9/11: The Toxic Nature of Hate

Another 9/11 anniversary is here.  Predictably, my Facebook newsfeed is filled with the obligatory cheap and disposable patriotism that emerges on this day now.  It’s always amazing to me how people can treat patriotism like a t-shirt; put on and pulled off at need.  Like a young adult getting dressed for a night of partying, we don our patriotism so we can impress those around us.  It’s the image of patriotism that is important, not the substance of it.  I’m convinced that most Americans don’t know what patriotism is, that is has become a misguided synonym for hatred, racism, intolerance, and that the primary lesson America took away from 9/11 was fear and hatred.

I am disappointed in America.  We are better than what we have become.  We have a rise in Christian fundamentalism, a loss of rationality, a push for revoking the separation of church and state, a police state that spies on it’s very citizens, blatant and gross violations of our Fourth Amendment constitutional rights, a highly polarized electorate, and war-mongering politicians fueling the war machine with the blood of our children.  We have not-so-subtle racism becoming more and more a part of our daily lives, we have a fear of science, and we ostracize and ridicule intelligence and people of diplomacy and reasoned discourse.  Intolerance is rising and compromise is disappearing.  Grandstanding is the norm while conversation is discouraged.

We have to face the facts; America is not healthy.  We’ve eaten a solid dose of fear and hatred and it is poisoning us as surely as arsenic poisons a man.  The vitriolic debates and conversations at the political level have come down into the masses and even we, the people, are unable to have honest discussions without resorting to intentionally inflammatory speech and hatred.

This was, literally, said on Facebook today by one of my acquaintances:

“For the Far Left loonies who gloated and said that we got what we deserved on 9-11 and castigated all the progressives who didn’t share their venomous perspective, I just want to say that I am so very saddened….that is, saddened that you weren’t inside the World Trade Center on 9-11.”

Or what about this one I saw today as well:

“I don’t care what you think; all those fucking towelheads need to be kickd out of the country soon or they’ll be the first to go when shit gets ugly.”

Yeah – one statement is more intelligently delivered than the other, but both are examples of the level of vitriolic intolerance and hatred that fills this country now.

We need a return to reason.  We need to understand that a multitude of social media opinions is not the will of the people.  We need to embrace moderation and compromise.  Everything is not life or death.  Not everything is black and white.  And it’s ok to let your opinion get challenged by a well-reasoned argument.

  • No – I do not have to stand in front of the troops if I don’t support the war in which they fight.  Stop presenting me with false choice analogies as cheap digs into my patriotism.
  • No – I do not agree that we can never forgive the atrocities of 9/11.  I’ll never forget, but I refuse to hold onto my hatred and anger for that is the very poison of which I speak.
  • No – you cannot impeach the president because you disagree with him.
  • Yes – much of your hatred towards Obama is thinly veiled racism and nothing you have ever said or shown has challenged that statement on my part.
  • No – you may not put institutionalized prayer back in schools.
  • No – you are not persecuted and under attack if you are Christian.
  • No – Islam is not out to get you.  Neither are the gays or the atheists.
  • No – this is not a Christian nation and it never was.  Get over it.
  • No – it is not ok to shut down an entire city and conduct a door-to-door police raid on millions of people to find two men.
  • No – it is not OK for the NSA to spy on you, me, or any other American citizen without probable cause or warrant.
  • No – it’s not OK to be gate raped and to have our rights compromised just to fly in this country.

The list goes on and on and on, but the bottom line is that we’ve adopted intolerance and hatred as the societal norm.  We accept war and more and more we reject the multiculturalism that built this nation.  We allowed, in our fear, the government to strip us of our rights in the name of safety.  We want our patriotism to be like our religion: don’t question it and do it like everyone else does.  Or else.

In short – we are creating in our society a mirror image of the political, religious, and social structures of the extremists who attacked this country on 9/11/2001.  We are becoming the very thing we rant and rail against.  The terrorists have won.

Look at what we have become and weep.  The hatred we swallowed on 9/11 is poisoning us.  It is toxic and we need to heal and move past this ugly and dark chapter in our history.

2 Responses to “9/11: The Toxic Nature of Hate”

  1. You can forgive injuries done to yourself, but not those done to others.
    Mercy to the cruel is cruelty to the merciful.

    Happily, we have a Hebrew Bible as well the Greek one.

    Psalm 79:10-11

    “Why should the nations say ‘Where’s their God’? Let your servant’s blood that has been shed, be avenged in our sight”.

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