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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 28,393,844  

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Question of the Week: 76 - 9/8/2002

America 911: One Year Later. What's Changed? Are we Safer?

September 11th, 2001 set in motion various changes in the way that people view the world. From personal tragedies to governmental policies to global military actions, many stories have emerged from that one fateful day. Has YOUR life changed since 9/11/01? How has the world changed? Are you feeling more or less secure these days? Do you think that 9/11 is too much the focus for current events/ policies or are we really living in a different world today? Will the 'war on terror' ever be over? Will you do something to commemorate this day or do you just wish that all of the hype would go away?

You can review the original posts from last year's 9/11 Perspectives at: Responses to 9/11

 Reponses:   There are 103 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Where I Was, And Where I Am Sep 9th. at 10:15:16 am EDT

Thunder Mouse (Saint Joseph Missouri) Age: 21 - Email

How has the country changed? I geuss the best place to start that, would be how have I changed. Where I was when I first heard of the attacks, was working in a dusty Lowes store by a Dewalt radio. My first reaction, was to wonder how in the world a plane could possibly hit such huge biuldings. My mind just didnt quite click that it was intentional at first. Partialy, because all I knew was a plane hit the biulding. I thought it was a small lill plane and the guy screwed up somehow and hit it. I walked back to the back to get some water, and saw the smoke on the TV in the back office where a few pepole were watching just as the second plane hit the World trade center. I honestly just about threw up. I realised that things were much worse and much more serious than I had thought. I decided rather than to stand there and watch the smoke, to head back to my department and try to work to get the immage out of my head. Then, an announcemnt came on about the pentagon being hit. That one made me litteraly fall over. I had found out the night before, that my mother who lives in virginia,a millitary intelligence NCO for the Air force was supposed to have a meeting at the pentagon that day. I was about to ask to go home after that, when I realised, that the best thing for me to do, would be to work the rest of the day. If something had happened to my mom, going home wouldnt change it, and I wouldnt get ahold of anyone till later anyway because they would all be at work or school. The rest of the day is a blur. I walked around honestly like a zombi not shure what to do. I walked by a TV that was set up in the appliances section just intime to see the second tower collaps, but it realy didnt fase me at that point. I eventually finnished up my day, and went back to my home. I learned the next day (I was unable to get ahold of my parents because all the lines on the east coast were busy) that her meeting was canceled at the last minute before she left, so she was at home instead of being there. Only one other person in town I feal can even come close to understanding how I feal about this, and thats a friend who was on a grey hound bus in new york at the time. I remember a year ago, I wanted blood and I wanted it now. I remember having nightmares of things I saw on TV that day for quite a while. But, that was then. A year later, I feal, that honestly, verry little has changed in my town. Just about everyone talks about it ofcourse, but other than that, as far as day to day life and how pepole here treet eachother, It hasnt changed much. They still vew it as something that didnt happen here. Something that didnt affect them. Most pepole in my lill town dont pay attention to the news. So alot of them dont even know about all the things going on in the white house, or enough information to form an opinon on the Iraqu situation that is rappedly growing other than to just blow them off the face of the earth and forget about them.
I cant speek for the entier nation. From what I see though, the town I live in has changed little. pepole are still ignorant of the goings on of the world because they refuse to read the news paper. They still dont care about other pepole they see on the street, and they still speed up to run over small animals.
I on the other hand have changed ALOT since Teusday September 11, 2001. Iv become much more tollerant of others opinions and thoughts. Iv become far more supportive of trying to find non violent solutions to situations. I have much more respect for pepole who I dont know anything about rather than seeing other pepole as just part of the back ground. Iv grown up alot. I hope things are different in the rest of the country. I hope they are better.

