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I think it is important for us to hear a variety of voices, not just those
that agree with us nor just those that comfort us.  Otherwise, We will not
make a rational response. Those who listen only to those who flatter the
USA set themselves up to be surprised that anyone does not like America.  
We cannot afford that naivete.  Nor can we afford the naivete of viewing
as enemies anyone who calls attention to our nation's short-comings (or to
our own).

Some Americans actually believe our own nation's propaganda, thinking, for
example, that we are the most generous country in the world.  Many studies
of comparative generosity rank us way down the list.  Some of the others
who are generous don't tout their generosity as loudly as we do.

Both XXX XXXXXX and YYYY YYY have pointed out that many Americans are out
of touch with the way that our own government has trained terrorists to
act against our enemies.

One is not a terrorist merely for recognizing that some of the hatred
towards America derives from actions you and I have paid for, at a higher
tax rate than a tithe.

We do not have to go outside the USA to find critiques of NYC. Just a week
ago many US citizens all across America routinely made jokes about NYC
that hardly respected us as of one blood with the rest of the country.  
The same was true of parts of ECUSA toward the church here.  As a gut
level, and one which still embarrasses me, I was initially surprised by
the nation's response, 'They really do know we are part of them, that this
is not just against NYC but against every little town in the country as

Also, many now seem to talk as if only Americans died in that blast.  The
WTC had a large concentration of foreign financial institutions.

If we do not have a full view of the tensions, we are likely to make blind
responses to them, even to the point of counter-terrorism against those
who look like the terrorists.  Anyone who does not believe that risk is
real probably should take an autumn holiday to Afghanistan or Iraq next
week, or dress in typical Islamic clothing right on your own street in the

How many links will our government require the terrorists to have to a
country before we blow to smithereens others who live there?  How many of
the 293 units in the coop apartment where I live will have to be occupied
by folks who look like the terrorists before the rest of us in the builing
will be accused of harboring them?......

May God give us the patience to peruse evidence in its complexity.  

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate
your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who
persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for
he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the
righteous and on the unrighteous.  For if you love those who love you,
what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And
if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than
others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Be perfect, therefore, as
your heavenly Father is perfect."  Matthew 5:43-48

What a tough standard!  May God bless you and all the rest of us as we try
to live into it.


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