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9/11 Twelve Years Later: What Have we Learned?

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    We all remember where we were and how we felt twelve years ago. How could we not? We saw images that will be seared into our minds for the remainder of our lives. I will never forget the images of individuals jumping over 100 stories to their deaths, the towers crumbling to the ground, and the look of shock and fear of New York's residents carpeting our television screens. Even as a high school senior, I knew that it was a day that was going to dramatically change America for the foreseeable future.

    It's now been twelve years since that day and I ask if we Americans have completely forgotten the sense of community and country that we felt then. We have spent twelve years fighting wars that seemingly have no end. We have spent twelve years fighting an ideology with brute force. Instead of taking time to contemplate why that terrible tragedy happened and forming an appropriate and rational response, we reacted with hysteria and irrationality that has inexorably led to the powder keg that is present day geo politics.

    We all said that we would never forget. We all said that our enemies will understand the mistake that they made. However, I question if we are the ones that have been played for the fool. We lost 2,977 Americans on that terrible day, but our reaction to that cowardly attack has turned much of the world against us. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in multiple theaters of war. All of them were killed in the name of fighting terrorism. Am I wrong for asking how much war is enough? Am I the only one that thinks that we can't continue to fight an ideology with bombs and missiles?

    Where are we at as a society twelve years later? Have we learned any lessons in this past decade or are we so stuck in our ways that we are blind to them?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: We all remember where we were and how we felt twelve years ago. How could we not? We saw images that will be seared into our minds for the remainder of our lives. I will never forget the images of individuals jumping over 100 stories to their deaths, the towers crumbling to the ground, and the look of shock and fear of New York's residents carpeting our television screens. Even as a high school senior, I knew that it was a day that was going to dramatically change America for the foreseeable future.

    It's now been twelve years since that day and I ask if we Americans have completely forgotten the sense of community and country that we felt then. We have spent twelve years fighting wars that seemingly have no end. We have spent twelve years fighting an ideology with brute force. Instead of taking time to contemplate why that terrible tragedy happened and forming an appropriate and rational response, we reacted with hysteria and irrationality that has inexorably led to the powder keg that is present day geo politics.

    We all said that we would never forget; that our enemies will understand the mistake that they made, but I question if we are the ones that have been played for the fool. We lost 2,977 Americans on that terrible day, but our reaction to that cowardly attack has turned much of the world entirely against us. Am I wrong for asking how much war is enough? Am I the only one that thinks that we can't continue to fight an ideology with bombs and force?

    Where are we at as a society twelve years later? Have we learned any lessons in this past decade or are we so stuck in our ways that we are blind to them?
    Indeed we did not learn anything from it:

    1) How to built a building which collapses, when only one floor is hit ( a lot of the blame is how it was built) Any plane from Kennedy airport could have hit it, with the same result.

    2) The revenge in Iraq and Afghanistan has cost on military lives over the 6000 and still counting; thus double of the victims of 9/11, let alone common people or peasants or people who never harmed us.

    3) Then we have the Obama war campaign; acting like a hypocrite about 400 poor children, over and over again,while we killed many more children in our wars, also with chemicals in Vietnam for example.

    4) On top of that our foreign policies are only concentrated on who we like and dislike; for instance our love for Israel puts us in a weird position in the Middle East.

    5) Furthermore the Americam people are also victim of this government,because of NSA spying on them.

    Anyway these are only a few points; there are many more which I could quote; like militarism, arrogance, Rambo mentality, gun control etc. our love for the war industry; our leaders who only think on how to fill their own pockets; people who want to be elected and have huge Cayman bankaccounts. etc. etc.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    jared if we look at the events of the last few weeks, and also of the past 12 years, I can summarize what we have learned: NOTHING!

    We have different president, a president that many people, and I, thought was a PEACE president. But NO! This president seems to want to get the US embroiled in a shooting war in yet another middle eastern country.

