Musing on organized religion
By ANDREW MURPHY
I know this will be an unpopular position and comment, but it needs to be said. It needs to be remembered that one of the major driving forces …
By ANDREW MURPHY
I know this will be an unpopular position and comment, but it needs to be said. It needs to be remembered that one of the major driving forces behind this heinous act was faith, belief in mythology, and organized religion.
I know, I know, it will be said this was committed by one particular faith, or being more generous, that they weren’t living up to the true tenets of that particular faith. Or it will be said that these are all religions of peace, and these are just extremists. But if all these religions were as peaceful as they claim, the extremists in their midsts would, by all accounts, be extremely peaceful. The problem is not religious fundamentalists, but the fundamentals of most organized religions.
If anything, 9-11 should have been a wake-up call that we as a species are coming to a choke point, and the only way we are going to get past this, and survive as a species, is if we finally leave these Bronze Age myths and belief systems in the dustbin of bad ideas. Organized religion needs to be reduced to the influence level of astrology. That would be something to enjoy pondering, perhaps, but if actually brought into the room where actual policies are created, will be laughed out of the room and not invited back.
We need to remember we are human beings, each of us minor cogs in the wheel of life, in the interdependent web of nature, living our fairly short lives on a tiny speck of a rock in a otherwise remote section of the universe. We need to remember those who looked to help that day, who tried to ease the pain and anguish of others. Because it was the right thing to do, and not because of some supernatural entity commanding them to. We need to remember we are all in this together. We need to remember to double our efforts to strive for a just and equitable world.
By STEPHEN STUART
For a brief moment in time, the world was in sync with the magnitude of human tragedy. Hearts and souls were united in grief and the burden of sorrow felt by the United States was held by everyone.
It was a moment to grasp and take a giant leap forward to a different world order, a world where compassion for suffering was transformed into the healing of the cause of suffering.
Tragically, we took a different path. Our country chose fear, anger and hatred in its response, “Never forgive, never forget.”
I understand “Never forget.” It means that we keep the memories of lost loved ones sacred. Unfortunately, “Never forgive” causes a horrible burden of anger and guilt to be forever borne. And, sadly, that burden dishonors the lives lost.
So I say “forgive,” and welcome back the sweet memories of lost loved ones and let those memories heal the pain of loss, anger and hate.
By CASS COLLINS
It feels like we’re back where we started 20 years ago, except with many more dead and wounded. A generation has grown up at war, both here and in Afghanistan. The cultural changes that were allowed to flourish under a weak but secular government there, like the education of girls, have been erased like a blackboard at the end of day. Meanwhile, extremism has flourished here at home with propaganda buoyed by corrupt media outlets like Fox News.
In 2001, my living-room windows in Lower Manhattan looked out on the Twin Towers and a patch of sky. On 9/11 that view was wiped out in a blaze of fire and smoke and a haze of white ash that coated everything in sight. I and my family and anyone who witnessed that day were shell-shocked for years after. We suffered from invisible scars. Some still do. We passed on the burden of our injury to a generation that fought back against our enemies, on the battlefields and streets of foreign lands. They sought a just ending to the battle started by extremists on the other side of the world who saw our own culture as corrupt. Sometimes it seems all we did was bring extremism back home. I’m grateful to all who served. They were mostly honorable soldiers who followed their leaders. They deserved a better outcome, a clearer definition of success. We all did.