what does freedom mean?
I see a lot of talk about this “mosque” at Ground Zero in NYC. I see a lot of knee jerk reaction and fear mongering. I see a lot of people not taking the time to get educated spouting off with some emotional responses. To some degree, that is to be expected, after all, 9/11 is still a pretty fresh wound for this country.
However, knee-jerk reactions are never the right way to make decisions. They’re quick and involuntary and more often than not made with little information and a whole lot of emotion.
Honestly, if a Christian church group wanted to put a community center in place a mile from the scene of the Oklahoma City bombing, would we be having this conversation at all? Or how about near the site of an abortion clinic that was bombed/burned by protesters?
We cry out to Muslims, or Christians for that matter, to stand up to those that would hijack their faith for hateful, violent ends, and yet, when a group of them wants to spend a small fortune to build a place to do exactly that in a place that desperately needs that kind of healing, we scream out in hateful words about evil and compare them to those who killed and maimed, forgetting that they, just like us, have been hurt, wounded.
They too are American citizens, guaranteed the freedom to worship their god in their way. No law may infringe upon that right. Not a one of us may interfere with their faith. That is what freedom is.
I may not agree with your religion…its tenants, its practices, but I believe in your right to practice it, without hindrance or persecution and I will defend that right with my words and my actions until the day I depart this earth.
Let these people build their community center. Let them teach the next generation of Muslim boys and girls what extremism does. Let them point at the place where once the towers stood and a city bled and a nation mourned and show them the horror of a religion taken so far afield it has lost its way.
To deny them only proves that the extremists were right, that we are a cowardly, corrupt nation that preaches freedom, and yet denies it to anyone we disagree with.