9/11/2001: Cynical, Moi? Sep 9th. at 10:24:36 am EDT

Durin Ap Iceni (Colchester, Essex, UK) Age: 26 - Email

I can remember exactly what I was doing that day. I was sitting at work doing not much. When the first plane hit we speculated what had caused it..maybe a ILS fault or engine failure.. it hadnt sunk in then. It just felt normal, sad.. but par for the course.
Then the second plane and the deliberate change of course straight into the building. It wasnt a game any more and everyone was stunned.

you ask me if I think anythings changed?

yes and no. people are all a little more scared than they were. They're all wondering why.. even now. Trouble is, the assumption that Bin Laden had planned this is nice and comfortable.. but its also wrong. The only thing al quaida had to do with this was act as a patsy.. a role they've fulfilled adequately.

For the reasons and the stringpullers for this you have to look a lot closer to home. I'll let you make your own decisions tho.

As to the changes. I cant see any good ones to be brutally honest. The US government is clamping down on 'security issues'. Its funny how I could still walk through 3 US airports in november that year.. without being searched once, and when I couldnt provide an address for the person I was visiting, which at stansted in the UK would have gotten you locked up, the soldier at the desk let me walk right through. They arent bothered about that sorta security, the US government wants to be able to clamp down on you all... especially if you arent christian, white, middle class and/or own a Caddy.

You know.. its funny. President Shrub, as a friend refers to him, for the most part has acted like someone for whom a 'room temperature IQ' is an unobtainable mental height. Yet right after 9/11 he suddenly comes all over all eloquent & is praised across the world?... sorry, I for one aint buying.

to summarise.

1. I do think things have changed. and not for the better. freedom has been curtailed drastically or the attempt will be made to make it so. Crass commercialism has gotten the upper hand. pencil pushers have control of things that would never have been given before. This goes for the US & the UK

2. Don't be too quick to condemn the Muslims & al-quaida. Theres more to this than meets the eye.

3. Trust yourself to know whats right or wrong. Dont let government tell you. They tend to subscribe to the "certain point of veiw" theory of 'truth'. namely its their point of view that is the truth.

anyways, rant over

My thoughts are with those who lost family & friends last year

Walk in light


----"I'm a politician, which means when I aint kissing children.. I'm bombing their homes into dust"--- George 'dumbya' Bush

What A Year... Sep 9th. at 11:13:56 am EDT

Thomas D. Jones (Las Vegas) Age: 26 - Email

Last year... oh, the dreams I had, the omens and signs and devastating divinations. Fire and wrack and rubble... screams and moans... those who know me know that I have terrible nightmares all the time. And afterward, I was terrified of going to sleep. I had known that something was up; but how do you filter out all the trash? I didn't know then and I still don't. What lessons were brought into focus that day? Fanaticism is wrong, even my own fanaticism. I devoutly hoped and prayed for a spark that would touch off a cleansing of this world, even as I packed my military gear back in my duffle bags. I was ready. I was devoted. Ready for jihad. A war of righteousness, a war against the evils of sharia, and the fanatical demons that overstayed their welcome on an earth full of freedom-loving and peace loving people. Hey, wait a minute...

I hate Islam. I hate Muslims. I hate Arabs. I'm sorry. I can't help it. I despise people who want to make me follow their rules and their religions simply for their own convenience; simply for their own gratification. Any excuse, as far as I was concerned, was good enough to liberate these people from their Kings and Imams. The incidences in Nigeria of late bear out my suspicions of Muslims in my own country; that some day they intend to take my freedoms and tell me that I am free to be Muslim, just like Khadafi told the Libyans.

I hate conspiracy theories, too. They are ALL INCORRECT. Everything is deeper than you or I know, but it isn't as weird as we may sometimes think it is. Sometimes imagination is just that. Arabs blew those buildings up. I personally thought those buildings were insulting, though, they seemed to lack grace. They looked like Salt and Pepper mills on the Thanksgiving table. All this bounty spread out before one, and dominating the table are these UGLY shakers.

At least we Americans know who our friends are, if there was any doubt... Britain. That's it. Every other country hates us. They want us to conform to their visions of what we should be. It looks like we may get that war after all. With everybody else. I will accept it, should they call me. I look forward to war with the world. It will be quite a fight.
Personally, I hate the bushies too, all of 'em. On principle I could never vote for the son of another president. But that moron Gore was just too much a fluff piece to be President. I haven't seen any candidate display that much open cynicism since Jerry Brown. I voted libertarian.