    Thankfully the American people have learned, but our government has not. If President Obama had his way, we would have already launched an attack on Syria. Thank goodness that American opinion, our Congress, and out allies have convinced him to hold off, at least for now.

    Lessons learned? NONE!
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    What have we learned ? That's a question with a million answers.
    In my world ........ I don't believe that I am threatened (ever) by
    terrorists or those who might harm the USA. However the NSA is hot
    on the case by reading our e mails. That will keep us safe.
  • Other Party
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    What I fail to understand is how people all over the world can possibly believe that as handfull of Saudi terrorists could successfully pull off 9/11. The hit on the pentagon being the most ludicrous. The air space around Washington is a no fly zone!! No passenger plane hit the pentagon, just look at the size of the hole that was created. There are over 80 surveillance cameras around the Pentagon, not one image of a plane flying into it have been seen. Truth of the matter is that the 9/11 "terror" attack was planned and executed by the American govt. and/or the secret services. The twin towers were rigged with explosive to "clean up" the evidence. The reason for this was to create an enemy of America, a new war. The war on terror!! Think about how much money there is in arms contracts. Think about how many politicians have their fingers in the Oil pie. Think about the laws that have been passed that erode freedom in America and the UK. We are gradually drifting towards a situation where we will all be living in police states. Why then don't the US networks report this? Well just think about who they are owned by or backed by. 9/11 is a massive propaganda operation that 95% of the population have bought into. Here in the UK there has been a 40% increase in the cost of petrol (gas) in the last 5 or 6 years!! I wonder why that is?!?!
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    cober Wrote: What I fail to understand is how people all over the world can possibly believe that as handfull of Saudi terrorists could successfully pull off 9/11. The hit on the pentagon being the most ludicrous. The air space around Washington is a no fly zone!! No passenger plane hit the pentagon, just look at the size of the hole that was created. There are over 80 surveillance cameras around the Pentagon, not one image of a plane flying into it have been seen. Truth of the matter is that the 9/11 "terror" attack was planned and executed by the American govt. and/or the secret services. The twin towers were rigged with explosive to "clean up" the evidence. The reason for this was to create an enemy of America, a new war. The war on terror!! Think about how much money there is in arms contracts. Think about how many politicians have their fingers in the Oil pie. Think about the laws that have been passed that erode freedom in America and the UK. We are gradually drifting towards a situation where we will all be living in police states. Why then don't the US networks report this? Well just think about who they are owned by or backed by. 9/11 is a massive propaganda operation that 95% of the population have bought into. Here in the UK there has been a 40% increase in the cost of petrol (gas) in the last 5 or 6 years!! I wonder why that is?!?!
    No Cober,you've got it all wrong; it did happen as publisized. The only thing which, according to me is still screwed up is the fact that these buildings were built kind of shoddy. Any plane from Kennedy could have hit it in bad weather conditions, with the same results. The way the floors were constructed and held in place was the problem; only a few bolts held these floors; the weight from one floor coming down on the other caused a chain reaction. Related to the Pentagon the tailnumber of the plane was correct thus your assumptions are wrong. The plane which crashed on its own was also intended to hit the Pentagon, but did not make it. The only thing I agree on is that the US foreign policies are indeed asking for things like that to happen again and we have not learned a thing from 9/11.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Dutch I doubt you will change the mind of any 9-11 "truthers".

    I have talked to some of them and truth, evidence, and facts mean little to them because their minds are made up.

    One thing they could never explain: What happened to the other two airplanes and the people aboard? They are convinced that missiles hit the pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania and if that's true, what happened to the two airplanes that the rest of the world knows REALLY hit the pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania?

    The airplanes were real and the passengers (including terrorists) and flight crews got aboard, the ground crews fueled and serviced the airplanes and loaded the passengers luggage and the planes took off and there's plenty of records of all this routine stuff. Then after they took off, where did they go? Maybe UFO's swooped in and took them to another world?

