Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts

Something to Think About on 9/11

The New Colossus

by Emma Lazarus, 1883

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


  • Joe M.

    What’s your point, Mark?

  • Joe M.

    Another thought on 9/11:
    The Charge of the Light Brigade
    Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    “Forward, the Light Brigade!
    “Charge for the guns!” he said:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismay’d?
    Not tho’ the soldier knew
    Someone had blunder’d:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred.
    Flash’d all their sabres bare,
    Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
    All the world wonder’d:
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right thro’ the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reel’d from the sabre stroke
    Shatter’d and sunder’d.
    Then they rode back, but not
    Not the six hundred.
    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro’ the jaws of Death
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of six hundred.
    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    All the world wondered.
    Honor the charge they made,
    Honor the Light Brigade,
    Noble six hundred.
    Please all, feel free to add your UNRELATED to 9/11 thoughts here……..


    As I watched the planes hit the
    towers and then the buildings
    fell; my thoughts were; O MY
    GOD, there is such evil in this
    And GOD replied How do we overcome
    evil?? Overcome evil with good.
    Watch and see!! Only [GOD] can
    bring forth good and hope from
    this tragedy.

  • Tim Cook

    Joe M.,
    I won’t speak for Mark, but I see at least one point in remembering 9/11 by quoting Emma Lazarus. The terrorists wanted to strike America by hitting what they saw as our might…our financial center, our military center, and the center of our government. But in many rspects…and I would argue primary respects…America’s might comes from our openness, our diversity and our tolerance. Sure, we’ve stumbled in those areas in the past, and will again, but Ms. Lazarus did capture unique qualities that set us apart…in a grand way. The Statue of Liberty, and her poem, represent those qualities. And that is worth remembering today.
    Thanks, Mark….
    Tim Cook

  • Mark D. Roberts

    Joe: Tim puts in prose much of what I was trying to say using the poem and the picture. It seems to me that 9/11 is a time for America to recommit to being the great country that we are, and that has everything to do with the meaning of the Statue of Liberty. How sad it would be if terrorism defeated us, not by military might, but by stirring up fears within us that caused us to forget our true greatness as a nation.

  • Joe M.

    Tim, Mark:
    Thanks for the clarification. I thought that might be where you were heading, but the initial post was so vague, I couldn’t be sure.
    Sadly, like so many Americans who have but a superficial grasp on why this country is great, and what is needed to keep it so, your well-intentioned sentiments are just WRONG. The fundamentals this country was founded on, and that make her great, are not “openness”, “diversity”, or “tolerance”. Those traits are, in a certain fashion, merely by-products and tools used for the continued building of our great land.
    Actually, the Fundamental values this country is founded on is an overwhelming desire for Freedom, and with it, a committed respect for the inalienable rights of all human beings. It’s the combination of these two values, or virtues, that built this country and have made it so amazingly great. Not “openness”. Not “diversity”. The indiscriminant “openness” and “diversity” which you allude to could mark the end of this great land.
    For the first 150 or so years of this country, immigration was clearly controlled. We knew who was arriving at our shores, and kept a careful eye on exactly who it was that was to be included in the American tapestry. It was not an “openness” free for all. Sure, there was plenty of diversity of color and national origin. But, starting with our Founders and continuing with those during this time, we made sure that there was NO diversity in commitment to Freedom, Inalienable rights, and the values summarized in our constitution. This is confirmed by the Oath all immigrants must take, an oath in which the aspiring citizen swears to complete allegiance to the United States and its constitution. There is no “diversity” on this point.
    This is why unchecked illegal immigration is destructive to this country. Sure, this problem comes from “openness”, and certainly provides continued “diversity”, and unquestionably requires “tolerance” on our part. But do we have any assurance that these new immigrants understand and completely buy into the true fundamental values that make this country great?
    The same – and here’s where my question of the relevance of your post to 9/11 comes in – goes to unguarded immigration of Muslims to this country. Certainly there are many Muslims that share our commitment to freedom and inalienable rights, and they’ve been great citizens. But to many Muslims (if even 10%), Islam is more than just a religion. It’s an all-encompassing way of life, including a Political blueprint which, as practiced in all predominantly Islamic countries, is at conflict with OUR fundamental values. Can this country continue to be great, and allow “diversity” in the form of a Sharia law springing up in communities. It already exists in Great Britain, this dual-law which operates side by side with British law in a number of Muslim communities there, and is becoming more entrenched as time goes on. Would this kind of “diversity” continue to makes us great?
    Mark, you of all people know the destructive effect of the wrong kind of diversity on an organization. When the PCUSA approved the ordination of homosexuals, it rocked the power and greatness of the denomination. This “diversity” has caused great turmoil and division, and has undermined the unity and the power of the church. From a Christian perspective, the mindset to make this decision in the first place has to limit the power of the Spirit in a sin-accepting (encouraging?) body as the PCUSA has become.
    With this in mind, it’s important to affirm that “openness”, “diversity”, and “tolerance” are only attributes of the true values that make this country great: Commitment to Freedom and to the Inalienable rights of the citizen, as elucidated in the US Constitution. How can encouraging diversity of the values and thought that runs counter to our Founding Fathers’ intent be a good thing?

