Sunday, September 11, 2011

God Bless Us All



I wasn't going to write about 9/11 on this tenth anniversary because what more can be said? Mass murder in God's name. I can think of few things more reprehensible. It's hard to put to words such chaotic emotions.

But this morning as I reflected upon this day ten years ago, instead of the fire and the smoke and the terror, I immediately thought of this: the moment of unity among our members of Congress while spontaneously singing "God Bless America." At the time, it brought me to joyful, hopeful tears.

Today I watched the video on YouTube, thinking it would summon similar tears, but I just felt sad. I wanted to cry but my eyes were dry.

I'm currently reading Quaker Pastor Philip Gulley's latest book, "The Evolution of Faith" so my mind has been swimming in streams of religious discourse. All I can think now when I watch this song of unity is that God is not on our side. God is not on "their" side. No matter how united we feel, as a people whose normal day involves arguing about how we should run our country, unity is only useful if it's for a good cause. The young men who signed up to fly airplanes into their enemies' greed towers and war buildings were united in thought that God was on their side. These Congressmen and Congresswomen, feeling inspired to sing in harmony about God blessing our nation, they must have felt that God was on their side. So who is right? Can anyone see God up in heaven holding up a sign? Does the USA get a 10.0? Chant: USA! USA! USA! What about Saudi Arabia? Iran? Al Qaeda? What's their score?

I just don't buy it that God is counting. I am proud to live where I live. I love God. I also love people who live in other areas of the earth. And I think they love God too. I just don't get it. This Us vs. Them mentality. All I see is it leading to endless battles and enemy building.

I have a radical idea. Let's quit fighting and see what happens. I bet it would be miraculous. The Onion has made it hilarious.

Peace, my earthly brothers and sisters. God bless us all.