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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: 28,394,041  

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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 

Struggling To Relate To The Country Sep 11th. at 3:58:08 pm EDT

Katie (Carmichael, CA) Age: 26 - Email

For the last year, I have struggled with my feelings, as they do not match the level and intensity of the mourning, surprise, fear and often retalitory desires that are expressed to me by the local news and media. I am sad for the people who lost their lives and loved ones (as I always am with a great tragedy), but for me, this has simply focused my views on political action and made it clear whose side I am on.

I am saddened and to some degree disgusted by the immense attention this has recieved in relation to the tragedies of other countries and other people. Because of these people's status as Americans, as business people, they are honored and remembered. Because this happened in OUR country, shattering the illusion of saftey, it is so much more of a tragedy that the hundreds and thousands of deaths that the US media ignores.

Yesterday Nelson Mandela said that the US Government's policies and motivations are a threat to world peace. That is amazing. When I am surrounded by people who are swept up in a unified voice of patriotism, I just can't join them. How can I be PROUD to be an American, when being an american means that my tax dollars go towards so many things I don't believe in? This tragedy has been turned into a motivating force to move the American people behind a president they didn't even vote for and carry him into history as the man who invaded the Middle East (again - just like his Dad).

As a high priestess, my love, energy and magick goes out. I send it to all the people who are truly still mourning the loss of their loved ones. As a woman who has lost a great deal of my family, I understand the struggle that death can bring. I hope for growth, grief and closure for them. I also send my love, energy, and magick to all people who are suffering, struggling to live day to day, to gather food and water, to live the best lives they can with the limited resources they have. I send my hope out to all the citizens of the countries that we oppress and use that they may grow and someday take control of their land and resources. I send my love and magick to all those who are angry and hurt, seeking to hurt others and my hope that they will find peace within and begin to change their actions in the world. But more than anything, I send my magick to awaken the American public, to enlighten them and open their eyes to a true view of the world (myself included) where we can use our immense economic power and influence to truly act as leaders of the world and not conquerors. I have pride in myself and the people I surround myself in. I believe in the spirit of the American people, proud, strong, innovative and motivated. But I am still waiting to be proud of our country, waiting until we start acting like a mature member of the world community and not a muscle bound teen-age bully pushing people around and taking whatever we want.

Thats how I feel today, and sadly, I don't think our country has changed the way I had hoped it would. Instead of apathy, now we have media driven patriotism. I don't know which is worse. I don't see this as a war against terrorism, but a struggle against our myopic view. We can meet this challenge, we can begin to see outside our own borders. I believe we can awaken and grow.

One Year Ago I Spent The Day In Tears... Sep 11th. at 4:39:30 pm EDT

Ivy (Sacramento) Age: 49 - Email

I called all my family (we live in different states) just to tell them I loved them. We have always been close, but we are closer still, today. There has been a reawakening of national feeling, that is a good thing, but I fear the direction the deffination of "Patriot" is going....I have been confronted with questions like "Don"t you sing GOD Bless America?". It seems that even as we preach tolerence there is a movement to call the USA a God fearing, Christian country. The separation of Church and State is becoming blurred, and I fear for my daughter in school, because she is Wiccan/pagan. I am afraid for my Moslem friends and my Hindu and Hmong neighbors, because they look and worship differently. I am VERY afraid that the renewed saddness and anger over the events of one year ago will be used to fuel a drive for war against Iraq. (If there is proof of weapons of mass destruction, for Goddess' sake SHOW IT TO US AND THE WORLD,Mr. Bush!) I am NOT more secure today, I am more careful,cynical,and suspicious.
May the Great Goddess and the Horned God protect us from all dangers, foreign and domestic.

