Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Playing Right Into Their Hands

It would seem that all the frenzy that has been stirred up over the proposed building of an Islamic community center a few blocks from NY's ground zero has apparently played right into the hands of Islamic extremists.

In a course of events that should come as no surprise to any sane, rational, intelligent person, it would seem that the furor and protests being stirred up by the radical right over the proposed community center is being cited by an extremist Imam as a textbook case of America's intolerance toward the Muslim faith.

And really, can you think of anything that is currently being said or done that is doing anything to discourage that?

Sadly, we seem to be growing short on our supply of sane, rational, intelligent people.

I feel that it is germane at this point to quote the First Amendment of 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."

Take a careful look at the first right enumerated in the first sentence. Pay close attention to the words "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Freedom of religion--the right of every citizen of this country to worship as he or she sees fit--is the first right enumerated in the bill of rights, listed before such monumental freedoms as freedom of the press or speech. Most of our founding fathers had firsthand experience with the tyranny that could arise when the state decided to establish a religion for itself, and they wanted to make sure that such tyranny could never happen here.

That is why it makes me shudder to see the way the religious wright is so easily able to co-opt the political agenda in this country. And why I can't help but think that our founding fathers must be spinning in their graves when they see it.

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