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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
           Friday, April 4 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterWhy do they hate?

After the devastation of September 11 2001, more than a few pundits and analysts addressed why so many in the Islamic world hate America and jumped to rejoice at our being assaulted and humiliated. We assume they must misunderstand us because, as we all know, what's to hate? Aren't we the best people ever? Who's ever been more generous or well intentioned? Who has done more to extend the benefits of our way of life to those who can't yet afford it? What more could or can we possibly do? These are all, I feel, legitimate questions, and yet they hate us, who ever "they" may be.

There are no simple answers to such complicated questions, nor is there any uniformity about the reasons for disliking the world's only super-power and its people. The top has always been lonely, and there is mixed admiration and hatred in any subpopulation in the world where America is admired as the best place to go to and yet our very success is one of the reasons their own nation is as far down the ladder of world success as it may be. Some hate our wealth, our manipulation of world economies, and similar niches our nation occupies, in reality or perception. Many others hate us for being more supportive of Israel than her enemies, and the progress that some of us think we've seen in being more fair in the Middle East, as a matter of national policy, than we used to be is seen as just cynical posturing by some who haven't as yet seen America's mercy trickling down to them.

But this hatred, fascinating as it is, is not my present focus. An even more fascinating topic, to me right now, is the hatred so many, of so many diverse backgrounds, in North America and the broader world, have been exhibiting toward President George W. Bush and what they perceive as "his" war against Saddam Hussein. I think the two hatreds complement each other in several regards. This has been exhibited by countless examples ranging from the President's being villified as "an idiot" by a Canadian politician to being stomped in effigy by the lead singer of Pearl Jam at a Denver concert on April 1, to the opinion polls finding that a third of French people would rather see Hussein and his forces prevail, rather than Bush and our forces, in the present war.

These questions will occupy the attention of your conductor on this tour for the next few rides. I hope you'll contribute feedback as thoughts or questions occur. Before Monday's outing, if you are so inclined, I encourage your reading of the article about Pearl Jam's outrage, linked here, and the article in the London Times by Tina Brown (linked here) describing the way she sees President Bush (which I think gives clues to why many unfairly despise him).

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy


...why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
...why a woman can't put on mascara with her mouth closed?
...why you don't ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?
...why "abbreviated" is such a long word? ...why doctors call what they do "practice"?

— Sent by Mike Harrison

Lenten thought for today

The work of prayer is one and the same for all, but there are many kinds of prayer and many different prayers. Some converse with God as with a friend and master, interceding with praise and petition, not for themselves, but for others. Some strive for greater spiritual riches and glory for confidence in prayer. Others ask for complete deliverance from their adversary. Before all else, let us list sincere thanksgiving first on the scroll of our prayer. On the second line, we should put confession and heartfelt contrition of soul. Then let us present our petition to the King of all. This is the best way of prayer. . . .

—St. John Climacus, 525-605 A.D.
The Ladder of Divine Ascent

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