What To Do With 9/11? Sep 11th. at 7:27:39 pm EDT

Shanan (Phoenix, AZ) Age: 29 - Email

On the radio a few weeks ago the morning DJ's were discussing the anniversary of 9/11. They were talking about the various activities, vigils, etc. planned around Phoenix, and then interjected their view (which I love, and am promoting as much as possible)... take your time to reflect, or offer a moment of silence. But overall, let's not make this a somber, sorrowful day. Yes, it was tragedy. But let's look from a different angle. What happened in the weeks following 9/11? People everywhere... not just in the USA, but all over the world... pulled together as a community (if only for a short time before resuming life "as usual"). They donated time, money and blood. They reached out to friends, family and community and reunited with old friends. People were actually *nice* to each other, if for only a short time.

Let's make that our 9/11 remembrance. Not as the time when we were rocked by tragedy, but as the time when we realized that we are one global community, each able to have an impact in another's life. Let's donate (time, money, blood... whatever you have to give). Let's volunteer. Let's read to children. Let's smile and greet strangers as we would friends. Let's not let sadness infest us... instead, be happy and be alive and reach out to each other.

~ Shanan

"Crucify the ego before it's far too late
And leave behind this place so negative and blind and cynical
And you will come to find that we are all one mind
Capable of all that's imagined and all conceivable"
- Maynard James Keenan, Tool

Tragedy Is Everywhere... Sep 11th. at 10:33:19 pm EDT

Silverborne (USA) Age: 45 - Email

A year ago I was shocked and dismayed about the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I sat with friends and neighbors, mourning the dead, praying for the living. One neighbor is a grandmother, who was anxiously waiting word about her granddaughter, a Pentagon worker who was there during the attack. I read stories of survivors, and those who did not make it, and those who worked to make a difference. I answered frantic email from friends everywhere around the world who were afraid for me and my family, even though we are hundreds of miles from the attack areas.

To answer the question of focus: I see the events of 9/11 in a world perspective. I have also talked with and prayed with dear friends in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, and the Slovak Republic during the recent floods. I comforted a cherished friend during the recent plane tragedy in the Ukraine where so many lives were lost, and with other friends who've suffered in other countries and on other continents. As Americans our tragedy was very great, but it is not the only tragedy. Even as you and I mourn again our loss on 9/11 of last year, let's remember the suffering and many great losses of other nations too.

That said, I address the other questions: I feel safe in my home and my country, and while I think some security measures are extreme, I believe our government has done everything to try to make the USA and her people secure. Sadly, I don't think the war on terrorism will end. Terrorism is not exclusive to the USA, and in every country of the world there will always be some person or group that believes acts of terror will help their cause. Fighting fanaticism is a hard battle. I have commerated this day already with raising the flag and with silent prayer. The hype doesn't bother me because I know where the "off" button is on the television. Finally, yes, I believe the world has changed because of 9/11. Events like this always change the world. It is up to all of us to make the change a positive one.

Post 9/11 Sep 12th. at 2:21:01 am EDT

Jerry Kirkpatrick (Vancouver, WA) Age: 52 - Email

My personal life has not changed very much. I feel a little less safe and being in a big, metropolitan port city that has nuclear power plants and possible leaking arsenals of chemical weponry has contributed to that somewhat. What I think has changed the most and is the most frightening is the eroding away of personal rights and freedoms and paranoia towards "people not like us". The thing most in jepordy is, I believe, an assault on the constitutional rights we should all be privy to. I hear a lot of people say, "I'm willing to give up some freedoms to be safe". I've even been guilty of saying this but the truth is, we are not safe. Safety is an illusion. Freedom should not be. I see things like separation of church and state being ignored, a subtle persecution of non-white, ethnic people and people who may practice something besides judeochristian religions. Lest you think I'm feeling persecuted I am white, and about as non-ethnic as they come. My husband is multiracial and he feels a slightly stepped up animosity toward him. I think the years ahead may require more of us to step forward and just say "no" when we see freedoms dwindling. Part of that us is me. I'm the biggest fence sitter but I can feel myself falling off.

4 Blocks North Of The White House Sep 12th. at 8:53:35 am EDT

Tina Horn (Washington, DC) Age: 34 - Email

Until yesterday, I had stopped flinching at emergency sirens. The flinch is back. Hopefully it will go away again.