But the war holds a religious place in my heart, one that I am damned loath to give up. Destruction of excess and survival of the fittest are part of my creed.

But it might not be likely. One thing that I have learned from all this is that it is a big joke. our govenment couldn't find its posterior with both collective hands and a road map. Or GPS. And that, my friends and loved ones, is the best news I could have ever had. It means we don't have to be afraid about the gov spying on us, or doing anything more than minor inconveniences. It's a common mistake, ( and I made it too ) to assume that a bunch of nice senile thouroughly corrupt old men and women could ever have any real effect on our nation. I think that's what ultimately causes the fear and disgust that other countries have for us. They live under kings and bureaucracies and dictators and mullahs and soviets ( in the instances of Europe and China {PRC} ) that are either horribly inefficient and responsible or dangerously maliciously maniacally efficient at the prosecution of internal affairs. We are better than this; any time our government shows signs of efficiency, we immediately vote them out and pass laws against them. This is not a cynical assessment; it a factual one and we should be genuinely proud of it. Towers? What towers? Arabs? What Arabs? Our inherent nature and national identity have helped absorb any possible impact this might have had on some other country. Oh, and Afghani women don't have to wear burkhas any more, and there's this nice Chinese guy rebuilding those Buddhas they blew up in 99. I KNEW no good would come of that, Just knew it.

Things Have Changed Sep 9th. at 11:58:55 am EDT

Marissa (Bryan, Tx) Age: 17 - Email

i remember that day very clearly, my Mom had a bad headache and had stayed home from work. i was fixing breakfast for her when i saw my sister changing channels and got a brief glimpse of two tall buildings burning. i asked her to change back, Mom asked me why and i tolled her i had thought i saw something on the news. we changed back...we spent the entire day watching and the next several watching the news and checking for details and information.

as time has passed, i have watched the news talking about the variety of things Bush and co. have pushed in to law. and some of the things that have come to pass frighten me almost as much as watching the world trade center crumble on TV. i have heard about American-Arbics and American-Muslims being beaten even today, a year latter. i have watched this homeland security rise up and heard about over a thousand people being held in custody and still not been charged with anything. i have heard people crying out that Muslims and Arabs are all evil, and i can't help but feel deep sorrow for all those who will be harmed by this kind of hatred, which is so very much like the kind that the Taliban flaunts. the government has given several agencies with a history of abusing there powers still more power and even now are trying to loosen some of the restraints that bind them and give them still more power. we have and are losing essential freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism. this all scares me, because i remember that Hitler rose to power in a very similar fashion.

People tell me that this will all pass and things will get better soon. I start to feel hope as I listen to them talk.

then i listen to hate mongering 'Christians' (whom i do not consider to be real Christians) crying out that it's all the feminists, witches and gay peoples fault and that we should support Bush in his fight to save our nation. i listen to our 'leaders' telling urging us that we should go to war on Iraq. i hear about the abuses and the lies and the cries of 'hate! hate! fear and more hate!'. and i can't help but wonder if this is going to be a world i want to live in another year. or even if there will be a world to live in.

Blessed Be!

What's Changed? SO Very Much Sep 9th. at 12:27:36 pm EDT

Gí Forestchilde (Western, MA) Age: 29 - Email

I remember where I was and the horror that I felt. I still cringe when I hear a plane that is too loud (and I live near 2 air force bases and an international airport ... I cringe a lot). I remember that feeling of helplessness and confusion ... then of profound sadness at the needless loss of life. I feel pride for the all heroes and Todd Beamer's immortal words "Let's roll" echo in my head when I am in a moment of hesitation

More than anything I sense a change in our nation. We finally have some comprehension of the devastation that rocks the rest of the world; of the horror that any moment all that we love could be destroyed without rhyme or reason. It is innocence lost.

