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Gary R Varner

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9-11-01: Our Day of Infamy
By Gary R Varner   

Last edited: Thursday, September 13, 2001
Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2001

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Opinions on the recent attack on the United States.

It is now two days since the horrible attacks on United States citizens occurred. We have universally huddled around our TV sets watching something that should have been simply a movie. But it is reality. As a pacifist, this has caused some internal struggle on my part. But pacifism does not simply mean to stand aside and watch as innocents are slaughtered. Gandhi said that we should resist violence and that we should not take up arms IF we are prepared to die but that we should not allow others to be killed if they are not prepared and willing to die. I seriously doubt if any one person of the potentially thousands of dead were ready. Self-defense is certainly justified.

What we must do is to make certain of who our enemy is. We must not wantonly attack and ourselves slaughter innocent people. But I do want revenge. I don’t think the people of the United States will be satisfied with the arrests of a few remaining terrorist who may be in the United States with a lengthy trial. I believe that the people in this country also want a fast and effective resolution to these problems.

However, this said, we cannot allow innocent people in this country to be abused and attacked because of their race, ethnicity, religion or dress. It is unacceptable for people who look “different”, who talk, “different” to be the focus of any retaliation. We are not the enemies of the Muslim people, or any other. We ARE the enemy of fanaticism. A religious fanatic is not confined to any one religion. Fundamentalism is an enemy to freedom and to justice. Be it Christian, Islamic or Pagan, we cannot allow fundamentalist to dictate how everyone should live and worship.

The Taliban are perhaps the most outrageous in this regard. Recently, women who did not wear a head cover have had acid thrown in their faces. Beatings are common if one plays music on a radio or doesn’t have an approved beard or hair cut. Women are not allowed to be educated or to have jobs. This is our enemy and this must be eliminated. Similar acts, not as extreme, have occurred among fundamentalist groups in the United States and elsewhere. It is interesting that they all embrace an extreme patriarchal belief system. A system that was, perhaps, the original source for many of our social problems over the centuries.

It is important that we focus our thoughts. it is important that we perform our magick to bring an end to this violence everywhere. Be it the terrible injustices given to the Palestinians by the Israelis, the atrocities performed by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the destruction of the Tibetan people and culture by the Chinese, the genocide of the indigenous people in South America, the suppression of the Indians in Mexico—it must all come to an end!

The United States must pursue actions that are based on ethics and humanity and not simply on economics. Our inactions in many of these situations have resulted in our own losses.

Web Site: Pagans in a Modern World

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Reviewed by Nellie Feng 9/14/2001
well written *****

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