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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: 28,343,886  

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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 

How Is Today Different Sep 12th. at 6:13:05 pm UTC

Barbara Fisher (USA) Age: 36 - Email

I am not afraid.

How is today different than any other day?

It was inevitable that terrorism would touch our country; it has been a part of the reality of most other countries in the world for quite some time. In fact, if we remember, terrorism had already tainted our shores, and not only in the bombing of the WTC in 1993.

The Oklahoma City bombings were terrorist attacks, perpetrated by our own citizens.

Every abortion clinic that has been bombed has been a terrorist attack, again, perpetrated by our own citizens. Every clinic shooting, every firebombed church or synagogue, every cross burned on a front lawn, are terrorist acts, perpetrated by citizens of the United States against thier brethren.

Life is fragile. Living in the 21st century is dangerous. I can die tomorrow, vaporized by a suitcase nuclear weapon brought into this country by a fanatic, or I could live to a ripe old age and laugh at the past.

Life is no different than it was before 9/11/01. Those risks were always there. Look at the stories coming out of the intelligence community; terrorism was one of the greatest concerns of the Clinton Administration, but the American public was kept unaware of it. We were protected from the truth in order to keep us from being afraid.

What good does it do to be afraid? We are all going to die. It doesn't matter how or when we die. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, it could be years from now.

What matters, brothers and sisters, is how we live. Today, tomorrow and for years from now.

Do we live in fear of death, which is inevitable? Do we hand over our civil liberties, do we shred our Constitution, in order to have the illusion of safety, so that we might believe that nothing bad will ever happen here again? Do we allow the very foundations of our nation to be swept away just so we can sleep better at night?

Or do we stand tall, and proud, living each day as fully as if it were our last, and refuse to knuckle under to either the terrorists or our government officials who would give us tyranny in place of democracy?

Do we side with the forces of theocracy and fundamentalism, or the forces of democracy and freedom?

Do we act from fear, or love?

Which shall it be?

En Sep 12th. at 7:14:25 pm UTC

Kathryn Haynes (Oakville,Ontario) Age: 13 - Email

I know i might be a little young to voice my oppinion, and i might not have the experience in my life to say what im going to say, but i believe that what im going to say should be heard by everyone........

I have looked and reflected on the history of our people (the world), and I have seen a common thing. DEATH. Something that alot of people fear and that alot of people face. Then I come to the more resent events and reflect on that. 9-11. A horrible day that has again mark a chapter in our history. Another chapter of death. To think that we have become such people within this world that we kill each other for revenge, and other such selfesh things. To think that people in this world that i live in, that you live in too, have comitted such a crime that more killing has become of it. Who know when this will stop... And when it does weither (most likely spelt wrong) I'm dead or alive, I will celebrate and yet mourn for the live that have been taken from this world while selfesh people had to learn a lesson.

Please dont take away the live we have left.

Cherished Time Sep 12th. at 8:25:21 pm UTC

Melissa (Canada) Age: 25 - Email

September 11th 2002, definately a day that will live in my mind forever. I was travelling at the time and was visiting friends. I was suppose to fly out to return home on September 12th and since I had been away for 3 weeks I was eagerly awaiting this flight. The radio played as I was in the shower that morning and my song was interrupted by a news reporter in absolute tears. I jumped out of the shower and turned on the TV knowing that something devastating must be happening for a news reporter to be crying on live radio. Of course it was what we now call 911 that had brang this professional reporter to tears. When I look back all I remember feeling was total helplessness and the need to be home so badly. I was lucky enough to have friends to stay with, alot of people were stranded and alot of people were left without loved ones.

I think that September 11th, for me, has shown how much more important being with family is, and how people take things for granted until it's gone. Life isn't something that should be taken for granted but all too often is. My heart ached for all the people who perished due to the horrendous acts of these extremists. The families didn't have a chance to see their loved ones again. I fortuneatly, was able to see the people I cared for most again and although it took an extra 5 days to get there I am very thankful for that.

It is sad to know that we live in a world where acts like this can and do happen and are beyond our personal control. But alas we should not give up hope or give into terrorisms fear tactics. I took a flight back home 5 days after 911 and although there was tension on that plane it was clear that people were relieved to be able to get back to "normal" or as close to it. I am not living with the severe outcome of 911, being the loss of a loved ones life, but I think without a doubt it's (911) most long lasting effect is the unity that has been created amongst americans. Perhaps too, it will make us all cherish the time we have with others.

