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Thursday, September 05, 2002
This time I knew it was coming. It wasn't like reading Terry Oglesby's post about the engineer who wished he could have made the WTC stand up. I saw it coming and I still read on. Is that progress? I doubt it.

Anyway, I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep, so I came downstairs, made coffee and went to the computer to read Lileks, as I do every morning. And there it was:

Tonight I was googling around looking for a picture of Christine Hanson, the daughter of Kim Ji-Soo and Peter Hanson. She was two. The family was flying to Disneyland when the terrorists slaughtered the flight attendants, stabbed the pilots to death, and drove the plane into the building...

Little Christine was Gnat’s age, give or take a month; bin Laden’s lackeys killed her - and did so to ensure that other fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters died as well, preferably by the tens of thousands. This little girl’s death wasn’t even a comma in the manifesto they hoped to write. They made sure that her last moments alive were filled with horror and blood, screams and fear; they made sure that the last thing she saw was the desperate faces of her parents, insisting that everything was okay, we’re going to see Mickey, holding out a favorite toy with numb hands, making up a happy lie. And then she was fire and then she was ash.

I've already told you that I am pretty much without religion. I don't know whether God (or the gods) exists and if He does (or they do), I don't know which God of the many who are worshipped actually exists. Given that, I can't really dispute anyone else's beliefs. As far as I am concerned, they have as much chance of being right as I do, and, in any place I'ver ever been, it hasn't really mattered all that much. Certainly it was not a matter of life and death.

But the God in whose name that act was supposedly perpetrated is a God that I refuse to acknowledge. The particular faith professed by the 9/11 hijackers will never, under any circumstances, be acceptable to me. It is beyond my ability to understand or accept. It will always be. According to the perpetrators and their fellows in faith, that makes my life forfeit. My life is less than nothing to both them and their God, and they, in their wisdom, can and will chose the moment and the means of my death for their own purposes. Someone is going to die, either them or me. They have made of their religion a matter of life and death. Mine or theirs.

I vote for them.

And if that makes me an intolerant ignoramus, that is just too damn bad. For tolerance and understanding to be anything other than slow motion suicide, it must be reciprocal.
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