Quickly, Christians got into heated discussions about whether we could support military invasions, torture, the Patriot Act, and more. Since then, our political divisions seem even more embittered, and polarization is on the rise. And as for the policy—well, wherever you land on these things, my guess is you aren’t too happy with how it’s gone, and our current political discourse is awash with talk of treason and even civil war.

Our lack of unity isn’t the only disappointment. The foretold revival never came, either.

For a few weeks after 9/11, people packed the pews, but it soon became apparent there was not a “great awakening or a profound change in America’s religious practices,” as Frank M. Newport, Gallup Poll editor in chief, toldThe New York Times in November of 2001.

Barna Group confirmed that conclusion in 2006. It tracked “19 dimensions of spirituality and beliefs” and found “none of those 19 indicators [were] statistically different” from pre-attack measures. In other words, the 9/11 attacks didn’t put American Christians on a trajectory toward more orthodox beliefs or more consistent habits of prayer, church attendance, or Scripture reading. Insofar as we can measure matters of faith, the decline of American religiosity continued apace.

Almost as quickly as the new perspective on life Yancey saw in 2001, Americans turned away, back to trivialities and escalating antipathies, like a dog returning to its vomit (Prov. 26:11). As a culture newly aware of mortality, we embraced the recklessness of YOLO, not the care of memento mori. “Spiritually speaking,” said Barna’s David Kinnaman, “it’s as if nothing significant ever happened.”

Still, the myth that the 9/11 attacks catalyzed a spiritual awakening lives on. A 2013 Barna Group survey found Americans—and particularly born-again Christians—believe 9/11 “made people turn back to God.”

Why were our hopes for ourselves so wrong? Why did we not live into our own ideals? I have two answers to suggest—and one reason to hope anew.

My first suggestion is that what we thought was hope wasn’t hope at all. It was less Christian trust in the character and redemption of God than American optimism coated with not-quite-biblical bromides that when there’s bad, good will follow.

Americans love to believe that “everything happens for a reason,” and that after a short period of time, sorrow will always turn into joy and suffering into sanctification. We quote Romans 8:28—“we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”—and incorrectly interpret it to mean that everything that happens to us will somehow work out okay.

And it will—on the eschatological scale. God promises that one day we will live in perfect joy and justice with him, and “there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 21:4, NASB).

But God does not promise us lives that reliably get nicer, either for us as individuals or even for our society. Sometimes evil happens and then just keeps on happening for centuries. Sometimes things don’t work out okay and there’s no perceptible reason for what happens to us.

Nor does suffering “naturally or automatically lead to growth or good outcomes,” as pastor and author Tim Keller has observed. “It must be handled properly or faced patiently and faithfully.” A couple extra Sunday services in the fall of 2001 is not a commitment to the long, slow work of sanctification.

The second answer to our disappointed hope is about how we preserved 9/11 in our memory. “Never forget,” we said, over and over and up through today. Part of what we meant was “Never forget the people we lost and the heroism of ordinary Americans who helped amid the horror.” Yet another part was vengeance. In his September 2001 address, Bush promised the American people he would “not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it.” He swore never to yield, rest, or relent in the “mission” our country had found in our “anger.” Too many Americans, including some Christians, adopted this response in a vengeful way.

We were right to be angry at the great wrongs of 9/11, but at some point, rehearsing that anger year after year doesn’t move us toward justice, love, or the forgiveness Jesus commands of his followers. It moves us toward resentment, hostility, and bitterness, with all the trouble it brings (Heb. 12:15).

How we remember is as important as that we remember, as theologian Miroslav Volf has argued, and we should discipline ourselves to remember “both with the desire for knowing truth and with the desire of overcoming enmity and creating a communion in love.”

As we remember 9/11 again this year, it is not too late to change that memory. It is not too late to begin to seek the goods of unity and revival we wanted in 2001.

We can still become more peaceable and prudent in our politics. We can still draw near to God, and he will draw near to us, for “now is the day of salvation” (James 4:8; 2 Cor. 6:2). We can still learn real hope—not ahistorical American optimism, but the weightier hope that comes through perseverance, character, and the love of God.
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