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September 11

Posted Monday, September 13, 2010, at 7:58 AM

In 1978, while visiting my Grandpa in Union City, N.J., Grandpa took us on a subway to the World Trade Center terminal for a walking tour of downtown Manhattan and a trip to the top of the tallest building in the world, The World Trade Center. The top floor of the building open to the public was the 107th floor. That was where the restaurant was located. I don't remember for sure if the roof was the 110th floor, or on top of the 110th floor. The roof was closed that day due to high winds.

At the time, I suffered terribly from acrophobia. (A fear well managed these days but not gone.) My fear of heights was not at all eased by the fact that the building was swaying back and forth in the wind. I desperately wanted to lay on, or get as close to, the floor as I could to get that much closer to the ground. Apparently the most important part of this trip to the top was to look out the windows and down onto the miniature cars crawling on the streets below.

Everyone was ready to head back down, and I hadn't mustered the nerve to get up to the glass and look down. Grandpa waited with me, and held my hand as I slowly crept to the edge to look down. If I recall correctly, there was a several inch gap between the floor and the windows for the building frames where I eventually sat allowing my legs to dangle into that interior space.

It was a good feeling to ride down the elevator, feeling my ears pop, getting down onto the ground where we met up with the rest of the family and walked out onto the plaza and sidewalks of Manhattan. This is an experience I will never be able to have with my grandson.

I remember with absolute clarity the events of the day that World Trade Center was destroyed. It was the crowning achievement of those who would wage "holy war" upon us; whom they consider "the Great Satan." On the one-year anniversary, I was teaching a class of about 100 students. It was a difficult start to a long day for all of us. Now most of the shock and rage have dissipated. Time is a magical elixir, which seems to heal most, if not all, wounds.

Nine years later, the pastor of a church with less than 50 congregants has made international headlines because he plans to burn one or more Korans on Sept. 11. Why does this make the news?

What is it about this "event" that triggers a response from a top general, the U.S. State Department, and even the President. If I called every news outlet in the state to report that I was planning on burning a bible (not in response to the Koran burning) I seriously doubt that anyone would even report on it.

Does this make news because it is offensive to Muslims? Why should anyone care? There seems to be only minimal concern about the beliefs and feelings of Jews and Christians. After all, when someone defiles the things we hold dear, aren't we supposed to celebrate their right to do so in a free country?

Isn't it interesting that those who would be our leaders keep warning us offending Muslims may provoke violence and terrorism? What should we take from these warnings? Does might make right? Don't offend a bully? If you want your symbols to be protected (Christian or patriotic) should you riot or kill those who would defile them? Perhaps Christian, Jewish, or American leaders should publicly call for the deaths of those who attack these symbols?

The World Trade Center was a symbol. It represented the economic power of the United States and the opportunities available to the common man in western culture. The 3,000 people killed on Sept. 11 were somewhere between a bonus and collateral damage. There are nearly double that many people on an aircraft carrier or virtually any military base. On Sept. 11, our enemies attacked the SYMBOLS of American power; the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

So this year, on Sept. 11, one person in Florida may attack a Muslim symbol. The only collateral damage likely would be burn marks on the ground. What are your thoughts?


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

The jury trial previously scheduled for Monday, September 13 is no more. It has been settled in a very satisfactory way.

I will try to resume my regular writing schedule. However, the next 52 days may be a bit bussy.

CH

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Sat, Sep 11, 2010, at 1:06 PM

You can't make a blanket statement about the Muslims being a bully as that equates with the notion that ALL Muslims condoned the attacks. There are crazies in every religion...I still believe we have some "nice" Christians who are also members of the KKK who feel that white supremacy is taught in the Bible?? That's like the idiot in Florida who wanted to burn the Quran being a representative of all Christians. He's one fool who just happens to be a Christian like the groups of fools who happen to believe that to be a Christian they must love one another but only if they are Christian as well. Those are fundamentalists just like those Islamic fundamentalists who believe that a jihad is a war against those who are not Muslim. The jihad is the struggle within one's self to do what is right. Just like that cartoon of the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other as it was explained to us as children.

What offends Muslims is the prejudice of being associated with the fundamentalists and the inability for some western Christians to be able to know the difference when we ourselves have the same fundamentalist sects of our religion as well.

