September 6th, 2011
09:38 PM ET
By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) - The September 11 attacks were more than a national tragedy; the event also set off spiritual crises.
That was the premise of a Sunday Belief Blog story that provoked more than 1,800 comments from impassioned readers.
The article, “4 Ways 9/11 changed America’s attitude toward religion," triggered some stinging exchanges among readers, who fought over the piece's four main assertions.
The story said that 9/11 made America more “humble,” spawned the rise of “Christo-Americanism,” galvanized interfaith efforts and emboldened atheists.
One exchange involved an atheist and a defender of religion. Commentator Haime52 said that atheists go overboard when they say religion is irrational.
The atheists response: such criticism is irrational. One commenter, iamdeadlyserious, said that atheists don’t have the luxury of being irrational because their worldview is based on reason.
Another reader, a young interfaith leader, said that her generation is suspicious of anyone who claims his or her way is the only path to God. She said that exclusive claims to religious truth should become “obsolete" because 9/11 demonstrated the destructive power of that type of thinking (the 9/11 hijackers were motivated in part by an extremist form of Islam).
That reader wondered, though: If religions don’t say that they have the ruth, what are they good for? TheRationale commentator said:
Another commenter challenged the article's claim that America had been “humbled” by 9/11. Wave99 wrote:
And, of course, whenever there is any talk about religion, some commentators get carried away. A commenter who identified as Corse, called a commenter he disagreed with a “sleazy bit of trash.”
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.