Trying to wrap my head around this whole mosque thing. Help me out.
A faith, any faith, buys land to build a church. The Mormons come to town in dribs and drabs and eventually they have enough Mormons in town to justify building a ward. They go buy some land; they hire the contractors, and build a church. Big deal.
The Catholics decide they need to build a new church in Nevada somewhere, because they have a population of Catholics, which has grown enough to make it more comfortable to have an extra church rather than everyone squeezing in to one. They buy the land, hire the contractors, and build the church.
The Methodists, the Seventh Dayers, the Moonies, the Scientologists, whoever it is, buys the land where ever they want, hires the contractors, builds a church or a reading room or a worship center or even just a quiet place to think about the man in the sky. The Salvation Army wants to open a mission downtown to cater to the needs of the homeless and the hookers. The Church of Dan wants to declare his living room a holy shrine to Ayn Rand. Whatever. Each and every one of these people has been told yes, because for some reason, they had to ask permission of some governing body for it. Whether that was simply for tax free status of the property taxes given to a ‘legitimate’ church or whether is was for a tax dodge, some govt official had to say yes or no.
And that is the problem.
At some point, we the people allowed churches to have tax free status because we respected the work they do or just to promote the status quo or even because we secretly wanted some semblance of state notice that our churches were ‘real’ because they got treated special.
So now come these guys who want to build a mosque. Not just any mosque, but named for freaking Cordoba, the virtual capital of Moor occupied Spain. And not just any place, but in the still bleeding heart of an American tragedy.
Can anyone, ANYONE, show me where in the Constitution we are guaranteed the right to not be offended?
No? Really? I thought maybe it was in the good and plenty clause I’ve been hearing about lately but can’t seem to find either. Perhaps it is contained in that whole “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” line and a mosque makes you unhappy. Oh wait, that was the DoI, not the USC. Hmmm. Help me out here, really.
Do we, as a country, REALLY want our government to tell ANYBODY what he or she can’t do with his or her private property? I know that I for one was outraged by the Supremes telling the country it was ok for a local government to take land from homeowners and give it to a developer. How is this different?
Irrespective of the religion being honored, do we really want our government, at any level, to fold, spindle, mutilate, or create law just to keep that religion from practicing what it feels to be its due honoring to their version of God?
And if so, what next? Do we tell the Scientologists they can’t give away free literature on the steps of their church? To we stop the Mormons from going door-to-door? Are hospitals run by the Shriners, or the Catholic Church, or the Jewish told they can’t expand to serve their community by adding on a children’s wing because they would have to buy land and the land they want to buy (which the owner wants to sell!!!) is somehow too tragic because a fire there killed two kids and their mother. Are we to assume that anyplace, anywhere, where someone has died is somehow too perverse or tragic or historical or whatever for a private owner to build a church there?
I somehow am betting that there will be a shrine to the dead placed in Shanksville, if there isn’t one already. But will the place over Texas, Palestine ironically, where the Colombia broke up on re-entry have a building halt handed down because it is somehow rude to the crew members families to build a Baptist church, or even a freaking Qwikiemart, NEAR where it happened?
This is not about whether or not we, as a people, agree with the deliberate slap in the face the mosque and community center builders want to deliver to us. Especially since they have chosen September 11 as the dedication date. They are absolutely trying to get a reaction from us. They WANT us to either halt the deal so they can say “Look, the Americans are breaking their own Constitution to stop us from building this” or to let it go through so they can say “Look, the Americans are so weak they didn’t even try to stop us from building this.” Either way, they get their propaganda. Either way, they can turn to their Muslim brethren and boast about how they outwitted us.
Only ONE way makes us change who we are as a people though.
Only ONE way weakens our own law, our contract with our children and ourselves.
Only ONE way leads to somebody with bad intentions turning up the volume and saying, “Whom can we mess with next.”
I think I would rather be called coward and know that it isn’t true than be called bully and know that it is.