I say paint all the fundamentalists of all faiths who cannot seem to allow others to live in peace with the same brush and not continue to make statements that only state partial truths that let the prejudice and hate continue. Your general statements about them considering us the great Satan leave out important facts that it is not all Muslims who believe this...When you and others like you however continue to spread this and people in their ignorance who do not take time to learn about religions of others start to believe it is when you are helping to feed the fire of hate.

My own children have been accused of not being Christian due to their Roman Catholic faith in this very town in our schools because some people here live in ignorance about any religion except their own. If they are so ignorant about another Christian faith that shares many of the traditions of their own, you must realize that ANY negative propaganda about a non Christian religion is then the ONLY thing they know about it and leaving out the rest of the facts promotes the ignorance, mistrust, and prejudice.

Your blog should enlighten people. Not promote myths and hate. Think about your responsibility to mankind. Making prejudicial remarks might get the votes to get a job in a local court room but won't go far at that final judgment.

Think about it.

Have a good day.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Sep 11, 2010, at 5:51 PM

I would encourage anyone with an interest in this to actually read the Koran. It is surprisingly short. It is also surprising. You will be overwhelmed by the number of references to killing, looting, etc of infidels (ie. unbelievers - like you and me). You should understand that less than half of the book is from the period that the "prophet" was attempting to gain a following. This portion is the part referred to by those that claim that Islam is a peaceful religion. It does indeed discuss love and togetherness. It makes sense, because at the time, he was a nobody and had to get along to get ahead. The larger portion of the Koran is from the period after the "prophet" had gained his following and is now in the business of enlarging his power and territory. This is the kill them where you find them portion. Understand this. Whether fundamental or radical, it makes no difference. The one who simply holds to the text will do radical things. The peace-loving Muslims are outcasts of their religion and thought of as little better than an infidel. Getting along with them does nothing in regard to getting along with the portion that wants us dead. These people are seriously committed, and we aren't sure if we believe in Jesus or whether we are at war with Islam. Here's a news flash: Islam is at war with America - whether we want to accept it or not.

-- Posted by brazilian on Sat, Sep 11, 2010, at 9:19 PM

Brazilian:

I have read many portions of the Quran when studying comparative religion and discussed several with an Imam. Not sure where you get your information but the Quran has over 100 chapters and refers to the Bible and Torah as all being teachings of the one God. It even refers to Jesus's teachings as being respected and useful to follow. I don't remember any passages with references to killing etc.

Yes there are those who follow a brand of fundamentalist Islam who do not like Americians BUT there are MANY Americans who are also Muslim. I don't know how you can only acknowledge half truths. There are crazies in every religion and prejudice and ignorance just feeds the hate.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Sep 11, 2010, at 10:00 PM

Dear Jenny,

I have tremendous respect for your thoughtfulness and ability to express your point of view. However, I believe that you may have missed the point of the article. It is about measuring reaction to desecration of symbols.

Why is a top general, the U.S. Secretary of State, and the American President all cautioning us about the violence which may result from the burning of a Koran? Obviously, each of those people believe that violence will be the response. Why does this pastor's plans have media coverage beyond his church bulletin? Is it because the media who report it believe that there will be violence?

What does that say about our military and civilian leaders? What does it say about our media? Should we cower in fear of those who threaten death against those who exercise their right of free speech? Remember, the right of free speech is to protect offensive speech as polite speech needs no protection.

If the expected reaction is accurate, what does that say about adherents of the Muslim faith?

Finally, what should we as freedom loving Americans do when one person's right to free speech provokes violence from those who hear the speech? Punching a hippy in the face for burning a flag, or an artist who puts a crucifix in a jar or urine, is not excused by the offensive nature of the speech.

I do not claim to have the answer. That is why so many sentences in the article end in question marks. Moreover, I haven't yet heard anyone provide an obviously correct answer.

However, as "Brazilian" points out, Islam the religion, through its religious leaders, has repeatedly declared war on us. While we have waged war on some Islamic nations, we have also shed American blood to protect Muslims and Muslim nations such as Bosnia. We have never waged war back against that faith.

Finally, I haven't given much thought to my duty to mankind. However, I believe in questioning conventional wisdom and those who would be in positions of power. I believe in pursuing truth, even if it is hurtful or embarrassing. If I could impact Clay County in a positive way, it would be a crowning achievement. I seriously doubt that I will have any noticeable impact on mankind. I do however, hope and pray that the pursuit of truth, and justice tempered with mercy, is pleasing to God.

