Dreaming On 9-11

It’s New Year’s Day, in the Fourth Year of our War Against Terrorism. There will be solemn observances today, of course; and for the families who lost loved ones in the attacks on New York and Washington, the hurt remains as fresh as ever. But for most of the rest of us, the pain has faded. The opiate of consumerism helped: we bought and acquired and kept the economic turbines whirring mightily.

The New York Times no longer has a daily tally of the dead pulled from the rubble, for they have all been counted and the rubble has been carted off. The front of the War has moved from Manhattan to the Himalayan wilderness and the parched streets of Babylon. We watch the news from Islamabad and Tal Afar, when things go well and when things don’t, with all the detachment that our pain-killers bring. We sleep now, perchance to dream of the old days, when we were safe, when Old Glory was hoisted high in Veterans Day parades, when there were no poor people in football arenas, no Muslim hunger strikers in our prisons, no Palestinians in Gaza.

In God we trust, says our money. What kind of God is it that we have cast from our gold and jewelry? Since the prophets have gone to the mountain, never to return, we are left to dream dreams of our Golden God. Our Golden God that says the poor are His concern, not ours. Our Golden God says that we should trust in the multitude of our chariots and in the great strength of our horsemen, for there we will find true security. Our Golden God promises to make us safe and secure within the walls of our bright city on the hill. Our Golden God wouldn’t be caught dead on a cross, or laughing with whores, drunks and tax collectors. Our Golden God will crush the evildoers, and pour out His riches from sea to shining sea.

These are the good times in America. The Ten Commandments are posted everywhere, on little vinyl roadside markers and granite monuments owned by God-fearing judges. We no longer have abortionists, ripping babies from their mothers’ wombs. We have stoned the homosexuals and the fornicators. We all go to church on Sunday mornings and the rafters ring with all the verses of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. Our sons are all Eagle Scouts and our daughters can bake apple pies piled high with homemade ice cream. There is nothing to fear but fear itself, and we are bold and strong.

We are a people united in worship of the Only True God, whose ruby eyes still shine from the fires in which we cast Him. We know the truth and it has set us free. God bless America.

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