Terrorists Could Win
Through Knee-Jerk Legislation
Bob Tregilus

Graphic Rule

2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
World Wide Web: http://www.LP.org
For release: September 12, 2001
For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
E-Mail: pressreleases@hq.LP.org

Libertarian Party expresses "profound sorrow, grief for tragic loss of life" in terror attack

Statement by Chairman James W. Lark in response to September 11 terrorist attacks:

WASHINGTON, DC -- On behalf of the Libertarian Party, I wish to express our profound sorrow and grief for the tragic loss of life and suffering caused by yesterday's terrorist attacks. Our hearts go out to the victims and their grieving families and friends. Nothing we say can ease the devastation and sense of loss they feel -- and that every other American certainly shares -- but we stand with them in mourning the loss of friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, loved ones, and fellow citizens.

The Libertarian Party condemns the vicious and barbaric attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. There is no excuse for such savage acts. No legitimate political or religious ideology can justify the murder of thousands of innocent people. These actions, and the revulsion they cause to all decent people around the world, demonstrate in the starkest way possible that the initiation of force is never an appropriate way to settle political or social differences. The result of such violence is more hatred, more grieving relatives and friends, more tombstones -- and, ultimately, more violence. Libertarians unequivocally reject the initiation of force as a solution to the disagreements between people and between governments.

The Libertarian Party calls for justice to be meted out to the terrorists responsible for the attacks. However, we encourage the United States government to be sure that any response is appropriate and measured. Action should not be taken that will cause innocent people in other countries to be killed because of the actions of terrorists. Such a response would only continue the cycle of violence and revenge.

The Libertarian Party calls on all Libertarians to aid our fellow Americans who have suffered from this horrible tragedy: Donate blood for the victims fighting for their lives in hospitals in New York and Washington, DC. Contribute to the charities that will assist the families and relatives. If you live near where the attacks took place, volunteer to assist in rescue or recovery efforts, as appropriate. And if you know any of the victims' families, offer solace and support in any way you can. Now is a time for all Libertarians to stand together to help those who are suffering.

The Libertarian Party calls on all Americans to act with tolerance and kindness in the days to follow. A natural reaction after such a tragedy is to find a scapegoat -- to blame Arab-Americans, or individuals who practice the Islamic faith, or other people who are in some way different. We must rise above that impulse. If Americans turn down a path of hatred and intolerance, then the terrorists will have won.

That's not the only way terrorists can win. In the past, some have responded to terrorism with proposals to restrict the civil liberties of Americans. We must resist that tendency. The fundamental rights that define the very essence of America should not be destroyed in an effort to deal with terrorism or any other problem. Citizens must remain ever vigilant that terrorists don't win by turning America into the kind of nation where our cherished freedoms are only a fading memory.

Finally, the Libertarian Party hopes these attacks will elicit a thoughtful national discussion about how we can prevent similar tragedies in the future. Of course, there is no way to guarantee that evil will not strike again. However, a foreign policy that limits our intervention in the affairs and quarrels of other nations is a foreign policy that will reduce the chance that terrorists will want to strike at America. Peace and free trade with all nations, and entangling alliances with none, is a time-honored prescription for an America that is at peace with the world, and for a nation that has little to fear from the savage and bloodthirsty actions of terrorists.

Again, our hearts go out to the thousands of Americans who suffered a loss during the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is a tragic day that will live in our memories -- but is also a day that will allow the best of America to shine through by virtue of our response.

End press release --

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NUMBER: 3929
AUTHOR: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
QUOTATION: They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. 1
ATTRIBUTION: Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

Note 1.
This sentence was much used in the Revolutionary period. It occurs even so early as November, 1755, in an answer by the Assembly of Pennsylvania to the Governor, and forms the motto of Franklin's "Historical Review," 1759, appearing also in the body of the work. -- Frothingham: Rise of the Republic of the United States, p. 413.


"Most shocking is the immediate and almost exploitative call to prayer and worship from the President on down. We atheists are baffled that we are being asked to beseech a deity who allegedly knew not only that this would happen but also how to prevent it from happening. No, this tragedy only reinforces our disbelief, and the response of the religionists only reinforces our disdain for faith."

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Bob Tregilus"
Subject: Re: 9/11/2001
Date: September 15, 2001 3:01 AM

True, I threw in a few words about fundamentalism and the Problem of Evil, but lately I am not denouncing the religion as I am the exploitation. My overall message is to dignify religious expression and to lash out only at those expressions that are dangerous, exploitative, or intrusive. (I consider Bush's call to prayer to be all three.) This has been my overall message for over six years, now.

I think it is tantamount that we express how this ubiquitous call to prayer makes us feel (exploited; used; talked down to; the recipients of some sort of "message"; though by more than a few [e.g. Jerry Falwell; Pat Robertson] to be to blame for this catastrophe).

I also feel it is important to raise the hopes of my fellow atheist (you should see my Inbox) who not only endured an attack like the rest of the nation, but are enduring this call to worship on top of that. The hope that I offer is this: I feel that this catastrophe stands to severely damage the credibility of religion. I suspect that I am not the only one who feels this way, and that Bush and his religious supporters likewise see this catastrophe as a threat to the credibility of the notion of a personal deity. Thus, I suspect that this call to prayer and this ubiquitous call to worship is their way to try to patch up the damage that this catastrophe has done to God's reputation, as it were.

I am hoping to be able to say this without hurting the feelings and sensibilities of too many people, but this is impossible. I can only limit the damage by choosing my words carefully. But the choice being to speak or to remain silent? I will speak. I have remained silent before when my heart told me to speak, and I daily regret having done that. Never again!

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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