Sunday, March 7, 2010

you're to blame for making me mad

A thought experiment:

My religion insists that nobody should ever wear yellow clothes. One day, I see you wearing a yellow shirt. In my religious fervor, I demand that you burn your yellow clothes, join my church, and give my god all your money. You refuse, so I kill your family.

Who is to blame for the death of your family members?

Obviously, there is a distinction between reason and a responsibility. The reason I killed your family is because you were wearing yellow. I, however, am responsible for my actions, even if you could have theoretically prevented it by acceding to my demands. You had no way of knowing how I would enforce my god's rules. Furthermore, you like the color yellow, and you rightly place significant value on your freedom to wear whatever color shirts you like, regardless of what crazy people like me demand you wear.

My previous post addressed D'Souza's claim that liberals are more to blame than conservatives for 9/11. I argued that conservatives, since they equally participate in activities like pornography use and divorce, wear just as many yellow shirts, as it were, as liberals do.

For the purposes of today's post, I don't really care which political wing in America angers crazies more. If you believe that all conservatives honor their marital vows and are all heaven bound and that all liberals are heroine-using pornographers, it won't make a difference for today's arguments.

Mr. D'Souza rejects political considerations like America's support of Israel as being the primary impetus for the 9/11 attacks. Although I disagree with him, I accept his premises while analyzing his argument.

There is a distinction between pragmatic ideas and categorical blame. The FAA could have implemented better security before 2001 which may have prevented the attacks of 9/11. THE FAA's failings were sins of omission, imperfections manifested by imperfect institutions and people.

The sin of commission on 9/11 was the wanton barbarity of 19 murderers and those who purposely helped them. They alone bear the guilt and responsibility for these heinous acts.

Passing blame from the hijackers to people who wear yellow shirts or who could have appeased unjust demands is an implicit forgiveness of those how actually committed the crimes.

It is only possible to forgive the 9/11 murderers if you empathize with their rationale for committing those acts.

If you believe that 9/11 was misguided vengeance for murdered Arabs, the actions are at least understandable; unforgivable, but understandable.

I refuse to empathize with the urge to kill someone else because they are wicked. We Americans owe the false god of these psychopathic men absolutely nothing. We will wear yellow shirts if we choose. We allow freedom of speech, even if such allows the creation and distribution of pornography on the internet. We reserve the right to believe in our own god, or none at all, if that is what we decide.

If you do not wish to have MTV or Hollywood pollute your youth, ban it in your own countries. If you do not wish to be corrupted by pornography, avoid it; I have done so my entire life, even though it is readily at hand.

You are not free to try to convert Americans to your particular beliefs through violence and terror. I do not care how strongly you believe that you are correct. I do not care what your god wants or expects from me. Let your god punish me directly, if he is displeased with me. I will not lie down and allow you to punish on his behalf, just because you believe it just.

I used to think that every American would stand behind these notions of freedom of religion 100%. It was, in my view, the very quintessential element of what it meant to be an American.

Mr. D'Souza has proven this hope wrong, however.

Shame on you, Mr. D'Souza, for trying to blame the horrors of 9/11 on Americans who use their God-given freedom to wear what they want.