Friday, October 15, 2010

The New York "Mosque" Controversy

Osama Bin Laden must be sitting in a cave somewhere chuckling about his unwitting allies.

The attacks of 2001 were attacks by extremists against the United States, a nation of all religions and none. In those attacks Methodists, Catholics, Mormons, Jews, atheists, Muslims, Sikhs, and more died. For the 200 years plus before that, other Americans, of all faiths and none, have died fighting for our Bill of Rights which proclaims freedom of religion.

Any American has the right to build a house of worship on land he owns if he pleases.

When I think of the sweet Muslim American kids I have taught over the years and the many fine Muslim American parents and teachers I have known, I am not bothered at all for them to build a mosque near the site where extremists of their faith tried to terrorize them and us into forsaking our freedom to worship as they and we please.

I stubbornly refuse to succumb to terrorism.

An extremist Christian terrorist set off a bomb in Centennial Park about 24 hours after I was there. I will not allow my rights as an American to be altered one iota by his terrorism. Nor will I quit visiting New York because of Bin Laden's terrorism. Nor will I change my belief in religious freedom, as Bin Laden would have me do, because of his despicable acts. I believe terrorism deserves a quick and brutal response. I  will cheerfully stand in line, shoeless, to have my belongings x-rayed before each flight. I will pay whatever taxes need to be paid so that practical safeguards can be maintained and so that terrorists can be hunted. But to alter my core values because of terrorism would be to surrender to it, period.

I will not do it.

I want Bin Laden and his ilk to see America going on about its business, refusing to be terrorized, -- ready to take safeguards, ready to punish terrorists without mercy, but otherwise -- bravely, determinedly, resolutely unaffected by terrorism.

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