>I will be silent on 9/11


Tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of the worst attack on America in our history. I have been extremely bothered by the amount of hatred and partisan sniping that I have seen in the last few weeks leading up to the anniversary. True, the hatred and partisan sniping has been an undercurrent within our culture since the moment the first plane struck the World Trade Center, but it has become so venomous in the last few weeks that I’m losing hope in the American people. The unity we displayed in the weeks after the attacks is but a distant memory. Us vs Them is the way things are once again.

I was able to tune out most of the negativity until Reverend Terry Jones in Florida decided to hold a rally on 9/11 in which the Qur’an would be burned. My immediate reaction upon hearing that was to say, “I’m ashamed to be a Christian sometimes. Shall we reinstate burning people at the stake? How about passing the Malleus Maleficarum through Congress too! Way to go, America…” A few people spoke to me about taking a stand and how Islam hates America and so forth. I find it horrifying that this alleged modern, enlightened society will so willingly condemn and persecute an entire group of people with the enthusiasm of a Puritan witch hunt for the unspeakable crimes of a small sect. I was told that Islam principles teach that if you are not Islamic, you are condemned because it’s the only way. I find it ironic that Christians are saying that with upturned noses when I was just told by a Christian a few weeks ago that my beliefs aren’t real because, “Jesus Christ is the only true way.” How can so-called Christians hate Islam so much when there are just as many radical Christians willing to commit terrorist acts and kill people for their misguided convictions? What about Christians slaughtering millions of Native Americans and believing it was their God-given right because Native Americans were heathens? Pot, meet kettle.

I have become so weary of people fighting and killing each other over religion because everybody believes their religion is the only right one. The fact of the matter is nobody can prove they’re more right than anyone else when they can’t even prove that God exists at all. I don’t believe anyone is more right than anyone else when it comes to religion and I believe that God weeps for people who kill in His name. God is love. God is not murder. I’m weary. I’m so exhausted by all of the we’re right and they’re wrong attitude. I wouldn’t be so tired and angry about the Christian vs Islam fight if both sides weren’t so dead set in the, “I’m right and you’re wrong,” attitudes. Every religious group on this planet has nut jobs. What about Christians blowing up abortion clinics and killing innocent people? What about Hitler and his henchmen killing six million Jews in World War II? America has always needed bad guys to hunt. Right now the torches and pitchforks are pointed at anybody who looks remotely Arabic even though the vast majority had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. But please, by all means, let’s burn the Qur’an and hate all of them because they all look scary now.

I take serious offense to the anti-Islamic movement in this country at the moment. I live with a Muslim and I know many others. Not one of them has a desire to hurt a fly. Don’t judge an entire race or religion until you get to know them personally, understand what they’ve been through, and realize that you’re more alike than you think. Radical Muslims distorting their religion to kill thousands are not the same as normal everyday Muslins, just like radical Christians distorting their religion to kill thousands are not the same as normal everyday Christians.

I’m frustrated by the lack of healing in the nine years since over 2,000 people were killed. Look at the faces in this picture. They should be the focus of tomorrow’s anniversary, not prolonging the human weakness of hatred. I have dedicated my life to helping humanity grow in spirituality, doing my best in the last decade to teach such basic principles of the soul: Generosity, Tolerance, Honesty and Self-Appreciation. These principles are not “religious” but spiritual, which is higher than any divided religion. As much as I’ve worked, as much as I’ve tried to touch as many lives as possible, I look at things like the war still raging over 9/11 and I become disillusioned, thinking the human race really hasn’t made any progress at all. We have the best technology, the best medicine, people are living longer than ever, yet our attitudes about religion and going on these witch hunts are so very medieval that it makes me wonder if we’re ever going to evolve.

I have thought long and hard about how I will spend the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The majority will be vocal, making a lot of noise about various political agendas. Some will go on about conspiracy theories and try to expose the “truth”. A few radicals will burn the Qur’an as if it will accomplish anything beyond plunging the sword of hatred further into the collective heart. I will do none of these things. I have elected to spend the anniversary in silent contemplation from sunrise until sunset. I will not use Facebook or Twitter. I may not even use the computer at all. I will meditate and I will reflect on what 9/11 has really taught me and I can only do that if I shut out the noise of everyone yelling at everyone else. Not only that but I will use the silence to read and think ahead about how I can further teach people in the way that I have been for years. I want to realize how else I can be of a meaningful addition to this society. Life is not to be wasted. If the victims of 9/11 had their lives back again, how do you think they would be changed by their murders? I suspect they would use the gift of life to make the world a better place.

What really matters? Political agendas or the 2,000+ mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc., who lost their lives that day? If you were going to die tomorrow, what would matter to you? I suspect politics, hatred and bitterness would fall at the wayside. I am an American. I am a Christian. I refuse to perpetuate hate. Any true Christian knows that God teaches love, not hate. Any true Christian knows that it is God’s law to love thy neighbor as thyself and to judge not lest ye be judged. I encourage everyone to consider these ideas tomorrow instead of spewing venom.

4 responses to “>I will be silent on 9/11”

  1. Stephanie Ann says:

    >I agree that no one can know if their beliefs are right and therefore should respect everyone's beliefs. I feel bad that all Muslims get such a bad reputation from a minority of people who claim to share their faith.

    Many religions center around a basic moral code: Don't lie, cheat, steal, or kill people and do what good you can for others. I think most people feel those are good values and should uphold them regardless of their faith.

  2. Lynette says:

    >Thank you, Jess, for having the courage to say what needs to be said in these days of hate. There will be no flag waving, no patriotism, no sloganeering in this home tomorrow. We, too, will pray for the peace and healing of this nation's wounds. Peace to you, dear friend.

  3. Anonymous says:

    >Thank you for this awesome post. I will try to follow your lead by meditation and peace tomorrow and remember what it is really about~
    Thanks Jess,
    Teresa Powell

  4. Anonymous says:

    >In my own opinion, as an American and a Pagan, I agree completely with your views. There is no "right" or "wrong" religion. The way I see it, Religion is only intended to make life here and now more fulfilling-if what you believe fills your need for comfort and hope, then let that be enough. No one will know in their lifetime on Earth which religion or what aspects of such are real, hard, honest truth. We will all find out on our calling day what we are intended for and why we were here. Which beliefs we hold here and now will not matter, so long as we live our lives to the fullest and best potential possible. Cutting another short on their path is not the right way-no matter what the reason is… and saying it is for your beliefs is a copout. How does anybody gain anything meaningful by taking from another fellow human being? There is nothing in this life that we will be taking with us when it ends… not money, power, possessions, not even our bodies and the clothes on our backs. So, what is to gain by harming others? The best thing about my choice in religion is the rede, "And ye harm none, do do what ye will." Meaning, do whatever makes you happy, so long as you do your best to hurt no one in the process, even yourself. To All, Blessed Be-by whomever you believe blesses you
    Timer Nite Harrison-O'Dell

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