9/11 was a historic human tragedy, but we extend the tragedy by using it as an excuse for ongoing anger. The stories of the Quran-burning threat from Florida and the pressure to move an Islamic center away from Ground Zero spread around the world like fire this past week. No doubt they will continue for at least a few more days. Or they might start World War III.

“How have American’s brought this shame upon themselves?” This is what Karen Armstrong, chief architect of the Charter for Compassion, asked in an article “9/11 and Compassion.” She asks, how have Christens forgotten that “Jesus taught his followers to love those they regard as enemies, to respond to evil with good, and to turn the other cheek when attacked, and who died forgiving his executioners”? These are core Christian values. They also are the core spirit of compassion.

In pondering these questions, it would be easy to be accusatory and respond with anger at the hypocrisy . But anger does not irradicate hypocrisy; it only fuels it.

Isntead, Karen Armstrong suggests aligning with groups that plan to celebrate 9/11 in a spirit of harmony and forgiveness. Or get your friends to contribute to flood relief in Pakistan. Do anything but spread more intolerance and misunderstanding.