Crusades have been repeatedly invoked this week as evidence that Christians have had their dark spots too and that Islam doesn't have a corner on extremism. Some pundits have even taken to beating up on religion in general. (See Monday's Weblog for several examples.) In one of the sadder columns Weblog read this week, Lauren Sandler writes in Salon.com, "My atheism has only been strengthened by this week of human catastrophe … With this astonishing human bravery to bless America, who needs God?"
Is religion emerging as the hope or the cause of the attacks?
"If many Americans saw this tragedy as rooted in a perverse religious impulse, our own response was religious as well," writes columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. "We poured into churches, synagogues and mosques to ask God's consolation and help. President Bush's most inspiring address of the terrible week was not a speech but a sermon." Is this a bad thing, he wonders? Not necessarily:
Religious faith ...1