Where I’m at: Arlington, VA
What I’m doing: watching the Reds go for 6 in a row (and by “watching the Reds,” I mean Colleen is using the TV to watch “Project Runway.” Ugh)
Why I’m posting: because you’re dying for a rant…I just know it :o)
Well, everyone has given their two cents at this point. Palin, Newt, Beck, Pelosi, and finally Obama. And that’s just the political players. Seriously, everyone and their mother had something to say about the proposed mosque (actually, Islamic community spiritual center) near Ground Zero. We even talked about it in my French class. In French!
So what’s to say about the mosque that hasn’t already been said? Actually…nothing, at least as far as I’m concerned. That’s because President Obama said what really is the right thing (the first time anyway). America was literally founded on the idea of religious freedom. This is a country that will never be physically beaten by terrorist attacks. And honestly, I’ve stopped believing that we could even have our confidence cracked beyond repair (USSR anyone?). Many Americans, however, do seem to be willing to permit a victory of terror by allowing their fears to dictate their feelings. No, Ms. Palin, it’s not okay for us to just say, “Well this one time, let’s put basic freedoms on the bench.” If zoning laws permit a mosque to be built in the area, and interested parties could raise the funds to purchase the property, etc. etc. etc., we can’t use the Constitution as a sword of last resort. The Constitution is a shield, if not a protective bubble that protects us from government, government from other government, and sometimes even us from ourselves.
Part of me wants to concede that it is okay to feel anger or even uneasiness in this, an admittedly rare situation. But if at this time, when our basic beliefs and freedoms are so clearly laid on the table, we can’t give in to rash feelings. Unfortunately, in this situation, the feelings aren’t even rash; they’re just plain wrong. Senator Gravel (D-AK) pointed out – bravely, since he’s a Democrat – that President Bush was good at drawing the distinction between the perpetrators of the hideous acts of 9/11 and the Muslim world in general. It’s not okay to conflate the two. It diminishes 3 billion people in the world, and perhaps more importantly here, it diminishes another 3oo million: the U.S.
We’re better than this. When we give our word as a country, we’re supposed to mean it. But when we promise ourselves something, we definitely better do it. Religious freedom is a basic right. And in DeMark’s hierarchy of rights (conveniently backed up by the Due Process Clause), our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are sacred against the conveniences or biases of others, so long as our rights don’t impinge upon theirs. Ignorance is not a right. Nor is fear. But practicing one’s religion is. And thus to me, the issue is simple and clear.
But what do you think?