    I've never heard a "truther" explain that one.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    We Americans have much to answer for with our political mainstream contributing to harm to its citizens, slow reactions to freedom threats, and allowing world genocide without reaction. Obama has a tough job attempting to bring the political forces together in helping our country prosper from having a better economy, health care, veteran benefits, and more pay in people's pockets. At the same time Obama struggles with a raging political elephant to help the country, he has world issues to battle. Syria is not alone, but America should not stand by and watch children and people die by genocide. It is in America's history, we did the same in World War II by standing by idle and arguing about commitment and letting Hitler murder thousands with his crazy dominate ego. Syria and Germany fit so perfect together, because we are reacting the same way.

    I just returned from Europe visiting several countries in the Baltic and a long stay in England. I am never surprised traveling abroad that Americans are respected, but thought of a little foolish in how we react to world problems and how we engage in world areas to gain some economic basis, such as oil. Yes, I agree we are foolish many times. The people in the world (over 95%) just want to have freedom to raise a family, have a quality life, love and cherish their children, grow old and enjoy life to the fullest. What a joy it is to watch other countries desire these goals. America can't win all the battles and especially acting alone, so NATO alliances is important as a world court to achieve the best in life we want. Syria needs to answer the problem of genocide and I assume it will happen, with or without America doing it alone. However, America should not stand by idleing and arguing with each other only to achieve some personal and political agenda. Seeing Republicans, Tea Party and Democrats argue their issues just shows how foolish Americans are. That is how we look to the world. Some in the world think that America approves of killing 400 children and their parents and other Syrian People with genocide. The alliances in World War II thought the same as to why is the world and America allowing the Jews to be slaughtered like animals. Where's the reaction? It's not a game like Iraq in committing reactions based on WMD's and thoughts of Sadaam contributed to 9-11. We as Americans were wrong on all parts of Iraq.

    My appreciation goes to British for American involvement in World War II. I was deeply moved by the American memorial in St. Paul's Cathedral at Christ's table. St. Paul's in London is one of the most largest and beautiful cathedrals for public use. A book is on a table containing the names of all Americans killed in action during World War II, plaques and art display a memorial for America's involvement. However, if America would have moved earlier we would have prevented Hitler from doing his worst to Britain and other countries. We would have stopped much of the damage done by the Nazi regime. Yes, as America stalls and argues Syria continues to murder it's citizens and children. A large part of me is disgusted.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Amc you say ..."if America would have moved earlier we would have prevented Hitler from doing his worst to Britain and other countries. We could have stopped much of the damage done by the Nazi regime. Yes, as America stalls and argues Syria continues to murder it's citizens and children. A large part of me is disgusted."...

    I think that all of us on this DemocraticHub are disgusted by Syria slaughtering its people. How could a person NOT be disgusted? But what would a cruise missile strike accomplish? Would it stop Syrian people from being murdered? No, it would probably increase the slaughter. We bomb Syria, Israel gets bombed in return by some combination of Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran and maybe others. Israel then bombs everyone who they think bombed them. Where does it stop?

    And Assad may continue to use his chemical weapons no matter what we do. A military strike may piss Assad off enough that he uses his chemicals even more. How crazy would THAT be? Remember that Middle East dictators do not always do the logical thing.

    America did not stop Hitler earlier because we were too weak militarily in the 1930's. When Hitler started taking over other countries we got into that fight. Syria has not taken over other countries. That's the difference between Syria and Saddam and Hitler. With Assad, he's kept it in country. Also, it was Chamberlain who made "peace" with Hitler so that was Britains mistake. And it allowed Hitler to go on unopposed for a while longer.

    About Israel: Whether you love Israel or hate Israel they do not "stall and argue" they take care of business.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    If ever you have the occasion to visit the site in Schwenksville, Pa. where Flight #93 went down, you will see that there was very little wreckage and of course no bodies found either, these planes that went down were heavy with full fuel tanks and between the explosive force of a plane nose diving at full speed into the earth with full tanks, its no wonder that there was only a crater and a lot of scorched earth left behind as the only evidence that a crash took place, it's a very somber place, same as New York City's twin reflecting pools, and although I haven't been to the Pentagon site, I believe the same happened to that flight with respect to the jet aircraft that hit that field in Pa.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    johnny You and I both know that the airplanes crashed in Penn and at the pentagon, but some of the conspiracy theorists will never be convinced.

