Let Us Pray
The events of
People are silent as our leaders empower
themselves with the ability to undermine basic freedoms such as privacy,
speech, due process of law, and freedom of religion. We have somehow turned our political tables,
and instead of holding our leaders accountable through healthy questioning and
debate, we accuse those who exercise these rights as being un-American or
unpatriotic. We seem to have lost sight
of slavery, the imprisonment of the Japanese during World War II, the McCarthy
hearings, the Nixon enemy lists --- the very things causing us to limit
government by creating laws to protect basic freedoms. Our domestic front is a mess with a sinking
economy, social programs failing to meet needs, corporate crime running
rampant, while our leaders rally us behind them in a battle cry for an
aggressive war that is unprecedented in American History. Our leaders prepare to do battle with
Our experiment with freedom has always been risky business demanding a high price by so many Americans in the past. To give up fundamental rights, to attack without provocation, or to give our leaders unchecked power is to insult those who have fought and died for the American cause. To allow ourselves to be searched and spied upon in the name of security is a coward’s attitude towards freedom.
Religion once again has shown its inability to serve God and is taking the road of purely human theology. It offers comfort to those that have lost, but remains silent about the potential for the loss of innocent life that may come about by war. It sees the evil in the actions of 911, but fails to question the imprisonment of so many because of their religious association or national origins. If Christians or Jews were being imprisoned like Muslims, there would be a public outcry like never before heard.
Our religious leaders often imply that
somehow God favors
True freedom demands that we tolerate
ideals that differ from ours even if those ideals are threatening to us in some
way; otherwise, the ideal of freedom is nothing but hypocrisy. Proclaiming “faith in God” should mean
trusting in Him/her. Yes, evil happens
in the world, but if the inspiration of the past should teach us anything it is
that more evil does not lead to goodness.
Holy men like Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Francis of
And the Islamic religious leaders should be speaking out against such ridiculous ideas like Holy wars, or martyrdom by suicide bombings. The Koran is as full of lessons of peace and tolerance as is the New Testament, it is simply how men choose to interpret it that makes so much difference.
It is an insult to God for any people to claim that God favors them over another because of religious beliefs or national origins. Historically there is nothing to support the concept that God plays favorites to anyone --- all religious have been persecuted, all nations have had their share of catastrophes, and no single person has been problem free in life. The experience of life demands that good and bad things will happen, and the true measure of a man’s faith is in how we deal with them. Seems Americans could learn a lesson from Job in these troubled times.
Our president proclaimed his admiration for Jesus during his campaign. So many proclaim this to be a nation founded on Christian principles; this begs the question: where are the ideals of Jesus in our present courses of actions. Where are the equality, peace, love, forgiveness and tolerance he preached? Where is the concept that God pronounces judgment over good and evil? Our leaders almost appear to be bloodthirsty, and our people to be seeking vengeance, but where are these ideals in the teachings of Jesus himself? The most powerful nation on earth seems to be motivated by fear and paranoia, not very Christ like ideals indeed!
It is a senseless, brutal, outrageous
tragedy that happened on
This does not mean we can do nothing about the horrors of the day. Such can empower us to help us grow. We need to reflect on the human potential demonstrated by those that gave their lives for their fellow man that day. We need to see the unselfish acts of fireman, policeman, and those who took part in the rescue and aid to their fellow man in distress. We need to recognize that even in the midst of ultimate evil the power of goodness and love shines through. The lessons of this day can help us to realize how precious a gift life is and how fleeting it can be. In that tragedy we can glimpse the ideals of courage, unselfishness, compassion, self sacrifice, brotherhood, love, and the potential for human beings to reach out and help one another. We need to ask ourselves: what are we doing as Americans that can instill such hatred of us? Instead of emotionally seeking revenge, we can use this event to foster a determination to become better individuals and a better nation --- only in such a manner do the terrorists really lose!!!
The horror of those images should give us a deeper appreciation for our freedoms, and, bring us to the realization that freedom is not without a price. It should have us asking: if we give up but only one of our freedoms do we not dishonor the memory of all those that died that day --- those that died to defend the ideal?
We need to take a hard look at our daily
We need to contrast this to a life where people go to bed hungry and even worse see their children doing so --- contrast this to a life without electricity, sewage, or running water. So many in the world are forced to live in dirt floor huts, tents; that is, if they have lodging at all. They move about on foot, or if lucky have an animal to help move them about. They live day to day, sometimes in fear of disease, nature or the tyrants that often exploit them. There are no jobs, no toys, no entertainment, or the dream of attaining a better life, only the reality of making it through the day. Half the world lives under such conditions if not more. Here too are lessons we that we can extract if we reflect upon 911.
The lessons of that day need to give us a healthy fear of terrorists and those that threaten our security, but we also need fear ourselves that we do not become like them --- fear losing our freedoms through fear --- fear of giving our leaders too much power --- fear of repeating mistakes of the past. Yes, we may need better security, more vigilance, and have every right to defend ourselves; but we need to do so without compromising our basic American ideals of freedom and justice.
We need to pray, and pray hard, that God
guides our hearts and that we are not be led astray by the rhetoric of
politicians; pray that, we do not become like the radical, narrow-minded, and
self righteous thinkers we are fighting; pray that, that the ideal of freedom
does not get lost in the arrogance that proclaims “us” as the only model for
such. Our prayers should be to recognize
that differing ideas lead to advancement; after all,