I recently found the following image on the Fail Blog:
I don’t know it’s provenance—it might have been photoshopped by an anti-Christian group. My guess, however, is that it is genuine.
This is a provocative image. I don’t know quite how to read it—connections between Jesus’ birth narratives in the New Testament and September 11 are not obvious. However, given time for speculation and enough coffee, I could think of quite a few.
What is clear, assuming it is genuine, is that Jesus’ birth story is being associated with grave concerns. This should not surprise us. If those cultural traditions and institutions identified as “religious” in the modern world are to maintain any sort of continuing relevance, the elements of their cultural toolboxes must be read in relationship to contemporary social concerns. The alternative is for the cultural tradition to be resigned to the dustbin of things that are “quaint,” like rotary telephones, or antiques one might buy with which to decorate one’s house.
As Russell McCutcheon once said about the Heaven’s Gate group, what’s surprising is not that this happens, but that it doesn’t happen more often.