The Common Good
March-April 2002

Meditation on McVeigh

by Meg Kiekhaefer | March-April 2002

We were in France when the news came of the terrorist acts of Sept.

We were in France when the news came of the terrorist acts of Sept. 11. We received condolences from strangers and participated in peace demonstrations in Italy and observed other such events around the continent. I brought Sojourners along so I would have a connection to home and had been reading it cover to cover as usual.

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When I came to "The Hungry Spirit" column ("A Devout Meditation in Memory of Timothy McVeigh," by Rose Marie Berger, September-October 2001) I initially passed it over; not another overdose of Timothy McVeigh! But I returned to it and read the article and found it to be very powerful. It really makes one think about the way we look at events and deal with them. As I reflected on Timothy McVeigh, I couldn't help but relate it to the other events going on in the world. How much different is Timothy McVeigh from Osama bin Laden? They both seem to be sane people with distorted views on reality.

I could read the article and replace names as well as Judeo-Christian with Muslim where relevant. The situations are not completely comparable, but we have to ask the same questions about whether what we are doing in Afghanistan is justified. So thank you, Rose Marie. I pray that we can keep love and compassion in our perspective in the months ahead and have the wisdom and the sanity to do the just thing.

Meg Kiekhaefer
Coralville, Iowa

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