And because of that I live in fear. Not because I fear another attack. We as Americans have shown that we are resilient and can take anything they outside world can dish out. The fear I feel is from inside this nation, from my own countrymen. The patriotic fervor that has taken hold of this country is saturated with so much "us vs. them" mentality that we are turning on each other. Radical fundamentalists and conservatives are preaching the end of our society of we do not allow them to do as they see fit … and we are letting them. They are slowly stripping us of our constitutional rights in the name of “freedom”. They are sacrificing our lives on the altars of their gods: money and power.

Fear is the ultimate weapon of control … and it is being used to the fullest extent, by both the enemy without and within.

Fear is the ultimate weapon of control … and it is being used to the fullest extent, by both the enemy without and within.

It is my fervent hope that we remember that we are one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all … not just for the select few who subscribe to the ideology of the moment. I will be home on Wednesday night, with the TV on reliving the horror along with so many others. I will have a candle lit, just like so many others ... all of us with hopes and prayers for those we lost, those we found, and those in charge that they may see the light.

Yours with hope,

9/11 And 5/11 Sep 9th. at 1:33:53 pm EDT

Silver Cat Woman (Taos NM) Age: 59 - Email

I was shocked by the events of 9/11/01. I relapsed with Post Tramatic Shock Syndrom and went back into therapy. I was just felling that I was recovering when I found my best friend of 16 years dead on 5/11/02. I find some of the First Amendment Rights that are being talked about needing to be limited very scary. As a Witch I believe that it is much scarier to have my rights infringed on than to risk who/what is out there. I don't want The People's Government taken from our hands and put into the hands of that government. I do believe that to violate the Constitution in a way that says the government is more important than the People is wrong and will lead to harm for the People.

We Must Never Forget. Sep 9th. at 2:04:03 pm EDT

Ember Summerhawk (New Jersey) Age: 37 - Email

My husband works about 10 blocks away from the WTC site, and was already at work that day. For about 20 minutes, I couldn't contact him, and kept thinking "What if he was late and took the subway into the WTC" as he sometimes did. When I finally heard from him, the relief was overwhelming. And I thought "There are many people who will not have this feeling of relief - possibly ever again". We both personally knew people who were lost.

The most important thing is to never forget. I do not mean that we must always have major ceremonies marking every second - no, we must never forget IN OUR HEARTS!! And we must realize that not all Muslims are like those fanatics. We must look back with wisdom, and try to dispell the fear and hatred. But we must always remember the souls lost in NYC and DC.

Perhaps we as a nation have finally gotten to see what is important. The greed of many corportations has been uncovered, and I believe it is tolerated less after 9/11.

Life has changed. It has changed utterly, to quote Yeats. And I still wonder as my husband leaves for work each morning if he will make it home.

Innocence Lost Sep 9th. at 2:08:55 pm EDT

Ka'aper Abydos (Long Beach, CA) Age: 45 - Email - Web

As I believe was true with all Americans, I was shocked and horrified at the death of thousands of innocent people whose only crime was being American. I wanted vengeance and bloodshed. I marched in rallies and flew the flag (which unlike a lot of people, I had ALWAYS done).

I was fairly new to Witchcraft then and luckily did not know a lot about vengance and attack, or I would have been tempted to use them and damn the consequences.

It sharpend my realization of what fanaticism and twisted interpretations can drive people to do. Islam suffered its blackest eye in my opinion at that time. I have Muslim friends who were just as horrified as I was. This corruption of what the Koran teaches made them furious. Islam, like Christianity, is supposed to be about love and tolerance. But just as the Christians did with the Crusades and the Inquisition, so now do some Muslims see this as a holy cause. But in reality, they are being manipulated by people whose only goal is power and to force all others to believe as they do.

Rather than hate them anymore, I pity them for their blindness. Does this mean we should not fight the so-called war on terrorism? No. But let us not kill the innocent to get the guilty.

"I once was lost, but now I see". Karma will take its course with the guilty and the innocent.

