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Saturday, August 21, 2010

About that mosque

I keep hearing a lot about this mosque that may be built near ground zero. It has drawn a lot of fire from political and religious conservatives. Being in that camp, I nevertheless have a different opinion. I have not researched the details closely, so I am open to correction if I am mistaken about something.

The issue really heated up after President Obama said on Friday night that they have a constitutional right to build a mosque there. It is my understanding that this is on private property and I agree with the President. Religious groups of whatever stripe have a constitutional right in America to exist and perpetuate their religion without government interference.

On Saturday the President backtracked a bit, noting that he was only discussing the constitutional right and said, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there." Unlike the President, I will comment on the wisdom. I do not think it is wise and it would be a gesture of conciliation for them to withdraw.

From a strictly religious standpoint of my belief as Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, I would be glad for no mosques to exist anywhere. From a viewpoint of freedom of religion from government interference, I believe they have as much right to build there as a Christian church building or a Jewish synagogue. If there is more to this, I will be glad for someone to point it out.

BTW, it is perfectly fine for any number of private citizens to use the influence of the pen to try to convince the builders to not put their mosque there.

12 comments:

R. L. Vaughn said...

"The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians." Baptist preacher John Leland, as printed in The Writings of the Later Elder John Leland, p. 118.

"Government should be so fixed, that Pagans, Turks, Jews, and Christians should be equally protected in their rights." Leland, p. 358

Unknown said...

Robert, you said very well what I have been trying to say. Excellent job.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Thanks, Will. I wasn't sure I got across want I meant very well. But I saw some of your comments somewhere (facebook maybe) and think we're on the same page.

R. L. Vaughn said...

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

Anonymous said...

A side thought came to mind while reading this. I recall a discussion several years back concerning freedom of religion. I am not sure about other states, but in Texas, the government has defined what religious worship shall be construed as. I believe this should pose quite a dilemma. Who is to say one person's definition of religious worship may be somewhat different than the next person? I believe the whole discussion centered around the debate between separation of church and state. Definitely something to ponder.

R. L. Vaughn said...

I don't remember hearing about Texas defining what is religious worship. Do you know where I could find out more about that?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Robert, I cannot recall the exact source. It was primarily about the Christian school movement of about 20 years ago or therabouts. I believe the key issue was regulation and just how much control a religious organization and/or the state had when it came to settin up a school and the things they had to abide by.

Of course there have been many revisions and additions since that time, so it may be something that sort of got lost in the shuffle and is no longer an issue. I would not be surprised if it all went back to the controversy that many Texans are very familiar with. That of the Roloff Homes crisis. That really started back in the 1970's if I recall. The Christian school movement seemed to really take off in the late 1980's and early 1990's. It is somewhat ironic that now it is so commonplace that it is no longer as newsworthy as it once was. For some reason, the very idea that any state would attempt to define religious worship has just stuck in my mind for its prfoundness.

jim1927 said...

If all are not free, none are free.

Cheers,

Jim

Anonymous said...

When we normally think about freedom of religion, we usually think of this taking place without the interference from anyone or any thing (including local, state and Federal Governments)from without. Likewise, in this same train of thought, we usually think of freedom of religion when any "religious" element does not interfere with anyone or any thing outside their element. Now, in these two thoughts, we truly see the separation of church and state. However, in the case of the "religion" of Islam, we find that this belief encompasses "all" aspects of life: political, social, religious, economic, work, vacation, family life, government, etc., etc. Not only does the "religion" of Islam encompass "ALL" aspects of ones life, it mandates that those believers in Islam see to it that "ALL" others who do not believe as they do come to believe as they do (by force or otherwise). The force to cause "ALL" others to believe as they do, includes the authorization to kill all those who do not abide by their notion of "religion". One may speculate as to the purpose in which GOD, in HIS wisdom and purpose, has Islam upon this earth. However, I know that within me is purpose to defy Islam, because, clearly, in accord as to how I define religion, Islam is not a religion.
God bless, Hoyt D.F. Sparks

Anonymous said...

Bro. Sparks, you are absolutely right. Most within Islam will not hide the fact that "You are either with us or against us." They would do many things in which a Christian would consider sin, if they are doing it to bring honor to Allah. All we have to do is look to September 11, 2001. And some try say it should not be an issue if a U.S. President has muslim leanings?

Anonymous said...

Hello good sirs and madams! I am not a Muslim. I am actually a Catholic. However I have a Muslim friend and on his behalf, I have to respectfully argue that just looking back on the September 11 attacks show how Islam is not a religion. In Islam, suicide is against their teachings. It is wrong for them to commit suicide just as it is wrong for us Christians to take a life away. Also, I invite you to take a look at Newsweek and other political magazines. The Talibans are using all those pictures of Americans picketing and protesting against the building of a mosque. They capture pictures of angry Americans and show it to trainees to instill a brand of anger and hatred into their hearts. I hope I do not rouse any anger and hatred in your hearts fellow Christians. Peace be with you. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant just looking back on September 11 attacks does not automatically mean that Islam is not a religion. Peace be with us all.