Thursday, September 11, 2008


How are you observing 9/11, asks I guess the assumption that it's still a day of wailing, sobbing, self pity and recreational anger is still with us.

Perhaps like 12/7 or an endless host of infamous dates, 9/11/01 will continue to live in infamy amongst a dwindling number of old men for a while, but eventually become one with the date on which the battleship Maine sank (2/15) and itself sink into irrelevance to anyone but historians. 4/19, the date on which a right-wing Christian terrorist blew up the Murrah Federal building, has long disappeared from the list of American passion plays.

We're no longer, for the most part, bombarded with daily warnings of mysterious Internet "chatter" and mysterious unattributed warnings or "terror," and fear of invasion by bearded, dark skinned maniacs isn't rampant in the streets of small town America.

To me it's a day. It's a Thursday which means my wife volunteers at the Red Cross and I pay bills, take out the garbage and do chores. Yes, I will be thankful nothing fell on my son and I do remember an old acquaintance who didn't make it out alive, but I'm not going to follow the many e-mail suggestions to put flags on my car, or have moments of silence or forward messages to everyone I know. I'm not going to help inflame more anger or self-pity or any of those things George Bush used to get us to support a bogus war during the first day of which more innocents were killed than died in New York.

I'd rather remember that Osama bin Laden is still unaccounted for, that "the troops" we're supposed to support are being let down by the government who sent them overseas under false pretenses, false assumptions, without proper reinforcements, with insufficient planning and resources. I'd rather remember, if I must remember something today, that this country seems poised to refuse to learn a simple lesson and put people of the same mindset and even less integrity into office to replace him.

I have no way of knowing whether my grandchildren will still be "observing" 9/11 when they are my age, or even if they will have any idea of what happened subsequently. Their ideas of history may very well be wildly different from my ideas about current events. A lot of that depends on what happens on 10/4 of this year. Will it signal a return to sanity, to the basic principles of secular, liberal democracy, or will I be observing it in the coming years from the Windward Islands?


jwthurston said...

According to Wikipedia, Timothy McVeigh was not a practicing Christian. "McVeigh professed his belief in "a God", although he said he had "sort of lost touch with" Catholicism and "never really picked it [back] up ... He said, "Science is my religion."

Capt. Fogg said...

Thank you for your comment.

Of course some have asserted that he killed people in retaliation for the Waco tragedy because he was an atheist. That's hard to understand. Atheists don't have high regard for David Koresh. But yes, I need to explain.

No, I'm not saying that he represented any sane form of Christianity, but it's very hard to say that he chose terrorism to defend a Christian extremist group without implying Christian sympathies -- regardless of which sectarian doctrines he may or may not have agreed with. I also do not believe he acted alone. Does avenging David Koresh have much to do with science?

I'm not sure what "practicing" means anyway, since I've never met a Christian who practiced Jesus' teachings and practice doesn't mean belonging to a church.

We could argue for a long time about what actually makes a Christian a Christian and it's pointless, but I will agree that Christianity bears no blame for this event or for his actions. My intent was partly to point out that no one religion has a monopoly on terrorism or the justification of terrorism. It was also to point out that we are not mourning and wailing for the loss of those good people and to ask if that's because they were not killed by Muslims.