There ought to be a law against that…

I said I wouldn’t talk politics here… I lied. I’ll try to stick to ideals and perspectives and not punditry.

At times in our frustration we’ve all said “There ought to be a law against…”

  • People taking too long to write a check in the grocery checkout
  • bump its
  • Mosques

Freedom is funny thing. We will fight to the death to defend it but we’ll easily ignore it when convenient. Freedom doesn’t work that way, it is a two-edged sword. Ever encroachment is a precedence that will lead to future erosion.

The current debate centers around the proposed building of the Mosque near Ground Zero. A lot of folks are angry that city councils, governors, and now that dang President won’t legally block construction of this mosque. Well we still have a little thing called the 1st amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

I don’t have a law degree but I’m pretty sure that means just because we may not care for a religion we aren’t allowed to deny them freedom.

The Problem with Precedence

Does having a mosque near to Ground Zero rub me a bit the wrong way? Sure, but if I decided to legally punish every religion that has rubbed me the wrong way there would be a long list. The deeper concern is that if I restrict their ability to build and worship as they see fit then what ground do I have to stand in 10 years when the government comes after my church because they disagree with me?

None.

Freedom doesn’t cater to your preferences but if it isn’t protected your preferences won’t matter.

So if you really want to stand for freedom then take a stand for those whom you disagree with to enjoy that same freedom.

Finally

I know plenty of real conservatives that think the same way and a lot of the so called Republican’s are just posturing for the cameras. This is why you’ll always see me classify myself as a Conservative not a Republican. Let it be known that both sides of the aisle are quick to ignore the US constitution when it benefits their agenda which is why its so important to hold tightly to its principles.

So kudos to President Obama for standing up for the First amendment. Now if he’d just take a look at the rest of the document. My friend @erniebufflo called me out for this line since it seems as if I’m calling Obama ignorant of the Constitution. Let me rephrase it to say that I think many of his policies ignore the constitution. More accurate, less pithy.

  • You can't base your entire country's legal system off a document, and then disregard it when it suits your fancy. I couldn't agree more with everything you said.

  • I'm glad someone on the right has taken a second to look at this without the lens of bigotry and hatred that most are subscribing to right now.

    Fact is, there always have been and always will be fundamentalists from every religious subscription on earth. There's a right, left and center to everything on this planet that warrants an opinion.

    The fact that amazes me is that there is an ever growing portion of the US population that is so easily en-sighted by propaganda and rhetoric that they will blindly follow anything that allows them to feed on hatred and anger. This isn't a political disagreement, this is a battle between the educated and informed, and the uneducated and uninformed. And the way I see it, in this day and age with the ease at which you can put your hands on valid data, to be uneducated in 2010 is a voluntary action and I have no use for that. To disagree is one thing, to debate your point is one thing, and sometimes, out of those discussions actually comes a solution that every side can live with.

    We are becoming that which we have fought for hundreds of years not to be, and that's not something you can attribute to any party or politician. We, as a nation, have forgotten how we got here and have, perhaps, grown a bit too big for our britches.

  • arkstfan

    We lived in Jonesboro when a mosque was built there some 20+ years ago and there were people offended and worried. Within a year of it opening those who were worried, had found something new to worry about.

  • Thank you Craig

  • Balance I'm concerned as well with blind following fueled by rhetoric… on both sides. I'm left to think that the lack of civics and economics education as left us more educated about American Idol than American government.

    Thanks for the great comment and for taking time to share. I appreciate it sir.

  • Very true. There is always a new hot button issue to “mobilize” the base.

  • arkstfan

    I think you are completely unfair when you put the most tag there and then compound it with a slap at conservatives. There simply is no real basis for that unless you get your information from the same places as the ignorant you are critical of.

    For example. NYC is no bastion of the right. It is one of the most reliable spots for votes for the Democratic party. It is is reliable voting bloc for liberal causes. 60% of New Yorkers oppose the mosque. You can't get to that number unless about half the population that reliably votes Democrat and liberal is in the opposition.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/06/poll-6
    The mayor who identified as a Republican until 2007 when he started toying with the idea of a Perot like independent run for president favors the mosque.

