Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Political Commentary

I generally don’t veer into the serious on my blog (because with kids as cute as mine, it’s hard to discuss more weighty matters), but I cannot be silent about this any longer.  The United States of America was founded on many great principles, and one of the greatest is freedom of religion.  Many of the first settlers in the United States came here as a result of religious persecution.  Here they found a land where they could worship as they chose, and the Constitution was written specifically to protect that freedom.  Our record has not been clean on this issue.  Members of my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were mobbed and driven from their homes.  Jewish people experienced great discrimination, particularly in the nineteenth century.  In 1960, Americans were warned not to vote for a “Papist” Catholic.  But despite these blemishes, America has striven to guarantee freedom of religion to all its citizens. 

The issue of the “Ground Zero Mosque” calls that commitment into question.  Politicians, particularly members of the Republican party, and religious leaders have used this issue to inflame and divide.  Rhetoric, inaccuracies, and falsehoods are being flung about.  I have been dismayed and disgusted at the ignorant comments made by leaders of my political party.  Recently, the Republican governor of Tennessee questioned whether Islam could even be considered a religion.  He claimed that since it is more of a cult than a faith, it may not be protected under the Constitution.  Of course, politicians are always making ridiculous statements.  However, instead of denouncing this bigotry, Republican party leaders have embraced and repeated such claims.

I truly feel that citizens need to inform themselves, to learn the truth about the “Ground Zero Mosque,” and to let their leaders know that this type of bigotry will not be tolerated.  This video explains the many inaccuracies that are being presented by politicians and the media.  It is well worth watching.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that “among the inestimable of our blessings, also, is that ...of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will…”   I have great respect for Islam and for the teachings of the Koran.  I certainly denounce extremism and violence, but Islam, when its founding principles are adhered to, is a beautiful and peaceful religion.  Please share your feelings with your friends and political leaders. 

1 comments:

Christopher P. Davey said...

Well said Chelz. It appears to me that Americans are well versed in protest, but lacking in dialogue.