Breaking News Alert (from the Washington Post):
Most Americans against mosque near Ground Zero, poll says September 8, 2010 6:35:9 PM
Most Americans say the planned Muslim community center and place of worship should not be built in Lower Manhattan, with the sensitive locale being their overwhelming objection, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Two-thirds of those polled object to the prospective Cordoba House complex near the site of the former twin towers, including a slim majority who express strongly negative views. The new results come alongside increasingly critical public views of Islam: 49 percent of all Americans say they have generally unfavorable opinions of Islam, compared with 37 percent who say they have favorable ones. That’s the most negative split on the question in Post-ABC polls dating to October 2001.
Wild, huh? OK, so I guess I fall in that category that finds the basic tenets of Islam to be troublesome. The feistiness of it is not exactly conducive to its followers mingling peacefully with other faiths. So perhaps, unPC as this might be, it is not a good idea to try to include is in the mixture of religions that we purport to allow freedom to practice. But if this is where the US is going to land, are we going to be honest about it? Or are we going to say that we live in the land of the free, and that you can practice any religion you like, except Islam? Except polygamous Mormonism? Except Satan worship? What about Wicca? Buddhism? Judaism? Jainism? What about all those strange tribal belief systems? Where do we draw the line? If we start dis-allowing religious freedoms based on fear, we are headed even farther down the rabbit hole of paranoia and self destruction. Which it appears is the destiny of our nation.
Sort of an aside, it is ironic to me that there is no questioning that we should fill the area destroyed by the 9/11/01 events with shrines to corporations. Nobody gripes about letting big business do what it likes, but try to build a monument to tolerance and see what you get. Money is all that is sacred here. Far as I can tell, the majority of Americans are ignorant and xenophobic. The majority may claim to be Christian, but they don't act much like Jesus. Thank goodness that this is a Republic and not actually a direct Democracy, because hopefully our representatives will be more educated, balanced and reasonable than the average American.
I think we should disallow all organized religion, and allow only independent congregations and individuals to worship as they see fit. Eliminate federal subsidies to "faith based" anything, eliminate tax shelters for churches, and put the cash into more equally humanitarian programs, something that doesn't require that you suffer the dogma to reap the benefit.