(Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
T.D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, has called on Americans to put partisan bickering aside and to use the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks as momentum for unity.
"I will never forget the horrid images of American Airlines Flight 11 hurling into the World Trade Center," Jakes wrote in a Washington Post op-ed titled "9/11 in rear view (lessons in plain sight)."
The opinion piece from The Potter's House senior pastor comes just two days before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. According to Jakes, that day has forever stilled "innocent lives – collapsing one of our staunchest symbols of American ingenuity in its wake."
He pondered the question: How can we move on with our collective soul so mired in shock and inexplicable grief?
The al-Qaida 2001 attacks moved the nation to become one united front, he said. "We had become one in a way that our enemy so clearly perceived us – the way we had forgotten to see ourselves."
"We overcame as one, finding righteous indignation in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: 'The time is always right to do what is right,'" he added.
According to Jakes, the lesson of Sept. 11 is plain to see and is something people should never lose sight of.
The suicide bombers lacked respect for American "self-serving sectarianism," Jakes wrote.
He said, "Since 9/11 we've managed to fight over a gaping hole in lower Manhattan, a mosque site too near and whether to burn the Koran."
According to the Texas minister, 10 years later and people have reapplied their "self-adhesive labels" that aids in dividing America.
"We are ardent red and blue states, majority and minority parties, elephants, donkeys, independents and undecideds," Jakes stated.
Jakes recalled the fable "The Four Oxen and the Lion," comparing it to the national "tête-à-tête" over the debt ceiling crisis and any partisan bill introduced in the Capitol.
"So long as the oxen roped their tails together, no matter which way the predator approached, it was met by a set of sharp horns. It was only when the oxen retreated in dispute to their mutual corners that the enemy attacked one by one," he wrote.
He added, "The moral speaks to the age old axiom: 'United we stand, divided we fall.'"
Jakes urged Americans to never forget all that was lost 10 years ago on that September morning, writing, "Let us internalize the lessons of 9/11 and restore our nation to unity today!"
Jakes is a bestselling author and serves as the senior pastor of The Potter's House, which has a congregation of about 30,000 members.