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Sat, Sep 11, 2010, at 10:46 PM

I guess all Christians believe it is ok to protest military funerals, murder Dr.'s that perform abortions, blame gays for 911 and Hurricane Katrina, burn down a mosque, etc. To say that "Islam" declared war on the US is a flat out lie. To paint a broad brush over any religion or group of people is wrong. I would think someone whose profession is a lawyer would appreciate that.

-- Posted by guesswho? on Sun, Sep 12, 2010, at 9:17 AM

Guess who: Well put.

I will respond to Charles's question as to why the over the top media coverage however...When people watch/read the shows, the news media makes money. That is why FOX news has updates about their entertainment shows during their news programs. Who cares who is winning some dance or singing competition. That's not news but that along with pieces that inflame and cause outrage among people who only have a few facts and not the entire story.

The media plays on the general ignorance of the masses to get them to tune in to ten second snippets followed by a five minute commercial message. To really learn the whole story one has to invest their time and watch more in depth coverage on multiple channels so they get multiple view points.

I find that by using the BBC, NPR, and several other networks you can get viewpoints from nay more points of view which then you can more easily decipher.

Muslims took part in homesteading in the 1800's and are as American as you and me.

I suggest that if you haven't, read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. It is required reading for all commanders in US military serving in Middle East. Well worth the time investment and explains the huge difference between the various Islamic sects and the Taliban rule which in actuality is about power and not faith...

Then read Holy Land, Whose Land by Dorothy Drummond. ISU Professor [retired now I think] who delves into why the Israeli conflict is where it is today. AFTER reading that I beleive you will have a different approach to presenting your questions about the middle East and the Islamic faith.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Sep 12, 2010, at 9:32 AM

Just for fun let's quote their book. So, question, will we ever make friends with this religion and what about those Muslims that are just "as American" as us? Answer: "Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrong-doers." Quran 5:51. Never read anything about killing? Try this, "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous." Quran 9:123 By the way, those are neighbors! How about these? "Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate." Quran 9:73 or "When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them." Quran 9:5. I could go on and on.

-- Posted by brazilian on Mon, Sep 13, 2010, at 4:13 PM

Funny brazilian, you must not read your own Bible. Your own Bible calls for death for such things as working on Sundays, being gay, cursing your parents, and not being a virgin when you get married. God also killed kids for making fun of bald people and killed a man who tried to keep the Ark of the Covenant from falling.

Death for hitting parents, adultry, followers of other religions (sound familiar), & non believers. I could go on & on. Their "evil" religion sounds a lot like yours. I'm admittedly not religious (guess I should be put to death according to your beliefs) but I also know the Bible says something about loving your neighbor, and not judging people. Unfortunately I see too many that pick & choose just what they want to believe.

-- Posted by guesswho? on Mon, Sep 13, 2010, at 6:15 PM

Funny brazilian, you must not read your own Bible. Your own Bible calls for death for such things as working on Sundays, being gay, cursing your parents, and not being a virgin when you get married. God also killed kids for making fun of bald people and killed a man who tried to keep the Ark of the Covenant from falling.

Death for hitting parents, adultry, followers of other religions (sound familiar), & non believers. I could go on & on. Their "evil" religion sounds a lot like yours. I'm admittedly not religious (guess I should be put to death according to your beliefs) but I also know the Bible says something about loving your neighbor, and not judging people. Unfortunately I see too many that pick & choose just what they want to believe.

-- Posted by guesswho? on Mon, Sep 13, 2010, at 6:17 PM

The Bible also says that it's sinful to wear a shirt blended of two different fabrics....Gotta get rid of those cotton polyester ones then as they must be straight from the devil [lol]

All of these religious books were written by isolated populations where specifics had to be spelled out to make the rules fit that specific community. It's only those who don't realize this and are still reading these Holy books and taking them literally who are the dangerous ones..And yes I mean the ones literally taking the Bible as well.

This is what I mean by fundamentalism in all forms and brands of religion. It preys on the ignorant in order to wield power over a population. There must have been some reason why a shirt should not have been made of wool/linen blend but that is now lost as it no longer applies to today's populations.....Maybe the shepherd author, Leviticus, knew a truly evil flax grower who was deflowering the young spinners in the neighborhood?? Who knows?

