Monday, September 11, 2006

Thoughts on 9/11

Hi all!

I'm really sorry for being MIA lately. I've been unbearably swamped lately. Classes are killing me, work just won't seem to stop piling up on me, and I've been battling a pretty bad case of the flu. But, thanks to you all for your concern, your emails, phone calls, and prayers. It's more appreciated that you realize.

As it stands, I'm still not feeling all that great today, but I really needed to shift my mind away from all of that. So, in keeping up with my nature, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the significant happenings around the world.

It just so happens that the day is September 11th.

On this day, half a decade ago, the world as we know it was completely thrown off its axis. To anyone who has lived on the apparently non-existent planet called Pluto, today marks the fifth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. Amidst all the remembrance and reflection of this tragedy, the country has been injected with a new wave of patriotism. Incidentally, though; for many people patriotism and religion have dangerously gone hand-in-hand. Event like 9/11 provide the impetus for such a dangerous blend.

What the incidents surrounding and proceeding 9/11 have taught me is that too many “Christian” Americans find it difficult to separate their politically lives and their beliefs. This is particularly disturbing to me because many Evangelical Christians – especially those on the right – shape their politics using Old Testament Judaism rather than New Testament Christianity. The way I see it, the political and Christian arenas don’t blend well because true Christianity is based on love, serving others, tolerance, forgiveness and selflessness; concepts that are often steamrolled by the industry of politics. Religiosity and politics, on the other hand, are perfect compliments to one another; especially since there is an inherent need to compromise religion for the purpose of gaining political power. That – to me – explains why the “perversity” of homosexuality or abortion can weigh heavier on people’s minds than a dismal economy, inadequate health care, and terrorism. Because of these truths, people like Pat Robertson, John Ashcroft, and George Bush are in the very positions where they need to be. They are right where they belong…in power. Like so many others who use religion and patriotism interchangeably, people like this seek to usurp God’s authority by trying to act on His behalf; falsely spreading their hatred, intolerance, and unacceptance in the name of God. Does this seem like the way that the Jesus who ate and drank with sinners would respond?

I didn’t think so either.

Nevertheless, I still love my country. As much junk as I talk about America and its leaders, there isn’t another place on the planet where I’d rather live. I love that I don’t have to choose between eating and medicine. I love that I can blast the President without repercussion (One second guys. I think I hear somebody knocking on my door…). I still get moved seeing patriotic pictures and messages. I still give it up for the men and women our there fighting so that I don’t have to.

Even though some people have dubbed me militant, I’m very much in love with America.

Don’t get me wrong. Unlike many “God Bless Americans”, I don’t think that God has given our country more favor than all the other places in the world. Likewise, I’ll never believe that the way things are done here need to be the way things are done around the world. Furthermore, I don’t believe that America can truly be defined by the bigoted, intolerant, and delusional leaders in D.C. (though over half the country voted for them. But, I digress…) or by what is voted on by a bunch of old, white men inside of older, not-so-white buildings.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this particular post. But, all I can say is – for good or for bad – God has really blessed this country. But, He hasn’t blessed us so much that we should feel qualified to take His job.

God Bless America, indeed.

All of it.


9 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

thehc said...

Very nice Andre,
And welcome back. I hope you'll soon be feeling 100% again. I must say, I like this post a lot. You struck a perfect balance between discent and patriotism. Your reflections on politics and religion as it is used (or should I say abused) by our leaders was right on target. A friend recently sent me an interesting quote by Tony Blair on the subject of America. When asked why he held the U.S. in such high esteem he responded, "The best way to judge the value of a country, is by how many people want in, and how many want out." It's not perfect by any means, but it's still the only place for me.

saved_sinner said...

Being a TRUE Christian: Good. Being patriotic: Good. Being a Christian patriot: Ummm...

Great post Andre. I hope that one day the Christian patriots don't always run this country.

Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

How can you stand there and say that faith doesn't belong in politics? I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a good, moral, and God-fearing person like GWB leading us than pagan, Muslim loving liberals.

monique said...

It's good to have you back, Andre. Great post as usual. I'm with you on this one. With all the drama, I'd still rather be here than anywere else. I have to step aside for a few minutes and respond to this anonymous post....

"Good, moral and God fearing person?" It's funny to see that your president likes to play the Chrisitian card when he sees that it benefits him. Whatever the case may be, it's comforting to know that God is in control.

monique said...

Ok, I just noticed that I just spelled Christian wrong. Disregard that :)

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~ MY GEM
great post, as if there ever is a bad one !!

Welcome back with open arms , so glad all is well , I hope your feeling better and getting over that nasty flu , and I wouldnt throw a rock into your window ,a container of hot chicken soup /tylenol/wrapped in pillows maybe!!!!LOL get some rest, and remember,,,,your older now you need more rest !!!! thats for comparing me to a dinos and HOFFA LMAO GLAD YOUR BACK


Andre said...

@ HC: Thanks for the shout out! I'm doin' OK. Things have been a little crazy for me lately (sleep deprevation is a MOFO!)

You're absolutely correct. The way that our leaders abuse religion as a political force (both on the right AND the left) is spooky to me. But, nevertheless, I'd rather be living here, where our leaders are liars and crooks versus the Sudan where their leaders are rapists and murderers...

@ saved_sinner: I share in your sentiments. Christian patriots? Yikes!

@ anonymous: I'll get back to you in a second...

@ Monique: You're a tough act to follow, 'Nique. It's hard to respond with the eloquence and the intelligence that you did! But, I'll try.

Thanks for your insight as always. Spelling errors and everything...

@ greeny: Hey you! Thanks for the love, my dear. Good way to make up for breaking my window.

This accursed flu is finally on its way out, it appears. It's a shame though, really. I was enjoying your 'nurse treatment' *evil grin*

Thanks again!

Now, back you: Mr./Mrs./Ms. Anonymous...

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."

"But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you..."

I assure you: those aren't quotes from our "good, moral, and God-fearing" president.

I remember exactly what I was doing before and after 9/11. I remember my final classes for the day being cancelled, going up to our student union and watching coverage of the event. A group of students all converged, held hands and prayed together. When I took a turn in leading the prayers, I asked God to comfort the victims and their families (got some "Amens"). I asked Him to bless our nation (more "Amens"). I asked Him to restore peace to the world (more "Amens"). I asked Him to guide our leaders (even more "Amens). Finally, I asked God to bless the hearts of our enemies. At that point, you could hear the sound of paint drying.

For most of the people calling to God in that circle, the idea of praying for our enemies (rather than huntin' 'em down, G. Dubya style) was unfathomable.That, to me, is scary.

I wonder what would've happened if Jesus didn't pray for us while we were nailing Him to the cross.

If faith and politics were really related, we wouldn't be so hell-bent on hating those who do wrong against us.

Carry on.

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

How did you know ???

Andre said...

@ Greeny: If you're talking about the rock/note thing, I think I figured out it was you because the paper had an animated .gif rose on it and a smiley face picture of Garfield. :)