Tuesday, August 17, 2010

on religion building

The big mouths on cable news channels seem unable to decide whether the Moslems (Muslims?) want to build a mosque or a community center or a dance studio, or whether it is or is not "at Ground Zero," or whether it is or is not on "sacred ground."

Lucky you, you've come here and I have the answers. This construction is not at Ground Zero. It is not intended to be a Mosque, and it is not on sacred ground. I've been in Manhattan, and I can personally testify, without any possible shade of confusion, that nothing on that island is sacred.

What the would-be Muslim builders have done is to expose the hypocrisy and outright unchristianity of many "Christians." Where the "Christian religion" is unable to control its own bigotries and hatreds, or to practice its own precepts having to do with forgiveness, the government steps in with a document called "The Constitution." This document tells us that the Moslems, just like the Rastafarians, the Coptics, the snake handlers, or the Gnostics, can built a house of worship anywhere they want. (Have you seen the location of many Catholic Churches? They're seemingly everywhere, except in ghettoes or other poor places in the country, which they have mostly abandoned for nicer sites in the suburbs.)

You should not think that I am defending any branch, sect, or persuasion of the Muslims, because I have as scornful an attitude about them as I do about any lockstep religious group. Faith is one thing. I'm sure that most people have discovered foundations of faith somewhere in their lives which sustain them in happy and sad moments and bring them closer to God. But to suppose that they therefore have the answer for everyone else to every perplexity confronting life is absurd.

This is why there is a Freedom of Religion in our Constitution. This is why there is a Separation of Church and State in our Constitution. We have to protect those ideas as assiduously as we can against the organized forces of intolerance. Otherwise, we will eventually end up with one "faith" that satisfies no one, just like in Saudi Arabia or Mississippi. There are millions of people in dozens of places and in many different styles of architectural religion, who believe they have the answer for everyone else. They're wrong.


Irene said...

Not much to add really. Well covered and well said!

These so-called Christians are displaying their not-so-Christian values here in Australia too, only they are not as powerful yet. But the major political parties are exploiting the fear and prejudices that the good Christian people of this country. Apparently a few thousand asylum seekers in boats are threatening to destroy our Australian way of life. (I might add that these asylum seekers are not white and not Christian.) The major parties here are morally corrupt, and I may be moving to NZL on Sunday (the day after our federal election).

Irene said...

Ah - that should read - "the fear and prejudices of the good Christian...". You probably guessed what I meant anyway.

Dashmann said...

I wish people would get as upset at Bin Laden, the guy who knocked the towers down, still being alive and free after 9 years as they are about questioning what the constitution means concerning freedom of religion in this country.

Irene said...

Sorry for hijacking your blog with my little rant, not quite relevant.... I particularly liked your last paragraph. I like the idea of some organised religions as "the organized forces of intolerance".

Dashmann said...

Isn't it neat we live in a country where we can discuss these things freely ???

When all is said and done, the mosque will probably be built, feelings of the 9-11 relatives will be somewhat soothed and some important compromises will have been made.

And everyone will be as happy as they are going to be, with some
remaining misgivings on both sides.

And America will be a little
stronger, and a little more united because of it.