RE: “Inside the 9/11 Museum”: The Challenges of Commemorating a Tragedy

For those who say rebuilding the towers would have been better, I wholeheartedly agree. I would still have put a memorial in somewhere, but I think that putting up two larger towers would have been a much more symbolic pair of middle fingers than invading two countries and turning our nation into a secret police state.

Andrew Mechem on wired.com

I was starting on the August issue of Wired Magazine when I came across Andrew Mechem’s comment, highlighted by the editors. It raises a good point about the War on Terror.

In my mind, America has always been a Christian nation. I know now that this idea actually forms a backdrop for some pseudo-legal discussion (RationalWiki on The United States as a Christian Nation), but the fact remains that the US is predominately Christian:

Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%

(Source: CIA World Factbook on the United States)

I take issue with how blatantly un-Christian our nation’s violent response to the events of 9/11 has been.

Matthew 5:39, NIV: But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

By exacting such terrible retribution against those responsible for the attack, we brought trouble upon ourselves. The war’s financial and human cost has been high, nearing on absurd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Terror#Costs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Terror#Casualties). Our individual liberties grow increasingly restricted in the name of preserving national security. Meanwhile, the nation’s war machine has benefitted by continued exposure to action.

There is a high price that we pay to wage war, one that is not borne by those who elected to begin it. Is it reasonable to believe that our War on Terror can eradicate all terrorist activity?

When I took AP US History in my sophomore year at the International School of Kuala Lumpur, I was fascinated by our nation’s history of armed conflict. Looking back, I feel it would be worthwhile to study the Korean War and the Vietnam War in greater depth. It seemed that we glossed over the Korean War, though I may be wrong.

Back then, I was confident that the US had lost its moral high ground in the Vietnam War. Generations of students of US History moving forward will look back on the War on Terror as the true point in which the US lost its moral high ground.

Further reading: Losing the Moral High Ground: The US and the Rule of Law