    When I asked what happened to those two airplanes and their crews and passengers, the best that they could come up with is:

    1) All 4 airplanes landed at some secret government base, all the passengers were herded into the two planes which took off again and hit the World Trade Center Towers, and the government kept the two airplanes, changed the numbers and they still being used by the CIA. Now it doesn't matter that the 4 airplanes were all tracked by radar and the ATC system through their entire flights.

    2) The other theory that I remember is that the Penn and pentagon airplanes are sitting at the bottom of the ocean with the passengers and crew still strapped in their seats. The planes were rigged for remote control and poison gas was released to kill everyone on board.

    These are the best theories that I remember. Some people actually believe that our government would do these things. I think our government would do lots of bad things, but they wouldn't do that, even if they could.

    And some believe that Bin Laden wasn't killed during the Bin Laden raid, JFK was a government operation, UFO's...any conspiracy theory you can think of there are people who very much WANT to believe them, and facts and evidence do not deter them. The wilder and crazier and more anti-government the better.
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    Hi Jamesn: You are debunking some of the conspiracy theories, as you have a right to do. But you said OUR GOVT WOULD NEVER DO SUCH A THING, when it comes to sending planes off to another target or location, &/or using a plane as a maneuver to instigate a war or US attack.

    Please look up: Project Northwoods. It was proposed by General Lemnitzer (during John F. Kennedy's Presidency) & it was kept secret until much later when they found Robt McNamara's papers, (when he died) that were supposed to be destroyed, but he kept them anyway, because he thought that History should know what crazy stuff was happening in the US military during those years. (McNamara was Secy of Defense).

    It was during the time of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, where the US military, (aided by the CIA and the Mafia), were trying to get permission from JFK to "nuke Cuba" to get rid of Fidel Castro. As strange as that alliance was, (US troops, CIA & Mafia) it was absolutely true. To show how screwed up things were, the US had previously sent in troops to Cuba to get Battista (their leader) kicked out, & then WE (USA) PUT CASTRO in POWER in Cuba. Shortly after that, Castro suddenly declared that HE WAS A COMMUNIST, & then we had to spend several dozen yrs trying to kill him or get him OUT of power. But still today (yr 2013) Castro & his brother are STILL leaders of Cuba. Fidel was leader from 1961 to 2011, & then brother Rauol took over. Remember WE put them into power, & spent the next 52 years regretting it. We had invasions set up, using some Cuban volunteers, which failed miserably. The CIA sent some woman in to seduce Fidel, giving him an exploding cigar (but that failed).

