Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others
I disliked the fact that there is a mosque being built in Downtown Manhattan in New York City, only a few blocks from the WTC. It annoyed me. I thought New York City should have done something about this a long time ago, used eminent domain to take the site, if it were possible.
But the time for that is passed. The Muslims who want to build a community center, and a mosque, own the building and the land, and have everything they need to begin working to make it what they want it to be.
It is their land. Let them do as they wish with it. We are, were, and until recently I thought we always would be, a religiously tolerant people. Jews living next to Catholics living next to Baptists living next to Atheists living next to that guy no one is sure what the hell he was praying to besides that bottle of gin, and everybody got along.
No more. We have allowed the traumatic events of 9/11 to shape our identity in such a way as it distorts our basic national character, and it has changed some of us from the good people we were to…I am not even sure how to characterize it… manic xenophobic neurotics is about the closest I can come to what it looks and sounds like.
This nation was built on a tradition of Religious tolerance. We have in our great history a great many high minded religious leaders who helped lead this country from Lyman Beecher to Joseph Smith to Martin Luther King Jr., and I for one am proud that all these great and good people are part of our legacy as a nation.
To allow a mosque there is, though I think it shows remarkably bad judgment on the part of New York City, IS acceptable insofar as it is their land. In this country you have the right to pray to god in whatever way you so choose, whatever god that you so choose. They own the land. Let them be. If you really are a christian and it feels like a slap in the face, you can turn the other cheek, much though it may pain you to do it. God is good, he will guide you and I, one and all to the righteous path. And that path is not the warpath.
As a matter of fact, go there. Talk to them, see what they are like. Test your own ideas about what these people are like with your own eyes and ears and mind. Show that you are a strong brave proud American, and look the people you judge in the eye, and judge them not for what you think they are, but for what they actually are.
Viddy of the day: President Obama talking about the building of a mosque in Lower Manhattan. Note the words “Ground Zero is Indeed Hallowed ground” Note he did NOT say anything about specifically condoning or approving of the action. Not that his political enemies would admit the truth of that, even after looking at the viddy. Hate blinds where truth sheds no light.
I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance, or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.
“Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.”
“That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances,”
This has been blown out of proportion by his political enemies into “HE’S DEFENDING MUSLIMS, SEE, I KNEW HE WAS ONE OF THEM.” or some such twaddle.
Which, if you actually paid attention to what he said, is a gigantic steaming pile of bullshit. He even added to his statement today, adding that he wasn’t speaking to the wisdom of the actual project.
Now, if you want to believe that he is a secret Muslim, what the hell ever that is, you do that stupid bullshit. If you want to think that this proves that he is anti-American, you do that stupid bullshit. This is America, we have freedom of speech, yes and we have freedom of assembly, the right to bear arms, all that goodness.
We also have freedom of religion, which is what he defended in his statements, and if you don’t like it, fine. Change it, if you can. If you can get that past all the other people of all those other religions who don’t want to live in fear of being “done unto” just to suit your religious zealot/fascist ideas of what you think America should be.
We, the sane people of this country, will tuck that thought away, and put it right along side the silly crap about altering the 14th Amendment, the marriage equality amendment, the privatization of Social Security horse manure and the flag burning amendment you crazed semi-simian Lunatics wanted to pass.
Guten Nacht, America, I’ll write to you again tomorrow.