    CNN's recent poll, found 68% oppose the mosque and 58% of respondents who identified as Democrats oppose it, even 45% who self-identify as liberal. Women who tend to be more reliable about being open to change are more opposed than men. http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/11/

    This is an emotional issue that cannot simply be scoffed at as ignorant rural white conservative thing, the data unsuprisingly shows strongest opposition there but the numbers bring no honor of clear-headness to the left or to the educated (65% who attended college oppose vs 71% of no college opposing). Until the conversation moves past these dismissive stances toward those who oppose there is little chance that right and rule of law can prevail, because dismissing the opposition as ignorant is the fastest way to insure your message will not be heard.

  • It's nice to see a civil discussion about a political topic instead of all those posts that I see on Yahoo! from conservative and liberal alike. What ever happened to respectfully disagreeing? Keith, do you think that the internet and it's anonymity has changed the way of civil conversations in America?

  • I wasn't taking a slap at conservatives at all. There are some brilliant conservatives in the world. I was simply taking a jab at the ignorant. The ignorant on both sides. We must stop entertaining the debate with ignorance as if the ignorant have any real voice.

    As for polls, I as well as many others disregard polls. They are a horrible data gathering tactic. But, for the sake of this argument I'll accept your numbers and respond with this. I don't care if 99% of people polled say they are against the idea. It's a constitutional requirement that we respect any and all forms of religion. It's a cornerstone of this country's reason for existence. I don't care of the vast majority of the nation has lost sight of that. The fact still remains.

  • Yes. It brings out the best and worst of people.

  • Very well stated dude. Very well.

    And yes, Bump-its should carry heavy penalties.

  • Very well stated dude. Very well.

    And yes, Bump-its should carry heavy penalties.

  • Thank you Aaron. I really appreciate it.

  • Apoch1999

    its well said, however i dont think thats really why everyone is in a furor….i know one way to get it to stop legally that would also make a lot of people happy in another way, declare the whole area either a place of historic interest, or as a federal park.

  • In my opinion the reason some are in an uproar is they feel its a slap in the face to 9/11 victims and sends the wrong message to Islamic Extremist groups regardless the 1st amendment still stands and personally wouldn't support legal maneuvering to block construction for the same reasons as state above.

  • Brandi George

    I just heard about this for the first time today, and my knee-jerk reaction was “How sad that they’re building a mosque instead of a church.” I quickly checked myself and remembered that Muslims have as much religious freedom as I do, and that preventing them from erecting a mosque would be an act of selfishness and arrogance. Finding opportunities to spread love to people of other faiths is much more important than trying to stay inside the “Christian comfort zone.”

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Well I’m not big on talking politics myself. It tends to get me in trouble. I don’t really believe the leaders of the world are moral or honest. I happen to think by the time they reach upper levels of the political realm they are so corrupt as to be a species unto themselves. Certainly by the time they reach the House and Senate. Many times before that. It’s incredibly skewed.

    Having said that, I do think there is hope. But in order for hope to become something more we the people have to change our behavior and start considering what really matters about our world. We need to start behaving like we care about each other.

    Denying those who wish to build a Mosque at ground zero that right is tantamount to holding them responsible for the crimes committed there 9 years ago. I don’t think anyone believes that is the case. It would be no different to say all ex-military are barred from access to federal buildings and trucks with access to federal buildings, (think Timothy McVeigh) But no one has suggested we do something as ludicrous as that.

    We can not continue to hold all people with certain ancestors responsible for the evils of the past. I would then be held responsible for the Holocaust. I wasn’t there, I didn’t participate, I wouldn’t condone it and am disgusted that it happened but I know as a human being if I call all people with history in the middle east guilty of 9/11, I then must be willing to accept the blame for my ancestors.

    I doubt many people really consider things like that. If we set aside religion, not deny it exists, but set it aside, we are all people and if we as people could simply be kind to one another and treat each other with care and consideration instead of wondering what’s in it for us, we could find the peace most of us wish to have.

    I should have prefaced this with the fact, not that it’s difficult to see, I am NOT conservative – which is not to say I am a democrat, but I am definitely not republican.