It IS the system." -The Anarchist Cookbook (film)
10 years ago, I was sitting in my 4th grade art class when the Twin Towers (an American symbol of prosperity), the Pentagon (a symbol of safety), and a field entirely too close to my Grandparent's house for my comfort were hit by planes overtaken by men who believed they were doing the right thing. All I remember about that day is watching people on the TV screen jumping from the towers, not understanding why that was better than what was inside.
Later today, I will go to a birthday party, to help to celebrate a life well lived. And as I remember the people from this country who are mourning, I will also remember those men, the ones who supported them, and their families... I pray they will someday be able to stand beside mine, forgiven, reformed, and united towards one God and one common goal.
This is not a popular idea. I tried to post that last paragraph on Facebook and it wouldn't let me because it was too long... Which may be ok, because it might have created a firestorm that I'm not prepared to deal with.
But I honestly believe that those "terrorists" are just as much children of God as you and me. That if my sins are forgiven, then theirs could be as well. And I certainly don't think that it's ok to judge their descendants, their friends, their culture and entire way of life, simply because of the actions of a few.
Do I believe that there is only one way to Heaven, through the true and living God? Yes. Do I believe that it is this same God who instructed them to destroy the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? No.
Do I think they're in Heaven?
I don't think it's my job to speculate. I have no idea what happened in them in their last minutes of life, nor do I have any idea what happens after death. All I can deal with is what is within ME.
And so I refuse to spend all day today thinking mean thoughts about them, having conversations with cruel undertones about them, and acting "American".
I do regret the loss of safety and comfort that generations before me may have felt growing up. However, I think that the constant worries about what "they" were going to do next has made me think about people and motives. It has required that I do not look at someone wearing a turban in the airport and go into a panic- a.) because I love flying and do it entirely too much to freak out every time this happens and b.) because it's just not right.
If you're in the boat where you want to be angry, where you have venom, where you want to fight and get revenge- then I am in no place to judge you. I do not know what you lost on 9/11/01, I do not know what you are dealing with. You may do that today. But I ask of you, if you can find one minute out of the 900 you are likely going to be awake today, remember the parents, spouses, siblings, children, and friends on the men on the other side of the equation. Lift up a prayer for their eyes to be opened, for everyone to realize that violence doesn't have to be the system.
And maybe, when you're done, don't say Amen. You don't have to stop. It could be a way of life.