We Are, I Dare Say,
Better Than That
From: Eyal Porat
To: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: September 14, 2001 7:58 PM
Subject: Attack on America
Dear Friends in USA,
Please accept my sincere and deepest sympathy. Words in times like this are so weak and insignificant, so just remember that one more person in the world mourns with you.
This could have been atheism's biggest day: "Look at what religion brings!"
But we are different! We are, I dare say, better than that. With this knowledge and the knowledge that whatever happens, life must go on. On the route to better times, we will eventually muster that power and we will carry on.
I must share something with you all:
You know I am from Israel, and in the past few years we are having this Islamic suicidal bombing ripping through Israel, the last one was just a week ago!
(Many people in Israel say now: "now all the world will appreciate what we are going through".)
On my side, this means I can identify with you all since I know what it feels like to live in a state of terror all the time. It also strengthened my dismay of religion and what it stands for.
A tip: From my experience, a lot of information lessens the fear! It sounds strange, but for me, the more time I spent watching TV and listening to radio, the less scared I was. I believe this is because of my tendency to try and understand everything, tendency that eventually led me to become the Atheist I am -- If there is God, prove it!
Again, be strong and know you have friends.
From: "Positive Atheism Magazine"
To: "Eyal Porat"
Subject: Re: Attack on America
Date: September 14, 2001 6:35 PM
We hear a lot speculation about how violence on television affects people who watch it, especially our youngsters. Some "experts" tell us that if a child watches people being killed on television programs day after day, the child will become numb to the violence. For them, these "experts" tell us, it all becomes a big cartoon. So perhaps watching the footage of the tower being hit helped to desensitize some of us a bit.
I am not saying that we should not feel -- we should all feel this pain.
However, some of us are much more sensitive to things like this than others, and a catastrophe such as this renders a few of us completely unable to function. I know, because I was one of those people: I reacted so severely to this that I needed medical attention. Some who made it through this time around might have problems next time, so we need to establish ways for the particularly sensitive people to be able to cope.
Having been religious and having been through crisis situations during the religious years, I can tell you that religion is not enough for many of us. During those years, the police raided the place where I worked because one of my coworkers was fencing stolen property. I'd say that I took that situation much worse than I did this one, simply because my religious beliefs prevented me from getting help from anywhere except "God." This is why I don't think the push to get everybody to go to Church will help much.
We need to establish methods and implement them, make them available, so that those of us who saw the warning signs this time can try to be ready should the future become even darker than many of us fear. This may not be the last we will have heard from terrorists. I hope that the Israelis and the Irish and others who have had to endure this can help the rest of us learn to cope with this terrible feeling.
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
people with no reason to believe
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