Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Home of the Free, because of the Brave!

I can't do it better so I prefer to do it justice. From my nephew's blog:
Following the attacks which occurred on September 11th, 2001, I pulled my site
from the web and replace it with a memorial page. This page grew into a site
containing artwork, poetry, and other writings from me and my friends. In
remembrance of that horrific day, I am making the site available from now
through Friday. You can access the site by clicking the image above.
May We Never Forget
As for my own reflections: Note: this is a frank telling of what I experienced first hand. It is not a complimentary veiw of the 'Plain People' so if you want to preserve your Norman Rockwell image of the Amish and Mennonites then you don't want to read this one. This is probably the first time I've spoken so openly about 'what happened' to me that made me leave the church.
The morning of Sept 11, '01 I was still in the conservative Mennonite church (Eastern Mennonite Conference) but having grave doubts and concerns. The thought has materialized that I might need to leave but it was a frightening thought. Then the world I knew and trusted came tumbling down around me. I was at a large, busy farmer's market when the news of the Towers came across the televisions. The entire place was like a hornet's nest that had been shaken. No one moved a lot but they moved in groups humming and buzzing away. The facial expressions were more of confusion yet than anger. Shock but not yet horror. Out of an odd sort of fear of the crowd (or was it my reaction to the crowd?) more than the event itself, I left to go home. Mennonites ignore such public displays and 'rise above' mob mentality and I was having a very hard time doing that. On the way home I cheated and listened to the radio for the news. By the time I got home, the other two shoes had fallen; The Pentagon had been attacked and a plane had gone down in PA not an hour from me. My thoughts came fast and furious but the prevailing always was "How will the Mennonites respond to this?" I would soon have my answer.
NYC..Mennonites: well, that was a target waiting to happen and all "real" Christians know how sinful that place is. God just smote Soddam and Gommorah again. They deserved it. Me, as a nurse: So many potential patients! The hospitals will be overwhelmed! My VA license is still active maybe I could help somehow? My horror was later realized when there were almost NO PATIENTS to treat. This is the ultimate worst case scenario for any nurse to endure.
The Pentagon.... Mennonites: it's the seat of war and arrogant human resistance against each other. It was bound to fall sometime and God chose to make it an example. Me as a child of a proud Navy retiree and native of Norfolk/Va Beach: The Pentagon is the epitome of the strength and superiority of our fighting men and women. A home of honor and courage but most of all, it is impregnable. How can this icon of military strength be compromised?! I realized how devoted my heart is to those brave souls who stand between me and tyranny. The military is order, civility, courage, strength, HONOR and I was mortally offended that it would be compromised.
Shanksville... Mennonites: well had the passengers been non-resistant the blame would have been on the hijackers and the others would have died in the hands of God but now they have ruined perfectly good farmland and died in a sinful state of aggression. Well, none were "real" Christians anyway so I just pray they found God somehow before their death. Me as a resident of a foreign state, culture, and environment: Am I not safe even here? I moved here to be rid of the things that tempt me, to immerse myself in Mennonites so I'd blend in better, I'm not safe, I don't blend in and I can't feel contempt for people who don't sit next to me in church.
I actually prayed at one point that my reserve unit would be activated and I'd be forced to choose my allegiance. The more time went on and I witnessed the lack of concern - TOTAL lack of appreciation! - for the results of this cowardly act of terrorism by the Mennonite community, the farther I felt from them. As far as they were concerned it was just another typical over-reaction by a society obsessed with violence and emotion. They are not 'citizens' of this world so it doesn't concern them.
Need I say that it was a defining event in my disassociation from the Mennonites and the birth of my own self examination. I can tolerate lack of compassion sometimes, I can tolerate ignorance...but arrogance and emotional vindictiveness in the name of "christianity" is not within my ability to tolerate. The terrorists didn't destroy a part of my life, they gave birth to a renewed patriot and advocate.
America - Home of the Free...BECAUSE of the BRAVE!


Diana said...

I've often wondered, but didn't ask out of a respect for your privacy. You've just outlined why, although my faith in a Higher Power is strong, I don't attend a church.

And I too dislike public emotional displays. But as I told the DH yesterday, there will never be an anniversary of 9/11 where I won't be in tears.

Joel McDonald said...

You totally need an RSS feed.

Mormonism provides all the modern patriotism anyone could possible want, and yet at the same time believe that Mormon leadership will one day control the world.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience and thought process.

Elaine said...

Re: RSS feed...tell me about it! I've tried and not been able to get one to work. Assistance is always welcome. :)
Re: Patriotism, both systems scare the daylights out of me honestly. It's not patriotism so much as respect for human dignity and compassion that I look for. I fear the intentions of anyone who can justify or dismiss the misery of others.