On the eve of an American tragedy, it is important to reflect and realize why we choose to remember these things, rather than forget. In reverence of the sensitivity of the issue, I’ll try to put my racism and bigotry aside for once. I’ve taken some time to detail 3 things, and this is by no means all-inclusive of what needs to be said about 9-11, we should all rest on as this day comes and goes.
Unity from Tragedy – As a Christian, I believe heavily in the sovereignty of God and that all things are done to ultimately glorify Him. I might not know how, you might not know how. Yet, it still stands as true. Putting religion aside, one can’t deny the tremendous swell of American pride and unity post 9-11. I was a bit too young to fully understand what was going on( I was in the second grade), but as I grow older and learn more, I understand just how powerful this event was. It revealed something inside humanity that we often seem to forget. Unity. We have a natural instinct to band together, to put political differences aside to rebuild a city and repair lives. This trait doesn’t just appear when bad things happen like a flow of adrenaline, it’s always there.
Again, I’d like to draw emphasis to putting our differences aside. No matter who you believe to be the cause of these actions and how you believe the events transpired, people still lost their lives. Lots of people. Something really bad really happened. If you can’t muster up enough energy to do more than one thing tomorrow, please just honor those who have died. Please.
It’s a shame that we need reminders like this to really stir up some vocalization for unity and progress. Not stupid unity like compromising religious beliefs and bastardizing words. Not stupid progress like pasties at awards shows and naked women in time square. I’m talking about things that really matter, like the protection of our freedoms and advocating for the lives of those around us. Does a plane really need to crash into a building to wake us out of this ruse? I surely hope not, but history says otherwise. Why don’t we try being proactive instead of just playing damage control every time something bad happens? Maybe it’s just too hard, I don’t really have an answer for you.
Terrorists aren’t humans – So I mentioned defending liberties, but I didn’t really state the oppressors. It’s no surprise that we face terrorism in this day and age. I don’t think it’s unique to the 21st century, but it does seem to be more prominent. Any time you deal with a problem, you must first identify the problem. What is a terrorist? (Well they AREN’T exclusively Arabs or Muslims) A terrorist is a fiend who has traded in their humanity for a mantra of hate, evil, and destruction. They aren’t humans. They cashed that in for radical ideas and some weapons. Whether it be “DEATH TO AMERICA”, “DEATH TO ISRAEL”, or really death to any group of people (besides themselves…fingers crossed), they are all volatile and putrid. A terrorist is someone who looks at the natural order of civilization and says “screw it” as they send women, children, or themselves into crowded locations with bombs strapped to their chests. Terrorists are fiends. Fiends. Lesser beings. Sure, the power of Christ can still sanctify them. I believe that. But at what point do we stop fiends from killing civilians? What’s the ratio here? 2:1? 8:1?
They compare in type, not degree, to people who cut in line. There was an obvious and apparent natural order(the line) and one or more people saw it fit that they could rewrite the rules and just not have to wait. They deemed themselves, their time, and their pleasure to be worth more than ANYONE else behind them. What happens when someone cuts? You point them out. Don’t kill them, just point them out. I wouldn’t point out a black, Islamic, Hoobastank fan for patiently waiting in line. They didn’t do anything wrong. So what if I disagree with their religion and taste in music? They are just fine. To further that point, I would stick up for their freedom to wait patiently in line by pointing out a white, red-headed, Christian who cut in line. Blatant idiocy does not deserve to persist. Terrorism doesn’t deserve to persist. It doesn’t matter who initiates this evil, they must be put down.
When a terrorist decides his or her ideology is so superior that anyone who doesn’t believe it needs to die, then we have a problem. It needs to be pointed out. They need to be shamed. They need to be locked away. Shot on sight? Maybe not, but when they take considerable action to kill innocent people, are we to just sit and watch? Hug them to death? Shout John 3:16 as the explosion singes the flesh of anything within the blast radius? When is it okay to forcefully impede the progress of homicidal rage? Do we always need the destruction of things we hold dear to motivate us to take action? These are questions that we, as a society, need to address and thoughtfully provide answers to.
9-11 should be one of the several annual reminders that bad things happen. Preventable bad things happen. Preventable bad things happen because we fail to prevent them. Preventable bad things happen because we fail to prevent the when we consume ourselves with lies and false comfort. Yes, America is the greatest nation to have ever existed, but we got this far through hard work. Is hard work not warranted for the sustaining of what great things we have? I think it is. I think we need to fight. Hard. Fight tirelessly to uphold righteousness, whatever your standard might be. Fighting isn’t always physical. Everyone plays a role. Speaking of roles…
Wolves, Sheep, and Sheepdogs – If you haven’t seen “American Sniper”, go now. In this awesome movie, there is one scene in particular that has stayed with me. Chris Kyle, the main character, sits at the dinner table with his family in a flashback. It is revealed that Chris had been involved in a fight defending his little brother at school. To reaffirm his son in his right-doing, Chris’ father offers some key commentary.
‘There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep. Then you’ve got predators, who use violence to prey on the weak. They’re the wolves. And then there are those blessed with the gift of aggression, an overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdog.”
There are 3 types, and only 3. Terrorists are wolves, most civilians are sheep, and those who serve and protect are mostly sheepdogs. Surely there is some wiggle room in those categories, but they hold true for the most part. Being a sheep ins’t bad. If there were no sheep, then there would be no need for a sheepdog. That being said, try your best to not be just an incompetent, oblivious, wandering sheep. Those sheep make it harder on the sheepdogs and easier for the wolves. So sheep, go about your day and do your sheep things, but don’t hinder the dog’s ability to help you, should trouble ever arise. Also, point out the wolves. Avoid them. Let the dogs do their job. Dogs, thanks for your help. Thanks for all you do and let me know how I can be a more helpful sheep. Wolves, kill yourselves.
9-11 is sure to arouse a periodic sense of pride, but don’t let it fall to the wayside like a church camp high. We need to remain vigilant. Point out bad things. Stand up for good things. Find hills to fight for. Hills to die for. Avoid hills that are better left for the pigs. Mourn and revere the dead. Honor the brave. Thank those who sacrifice. Appreciate the freedom we have. Do your best to perpetuate it. Remember these few things and these few tragedies so we don’t have to remember many, many more. Please, America. Please.