Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Darker Side Of Religion

Yes, we know who they were and we know how they did it.  But why?  Why, we continue to ask.  The truth is so hard to realize but put very simply, the horrors of 9/11/01 were done in the name of religion.  The religion of hatred.  Organized.  But at the cruel center, still a religion.  I don't believe God has anything to do with religion, but we do look to God when things are done with religious fanatasim.  This is the truth we find so utterly unreal, so unacceptable, so confusing.  How many have asked over and over, is God uncaring?  Is God so indifferent that He would allow this incredible tragedy, this unbearable loss, to just happen??  We all know exactly where we were that morning, but many have taken to ask WHERE WAS GOD THAT DAY?  Well the Judeo-Christian God was exactly where believers know He is:  in their hearts.  I have no idea where Allah dwells.

This is the darker side of religion that America has finally been forced to face.  So many other countries have lived with terrorism in some form or another for centuries, and with broken hearts now welcome us into their numbers.  What happened that day was the worst tragedy in American history.  Was is because of the number of people who died?  No, for in just one day during the Civil War Americans killed 20,000 other Americans at Shiloh.  Was it the way they died?  Certainly horrific and impossible to imagine, that's still not quite it.  I believe it was our worst tragedy ever because of the reason it was done:  Religion.  These Muslim men, young men, truly believed with all their hearts and in their faith - their own jihad - that they were serving God, and in so doing, would become martyrs.  The religion of Islam does not teach such things as mass murder nor even suicide, which certainly is what these men performed.  But to sacrafice one's life for the "community" is thought to be a genuinely good and holy act.  How foreign this is to our minds!  How incredibly cruel this feels to our torn souls!  As it should, as italways will.  This is partly why we will never find true closure, never truly "forget" what happened on 9/11/01, because deep in our being we know this massacre was commited in the name of Allah, God by any other name. 

To live in a world where many people believe in many gods can be difficult, but not impossible.  What's impossible is acceptance of a religion which says only the god of their belief is the true one, and only they know want he wants and what he feels.  To state that you are an "infidel" if you don't believe in this one true god is anathema to our ears.  We've become accustomed to worship in our way and allow others to worship in theirs, giving due respect and validation.  But who can accept such arrogance as to say only their beliefs are the true ones?  It's impossible, most especially in this free land. 

Islam worships Allah.  So in that name were these murders commited - but not for Islam, rather for hate's sake.  Islam turns its face in utter shame at what was done, and rightly so, for in teaching the tenets of a religion one must take responsibility for the fringe, the literalists, the "true believers", the fanatics, the self-sacraficial mind-set of those who seek the higher moral ground.  Never think this is something confined only to Islam.  You find people who think this way in all religions. 

As I try to make peace in my heart with the God of my fathers, I know this has changed me, has hardened my heart and closed off a small part of my mind.  This is made all the more difficult because I watched as that second plane sliced into its target.  My eyes followed the trail of smoke as I stood in shock at my window.  Yes, it IS the way it happened!  Think on all the religious wars fought over the ages of man - each side had their banner and proclamation.  But these people had nothing!  They were innocent, blameless, they did not know their existence was part of someone's religious war, someone's jihad.  They did not know how fiecely they were hated.  All those people knew was their right to life, and that right was being stolen.  They were not soldiers of war - but became heroes to us all, heroes of the human condition, for as that one image reminds us - when all seemed hopelessly lost, two strangers standing on a ledge, with the fires of hate burning at their backs, reached out to each other, and made a leap of human dignity - and faith.             

 

12 comments:

sugarsweet056 said...

I think this was the biggest PEACE TIME tragedy. I think that is what touches us so, that our Country was at peace. To think this could've happened during war would be devastating, but during peace time is unthinkable to us! Plus I'm sure a big part of it is the religious aspect.
Blessings, Sugar

hugsdoodlewacky said...

((((((((((((((((((LUDDIE)))))))))))))))))))I just dont know what to think of all of this,why it happend,thank you for sharing.

bobandkate said...

I think that the attacks struck straight to the heart of Americans. The outside world suddenly and brutally came in to America. I was as shocked as you. But I grew up in Ireland, where the troubles in Northern Ireland raged for many, many years. Even in the relative safety of the South bomb scares were everyday occurences. Given that both sides in the troubles were Christian faiths, I do not find it so hard to believe that religious extremists would go to such lengths. It is frightening, and the London attacks (7/7) and the recent foiled plot in the UK show that this threat remains very real indeed.
Kate.
http://journals.aol.co.uk/bobandkate/AnAnalysisofLife/

debbiewebb4465 said...

Thank you for sharing this, it helps me understand a little better about the religious aspect of it. I'll never truly understand it though, it still saddens me greatly. God bless you Cathy.
hugs Debbie ~xxxx~
http://journals.aol.co.uk/debbiewebb4465/TheLifeTimesofanEssexGirl

plittle said...

I disagree. It was done in the name of hate. Some people use religion as a framework for hate, but for them, the hate comes before God, and if God were stripped away, the hate would still remain.
-Paul
http://journals.aol.ca/plittle/AuroraWalkingVacation/

siennastarr said...

It is unimaginable, just as you said, that men could believe that a God of love would want them to do such horrendous things.  I do believe those men were brainwashed into thinking that God would find a place for them in heaven for committing such evil.  You are right though... it's the religion part.. the in the name of Allah part.. that makes the events of 9/11 even harder to understand.

Jackie

valphish said...

So well stated, Cathy.  I find it so scary that some can be brainwashed, and I do believe that these men were brainwashed to think that such an act would be "good in the sight of Allah".  How else would they be able to do such a thing?  It is so against a human's soul and conscience?  Unless they were all sociopaths.  It is still hard for me to fathom it all.  Still hard.  Very well written, Cathy! xox
http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

daddyleer said...

Evil people can use anything to manipulate others.
Patrick

stevietwain said...

I'll never understand how some people can be so evil.....it baffles me.

We'll never forget!

Lv Stevie
xxx

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