Or maybe through the minefields, when it comes to 9/11, because it has a different meaning for everyone.

We all remember where we were when events like that happened: when the Kennedys were assassinated, when the planes hit the Twin Towers.

Whitley and I had only recently lost our cabin in upstate New York and moved to his hometown of San Antonio, into the condo we’d purchased for Whitley’s mother which, now that she’d died, belonged to us. We’d packed up our things and driven West in the middle of a blizzard, and now we were lonely, missing New York, not sure about being in Texas.

Whitley got an alert on his computer and we turned on the TV just as the second plane hit, seeing people running everywhere–our beloved NYC seemingly being devastated, maybe even destroyed. Despite the mayhem, we longed to be there, felt guilty for NOT being there.

Although we’ve visited New York many times since then, I’ve never yet had the courage to go look at "the hole," at the 9/11 memorial. When they build that tall new building there, I may end up going there, but if I do, it will be because there’s another reason to be there–not because it has anything to do with 911.

The World Trade Center towers were universally hated when they were built. They were ugly and out of character for the area in which they were built. They changed the Manhattan skyline and cut off an avenue from pedestrian access. I learned from someone who worked for the Port Authority that there existed a wonderful world of stores and restaurants in the basement, but I never shopped or ate there. We did dine at Windows on the World a few times, since it was located at the top of one of the Towers, and the view was breathtaking.

9/11 introduced me to the concept of religion as a vehicle for hate: People who claimed to be religious used their beliefs to justify killing thousands of people (along with themselves) in a horrifying way.

I’m told by those who know that, since the Qur’an is a very complex book, if you want to find an excuse to vent your hate, some part of it will give you the "permission" you seek.

When we moved to Texas, I met other people who used religion to play the "hate card"–hatred of blacks, gays and Mexicans, especially. Just as with the Qur’an, I suspect you can find a Bible verse to back up anything you want to believe, if you try hard enough and resolutely ignore the actual teachings of Jesus.

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1 Comment

  1. This is the reason why I am
    This is the reason why I am polytheistic (Roman Pantheist). Monotheism, in itself, seems to be one of the more destructive religions than the religions of old, maybe because it promotes the cultivation of a one-track mind and banal stupidity.

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