God gave us a brain people...We can all still recognize the message of love and brotherhood when God says to love each other yet we are still so quick to judge others who don't follow the exact path.

This person named "Guesswho" is more Christian by his/her statements according to what I was taught about the Love of Christ and his call to love each other than many other self proclaimed Christians who are quick to take on God's role of judging others.

The Taliban also feeds on ignorance by clothing and feeding the sons of poor families who have no other way to feed their children. Their madrasas brain wash them into their way of thinking and play on the ignorance of poor people. The schools supported by Greg Mortenson are built by Muslims and Islam is taught in them but they are not Western hating schools. They are no different than the fundamentalist Christian movements here that support the bombing of health clinics and shunning of gays...and have NOTHING to do with Christianity.

As I said go read those books. Both are written by Christians by the way...maybe you will be convinced by them as you don't seem to be able to be here.

HAve a good day

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Sep 13, 2010, at 8:51 PM

To Jenny, You said you had never read anything about killing in the Koran. It's there, alot. Keep in mind that this is the current law that they live under, if they follow the Koran. This is in contrast to the Christian who now lives under THE NEW TESTAMENT. All your examples of stoning etc were for the Isrealite people centuries ago. That law and it's various requirements were replaced in the form of the New Testament (Matthew thru Revelation). That said, there was a rhyme and reason for those laws which seem so strange to us. Jenny you've used the wool thing before and I'll answer the same now. "The prohibition in Lev 19:19 has a specific reason attached to it. The verse begins, "You are to keep my statutes..." God had separated certain things in creation and they were to keep them separate. They didn't cross breed animals, plant two kinds of seed in the same field/vineyard, yoke an ox with a donkey (parallel verse Duet. 22:11). Why? These children of God were to be separated from the worldliness that surrounded them. When the kids asked something like, "Mommy, why don't we wear wool AND linen clothing like the other kids?", she would answer some form of, "We keep ourselves separate. We don't blend rightousness with evil, or God's will with popular modern beliefs. Our clothing reminds of this everyday." God trained these people like children so that they and we would get the big picture - the adult lessons. We don't have this clothing prohibition today. It is not repeated in the New Testament and therefore not required of us. The principle behind the simple lesson is still true - don't blend with worldliness."

-- Posted by brazilian on Tue, Sep 14, 2010, at 9:04 AM

Jenny.. with no disrespect. Do you ever just read an article, and see the point being maid without burning your over excited liberal thoughts onto it?? Seriously? The first thing you have to say is " You can't make a blanket statement about the Muslims being a bully"?? You are BLIND!! He is talking about the people who get VIOLENT when things like the Quran be burned, or Muhammad be shown on TV. He said nothing about the none violent muslims. In fact lets read it again.." Isn't it interesting that those who would be our leaders keep warning us offending Muslims may provoke violence and terrorism? What should we take from these warnings? Does might make right? Don't offend a bully? If you want your symbols to be protected (Christian or patriotic) should you riot or kill those who would defile them? Perhaps Christian, Jewish, or American leaders should publicly call for the deaths of those who attack these symbols?" I find it even more interesting that he has to respond with this " I do not claim to have the answer. That is why so many sentences in the article end in question marks. Moreover, I haven't yet heard anyone provide an obviously correct answer." Some more of your responses are "Your general statements about them considering us the great Satan leave out important facts that it is not all Muslims who believe this...When you and others like you however continue to spread this and people in their ignorance who do not take time to learn about religions of others start to believe it is when you are helping to feed the fire of hate." Do you seriously think that because you read a couple of books on this faith that you are somehow the muslim front woman? All that typing, and your STILL missing the point.

-- Posted by sandman442 on Tue, Sep 14, 2010, at 9:26 PM

Wow - I love it HEAR - my fellow commenters - just getting my computer back on line I see I've missed alot. With a short read I believe Charles was asking what our thoughts were about the media coverage concerning the issues involving the destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, SYMBOLS of American power, since 9/11 was the anniversary of that dreadful day. All the media coverage regaurding the preacher in Florida was way over the top in my opinion - I didn't even get his point thus didn't pay much attention to the media coverage it was given.....HUH????? Ratings does say it all, sad sorry state of affairs. I can tell you on the front page of todays news there was a full blown article referencing a Judicial vote that was PASSED in court / Paris, France - that prohibits the wearing of customary Muslim veils for Muslim women in ANY public place within the French borders. Things that make ya wanna say HUH??????

