On the street, a row of middle class homes, no flags dance on the front porches in the early morning breeze. The skies are as clear and blue as they were a distant nine years ago. We may not want to admit it, but we are forgetting. Memories faded away like the flags I once posted in the windows of my Jeep. The very fabric of our lives was torn that day, September 11, 2001. We are somehow different, although we won’t admit it because we are tangled in our own righteousness. It's a change no one promised.
Some things have been mended over the past nine years, but like a tear carefully woven back together it never is the same. The thread’s hue is slightly off, a bit brighter than the original and that’s not right. The texture a bit softer and that’s not right. It smells a little fresher than the old and even that isn’t quite right. Yet somehow, the cloth is stronger where the tear had been, exposing the entire fabric as weak. The flaw is unnoticed by the wearer, but seen clearly by the enemy.
In a country of "me, me, me" we excuse ourselves and make amends by saying "you, you, you". And that clearly doesn’t work. Nine years later we have the fractions of protests and outrage instead of consolidated reflection and prayer. What united the country as one nation under God, indivisible has been able to expose naivety about our very history, principles, values and worth.
It’s not about me. It’s not about you. Lest we forget, and we have, we are doomed when we forget to hold ourselves to the higher standards and principles on which this country was founded. It’s not about our first amendment right that frees us from a government that makes “no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,”
When free men assemble in prayer and in voice they know that such a privilege is given to them by other free men. Both know and acknowledge the freedom is not owed to them, but given to them by the other, without interference or precious price. It’s called respect. It’s not a right, it is an obligation borne by all. It's not about what feels good. It is about what is good.
So when mosques are built in sacred places or Korans are burned by fools remember each has that right, but sadly each has forgotten their obligation as free men to his fellow citizen. And sadder still we have leadership that inconsistently addresses both, reminding us of one man's rights, admonishing the other for exercising his and ignoring the obligation of both.
May our Lord never treat us in the same way that we treat each other, in an arbitrary selfish manner.
I thank my God, He doesn’t.