Posted 8:45 P.M. MDT 10/11/01
It has been a month since that "day of infamy" when the twin towers of the World Trade Center were brought down -- an event which transformed the political landscape of the United States and sent it off to war. Since then there has been an outpouring of patriotic fervor not seen since World War II. Visit a city or town, and you will be hard pressed to look any direction and not see red, white, and blue. As the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan a few days ago, many stores in the U.S. could not keep up with the demand for American flags.
Such a revival in national unity and love for country has been hailed as a silver lining behind the September 11 attacks. The political acrimony of the last presidential election has all but evaporated. Recently Newsweek magazine ran a story entitled "No More Sour Grapes", detailing a collective sigh of relief throughout the Democratic party that Bush is president in light of recent events. Evidently they realize Bush will be a better war president than Gore would have been.
The military industrial complex thought so, too. That's why he's president.
But realities such as these, the corporate and financial tentacles that reach into every area of life, and how those interests impact people and nations around the world, are lost sight of in the flurry of patriotism. Emotion supplants reason, and what isn't black and white at all becomes exactly that in appearance. Compelling images of tired, dusty firemen searching for their comrades under tons of rubble, police funerals, and children made orphans, overwhelms the questioning voice of reason in most people, that is, if such a conscience was present before this.
Magazine and tabloid covers at a Wal-Mart check-out are covered with pictures of "ground zero" in New York City and political slogans such as "We have to pull together" and "We must all do our part." Above them sets a tray of shot glasses, stacked several high, emblazoned with the American flag and the words "United We Stand."
Nearby lies a full page newspaper insert sporting a full-page American flag and the words:
Today, we are a country as unified as we have been in recent history. There are no Democrats today. There are no Republicans. We are all Americans. The tragedy of this week's terrorist attacks on our nation has suddenly bound us together. [emphasis supplied]
True words. There is a great "binding up" going on in the United States right now, and September 11 is having its desired effect.
In ancient Rome the fasces was the symbol of the state over the individual. An encyclopedia describes a fasces as follows:
The fasces were cylindrical bundles of wooden rods, tied tightly together, from which an axe projected; they were borne by guards, called lictors, before praetors, consuls, proconsuls, dictators, and emperors. The fasces symbolized unity as well as power.
Modern fascism is derived from the Roman fasces. The central theme of fascism is that the individual must be bound to the will of the state which is the highest good. Fascism is also militaristic. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who was the first to use the word fascism to describe a political system, believed that countries that weren't expanding and making war were in decline. Perhaps our Skull and Bones President would share this belief in the "purgative power of combat," as might our House of Representatives which displays the fasces on the wall behind the speakers podium.
Whether the word fascism will ever be used again to describe our current political system is irrelevant. It is a syndrome of human government. The national emergency has created a new reality where the majority are binding themselves to the state for security, and where the increasingly shrinking minority will find themselves in the glaring spotlight of public scrutiny.
Jesus Christ spoke of this time in the parable of the wheat and the tares. In this parable the land owner said to his servants:
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:30
This Autumn marks the end of the spiritual harvest when this separation occurs. First, those who, actively or passively, are bound up with the general will to make war and "rid the world of evil doers" as the government articulates for them, are classed with the first group in Jesus' parable. They are bound up in the purposes of war and destruction, and in this attempt to save their life, they will lose it. Those who will not be bound up because they are of a different mindset and spirit than the first class, will be gathered into the place God has prepared for them.
One month after the attacks in New York and Washington there is a semblance of "getting on with life". But let more attacks come, as the F.B.I. is now warning the public to expect, and the resulting disruptions to the "American way of life" will cause people to support policies they would have never dreamed of previously.
On September 24 the Associated Press reported on a poll that found one third of New Yorkers to be in favor of establishing internment camps for "individuals who authorities identify as being sympathetic to terrorist causes." The definitions of "terrorist" or "sympathetic" are completely subjective, and one third are already willing to let the government identify those groups based on those definitions. How many will be in favor of this policy if more attacks come? It will be a vast majority.
The following poem was submitted to us and accurately reflects the emotional view of events as experienced by those being "bound up." It is followed by a revision which reflects the other view as well.
As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building,
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope,
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno,
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss,
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss,
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes,
We become one people.
We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.
[And another writer wrote in reply to this poem:]
It is often the case that humanity is drawn together in adversity. There is a phenomenon that occurs when people band together for the good of others and that phenomenon is that SELF is momentarily forgotten. What was witnessed in the WTC incident that evoked the above prose was that the true image of God was allowed to shine through the temporary cracks of human nature, but only long enough for them to take credit to themselves for it, rather than recognize that it was but a miniscule glimpse of Who God really is -- and who He wants us to be -- always -- not just in times of common distress.
That exhibition of selflessness remained only long enough for the feelings of anger and revenge to again efface the Divine image from those involved, and reecho the cry that originally precipitated this horror -- the call of blood for blood.
As to the spirit of unity in America, when addressing that phenomenon they could (should) have added:
We are one with the Beast, the Dragon that has instigated the atrocities of both sides.
We are one in rejecting the God of Heaven, the true Christ, for a false one who, historically, was a warrior called Barabbas, but now is nameless and faceless because he inhabits and possesses the minds and bodies of every group calling for the blood of the other.
We are one in our hatred of those things we once ascribed to Superman, "Truth, Justice and the American Way", with the exception of the latter since the "American Way" has become the way of bloodshed and revenge against those who have attacked us, not because they hate Democracy, as our mindless leaders claim, but because we would not leave them alone; because we are the only definers of "Democracy" and no one else's dictionary is valid.
We in America are one in our perverted need to reshape the world in our own image and thus continue the fetid stench of the doctrine of Manifest Destiny with which we rationalized the all but total annihilation of the Native Americans.
We are one in spirit but not necessarily in mind because we look with hatred upon anyone of our own ranks who does not agree with us in the manner in which we should exact revenge upon those who merely did to us what we were doing to them.
...and in this also we are one with the demons of Hell who, though they all have the same mission, the eradication of truth and the image of God from the hearts of men, cannot themselves help but squabble amongst themselves, for their definition of "unity" in Hell is when all agree with the strongest one merely because he is the strongest. "You are either 100% for us, or 100% against us."
We are one because we not only agree that "might makes right" but that might IS right.
We are one in that we are like a wounded beast that will attack and kill anything in its path -- even those who seek only to help it by speaking the truth to us that alone can heal our wounds and make us whole.
Yes, we are one in all this, and we will be one when those forces we have set in motion return and destroy us and burn us with the fire we ourselves have kindled.
Yes, America you are one, and soon there will be not the slightest utterance of disunity whatever, even amongst your own ranks, for there is no lack of unity at all within a mound of ashes, for you have rejected the One who longed to save you.
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