Letter: We need to get back to God


To the Editor:

The unthinkable tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 shook every American to the core. We turned to one another in disbelief, unity, brotherhood and patriotism. Hundreds of thousands proudly raised and displayed our beautiful Stars and Stripes everywhere, at candlelight vigils and prayer services, outside homes, on cars, even the handles of baby carriages. We united as "one nation under God," telling the world, "These colors do not run."

People filled churches to overflowing. We didn't just "take a knee." We went down on both knees, asking God for answers, for comfort in our grief, calming of fears. People knelt in public places, holding flags and candles, praying together, uncaring about the race or creed of the person next to them. We became united as brothers and sisters in one big American family.

Life in America slowly returned to normal. Flags were stored away, only appearing on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Gradually, churches began emptying. Congregations in every denomination began to dwindle and, sadly, still continue to do so. People forgot the God they had embraced in time of need. They resumed their pre-9/11 Sunday morning activities, forgetting the God who had been their solace and strength during the crisis.

America is in crisis now. In Las Vegas, 59 people were senselessly killed and 500-plus injured by one demented gun-wielding man. We cannot succumb to fear, but we never know, when we go out in a public place, if there might be a target on our backs. This senseless slaughter must stop!We're all aware of the controversy about players taking a knee instead of respectfully standing during singing of the National Anthem.

Rev. Kathy Duhon of the Universalist Fellowship of Bennington beautifully addresses that issue in the October 2nd Bennington Banner, noting that taking a knee can also show respect. She wrote: "Bending the knee(s) is an extraordinary and humble form of respect, of reverence ... the ones 'taking a knee' are calling attention to injustice by using a recognized form of reverential respect."

Hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice are creating divisiveness in America. Tensions keep escalating between America and North Korea. We are plagued with senseless violence and murder in our streets, a life-destroying drug epidemic, and devastating natural disasters. It's time to collectively drop to both of our knees and beg God for mercy, to kneel with our children, teaching them to pray. It's time to start spending one hour a week in our houses of worship, humbly bending both of our knees in reverence to God, seeking guidance, healing and forgiveness.

Let's all get down on our knees so we can learn to stand. And if we feel the urge to wave the American flag at the same time, so much the better.

Margaret Boulet



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