The last thing I say to my loved ones before we part ways, even to go to the grocery store, is "I love you." No matter where we go. It's important. It's much more important than it used to be.

I have a lot of thoughts about American foreign policy and our behavior and how we can make the world a better place to be, which is each of our responsibility, but this does not seem to be the appropriate place to address them.

I hope that each of us prays for the others, we can all use it!!

Blessed be!

'safe' Is The Wrong Question Sep 12th. at 12:40:27 pm EDT

Lady S. (Maryland) Age: 33 - Email

I live in the DC suburbs, but on Sept. 11 2001 I was on a trip with my partner- first up through NY to pick up a friend, then on to Canada. We drove up as far as NJ in the wee hours of the morning of the 11th, and saw the familiar NY skyline with the WTC before turning in and trying to catch a few hours sleep. Being excited, perhaps about the trip, I was unable to sleep.

About 9, I woke my partner up, and we packed up, getting ready to pick up our friend at the NJ path train station. In the course of getting up and out of the hotel, I turned on CNN.

We spent much of the rest of the morning trying to get a call through to find out if our friend was dead or alive, in the path station under the now collapsed trade center, or somewhere, anywhere else.

Eventually (what seemed like forever) we found out she had missed her train and was alive.

She was in her apartment where debris from the WTC was raining down on her building's roof. There was no getting to her- she was on the opposite side of the city from us, and all routes in and out of the city, and all public transportation were shut down. Everything had turned to rivers of people, walking sometimes miles, as lower Manhattan was evacuated.

As we left our hotel, we saw the plume of debris. We drove over to the Hudson to see for ourselves, because television can't begin to convey the magnitude of what had happened. Even from that distance, we knew we were seeing only a 'snapshot'. There were small knots of people everywhere, gathered around TVs, car stereos, or just staring at the space where the towers had been, only hours before. We listened as fighter jets flew overhead- the only air traffic we saw all day. We drove down highways where only outbound traffic lanes were open, temporary construction signs read 'all routes to Manhattan closed'.

The sanitized footage people outside the NY area saw was very different from what Manhattan looked like that day. On what was left of the local news grizzly details were coming through. Later, as I compared with family and friends who had only seen CNN or other national networks, I realized our experience, having been there, was very different. The entire experience, for those who live in, or just happened to be in the NY area was very different than what people, even here in DC experienced.

Obviously, there are many more details from that horrible day, but I'll point out one other thing- as we left the area around the Hudson river that afternoon, NY was going through a series of bomb threats, and as we drove out across the Delaware water gap the bridge was being closed by police due to a bomb threat. Even through we had left the city miles behind us, the threats continued long after the towers fell.

Days later, when we returned to DC, we got home pretty much just as DC's version of martial law was lifting. We saw the pentagon, and mourned yet more.

So fast forward to this summer. We drove back across Manhattan, and through the tunnels watching army men in uniform standing at each tunnel entrance. But of all the changes, I'll give but a small example- my partner is a private airplane pilot here in the DC area. Over this year's first anniversary the Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association issued warnings to pilots about what the consequences of even accidental infractions of regulated airspace could mean. Since we live in the DC area, there's plenty of regulated airspace all around us. With the rainbow colored 'terrorist threat assessment' meter being upped just prior to the anniversary, DC has been ringed with anti-aircraft guns with live ammunition on standby- ready to shoot down incursions should the decision be made to do so.

These days being a pilot is almost a matter of being a member of a 'suspect class'. Not surprising, considering most people don't know a pilot- something like only .6% of the population has their private pilot's license, and there are few voices speaking out on our behalf in favor of a private citizen's right to their own air travel- a freedom taken for granted prior to 9-11-01. College Park airport, the oldest continually operating airport in the country is within DC's airspace radius and was almost shut down. Wilber Wright had trained military men to fly the government's first plane there. It is affectionately called the "Cradle of Aviation". My point is, we've come within a stone's throw of loosing things many people don't even know we had.