    The official Pentagon guys, including Gen'l Lemnitzer, wanted to go in and "nuke Cuba." So they made up several Plans, including some called "Project Northwoods." It was written using several different "scenario's" --- like we could fly a US passenger plane full of American students over the area of Cuba, & then we would "shoot it down" & blame it on Castro's military. This would be done by "disguising" our own planes with the colors & insignia of Castro's planes, & then officially it would appear that Castro had "attacked us" and then we could get JFK to say "OK, go bomb Cuba." In those days, that meant that we could "nuke" Cuba. This would lead to Castro's defeat (or death) & we could get Cuba back, to re-open the casinos (for the Mafia) & to use for a resort area for tourists. // Another plan of Project NorthWoods was to have our own troops attack Guantanamo Base & kill a few of our soldiers there, Demolish parts of the base, etc. THEN it would look like Castro had attacked us, so we could get JFK to say "OK, you can go nuke Cuba." // There were a few other plans, some involving taking a real plane & diverting it to another airport, where the passengers would be evacuated, & either dummies or soldiers would be substituted. Can't remember all the details. Many of these plans involved changing the insignia & identity of planes, boats or persons. FORTUNATELY, President Kennedy would have NOTHING TO DO with these plans & he thought that Lemnitzer was insane. But many other Generals in the US military were equally insane at that time in US history. Some in a position to actually launch nukes.
    Like a General Powers in the US Air Force, who was equally "hawkish" & trying to provoke or launch a nuke attack without too much visible evidence.
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    On the subject of "9/11" -- the so-called "terrorist attack" in 2001, there are many "Facts" which do not add up. (1) The US military was staging an "exercise" that day, (one of those playful "war games") which was to simulate a plane being hijacked by terrorists. (2) At least 3,000 employees in the World Trade Center did NOT show up for work that day. They had been WARNED. Do you think Al Quaeda would WARN any US Citizens about an impending attack on the building? (3) Many scientists claim there was "thermite" in the ground around the Twin Towers after the implosion. That is a chemical used to blow up a bldg during a demolition. (4) all the debris was hauled away immediately, (to unknown locations, possibly offshore) to avoid any pesky evidence from being found (5) people with the identical names of the so-called hijackers have been found alive back in their home countries (6) a book written by Thierry? called "9/11 THE TRUTH" was FORBIDDEN to be sold within the USA (or even to be in our libraries) for a very long time after the event. I had to order mine from Europe. Why if ALL IS TRUE, is our Govt so AFRAID of us reading this book? (7) Right after the 9/11 event, Prez "W" claimed he knew exactly who did it, & allowed the Osama BinLaden family to get on jet planes & leave the USA without any of them being interrogated for what they knew? THEN he proceeded to Bomb IRAQ, where Saddam had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE 9/11. Just some weird identity crisis in the Bush Admin? (8) The PNAC right wing group had said "what we need is another Pearl Harbor type event" to get this scenario in action, where they planned on "many wars" to dominate the world's oil resources. Hmmm The 9/11 is sure a lot like Pearl Harbor.
    (9) this crisis set into place a SECURITY STATE, where now we have 24/7 NSA surveillance, having to disrobe in front of the public in an airport, & total loss of our privacy & comfort we citizens had always enjoyed BEFORE this. The United States is NOW a whole lot more like George Orwell's vision of the future, than the vision of George Washington.

    Also, the 9/11 event & its subsequent WARS, has officially "bankrupted" the great United States of America, where we owe "trillions of dollars" to Communist Red China. We officially do not have the money, since it has been siphoned off by the Military Industrial Complex, (The WAR Machine) which Eisenhower warned us against, way back in 1961. A bankrupt nation is basically helpless, beholden to the lender of the funds. The only way to maintain power in that relationship is to scare them with our nuclear missiles, withhold something they really want, like Hi-Def 73" TV sets, or offer some tickets to the Super Bowl. It is getting to be a "very interesting" world. --- I wonder IF or WHERE we can still find A HERO?

    *Music VIDEO: "I Need a Hero" (Bonnie Tyler) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UpqLhYQz28
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Hi eternal flame I AM debunking some of the conspiracy theories, like you say. People have a right to believe in them just as I have a right to not believe in them.

    I also said that our government would do lots of bad things, but would not do "that" referring specifically to the 9-11 attacks. Even our government, as corrupt and useless as they are could never keep secret an operation this complicated considering all the hundreds or thousands of people who would have to be involved in pulling it off. No witnesses at all? Not even one? Impossible!

    The Cuba operation yes, but the operation you refer to was never approved and Leminitzer who proposed it was fired. The plane to be "shot down" was to be a drone aircraft, no people on board even though the claim was going to be that passengers WERE aboard. Nuke use was considered in those days as a real possibility in a conventional war, thank goodness that mentality has changed. Now it is (hopefully) a very, very last resort weapon.

