I don’t know the source of this photo. I captured it from a post on reddit.com. A picture’s worth a thousand words… in this case a thousand and one.
You may find it interesting that the young lady added to her poster what would appear to most Americans as an upside down “peace symbol.” Actually the symbol is a letter from the ancient Anglo-Saxon rune alphabet. The symbol goes by the letter name ”Algiz.” It’s meaning is the same as the word for the animal “elk.”
Here’s a translation of an ancient Anglo-Saxon rune poem to give a feeling for the symbolism of the elk and the letter “Algiz.”
- The Elk-sedge usually lives in the fen,
- growing in the water. It wounds severely,
- staining with blood any man
- who makes a grab at it.
In addition to the symbol for an elk, the Algiz is a symbol of a person reaching upwards holding a sword in one hand and a horn in the other as a guardian providing both reactive defense and proactive protection. This symbol for the Algiz was carved into both the swords and the shields of warriors as a mark of protection from harm and regardless of whether on the defensive or on the offensive the symbol is an indicator of the presence of a tangible threat to be guarded against whether physical or spiritual.
There is no way to know for sure what this young lady was thinking with her poster. It could certainly have been inspired by recent comments by Bill O’Reilly on the tv show The View, or the comments by Juan Williams on National Public Radio that cost him that job. She is certainly a lovely young lady and her smile expresses peace and joy.
From my perspective and whether she means it or not, I think the poster is about defining what is a terrorist. You can read plenty of posts on this blog about the subject of terrorism such as the MIAC (Missouri Fusion Center) controversy where a site like this one could be defined as an act of terrorism for law enforcement who are profiling based on things like a Gadsden Flag or our freedom of expression to attack threats to the Constitution of the United States. When you watch the video from Wikileaks of unarmed citizens being gunned down in the street, it certainly leads some folks to describe those killings as an act of government-sponsored terrorism on the part of the U.S. Government and the citizens who support it.
In times like this concepts such as what defines a sovereign state are increasingly falling into the category of “gray area.” When the Federal Reserve asks the primary dealers how much quantitative easing the Fed should do, it makes you question how exactly sovereignty has been rigged right here on the home front. In my mind, “the rules of war”, “the war on terror” and “the war on drugs” for that matter all become issues of business rather than issues of honor when you outsource your allegiances to the likes of Blackwater and you promote big pharma on the Wheel of Fortune and then have huge disparities in sentencing for inner city, low income (mostly black) crack cocaine possessions as compared with suburban, high income (mostly white) cocaine possessions convictions. Add in Ritalin as the management tool of choice for one of our most valuable assets, the fiesty eight year old boy and what does our future look like when Uncle Sam becomes Father Sam.
We’ve boiled down the love of country to its least common denominator which is the almighty dollar and now the plan is to boil the dollar down to its least common denominator (i.e. the IMF’s special drawing rights currency basket). I don’t have a problem with the young lady with the poster. Unlike Juan Williams, her wardrobe doesn’t intimidate me if she’s sitting next to me on a plane. What does get my attention is when I am absolutely certain that the rule of law and concepts such as distraint and habeas corpus, (which we’ve been operating under, and dying to protect, Algiz in hand, since the signing of the Magna Carta) would be superceded by Sharia?
Christians, Muslims and Jews may share the same Abrahamic heritage, but the Constitution of the United States was not chartered to be subordinate to any other law (including Islamic law) while this experiment has been conducted under the banner of In God We Trust. Regardless of how much sanity is restored by the comedy of Jon Stewart or how much fear is kept alive by the satire of Stephen Colbert, the challenge facing me and this young lady is a simple one. It’s not about our faith, she’s entitled to hers and I to mine under the law of the land. It’s not about fear or insanity. It’s about the business of nation building and its rise and fall. This nation was founded on the idea that government should be of laws rather than of men. Today, that law is the Constitution. People at the highest levels of government and business are working every day to gradually tear away at that fabric. If it does fall, it will only be because we allowed it to.
No doubt the throne in England viewed the Founding Fathers of this country as terrorists. Today people may call the young lady in the photograph a terrorist. People may call me a terrorist. To me the definition of a terrorist is a person whose primary weapon is fear. Fear of death. Fear of destruction. Fear of fear itself. When someone asks me; what does it mean that humankind was made in God’s image? I say that’s simple. We are each given the power to choose. Fear is a choice and if don’t choose it then terror has no power.
Does that mean that there is no death, there is no destruction and we can all be like Rodney King suggested and “just get along.” Don’t count on it. I didn’t believe candidate Obama’s slogan of “change” or those who oppose government today at WeAreChange.org could truly bring change. Change is as individual of a thing as your DNA. It can only happen one person at a time. I know that I have tried to change and I have a long way to go and cannot do it in my own power. As far as my wishes for the young lady in the photo above, I’ll have to rely on someone else to help me communicate my feelings (see video below). I do know one thing for certain. Nations are made up of citizens just like churches are made up of their members. If it wasn’t for those who had fled to the United States in search of freedom, I’d be sitting in the middle of the Cherokee Nation right now which is rightfully their land were it not for the change brought here… one by one.
Although I believe that our country is the greatest idea that mankind has ever conceived for the purpose of nation building. I also know that no nation will last forever. Unlike de Tocqueville, I believe this one has many great years ahead of it. At the same time, I believe that the souls of people, unlike temporal nations which have no soul, are an eternal matter. The lady in the picture and me, we share that great gift in common from our Creator. I don’t have a solution for how the law of this land could be subordinated to the law of Islam and my understanding of Islam is that it will not be subordinated to the law of this land. That being said, I can offer to the young lady a new name for her and that is sister. I can also share the one thing that I know always solves the problems between people, but can never be understood by nations, for nations are not sentient and have no understanding. The solution is love and the vehicle for that love to be delivered is forgiveness. When it comes to fear, I’m not afraid to hug you and when it comes to restoring sanity, here’s what Jesus of Nazareth said about the subject: It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’” I know what is in my heart. Listen to Dave Matthews talk about exchanging hearts with his sister. It takes two hearts to make the peaceful exchange… e-v-e-r-y-day.
Update: If you don’t care for my explanation or the more popular culture approach presented by Dave Matthews, you may want to consider the Russian author and philosopher Leo Tolstoy’s take on the issue at hand. Here’s an excerpt from The Kingdom of God is Within You.
Meanwhile one would have thought it was necessary to point out at least some kind of solution of the following question, since it is at the root of almost everything that interests us.
The question amounts to this: In what way are we to decide men’s disputes, when some men consider evil what others consider good, and vice versa? And to reply that that is evil which I think evil, in spite of the fact that my opponent thinks it good, is not a solution of the difficulty. There can only be two solutions: either to find a real unquestionable criterion of what is evil or not to resist evil by force.
The first course has been tried ever since the beginning of historical times, and, as we all know, it has not hitherto led to any successful results.
The second solution – not forcibly to resist what we consider evil until we have found a universal criterion – that is the solution given by Christ.