Oooh, I am so mad right now that I could spit. I want to shake America by its metaphorical shoulders, send us to our rooms, and ground the populace for the foreseeable future, or at least until we wake up and remember who we (reputedly) are.
My compatriots--meaning patriots with me--have we gone round the twist? What are we doing? What are we saying? What are we standing for?
A CNN Poll was cited in The Guardian as "proving" that 70 percentof Americans are against building an Islamic mosque and community center in the shadow of Ground Zero. Only 22 percent are in favor. The other 8 percent? Who knows?
No matter. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has weighed in on the debate citing the establishment of a mosque at that particular locale as a defining moment for the separation of church and state.
President Obama, at the White House iftar--the breaking of the daily fast of Ramadan--said that religious freedom in this country needs to be "unshakable."
Rah for the Mayor. Rah for Obama. They are awake and they get it.
America!! Wake up!
Are we Americans or aren't we?
This isn't about the memories of those who were killed on 9/11. It was and remains devastating. It's about ... are we Americans or aren't we?
This isn't about Republican fear politics. It's about ... are we Americans or aren't we?
This isn't about Al-Qaeda. It's about ... are we Americans or aren't we?
This isn't even about Islam. It's about ... are we Americans or aren't we?
This is about a precious civil right upon which the United States of America was built.
Here's Wikipedia's concise definition from the Bill of Rights: "The Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
These first 10 amendments to the Constitution were the first second-thoughts of our Founding Fathers. James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights to the First United States Congress in 1789. They came into effect in 1791. Wikipedia continues, "An agreement to create the Bill of Rights helped to secure ratification of the Constitution itself."
If we're Americans, dear one, then we live, work and worship under this same Bill of Rights, and we have for nearly 211 years. We call it "enjoying religious freedom."
I know witches who worship their way. I know New Thought folk who worship their way. I know Methodists and Catholics, Baptists and Unitarians who worship their way. I know Jews both Conservative and Reform who worship their way. I know Buddhists and Taoists who worship their way. Hindus who worship their way and yes, Muslims who worship their way.
I also know that at the core of all of these religious traditions are two principles that bind them and us all together as one; they are love ... and forgiveness.
We are Americans. We are guaranteed the right by our government to worship how we will. For those of us who do, how's about we practice our religions? Instead of just preaching them, and this from a preacher!
The Muslims who want to build a mosque near, not at, the site of Ground Zero are practicing their religion, not proselytizing like Al-Qaeda and friends. We need to get over our fear, my friends, our fear of those who are different from us, and enjoy both our own religious freedom and that of all others.