    One thing we CAN agree on, I think, is that there's a web site out there that will tell you anything you want to believe about 9-11. I googled "9-11 conspiracy theory" and got 11.5 million results. I didn't have time to visit every "truther" site but saw a few with some very entertaining theories. The subject of 9-11 should be a very serious subject but is not treated as such by so many. Some of the theories are pretty incredible.

    One theory is that airplanes did not hit the twin towers, but they were missiles that had holograms projected on them to disguise them as airplanes. One said that when the planes hit the towers a space based weapon hit the towers with an energy beam at the same time to make the buildings come down. Then there are the theories about the Jews being behind it, and Wall St traders being behind it, a missile instead of an airplane hitting the pentagon, the plane in Pennsylvania being shot down...the list is endless.

    For every 9-11 conspiracy theory out there are plenty of web sites debunking them, every single one. And these are from scientists, engineers, aviation experts, rescue workers, air traffic controllers, respected universities, people who are not trying to make a buck off this tragedy.

    So many people ARE trying to make money off 9-11 (Alex Jones comes to mind) and how must the surviving family members feel about these slimy con men out to make money off their dead relatives?

    But there are plenty of web sites to support any theory that you WANT to believe in.

    For the record what do YOU think happened to the four airplanes, their passengers and crews?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jamesn Wrote: Hi eternal flame I AM debunking some of the conspiracy theories, like you say. People have a right to believe in them just as I have a right to not believe in them.

    I also said that our government would do lots of bad things, but would not do "that" referring specifically to the 9-11 attacks. Even our government, as corrupt and useless as they are could never keep secret an operation this complicated considering all the hundreds or thousands of people who would have to be involved in pulling it off. No witnesses at all? Not even one? Impossible!

    The Cuba operation yes, but the operation you refer to was never approved and Leminitzer who proposed it was fired. The plane to be "shot down" was to be a drone aircraft, no people on board even though the claim was going to be that passengers WERE aboard. Nuke use was considered in those days as a real possibility in a conventional war, thank goodness that mentality has changed. Now it is (hopefully) a very, very last resort weapon.

    One thing we CAN agree on, I think, is that there's a web site out there that will tell you anything you want to believe about 9-11. I googled "9-11 conspiracy theory" and got 11.5 million results. I didn't have time to visit every "truther" site but saw a few with some very entertaining theories. The subject of 9-11 should be a very serious subject but is not treated as such by so many. Some of the theories are pretty incredible.

    One theory is that airplanes did not hit the twin towers, but they were missiles that had holograms projected on them to disguise them as airplanes. One said that when the planes hit the towers a space based weapon hit the towers with an energy beam at the same time to make the buildings come down. Then there are the theories about the Jews being behind it, and Wall St traders being behind it, a missile instead of an airplane hitting the pentagon, the plane in Pennsylvania being shot down...the list is endless.

    For every 9-11 conspiracy theory out there are plenty of web sites debunking them, every single one. And these are from scientists, engineers, aviation experts, rescue workers, air traffic controllers, respected universities, people who are not trying to make a buck off this tragedy.

    So many people ARE trying to make money off 9-11 (Alex Jones comes to mind) and how must the surviving family members feel about these slimy con men out to make money off their dead relatives?

    But there are plenty of web sites to support any theory that you WANT to believe in.

    For the record what do YOU think happened to the four airplanes, their passengers and crews?
    As always you got it right. As long as there are "groups" of people who do not like us, or groups of people who we killed for whatever reason, that will create a 9/11 condition. I can guarantee that these groups study day and night our "holes" in security and await the right time to hit us again. Therefore our foreign policy has to change drastically; like with Syria, try to negotiate disputes, instead of immediately start tossing bombs or drones. Of course religeous fanatics will always be part of this world and can not be convinced that there are other things in life, which are common to all all people; regardless of religion; i.e. live and let live. Sorry to say also for the Christian fanatics; religion is great if you indeed follow what the bible says, but not when you get all hyped up about it and force it onto other people,which then creates hate and terrorism.