Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Remembering 9/11

Authoritarianism: 1. of, relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority. 2. of, relating to, or favoringa concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people.

On the fifth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York we find ourselves reflecting on the memory of that tragic day. As we find ourselves bombarded with the images and personal stories on the front page of the newspaper, with various movies that beg for a way to invade our consciousness with their dutiful agenda, with the political motives of those in power or those who wish to be in power, with the faint whisperings of plans for even more devestating destruction, with the terrible stories of those who perished on that day five years ago and the countless others who have fallen since then in response it's hard to evaluate what has become of our world since we witnessed those horrid visions of planes bursting into fireballs as they struck two of the tallest buildings on the planet. How could the hands and hearts of human beings reach out and crush the very foundation of human civilization with complete disregard for the lives of other human beings? This is the question that burns at our guts when we look back at all that has been wrought.

Violence lives in the heart of authoritarianism. When people give themselves up to external authority they relinquish their freedom and independence in exchange for a false sense of security sought by releasing themselves of the burden of responsibility to self-reflect and shape their own destiny. This destructive impulse exists throughout our world in many stifling environments where religious or cultural dogma attempt to thwart the very will of humanity. The terror we witnessed on September 11, 2001 was a reflection of the human weakness of authoritarianism...and the response by many leaders in this country as well. Let us not forget what lies in the true heart of freedom and never give up our noble ideals to those who covet them using fear and terror as their allies. To be free means that we must be courageous and point this country in a new direction, one that respects the thoughts of all individuals no matter the culture that may guide them. This is the only true path toward peace.



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