Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Deep thoughts

I worry when the rights of the minority are determined by the majority. It's for that reason I'm excited that the gay marriage ban was overturned in CA today. We have to watch that slippery slope where we intentionally deprive members of our society rights on the flimsiest of premises. We can't be a free society if we are oppressing others, no matter the reason behind it. If you read the original transcript of the trial, you'll find just how weak the defendants' case truly was.

On the same topic, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is my new hero for his spirited defense of the mosque/community center two blocks away from Ground Zero. To be honest, I don't have a horse in this race. I'm not Muslim and I have no personal connection to 9/11* or NYC. What concerned me was the idea that we would act to restrict the religious freedom of a group without any real basis other than bigotry and fear and whipping up a frenzy around the issue (I'm looking at you, Gingrich, and yes, you too, Sarah Palin, and oh wait, Pat Robertson, you don't get off either). Once you say it's okay to deny a mosque that location, you say it's okay to deny any religion any location based on an abstraction. Bloomberg says it best:

Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question - should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another.

For more reading, here is a profile on the Iman behind the mosque. It's worth a read because honestly, didn't know anything about him, and when I read the profile, I thought, we keep wanting Islamic leaders to speak out against terrorism, and here's someone who is, and this is how we treat him?

The thing is, if you attempt (and succeed) to deprive people of their Constitutional rights, as was done in CA and as being advocated in NYC, you automatically make it easier -- and even justifiable -- to do it over and over again. To me, that's incredibly scary, because it's only a matter of time before it comes back to bite you in the butt.

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