Reflections of the Past

Nine years ago, our country came under attack.  Extremists brought the battle to our front steps and put the horrors of war in our own back yard.  Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost, physically, spiritually and emotionally.  The effect of this attack was felt across the nation, across the world and across the minds of a generation that has been dragged into this war. 

In the times we live in, we are surrounded by anger and hatred.  As Christians, how do we forgive those who have taken the lives of our mothers and fathers, our friends, our brothers and sisters, fellow country men. 

I have seen to many Christians and churches shouting messages of anger and hate through the way they talk, hold themselves up, and act.  We have pastors who incite violence by threatening to burn the Koran.  We have brothers and sisters who refuse to acknowledge those of another faith.  We have scripture that tells us to love our neighbor, but yet we spit in their faces by denying them forgiveness. 

I’ve heard people blame the whole Muslim world for the attacks of September 11th.  I don’t believe that.  We cannot blame a faith for what individuals do with it.  If we are to say that all Muslims are to be blamed for these terrorist attacks, then shouldn’t all Christians be to blame for the hundreds and thousands of attacks in Ireland over the past century?  People manipulate faith to fit their agenda of violence.  Muslims and Christians alike. 

We cannot blame the Islamic faith and religion for what a certain group of individuals did.  I have known many Muslims who were and are outraged by the violence of the extremists.  I have friends of the Islamic faith who had family and friends who passed away these attacks.  I know others who are serving in our armed forces over in Afghanistan and Iraq.  To say that all Muslims are to be blamed for the attacks of 9/11 is not only ignorant, it is wrong. 

While I have tried to keep my political opinions out of this blog, there is one issue of faith that has made international news.  The so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.” 

Almost two and a half years ago, I got the opportunity to travel across southern Spain with a group of art students for class.  While there, we got the privilege of seeing many places of faith, from grand and decorative Catholic Cathedrals to small and sparse Jewish synagogues.  One of the greatest places that we got to see  was the Great Mosque of Cordoba.  This building was fascinating in its architecture and in its history.  It was built by Muslims, Christians and Jews, all working together.

I bring this up, because they lived in peace.  When one needed help, the others provided because that was how they lived.  That is how we, not only as Christians but as human beings, should live.  In harmony with one another and, in effect, with God. 

When I first heard about the proposed building of a mosque a couple blocks from the site of the World Trade Centers, I didn’t think anything about it.  In fact, I support it. 

Before rocks and stones are thrown at me by hundreds and thousands of directions, let me explain.  In having an Islamic Cultural Center near the heart of Ground Zero, we show the world that we can rise above anything the extremists can do.  We show the world acceptance and forgiveness, love and compassion.  These are things all Christians should strive for, not just within yourself and with God, but with others around you. 

If it were up to me, on the sight of Ground Zero, in the midst of the memorial, there would be a place of prayer, open for all faiths and religions.  Christian or not.  Why?  Because it shows that we not only forgive, but we accept those of different faiths. 

We are a generation that has been scarred by hate, indifference and anger.  Yes, the attacks of September 11th, 2001 were a tragedy and we should never forget the heroes of that day, those still with us and those that passed into death.  But it is not enough to not forget, we must forgive.

Forgiveness is the beginning of healing, and until this generation and this nations heals, we will only be hurting each and every year. 

God Bless and PEACE


1 Comment »

  1. weight Said:

    yeah my dad will like this

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