A Mosque at Ground Zero? Two words: First Amendment. Wish I could leave it atjust that, but you folks know me better than that! ;) Let's start here:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.As any elementary school grad can tell you, the First Amendment covers a myriad, actually the bulk, of our civil rights. The rights we hold most dear are summed up in this short, concise, powerful piece of writing that has lasted 235 years: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, both exhibited right here, right now, even as you read, blog or tweet; the right (and responsibility) to protest and to petition the government when we feel it has wronged us; and, finally, a little thing called the Establishment Clause. I believe the mosque fear-mongering falls neatly under this heading. The first colonists left England to escape religious persecution, and came here to forge a new nation based on tolerance, one that would not endorse nor discourage any faith or the free exercise thereof.
But the GOP says rights are only rights up to a certain point. "Inalienable"? Not according to Cantor, as we see on ths clip from Our Gal Rachel:
The First Amendment is such a simple statement, yet the first of ten amendments so important that they were demanded by the colonists before they'd agree to sign onto this radical document called The Constitution. So, why all the hub-bub? What's with all the fuss, craziness that any American 5th grader can tell you is irrational? What's got the right, and yes, even Harry Reid's boxers in a bunch? It's the usual, folks. Fear and loathing by the RWNJs.
Think about it. Prop 8 has been overturned. Even the Rethugs realize that dog won't hunt no mo...the jobs situation is making progress, slow but for the most part, sure. And Wrong Angle has beaten most of their greatest hits into the cutout bin, such as anti-immigration, their old stand-by. It's just not working for them. Even the attempted "repeal the 24th" talk is dying down. What's left? In a midterm year? Is there no other way to terrorize folks and drive the fear wedge into the American populace? The Republican Party is just grasping at straws.
And that's what we have right here. A desperate right trying sadly to gin up fear and hatred for something that is core to our history, to our American system of shared beliefs. The GOP is so hard-up for a way to sabotage all the progress that the Administration has accomplished (despite the Rethug obstruction), that they've stooped to trying to disgrace the First Amendment.
After 9/11, we were told over and over by the GOP and the Bush Administration that going on with our lives, going to school, going shopping and to church and the like, is the best way to "fight the terrorists." We were told that by limiting our activities we would be "letting the terrorists win." (Of course, then they suspended most of the Bill of Rights of which we speak, but that's another post for another time.) Now the right wing states that violating the First Amendment is constitutionally sound. That it is A-O.K. to prevent a religion from building its place of worship too close (all of two blocks) from the site of the 9/11 Tragedy. This despite the fact that the Mosque and Community Center has existed for over 27 years, coexisting peaceably on this same location with its neighbors.
I have said it before here, that wonderful line from The American President that sums things up so well.
Aw, go ahead. Watch it one more time. You know you want to...
Shepherd says it all so well:
America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours."
As Americans, as defenders of our Constitution, it is time for us to stand up and defend the right of this mosque to build upon its chosen site. Whether you support the concept or are adamantly opposed, they are within their Constitutional rights to do so. As The Shrub told us after that fateful day in September, allowing any American's rights to be trampled, whether that American is a citizens of the Muslim, Catholic or Jewish faith, or of no faith at all, is to let the terrorists win. And I, for one, won't let that happen. Especially when it's the GOP's way to instill fear and divide our nation.
Speak out, my fellow Politicos! What's your stand on this hot-button issue? Make your opinion known here on Momma Politico.