So are we 'safer' today? I'd say no. I'd say we're no more or less 'safe' than we ever were. I do know this though, we're a heck of a lot less free- free not only in terms of the number of people currently held by our government unnamed and without access to legal counsel, but also less free even in terms of the ability of private citizens to travel. These are basic freedoms, Americans and immigrants have long enjoyed which if you had asked Joe Blow on the street a year ago if they could be taken away or would be under extreme threat in under a year, ole Joe would have laughed in your face. Things are moving quickly.

Having in some small way, 'been there' myself, I can only say that for me at least, bargaining away freedoms for the illusions of 'safety' is a willing surrender of the concrete for the illusionary.

“Those who would sacrifice a little freedom for temporal safety deserve neither to be safe or free.”
- Benjamin Franklin

Post 9/11: Where Do We Go From Here? Sep 12th. at 1:20:21 pm EDT

Whisper (Los Angeles County, California) Age: 27 - Email

When I first heard the news that an Airplane had hit the WTC I was on the Southbound 405 Freeway on the way to work, at a highrise in L.A. A few minute later I heard that we were under attack as another aircraft hit the WTC. I called my wife and woke her up early and told her to turn on the news, because I could not believe what I was hearing. It was true. Hours later I felt safe once I heard that all air traffic was suspended in U.S. Airspace.
In the months that followed I saw our President, a man I still have many issues with, rise to the occasion and begin fighting back.I support our operations in that theatre because the one freedom we can never enjoy again in this country is the freedom from fear. Everyone is on edge about what is going to happen next.
The world will not soon forget this incident. Nor will we ever be free from its effects. From the hightened security to the Post Traumatic Stress, we have become an embattled nation. I don't think the 'War on Terror' will ever be trully over, this is just something we, as a global community, will have to fight throughout the future. Because as long as we have more than one person on this planet there will be disagreements and ultimately extremeist actions in favor or opposition to any number of disagreements.
What I do know is that every front of this and future battles need support, from the men and women on the frontlines of our nations natural disasters to the soldiers fighting on the front lines of the anti-terrism conflicts. They need to know that their people are behind them and support them in their efforts. I think the world has gotten a bit better since 9/11, I think that these people we often take for granted, firemen, policemen, and our boys and girls in uniform, have received and will continue to command our greater respect for what they put on the line every day for our freedom and safety.
Peace is broken by shock. Shock turns to fear in the face of destruction. Fear turns to anger as we see relief in bringing those responsible to justice. Finally anger can either turn back to fear of more incidents or it can progress to strength. Strength is what I think has made our country great and will be the only thing that can stop this vicious cycle of fear that these extremists would have us give in to.

Thats my two cents for the day. Now I'm gonna pick up my bag of pennies and go home for a bit and try to have a peaceful day.


Ch-ch-ch-changes...turn And Face The Strange... Sep 12th. at 1:26:27 pm EDT

Joielle Darkstar (West Virginia, USA) Age: 34 - Email

OK, I'm going to admit it. I spent most of yesterday hiding out in bed, hoping that the nightmares I'd been having for awhile would not come true---that we would wake to another life and world changing tragedy. Call me chicken little, but I just couldn't go through that horror again. Once was enough.

I did not lose anyone on 9/11/01, but I still feel like I lost a part of me. Why? I just don't know why exactly, just that there is an empty place in my heart. A very good friend of mine who has made a point of visiting NYC twice a year since we graduated from high school called me that evening in tears---happy tears, for none of his relatives who lived or worked in the area were affected, and sad tears for the loss of the Towers, the loss of innocence he was feeling. "There's nothing LEFT, Joielle," I can remember him saying, "Everything's gone. All that beauty inside and out, all those people from all over the planet, they're gone."

Like a lot of other people, I feel like such a hypocrite at times---the angry, boiling-hot-mad part of me wants to "nuke 'em till they glow and shoot 'em after dark", while the other side cringes in horror at the thoughts of a war with an 'enemy' that will stop at NOTHING to take out their enemy. there's no negotiating, no talking it out, just all-out war until there's no one left standing.

