I am reminded again of the power of the witness while reading David Ray Griffin's article in the July/August, 2005 issue of Zion's Herald entitled, "9/11: A Christian Theologian's Response". Griffin is a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at the Claremont School of Theology.
"If we believe that our political and military leaders are acting on the basis of policies that are diametrically opposed to the divine purposes, it is incumbent upon us to say this. This is especially the case if we live in a rich and powerful country, the policies of which affect the welfare of other peoples, even other species. This is all the more true if these leaders are claiming divine support for their policies, as did Vice President Cheney in sending out a Christmas card with the statement: “And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”
The fourth anniversary of 9/11 will be upon us in two weeks and it appears that the current administration will use this occassion to further celebrate its militarism. Militarism is 180 degrees opposed to what Jesus ever taught and yet the current administration wraps its imperial pre-emptive war policies in a claim that it is God's will.
This kind of propaganda is very dangerous especially when people start to believe it. As the bumper sticker says, "FACISM CAN HAPPEN".
Griffin's point is that the everyday person may feel impotent to stop the huge wheels of government, and to a large extent we are. But the power of the pen and the spoken word should never be underestimated.
People have been silenced until Cindy Sheehan appeared on the national scene and her simple question is what is the noble cause that her son died for? What is worth the tremendous sacrifice of human life that this administration has expended?
9/11 was a terrible tragedy and injustice, but as Gandhi said, "An eye for eye makes us both blind."
Our government will continue its misguided policies as long as they can get away with it. More people need to witness and get in the way. Jesus told Peter to put away his sword even as they came to arrest him. I wonder if Bush and Cheney ever read those passages of the New Testament, the Good News, or do they just cherry pick the passages that support their policies like they did the intelligence?