Religion Unplugged

‘If You Want To Humble An Empire’: A 9/11 story that shouldn’t be forgotten

By Bobby Ross Jr. | GetReligion

What’s the statute of limitations for pulling a story out of the GetReligion guilt folder?

Seriously, I want to call attention to a remarkable piece of news reporting — written under tremendous deadline pressure — that predates GetReligion itself. This journalism-focused website, in case you need a refresher, launched in 2004.

As you undoubtedly know, today marks the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

It seems appropriate then to recall just how much Time magazine incorporated religion into its original in-depth report on the events of 9/11. My thanks to New York Times Godbeat pro Elizabeth Dias, a Time alumnus herself, for highlighting the story by Nancy Gibbs on Twitter this morning:

If I read the Time story back in 2001, I don’t remember it. At the time, I was religion editor for The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. I was focused on my own reporting, including writing four bylined response pieces on 9/11.

But I’m glad I took the time to read Gibbs’ piece today. It brought back so many memories. And yes, it covered crucial glimpses of faith present at that time.

The opening itself — written in Time’s analytical style — certainly emphasizes that element:

Read the full column.

• • •

All of my GetReligion columns (September 2018):

• In the jaw-dropping story of an NFL coach’s search for his family, glimpses of faith emerge. Published Sept. 4.

• Clergy sex abuse news sparking fresh controversies in places like Dallas and Oklahoma City. Published Sept. 5.

• Ban my Valentine: Bible verses on homemade cards at center of free speech lawsuit vs. college. Published Sept. 6.

• Friday Five: Missionary muckraker, Kavanaugh hearing, McCarrick crisis and more. Published Sept. 7.

• Monday Mix: Botham Jean, ‘nones’ in politics, Catholics demand change, black women and more. Published Sept. 10.

• ‘If You Want To Humble An Empire’: A 9/11 story that got religion and shouldn’t be forgotten. Published Sept. 11.

• Yet another cardinal criticized over handling of abuse reports — just as he meets to discuss issue with pope. Published Sept. 13.

• Friday Five: Clergy sex abuse, spot the ghost, shuttered revival, Botham Jean, #RNA2018 and more. Published Sept. 14.

• Monday Mix: #RNA2018, Hurricane Florence faith, Botham Jean justice, Beth Moore vs. Trump. Published Sept. 17.

• Religion News Association honors AP religion writer Rachel Zoll, one of the best on the beat. Published Sept. 18.

• In coverage of Hurricane Florence, faith-based disaster relief is, again, an important part of the story. Published Sept. 20.

• Friday Five: Top religion journalists, Christian rock, rainbow-cross flag burning, Sarah Sanders doctrine. Published Sept. 21.

• Monday Mix: Kavanaugh, Tennessee church shooting, Baptist women, rainbow-banner burning. Published Sept. 24.

• Dallas Morning News offers newsworthy but superficial coverage of church sex abuse settlement. Published Sept. 25.

• Kavanaugh-Ford: Trump’s Supreme Court nominee references Catholic faith in dramatic hearing. Published Sept. 27.

• Friday Five: End of the World, Kavanaugh-Ford, virgins, young evangelicals, Hispanic Catholics, Jesus Lyft. Published Sept. 28.

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