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Through The Dark Moment of This Horrific Tragedy We Can Bring Forth a Light of Hope

On September 11, 2001 America was attacked by terrorists. Many lives were lost. People who awoke on that September morning, expecting to live their lives another day were taken from this earth. Families and loved ones were torn apart by the hatred of other human beings. Some say the terrorists were acting in the name of their god. I'm not a theologian, but I ask would a supreme being call for the destruction of humankind in the name of itself? These were extremists who were driven by ignorance, hate, and fear who used God's name to promote their evilness, to mislead those who followed them.

Ignorance and Fear begets bigotry, discrimination, hatred, homophobia, sexism, racism and violence in our society. The same ignorance and fear that drove the terrorists to do their ungodly acts of destruction in the name of their god is what drives bigotry in America. Some who present themselves as self-righteous in America, also use the name of God to spread their words of
discrimination and hate towards other human beings who are different than they are, who they don't understand, who they fear, and who they condemn because of their ignorance using the name of God.

Should America strike back like we did after the Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor? Should we vent our anger and pain in a rage of revenge towards other human beings? Or should we step back and identify with those who have died and their families and connect emotionally and realize the enormous pain and destruction that violence brings to us as human beings and to our environment. If we allow ourselves to feel that pain suffered by our fellow humans, we could learn to stop the cycle of violence by not becoming more violent but by becoming more loving. Maybe we would learn that the way to stop the cycle of bigotry is not to become bigoted towards those who we see as bigots, but to embrace our diversity.

America must be driven by the pain and sorrow we feel for those who were killed and their families and loved ones. We, as a people, must commit ourselves to the desire of not wanting any other human being to suffer through that pain and that experience- ever again. This suffering perpetrated from one human being upon another human being. Our government leaders must act from a sense of justice when searching out the terrorists who committed death and destruction upon this nation and symbolically upon all the nations of this earth.

As I share my thoughts driven by a deep sense of sadness, I see many similarities between what drove the terrorists and what drives those in America who discriminate and who are bigoted. They are driven by the same ignorance and fear and use the name of God to perpetuate their hate to justify their violence just as the terrorists. They don't allow themselves to feel the pain they have caused through their self-righteous condemnation towards those who they reject in our society.

The Boy Scouts of America and those religious fundamentalists who are dictating the current BSA policy of discrimination against gay youth and adults and atheists must take a step back and allow themselves to feel the pain and horrific hurt they are causing to countless individuals and families throughout America, whom they reject simply for being who they have come blessed to be in this life. You see, the act of discrimination is a violent act perpetrated against a segment of our society - our fellow human beings. The BSA must allow themselves to feel the pain they have caused so they can understand how their policy of discrimination has impacted their fellow human beings, their fellow scouts and adult leaders, and in some cases members of their own families who are gay.

There is hope that discrimination will stop in America and violence throughout the world. There is hope as well, that the pain and hurt caused by the Boy Scouts of America's policy of discrimination will also stop. We, as fellow human beings must make a commitment as individuals and as a society; we will no longer tolerate social injustice; we will no longer tolerate discrimination and the violence that comes with it; we will become united by embracing our diversity as a people; and we will be joined by the common bond of love for one another and the genuine desire to help make this earth a safe place for all people to live.

We must stand against the violence perpetrated on us as a people on September 11, 2001 by committing to a deep sense of justice and love for humankind.

We must not in turn perpetuate the violence of that day by in turn becoming violent towards other innocent human beings in other parts of this earth.

We must learn from the pain and suffering caused on that day, to stop the hurt and violence we cause one another as a people when we discriminate against one another out of ignorance and fear.

We must learn to stop using the Bible and God as weapons to promote hatred towards one another.

Let us reach out to one another and embrace the miracle and the beauty of life and the diversity of the human family. Lets us not fear our diversity. Let us embrace it, cherish it and honor it.

Explosions, screams, cries in the darkness of evil
As the walls of our hopes and our dreams disappear around us
Then silence blankets us with an eerie calm
Memories surround those who survive, grasping on to what was
Visions of an uncertain future lie in waiting
Humankind's potential in question
The time is now
It is before all of us to decide...

Scott Cozza, Pres.
Scouting for All

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