Have we forgotten?
New friend Jennifer riffs on the controversy of the new mosque being built "at Ground Zero."
Hey, I'm offended by the concept that the new mosque might be considered a "victory mosque," too.
But I'm more offended at the concept of forbidding its erection.
The protection that this country has afforded to religion through the First Amendment has been pretty strong. And with good reason. It was literally the VERY FIRST right guaranteed in the Bill Of Rights:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Let's not forget those rights of freedom of speech and of peaceable assembly, either.
Folks are critical of Obama for saying that they have the right to put up a mosque there (2.5 blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center towers.). While it pains me to defend our current President, I have to admit that he's right.
If you're one of those people saying "They shouldn't be allowed to put a mosque there! That's hallowed ground!", then I wonder: just how far out should this Zone Of Sacredness extend? 5 blocks? 10 blocks? All of the island of Manhattan? How about we just ban them from New York City?
And even if you back it down to "well, I just don't want it within sight of the building*" consider that you're still putting restrictions on an entire religion's right to assemble where they want. What about when your religion isn't the flavor of the month? Do you really want the government telling you that your money isn't green enough to purchase a plat of land, and erect a building to code, and peaceably do with it as you please?
I know some Muslims. None of them was happy on 9/11/01. None of them had a damned thing to do with anyone who had a damned thing to do with the attacks on our nation. I'm trying to figure out how telling them that they can't build their place of worship where they want is going to be patriotic.
If you're going to try to claim that "They hate us for our freedoms," then you best extend those freedoms, whether you like it or not.
While flawed, this republic is still great. It's strong enough to withstand the act of upholding the freedoms that it guarantees.
*The new tower, formerly called the "Freedom Tower," is to be 1,776 feet tall, which is well over a quarter mile high.