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Post-9/11 policies, politics and religion explored in recent forum

On September 13, about 25 students and faculty gathered in Barid Library to discuss the five-year anniversary of 9/11 from an analytical perspective.

There were three speakers: Dr. Steven Boyer of the Christian studies department and Professor Bret Kincaid and Dr. Kathy Lee of the political science department.

Kincaid spoke on the current state of affairs in the Middle East and Central Asia and on current U.S. foreign policy towards these areas.

He praised increased foreign assistance and the minimizing of Taliban and Al Quaida forces. He also laid out a wish list of moves for the Bush administration to make, including promoting civic culture in the Middle East and Central Asia and stemming new recruitment to Jihad groups.

Boyer then spoke about the influence 9/11 has had on Christian theology.

Hopefully, he said, we have realized that our supposed enemy does not hate God, in fact, they show more passion for Him than does the U.S., which labels itself a Christian nation.

“9/11,” said Boyer, “shattered the rose-colored glasses that perhaps we had forgotten were there.”

Boyer encouraged listeners to not give up their fundamental beliefs, but to learn to love those with different beliefs and to use that love to spread the Gospel.

“The challenge is to live in a manner that reflects both Christ’s perfect love and His lordship,” he said. “Can we follow both the gentle Prince of Peace and the exalted Lord of Lords?”

Lee spoke on the Constitution in a post-9/11 world. She described changes President Bush has made to increase national security and explained why they could be considered unconstitutional.

“One of the government’s functions is to protect its citizens,” she said, “But we cannot lose our nation’s soul along the way.”

After the presentations, the floor was opened up for discussion. Students brought up issues such as the rise of the Christian right, similarities betwen the U.S. Patriot Act and Nazi Germany and personal stories of friends fighting in the Middle East.

A sheet was passed out with suggested readings for those who wished to delve deeper into the impact of 9/11.

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