I get the collywobbles at times when I hear that more and more of the Religious "Right" feels that anyone who's not like them is partially the cause of 9/11. Excuse me? When did it come down from the mountain that YOUR religion was the RIGHT religion? Granted, I hear quite a lot of it living in the tip of the belt buckle of the bible belt and like a lot of other Pagans/Wiccans/etc, I hide my true religious leanings, but trying to talk sense to these folks is like trying to teach a pig to sing. And don't even try to show 'em the Constitution, or tell them that one of the things America was founded on was 'freedom of religion.'

Several people here have talked about the way the sudden rise in flag flying, pseudo-patriotism has irritated them and I don't blame them one bit. I have a friend whose family has flown the flag every single day for a long time and his comment was "Gee people, not only can you only fly the stupid thing when it looks good for YOU, you have to go and display it wrong..." (this was the only family-friendly part of his rant, the rest got a bit *spicy*, as it were). If only it hadn't taken such a terrible event to make people take a good LONG look at their country and the people and events that created it.

For those families who lost a loved one, for all of those brave individuals who 'walk where the devil dances', puts their lives on the line for little pay and even less respect, for all of those who went out of this life so quickly on 9/11, I wish you Goddess-speed and hope your familes and loved ones will find peace and closure. You will not be forgotten and I dearly hope your deaths will not be an excuse to start a war.

Blessings everyone.

So Very Confused. . . Sep 12th. at 2:31:19 pm EDT

Amaranth (Florida) Age: 35 - Email

For months, I've wondered about us as a species. I've always been fascinated by contradictions in our nature. We're vicious predators that kill for fun, sport, and anger; and loving members of communities, and care for and protect our young, our old, and our wounded and sick. We're animals that by a happenstance of evolution or allotment (depending on your religio-scientific viewpoint) developed opposable thumbs, which allowed us to grow our minds. We seek spiritual enlightenment, unity, and truth; and imprison, belittle, and even kill each other in the names of these principles.

As a spiritual seeker, I have found that in order to progress in my search for the light, I must embrace the dark side of my humanity, and come to terms with my anger and jealousy, and the destructive urges which occasionally seize me. But when I accept these parts of myself, I am transformed; my light burns brighter because of the strength of the "negative" emotion added to it. Maybe that's part of the lesson of 9/11, that we must learn that any time we as human beings try to adhere to an ideal, we make an "exclusive" group; and any time a group is exclusive, ideological conflicts will occur. This leads to another question: are tolerance and aspiration mutually exclusive at some point? If one is tolerant of everything, then there are no threshholds of acceptability. If one sets minimum standards of any kind, someone will be excluded or otherwise ostracized. Where is the balance?

As for me personally, the biggest change since 9/11 has been one of awareness. As a tool to fight depression, I kept myself purposely ignorant of the news for years, but when the planes hit the Towers, I knew that no matter the personal cost, I could no longer afford to do so. I had to know what was going on, so I could voice an opinion and align myself magickally with causes I felt needed support; so I could educate my children; in short, so I could participate. Yet I see another irony. Televisions and computers have given the starving child in Ethiopia, the oppressed women in Afghanistan, the suffering masses everywhere, faces, voices and names – to the extent that most people now must shield themselves from the emotions normally evoked by such sights. Strangely, we have taken this super shielding, and applied it to the homeless man on the corner, the neighbor on welfare, and our neighbors in pain. “Too much,” we protest, “I can’t fix it all!” Yes. . .but you can fix this one. . .and this one. . .maybe even this one, before there’s any real negative impact on your life. For the first time in my life, I have a political opinion, and an agenda: the promotion of religious tolerance, in hopes that we will learn how to stop killing one another.