The Changes In Me. Sep 12th. at 8:45:25 pm UTC

Coyo (Maine) Age: 33 - Email

If you had asked me last September 11th what religion I was, I would have said "Christian but I'm pretty liberal." I was raised Methodist, scarred by the Baptists and healed by the Quakers, but always a Christian. That all changed on September 11th. I could not fathom in my mind why one group of people could use the dictates of their god to commit such atrocity. I mean I've studied history, I know that it has been done before and will most likely be done again and the innocents, no matter what their faith, will die.
I seriously began to question the religion that follows a god who says that his followers must "take an eye for an eye." It didn't seem to me to be a god that loved his followers but instead used them for his own power. A god that I should fear and not love. Even as I type this, I keep feeling that I am blaspheming, that's how deep the fear has been driven into me.
I had always thought pagans to be weird, but as I helped organize a fund drive for the victims, I realized that I could not follow a god that let this happen. Too many people died and will continue to die, for what purpose? So we can continue to fight over oil?
With the warm guidance of a dear friend, I began to read about the Goddess, to realize that she wants peace and health for all, no matter what. And it all began to fall into place. I felt true love again from Her and now I know more peace in my life than I have ever had. When I helped her with a Candlemas ritual and "came out" to several friends, it felt more right and good than anything else in my life.
What I wish more than anything is to ask the Goddess to take the souls of those killed on September 11, all the souls both terrorist and innocent and to give them peace.
I wish all of you peace.

Broken Heart Sep 12th. at 10:13:19 pm UTC

Lisa (New York) Age: 35 - Email

Last year, around June or July, I found my first Pagan books by chance. I read and became increasingly interested. By the time September 11 th hit, I had what I needed to help me get through it. Even at that, I questioned and had times of doubt. I couldnt understand how the gods would let this happen. I even struggled with the guilt of being alive, after all....I wasn't as good as I was sure most of those lost were. I imagined everything I did, from washing my hair to washing a dish as what they must have done right before ....that time. It broke my heart. I didnt know how to pull myself out. I went to the craft shop and started making things like I was posessed. I even made an altar. These things mean alot to me now. Sometimes it feels so much more than a year ago, at other times it feels like a few days ago. Then the whole anthrax thing. I had anger, fear, grief and so many more feelings all tangled up inside of me. I couldnt unravel them and it made me shake till I cried. That cloud over the city was visible from my house. It loomed there for days. I'd go food shopping and forget that I had gone. The look in peoples eyes reflected my own. It was a blank dead not seeing glance. I live with fear now, one year later. I fear my daughter going to Staten Island tomorrow to visit her dad. We're still at a high threat. There really isn't much we can do now. It's not in our hands. We either live like terror struck victims, or go on. I have to go on. One year was enough of fear. All I can do is give her my pentacle and ask the Goddess to please look after my baby. I have to have my faith, we all do. My heart as well as my head cant seem to understand all the hate. The hate that triggered the whole September 11th tragedy, as well as hate for the color of ones skin, the sexual preference of a person, the religion one chooses to practice. We're all part of a whole. As hopeless as I think things are becoming at times, through all the darkness.....I see the shining ones. I see the hope in my childs eyes. I see the hope in the strangers that come together to help people they have never met before. A piece of my heart broke that day. I think of all those people I'll never meet. The children they left behind. I think September 11th should become remberence day. We need a day to come together and lean on eachother. Last night, the children were out in full force holding vigils everywhere. When I see the children and the fire and the love in their hearts.......I know there is hope.
To all my fallen brothers and sisters..............I love you all.

I Don't Really Blame Anyone For This... Sep 13th. at 8:10:55 am UTC

Midi (Winnipeg) Age: 14 - Email

I mean all thingsa happen for a reasone. We may not understand it, we may not see it, and we may not like it, but its there. So theres a reasone for this, all we have to do is find it.

Whats Changed, Are We Safer? Sep 13th. at 11:23:36 am UTC

Arryshanna-Selene (Victoria BC Canada) Age: 57 - Email

I think we are more aware of what is going on around us perhaps, but no I don't think we are any safer.
In the last year many things have changed for me one of them being that I now live in Canada rather than the U.S.
Part of that is due to the fact that my signifigant other is a resident of Canada and we can get along here better financialy, but I must admit there is a matter of saftey as well. Living on the coastal areas of the United States there was always such a big sword over our heads about being attacked by someone from the sea.
Where we are now is a very large city but we live in an area that doesn't feel like your being patroled.

