And so September 11, is here again – I had hoped that by now – sense of injury and outrage that I felt on that day would have begin to lift. But the events of this year make that profoundly difficult for me.
Events such as the controversy surrounding the placement of a mosque blocks away from the World Trade Center site. And the decision of a Christian pastor to lead his congregation to burn the sacred book of another faith.
You know, when I first heard of the prospect of a Mosque being established so close the Trade Center site – I was quite pleased. It seems the perfect cinematic happy ending. The thought that young Moslem people who be productively and lovingly worshiping their God, near a site where fundamentalists of their faith decided to destroy life seemed right – positive and good. in fact if someone had bothered to ask me – I would have said that I would not want any corporate activity to take place in the world trade center complex . That to honor the memory of the dead, the entire site should be converted into a center which would invite those of all religious faiths to meet, learn from, and grow with each other. It should be a space which offers low cost housing as well as schools. This would purge the area – make it pure and a fitting tribute to those who died there. Perhaps the center could house think tanks whose purpose would be to study the disease of fundamentalism in all faiths traditions – as this is a most grievous and life threatening mental and spiritual disorder. Perhaps there could be foundations created to work towards the healing of fundamentalism as well as other fear based thinking.
That fact that those building stood as a symbols of corporate and imperialistic greed is what made them vulnerable and the target of the equal evil of terrorism. This resulted in the death of over 3thousand lives. Precious lives snuffed out – energies removed forcibly for our human cloth and changing everything for always.
As person who is personally attached to the events of that September morning in NY – I need to be remember that what happened then, continues to happen every day – how many are killed through the effects of poverty and the lack of housing, decent education ,and health care. How many are being killed by bombs bought and paid for by my tax dollars? No the pain I felt as I was being informed of loved one’s who remains were being sifted out of ruble, that was not a unique experience in this world, there are others feeling that pain right now – almost daily.
How many America children are taught to hate those whose place of worship is different than theirs and whose skins color is not the same as theirs? How many American children hear their parents say that it is ok to kill those who have killed – or to blow up an abortion clinic because killing is wrong? Madness. Fundamentalism. The United States has its own brand of Taliban and we should be as dedicated to removing it from our midst as we are to removing the fundamentalist madness of other countries.
A fitting tribute would be for us all to finally learn what has been said over and over to us by so many sages , saints and holy man and women from the beginning of human thought. Fear begets more of the same. Perfect love casts out fear. Love you neighbor as you love yourself.
Yes, it would have been a fabulous good ending to this movie – the camera shot begins and pulls back showing the newly constructed World Peace Center. Strolling across the plaza are human being of all races and faiths. They are talking together and laughing – There are places of worship and schools. Daycare centers and playgrounds. Mothers nurse their babies in the park. Lovers hold hands and dream of the babies they will make together. In the building, non-profit organizations work to bring peace and economic parity to all. Environmental groups work with are receive the cooperation of the government to protect our air and sea and give good stewardship to out earth. Free and functional educations are provided to youngsters from pre-k thru college. Artists, musicians and healers have space to practice their art.
This is the redemption that is required – this is the redemption needed. I sorrow that it appears that we are so far from this . We are strong loving people, we American citizens – there is much evidence of this. Yet some where in our psyche we remain vulnerable – easy to manipulate. Fear can be injected into us without much effort – and we take this fear and run – into deeper and deeper despair.
So on this September 11 – I offer prayers of healing to and for us all. I pray for that minister – that he somehow is actually introduced to Jesus and his teachings I pray for my fellow New Yorkers, who feel offended that a Muslim place of worship should exist so close to where their loved ones died – may they come to understand that many Muslims / Americans lost their lives on 9/11 as well. Muslim/Americans are fighting and dying for our armed services, and are equal citizens of this country – would they consider asking a Baptist church to relocate itself? Islam doesn’t equal terrorism. And acceptance of each other’s faith and belief , as well as taking a close look at our addiction to oil and manipulating other governments, is truly the healing that will make sure that such a horrific event will never have to happen again.
The spiritual lesson is always the hardest – and that lesson is that on the other side of our human lives – they all sit. The terrorists and the victims – and they are praying for us all. They are hoping that we learn from the dance they danced together – they love us. Will we learn…?
World Peace Center – it’s a good idea. Perhaps one day. Perhaps soon.
Yours in thoughts of Peace,
L. Samsarah Morgan, DD