As for how the world has changed, Wren linked to Alternet's Top Ten Suppressed Stories for the past year. . .and I think that pretty much sums it up. I no longer trust our leadership to safeguard anything but their own wallets and petty agenda. I believe the monstrous American bureaucracy is now lumbering at such a staggering rate that your average American has little hope of preventing the plutocrats in power from trampling other countries at will, and whimsically toppling their governments. But still I read the news, and still I vote. As for our security, I feel less secure typing this now than I feel any person should. But still I type, and voice my opinion. Because I believe that some day soon, enough Americans will tire of the Moral Majority's (HA!) stranglehold on our country that our opinions will be heard, and our votes will remind them of their true numbers. I just hope we find the wisdom to inform ourselves and make better decisions before the next volley of bombs or planes hits our soil.

In reaction to these things, I would like to see a cessation of finger-pointing. No more “those crazy Muslims,” “those radical Christians,” “those bleeding heart liberals,” “what did YOU do before 9/11,” “I didn’t vote for him” battles. Some believe the 9/11 attacks were based on a lack of principles, or that they were against American Christianity, and that they should be countered by being even more staunchly principled or more vocally Christian. I believe they were intolerance and hatred made tangible, and that the reaction to unbridled hate and intolerance needs – overall – to be one of love and tolerance. This doesn’t mean I’m against retaliation, punishment, or whatever you’d like to call it, for it would be harmful to the world we live in to allow the perpetrators to believe they can behave this way with impunity. Again, however, I’m confused. Terrorism is fluid or gaseous in form: if you bar your door against it, it comes in the window; bar your window, it seeps in your drain; by its nature, it seeks out whatever weakness or opportunity it finds for attack, ever mutating to fit its current circumstances, the Proteus of protests. So even if punishment is appropriate and may be a deterrent, increased security is not likely to be the final solution. And no, I don’t know what the final solution is, although I believe it probably has something to do with diplomacy and foreign policy.

I’d like to see (and do) less headshaking and tsk-tsk’ing and more water carrying and wood chopping. I’d like to return to the solid American values of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Horton the Elephant. I’d like to look at myself in the mirror each morning, and know that I had rested well, for yesterday, I worked hard and did my best – and that I’d do the same again today. I’d like to look my neighbor in the eye when we pass, and keep faith that even if he and I didn’t agree on a course of action, we’d each taken one, and done the best we could do by everybody. I want for witnessing and proselytizing to mean “teaching by example” rather than “lecturing and condemning.”

I want us to remember that for every right, every freedom we have, we have a corresponding responsibility. In my county, officials were delighted to project a 25% voters’ turnout at yesterday’s primaries – the highest in years! Elsewhere in my state, counties had as high a turnout as 73%. Even so, we are free to elect our government officials. Even if no one on the ballot is worthy of your vote, go to the poll, sign your name, and turn in a blank ballot, so that your disapproval is counted, and not lumped in with the silent, uncaring masses who stay home to watch television and allow others to appoint their czars. I want us to take the few minutes needed to research the issues and candidates, and vote thoughtfully, and not in the shadow of marketing and name recognition. Adolf Hitler has GREAT name recognition. . .

I want to follow the advice in the FoxNews article Seshen posted here and at B-Net (Thanks, Seshen!): to pick a pet topic, and actually ACT to support it. To do what I can. To share. To make time for the things that are important without neglecting anything that’s important. To find a balance between reaction and progress, between the detail and the broader picture, between contemplation and action. To mean what I say and say what I mean – and do what I say and say what I do. . .To be all those things which I admire in other Americans, and citizens of the world, to see in others the best of their spirit, and to do all I can to bring about the world I desire to see around me.

My Thoughts, Insights, Feelings Sep 12th. at 4:23:51 pm EDT

draconis (Biddeford, Maine, USA) Age: 29 - Email

My loving wife woke me up at twelve noon, to tell me. I work third shift. Knowing that she doesn't fallow the news I thought she must have gotten it wrong. I was horrified to learn she was right. At first I was outraged at the extremist Islamics. Then the flames were fed as I watch seens from around the world as people in Islamic countries were en mass in the streets celebrating. Cheering civilians being killed because they were infidals and Americans. I bought and read the Quran(Koran) and Hadith only to find the religion was just as hate filled as Jewish and Christianity if not more so then the two combined. I was besides myself. The war we have raged will do little to make peace or safty. But I stand tall as an American and refuses to protest or soldiers (my father and father-in-law both served in vietnam.) I know that it is not them that question their orders but serve our country well. It is infact presidents, senators, congress ect. who need to be held accountable.