Blessed be,

Ka'aper Abydos

People Are Becoming Better, Politics Becoming Worse... Sep 9th. at 3:07:48 pm EDT

Raven Feather (United States) Age: 20 - Email

what i have seen since Sept. 11th makes me believe that most people in the world are becoming better, wiser, but that that movement is facing the quashing influence of corrupt politics, which are becoming more corrupt by the day. it will be a close call which philosophy wins out, the philosophy of peace, love, and tolerance or the philosophy of hatred, fear, and indifference. still i think that for all the attrocious behavior that has been witnessed post-9/11, in the end the world will become a better place, because it can not take much more i think before the people of the Earth cry out for a better world to be wrought for we and our descendents. 9/11 has brought us much wander and much horror in it's aftermath, but in the long run i think it has been the greatest eye-opener for humanity.

Here We Go Again Sep 9th. at 3:46:50 pm EDT

Cat (Asheville, NC) Age: 35 - Email

God(dess.) I think I feel worse now than I did a year ago; when I look at national and international events, especially the ones Wren documents this week, I am so scared, and so depressed. It sticks in my keyboard to write this cliche, but I do love America; I love the physical landscape, which could've been paradise, and I love the ideal of democracy, even when I know what we've done with it. But if I travelled abroad I'd be ashamed to admit it. I know what we look like out there, and what we look like is really pretty accurate.

Like many others here, I feel that nothing has changed on a national scale (unlike the changes in the lives of the survivors.) The powerful keep accruing more power, and the weak keep fighting over the scraps. It's always been that way and I'm really afraid that it always will be. What's changed isn't the death of thousands, but something that started a long time before: the birth of billions. When you have uncontrolled population growth, it's a lot harder to get away from the people who have too much stuff and want everyone else's stuff. It's a lot harder to say that there's enough stuff to go around, and a lot harder to believe in the nonhuman world surviving our depredations.

These feelings aren't the result of my warped life, either: I have a really nice life, probably a lot nicer than I deserve. I can make meaning of my life, especially with the help of paganism. I can arrange my own feelings to my satisfaction, whether that means vengeance or forgiveness, since I have nothing to personally avenge or forgive. But what does that matter, when most of the world can't have these luxuries, and when my having them helps to maintain that status quo? What does it matter what any of us thinks? Is our thinking going to change the power dynamics of the whole overpopulated world? Is it going to make the powerful behave more responsibly? I'd say that only violence can achieve that, but I'm not sure that even violence can. Maybe nothing can.

I know that one tenet of paganism is that what we think can make a difference. Today, though, I just can't believe it. In America, even our faith is a luxury item--one more mark of our leisure and privilege.

Things Have Changed Sep 9th. at 8:38:36 pm EDT

Merricat Wing (Hinckley, Il. USA) Age: 45 - Email

A year later and things have changed. I turn on the television now, not looking for a weather report, or the latest happenings on my soap opera; I turn it on looking for a sign that the world is at Peace(and hoping no other terrible terrorist attack has occured). Today I watched the replay of 9/11/01. I heard the survivors stories, and the families of the victims speaking of their loved ones forever lost to them in this life. I cried my tears again. Tears of loss, of fear, of such great sadness. The people of my government are trying to find answers, unfortunately some look to war. We were all saddened and horrified a year ago, and now our leaders are talking about bringing that saddness and terror to another group of people. I don't understand. I really don't understand. Why can't we all get along? Why can't we accept our differences? And enjoy and learn from those differences? What has happened to the world? What has happened to this country-United States of America? I love my country, but I don't blindly follow its leaders into War. I can only hope and pray that someone out there is looking for peace besides me.

We Must Act Sep 9th. at 10:42:58 pm EDT

Daniel (Midwest USA) Age: 49 - Email

The events of last year did not change my view of the world. I am a proud Vietnam Vet. I served my country And I have always known that their are nations and peoples that hate America and Americans. I know that there are groups that hold no lives scared but there group. I hate that I have to say this but sometimes violence is the answer. I have seen the death and distruction of war. I have smelled the death. I HATE war. I hate it in a way that only those that have been in one can. May the Gods of Peace forgive me but to stop these cowardly terroist,to protect those that can not protect themselves ( children and the harmless ) WE must act and act now. It is time to call to Thor and Odin and Tyr. We must prevail.

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