Americans think that terrorism started in this country on September 11th, it didn't. It has existed for certain classes and groups of people since we first came to this hemisphere.
The first act of terrorism began with Christopher Columbus who sought to find a faster route from Spain to China. Instead he landed on the shore of Hispaniola. Today we call that island the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Do they still teach in school that he landed on Plymouth Rock? Your tax dollars at work.
The indigenous people of Hispaniola were the Arawaks whom Columbus and his men raped, murdered and took as slaves. In his ship's log he thanked and praised God for the gift of human chattel. He filled his ship's hulls with several hundred Arawak men and took them back to Spain as slaves. Most did not survive. Who knew you had to feed them? He then lied to the Queen, telling her that there was so much gold there (there was none) that he needed dozens more ships.
When he returned, the Arawaks poisoned their children and committed mass suicide so as not to be raped, murdered and taken as slaves by Columbus and his Christian men. Hundreds of thousands of native Arawaks died at the hands of Christopher. Happy Columbus Day.
When more Europeans began to colonize the entire east coast of the country, they encountered other Native American Nations such as the Iroquois, Mohawk, Algonquin, Seneca and many more. After the white man launched political campaigns to take Native American land, displace the natives and murder them (because they fought back), we pushed westward because it was our God ordained destiny. Today, the remnants of those aborigine nations live on reservations and we're trying to take those lands, too. We are starting by creating insidious laws which they must abide by.
When the Puritans came to North America to escape religious persecution, what did they do? They persecuted other people because of their religion. They also created witch hunts. These were successful campaigns because the general population was told that witches abducted, raped, murdered and ate small children. This was the same tactic Adolph Hitler used to turn his followers against the Jews. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, "The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation." Most of our fairy tales and nursery rhymes were created around the myth of children being abducted such as Little Red Riding-hood, Hansel and Gretel, the Pied Piper, Snow White, etcetera.
Then there was the enslavement of the Africans. After their emancipation, Lincoln's second phase was to repatriate all the blacks back to Africa or to off shore islands. He first needed to set them free because he couldn't repatriate them if they were property. He freed them but before he could sign the repatriation act to remove the newly freed from the country, he was assasinated and the African-Americans stayed. African-Americans should celebrate Lincoln not because he set them free, but that he was assasinated before he could eradicate them. If outright hate and prejudice wasn't bad enough, our entertainment, music and movie industry further perpetuated stereotypes and inequality.
After prohibition failed, many poor people turned to marijuana since they couldn't afford the illegal hooch. Marijuana was found to be an excellent source of pain relief and even a cure for alcoholism. Harry Anslinger made it his mission to eradicate marijuana by spreading lies about its efficacy. Although the lies were disproved by the La Guardia Report, Anslinger used racism to convince society that marijuana was the devil's drug. He said that when white girls smoke muggles, it results in them seeking sexual relations with black men and the result would be pregnancy and syphilis. Marijuana causes sane people to go mad and commit murder. All the lies must be true because Anslinger had the financial support of pharmaceutical companies, the lumber and paper industry, the tobacco industry, the brewery's and the Hearst empire which published Anslingers tales of rabid, foaming at the mouth hysteria in all their papers.
Despite none of the lies about this miracle herb being true, the fear and confusion about it continues to exist today. Many prescription drugs come with horrible side effects including difficulty breathing, heart problems, lung problems, liver problems, blood disorders, thoughts of suicide and even death. Many prescription drugs are also addictive and it is easy to overdose on them. In case you overdose on Tylenol, Advil, Sudafed, Motrin, Codein or Aspirin, contact Poison Control immediately. In case you overdose on marijuana, contact Domino's Pizza. Unlike alcoholics, I've never seen a person who was high on marijuana beat his wife and children. The only benefit from the marijuana scare Anslinger created is that it filled our jails and prisons which also employ hundreds of thousands of people in every state.
The hatred for homosexuality fueled by religion has been devastating to our country. Homosexuality and masturbation were considered sinful because those acts did not produce offspring at a time when the Christian population needed to outnumber the Muslim population (Crusades). Also, people died in their forties so it was imperative that we marry off our 13 year old children as soon as they hit puberty so they could pump out as many children as possible. Population is no longer an issue so these "sins" are no longer threats to society, but we forgot why we made them sins. We are still in conflict today with the Muslim religion though. Thanks Pope Urban II and the Holy Roman Catholic Church. You made genocide holy and gave us wars to last for centuries.
I used to volunteer answering both a suicide hotline and the 211 line. Far too many gay teenagers would call the suicide hotline not because of their sexuality but because of society's response to them. I mean, even God hates them. Now when our new Pope tried to get the message out that even homosexuals are welcome in the church, the Synod said no, they are not welcome. How ironic, the Catholic church is a magnet to gay artists, musicians, sculptors, writers and clergy. I guess the Vatican should purge its churches and museums of the works of Da Vinci and Michelangelo because they were gay.
While answering the 211 line, I would get calls from women and kids who were being physically abused, homeless people without a place to go, hungry families without enough food, people without insurance and who couldn't afford medical care, people with insurance but were now addicted to prescription drugs and they often feel that suicide is their only escape.
I then went on to volunteer at a homeless shelter where I discovered that many of the men there have arrest records. The reason they can't get jobs is that little box ubiquitous to all applications. Once they check yes on that box, HR disqualifies them as a candidate. Now, that is illegal in this country and if you were to ask an HR person if they acted out of prejudice they would say - prove it. Many will go so far as to drag an undesirable candidate through the process just to give the outward appearance that they don't discriminate. Ultimately, that applicant won't be qualified or may fail the Meyers-Briggs test or some such excuse.
Now, I love the church but, before you go to church on Sunday, consider the words of St. Vincent de Paul. He wrote: "If a needy person requires medicine or other help during your prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer that deed to God as your prayer. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you use your prayer time to serve the poor. God is not neglected if you leave him for real service. You should prefer the service of the poor to making your prayer. For, it is not enough to love God, if, your neighbor does not also love God."
Fold your hands in a praying position. These are the hands you use to touch the ones you love, hold the things you treasure, perform the constant countless motions of your living. For now, these hands do nothing, they are not useful held this way, kept by each other from all movement of living and serving. Pressed to each other, there is no space for holding anything or anyone. For the moment these hands are empty and still. Jon Stewart once said, "Prayer is the least thing you can do for someone while still getting to grandstand like you are actually doing something."
So, vote this November. Not to vote is to vote. Then call the politicians and tell them why you did or did not vote for them. GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND DO IT. Then get out into your community and help people. After you do that, go to church and pray over it. If your social convictions don't align with your church institution's teachings or acts of terrorism, find another church and let them know why you are leaving. Not to act is to act. Keep in mind, no agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever. Has your church? Government? Have they made amends?