  • Joe M.

    By this way, with a slightly different slant, Chuck Colson illustrates the importance of Unity, not “openness” and “diversity”, in this excellent article:
    What is True Diversity?
    Chuck Colson
    Since 1782, the Latin phrase E pluribus unum—“out of many, one”—has appeared on the Great Seal of the United States.
    But what happens when we neglect and even deny the importance of the “one”—that is, cultural unity—and emphasize the importance of the “many”—that is, individuals—which, today, we call “diversity”? As a renowned social scientist learned, nothing good.
    It is only “shocking” [result of the study] if you have made “diversity” into an ideological goal. Otherwise, it makes perfect sense that constantly engaging in politically correct diversity programs would make it harder for people to trust one another. Likewise, denying universal norms can’t help but promote individualism—destroying culture.
    Click on URL for entire article

  • Mark D. Roberts

    Joe: Did it not occur to you that the poem was from the Statue of LIBERTY, and that the photo was of the Statue of LIBERTY. Your comments about the limitations of diversity are fine, but you rather missed my point about commemorating 9/11 by focusing on liberty, which is another way of saying “freedom.” Within the context of our freedom, we offer liberty to all people who are willing to live within the moral and legal structures of our society, in which we are tolerant of others and defend the freedom of those who are in the minority. In fact, the Statue of Liberty reminds us that we welcome those who are not like us into the unity of our nation. To be sure, we must oppose those who threaten our liberty, whether they do so through violence and terror from without, or through fear and intolerance within. 9/11 offers a chance to remember our commitment as a nation to liberty and to our commitment to helping others in our world experience liberty.

  •! Joe M.

    Sorry Mark. I responded to your statement that “Tim puts in prose much of what I was trying to say using the poem and the picture”. And what Tim had to say was that “America’s might comes from our openness, our diversity and our tolerance.” This is clearly incorrect,as I pointed out above, and since Tim stated “what you were trying to say”, I responded to that.
    Two things: 1)Understand, there is no Freedom without limits, without common commitment to uphold these values for all citizens. And when you invite others in your midst that clearly do not share these values, you don’t create a stronger nation. When some members of a group within your borders absolutely abhor the fundamentals of Freedom (including freedom of speech and association), the nation isn’t stronger by inviting even more of this “diversity” into your midst, and patting yourself on the back and congratulating your supreme “tolerance”. Check out the attached URL, and tell me if this kind of “diversity” is what the Founding Fathers had in mind.
    2) When you say “In fact, the Statue of Liberty reminds us that we welcome those who are not like us into the unity of our nation”, it’s just pablum and nonsense. The Declaration of Independence makes it clear “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” When you say “those who are not like us”, you are clearly making a distinction our founders did not make. They already know that all men are the same before God, endowed with the same God-granted rights. Color, or superficial culture had no bearing then, and is NOT EVEN MENTIONED in the poem you quote. You are fixated on color and culture; certainly it is not an attribute of the poem. All men, essentially, are the same. So, why bring up the “those who are not like us” comment?
    Both the founding documents, and the poem, are centered on the promise of both of Freedom, and of the opportunity to pursue happiness while respecting the rights of others to do the same. This is the common starting point, and on this THERE CAN BE NO DIVERSITY. And as two greats have said in the past, “Can a house divided stand?”.
    Lastly, how does “9/11 offer[s] a chance to remember our commitment as a nation to liberty and to our commitment to helping others in our world experience liberty”? It is the anniversary of the worst foreign attack on US soil in history. It reminds us that there are people out there that desperately want to destroy our way of life. How does acknowledging this fact, and understanding the source of the threat, “threaten our liberty”? It is naive and dangerous at best to not acknowledge this, and not to scrutinize those from this political ideology who would like to come into our midst to do us harm. To think that “openness” and “tolerance” will protect us from this threat is adolescent fantasy.

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