I feel we should pull out of the middle east all the way to Israel and if the Palistinians attack us then go after them full force. Tell Iraq, and Iran we will stay out of their business. When these nations attack there neighbors they will beg us to come back. "No" we will say your people and governments wanted us out. The entire region will destablize in two years. Saudi princes will be overthrown and choas will reign. But, they want to tie our hands yet protect their county with our young men while they vacation in Britian and the USA, and sell us oil at asorbian prices to fatten their pay checks. What allies? There goverment sponcers clerics who breed hate. Most ofthe 9-11 terrorist were Saudi. All were Islamic. Religion should not be the cause of war but a resolve to it.

In the US I have seen Right wing Christians use 9-11 to erode personal religious freedoms. I have seen the Government attempt to cremate the constitution and the bill of rights. I study but two things history and religion. I know what the founding fathers intended. I have read thousands of pages on the people responcible for shaping or government. What is happening in the US now is wrong. Freedom should not be forsaken for safty, otherwise the safty means nothing at all.

Aravan Windwalker was right they awoke a sleeping giant and filled the giant with rage. They took a people with little patriotism and banded us together as one. Nothing else could have done this. Aravan had may good points in his article, I am glad to know him personally. He is smart and insiteful and often even when we disagree bounce information and ideas off each other. It was his responce that promted me to write my feelings. And the rage I have carried for a year and a day.

I pray that our fellow citizens will heal. I work my spells to get the career politions from office. I strive to keep the fight for our rights alive. I have never missed a voting op. in my life. For this I feel proud. Although once I put Mickey Mouse as a write in.

In love of the light
A. Draconis

How It Feels.... Sep 12th. at 4:56:13 pm EDT

emmie(net name) (Tennessee) Age: 19 - Email

I woke up a year and a day ago from a nightmare smoke choking me I could not breath I felt like I was dying the smoke was as black as night and I knew.. I don't know how I knew but I did know I had felt the way someone did that exact moment, I felt there body dying. Empathy is horrid when its someone you know and you feel there pain. I knew no-one in those flames but as an American and as a human I could feel there lives slip away. After I awoke I came online not turning the TV on nor paying attention to anything, I talked with a friend of mine in the UK but he said not a word to me he asked if I was ok and I said.. I woke up from a nightmare and needed some peace. After a few mins I knew somthing was wrong he kept acting distracted, I could tell it was somthing seriouse. He asked me if I had CNN and I said yes.. He said look I don't want to tell you go turn your TV on. I walked in there and turn it on and my life changed forever. Those images the sound the total terror I had felt minutes befour in my sleep was unfolding befour my very eyes. I started screaming uncontrollably and woke my parents up, I came into my computer room and asked him please tell me this isn't so, tell me I didn't wake from a nightmare and find it was a reality. As much as it pained him he could not tell me that, I sat here crying and screaming tho the screams became just silent screams from my soul. He told me I know it doesn't make much of a difference right now I know your hurting I know I can never feel the pain you feel as your country is under attack but remember while your crying and in grief... The world mourns with you those words echoe through my head, I've never wanted to go to war and I always know that all war causes is unending violence. I cry either aloud or simply in my heart for everyone who's died be they American or be they Muslum be they any nationality they are human and thats why I cry. A year has past many more lives have been lost and other lives have been ruined simply because there a different religion. This country is not perfect we make mistakes but the one thing other countries need to realise just because you don't like a nations policies doesn't mean you have the right to go and attack them. American doesn't like countried that treat there women badly but we've yet to hi-jack planes and destroy so many innocent lives. Part of being American is agreeing to disagree, if you don't like what we so or do voice your opinion but remember we choose to believe as we do and you choose your way you may not agree with us and thats fine agree to disagree and move on.

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