I don't believe Mr. Hear holds a responsibility to mankind or Clay County or anyone for that matter in posting blogs. Blogs, I thought, were ones personnal opinion short or long, right or wrong, for others to read or not.......

Great food for thought Charles......

Have a blessed day, Silverlining

-- Posted by Silverlining on Wed, Sep 15, 2010, at 11:10 PM

Ok, so after a more thorough read of Charles' blog, I keep trying to wrap my brain around his asking for an obviously correct answer. I embarrassingly have to admit I am not well read with regard to the Koran, (a quick thumb thru many years ago brings to mind that it contains the teachings of Allah to Muhammad). Forgive my ignorance if I don't understand the connections made in the comments about that faith somehow being connected those who made the terror attack on The World Trade Center and the Pentagon. (Using my assumsion that some Muslims believe different interpretations, as do Christians, Catholics, Lutheran's, or Protestants interpret the Bible)

The US media has always thrived on sensationalism..... are our US leaders afraid that thru the press, would those who regard the US as the great Satan, read print as a threat by the entire nation? Thus, enticing more terrorist attacks on American soil? Are all Americans perceived the same? Fundamentally, don't we pledge to be of one nation, (under God), and isn't the phrase "United we Stand" something we adhear to as Americans? Haven't we as a nation already waged a war on terrorism?

I love reading Charles' blogs and I've learned so much from all the commenters. If there is an obvious correct answer to his questions I hope someone can pinpoint it......

Respectfully, Silverlining

-- Posted by Silverlining on Fri, Sep 17, 2010, at 4:49 PM

Dear Silverlining,

E pluribus unum. From many one. A national motto brilliantly encapsulating one aspect of the greatness of our nation and society.

Now, E unum pluribus seems more accurate. There is no more impulse to come together as one. Rather, an extraordinary amount of energy is spent trying to be separate. It is seen in the use of the hyphen such as Italian-American or Elizabeth Jones-Smith.

My guess is that there is no one size fits all answer to the problems outlined in my article. How can there be if every interest group must be satisfied by the answer. Particularly, when there are groups with antithetical points of view and goals. Can we even collectively identify what the problem is or even agree that there is a problem?

We can't even identify our enemies, admit we have enemies, admit we are at fault, assert we are not at fault, and who the heck is the "We" at the start of this sentence any way?

Intellectually, we have gone from having a society to a collection of individuals. Moreover, we are moving away from a collection of individuals to a disassembly of individuals.

I wonder what the future will bring.

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Sun, Sep 19, 2010, at 5:13 PM

Dear Charles- Intriguing that the questions raised in your posting can be answered with a question.....

I fear you hit the nail on the head in stating that as a nation our society is so diversified that we are merely a vast meltingpot of individuals, groups, cultures and religions. "We" the People, "One" Nation (under God, Allah, Budda or whatever) indivisable, E pluribus unam, "Our" forefathers, and simply the term "Americans" are terms that once drew us together as a unified people but have long since become unacceptable or offensive or innacurate. Yet, do our enemies see us as a collective?

The future seemingly promises the fundamental values that were the thread that bound us together as a nation will have unraveled to mean nothing more than a few pages in a US History book. (Unless those books will be banned along with a list of fifty others). Maybe New World Order will replace our current government, the Constitution will have been amended in it's entirety, the bankruptcy predicted will have come to pass, but one thing I'm thoroughly convinced of - we'll still be just a collection of individuals.......

I used to attend a bible study group in Poland, IN. It was lead by a brilliant Pastor, Mike Phelps. It was probably annoying that I constantly had a question. I was told that argument and question were the devil's advocate. I replied, "Without question, why does one seek an answer?"

As always, thank-you for continuing to write your blogs, for providing food for thought, and for your time, which I'm sure is a rare commodity with your ongoing campaign and legal practice.

Have a blessed day, Silverlining

-- Posted by Silverlining on Tue, Oct 5, 2010, at 2:38 AM


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