World War III? Sep 13th. at 11:43:06 am UTC

MearaBebhinn (south central PA) Age: 24 - Email

Yes, lots of things have changed since last year. After a year to ponder the current world events (as well as my own views on life in general), and to hear/read/see the memorials and stories of various people, i was coming to the conclusion that 9/11 would have sparked an awareness. It has, in good and bad ways. People have found out about the issues at home in Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries and seen starving babies and beaten women, and have wanted to help. We became brothers with Afghani men who have been trying to get terrorists out of their country for decades. Chrisitan Pres. Bush worshipped in a Mosque to show Americans we need solidarity and it was only one group of extremists, not all Arabs and Muslims who hate freedom. On the other hand, i have seen that some people are aware that there are other people out there who are different than they are and have spawned their own hate. Now that we might go to war against Iraq, guess what the first thing out of Saddam's mouth will be? "Those Americans hate us Muslims! Off to jihad!" Okay, so once we've done away with the Middle Eastern terrorists, are we going after the IRA? The same things have been going on in Northern Ireland that have been going on in Israel and we have ignored that. And it's all wars over religions! It's a shame they won't end until people stop teaching their children to hate. That is all they know from day one. I fear the Pres. will be assassinated. There was already one attempt. When will we end this stupid "us vs. them" mentality?! I was so sad when i learned it was an Arabic group that was responsible for the recent attacks, not just 9/11 but the Yemen ship and African embassy bombings. As a belly dancer, i have actually taken a cultural interest in the countries whose dances i am trying to learn. I have studied mostly North African history. It is a shame that the natives, the Berbers, were overtaken and converted by Muslims and Christians coming from outside their countries. When will the conversion wars end? Not that Osama and his lemmings cared whether there were Muslims in the Trade Center. Dictatorial brainwashing has been going on not only in the Middle East but elsewhere in the world for centuries. Muslims, Christians, and Jews all worship the same God and read the same holy texts. As a Wiccan i want to see peace and tolerance, but i'm afraid it won't happen any time soon.

My Thoughts Sep 13th. at 1:00:05 pm UTC

Joyel Lofton (Indiana) Age: 27 - Email

If I could light a candle each and every person that died I would.
I will always wonder what is going to happen next. As the news put it
they will never be able to stop all terrist attacks. No they can't
It can happen at anytime but you can't live your life wondering when
it will happen again. If I had a spell to make it all better I would.

9-11 Was A Double Tragedy Sep 13th. at 4:00:34 pm UTC

Aedh Rua (New Richmond, WI) Age: 36 - Email

A year later, and it seems to me that for Pagans, Heathens, and all non-Christian Americans, 9-11 was a double attack. We were attacked as a nation by fundies from without. Then, we were betrayed by fundies from within.

When the attack came, I felt rage against those responsible. I was ready to join with the Christians in a war against Al-Qaeda. At the same time, I felt fear. Could this the pretext for the foundation of a totalitarian state in America? Still, it seemed right to give the government its chance, the benefit of a doubt.

Well, in the year since, we have had the comments by Falwell, Robertson, and others. We have had the ten commandments going up everywhere. We have had an upswing in harassment against Pagans. We have had the restriction of our freedom in ways which have very little to do with getting the bad guys. And, in case no one else has noticed, the bad guys remain at large, conveniently around to serve as enemies.

Pagan Americans were attacked just like other Americans. Then we were stabbed in the back.

My Thoughts..... Sep 13th. at 5:40:06 pm UTC

Urytevaera (Canada) Age: 21 - Email - Web

I live up in Western Canada and though I am on the opposite end of the land September 11th still affected me.
I remember where I was that day (as most do), I was actually dreaming when the first plane hit.
My dream at the time showed an image of a wall, similar in style to the designs of the white house.
In the dream a bullet hit the wall and it slid down(exactly as the towers did) and a hole was left in the center of the 'new wall' where the old one was. I peered into the hole and I could just 'feel' that it could go on forever and ever....

I didn't really think about the symbolism of my dream until this september 11th 2002. I now see that we are making that hole deeper. All our hatred, all our fears are pouring in there....forever and ever(amen) :*(

Since September 11th 2001, I have begun to take more interest in the world around me. I know I can't change what is going on 'over there' but I CAN make a difference over here.
I have tried more and more little things to help others now. I can't say I am a saint, because I definately would not fit that title...but I realize that the world isn't revolving around me...its revolving around us, for us, and we have to learn to spin with the world and dance with it.

I may not know what is going to happen tomorrow, and if a bomb did go off, I wouldn't be suprised...but that does not mean I am going to give up on this place.
Things DO happen for a reason, yes, and me seeing the event (though by tv) has changed my life forever and for the better.


Thorts With You Sep 13th. at 5:51:13 pm UTC

paul flowers (UK, london) Age: 28 - Email

from your frends in the UK we will stand with you, in the figh agenst evil.
No it will never end as the has to be a balence and as long as we stand for good in the world there will always going to be evil fighting agenst us.
and theres just human natcher witch will always put one vew agenced another. i dont know but all we can do is stand together...

A frend from England

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