Saturday, September 10, 2011

I refuse to participate

Ten years ago, a tremendous tragedy occurred here in the United States.  We are all aware of it.  Rather than addressing the root causes of an anger so great that it would attack civilians, this nation endorsed, a witch hunt, a war, torture and xenophobia.  I refuse to participate in keeping violence and hatred alive and fresh in the memories of Americans.  The lives lost to this tragedy and the ensuing 'war on terror' have climbed to climbed to the hundreds of thousands.  Those lives, all of them, were precious to someone, and I remember that.  There were a couple thousand victims of 9/11.  Add to that dead civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus the soldiers, contractors, and journalists.  Now add the people who will die of disease or starvation because their method of subsidence has been destroyed.  Add the people who have been denied humanitarian aid by the United States because so much of our money and resources are sunk into fighting "terrorism".

I will not wrap myself in the flag of my country and cloak of righteous indignation and cheer as people die. It diminishes those lives to political (and let's face it, religious) symbols justifying violence.  It distracts us from the work of creating peace.  It makes us fight amongst ourselves, give away our rights and defend undemocratic ideals.  Today, I will light a candle to honor the dead- the victims, the terrorists who felt compelled to make themselves heard this way, the soldiers who died on both sides, the people who were caught in the crossfire of fear and warmongering and profiteering.  I will think about the families who are no longer whole, but I will not participate in any "patriotic" display.  I will not listen as people use this tragedy to further their ambitions.

I know this position is likely to be unpopular with many people.  That's fine.  I'm exercising my right to free speech. I am following my own conscience, which says " Life is precious, people deserve peace, and hatred and violence only breeds more hatred and violence."

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