This week President Obama gave his belated support of the NYC mosque near ground zero. I supported his policies in general and have minimal quarrel with them. However, I will stand in direct opposition to his advocacy for the mosque, believing his statement only clouded the issue.
Like the President, I believe in America’s freedom of religion policies, with our separation of church and state. Because I believe all human beings are created in the image of God, I believe all humanity deserves respect. Consequently, I accept Muslim people just like I do everybody else.
I believe in freedom of religion, as I said, but I also demand the right to worship God in ways I believe pleasing to him. The question of the mosque is a thorny conundrum and may not be resolved for years to come, even if accepted as legal.
Personally, I believe it is a political positioning to gain public acceptance, which I believe is undeserved. Through the centuries Islam has conquered repeatedly--(conquered - converted) by the sword, which is just one more reason America maintains separation of church and state.
Neither the Church State nor the State Church are legal in the U.S. That was part of the struggle of the Protestant Reformation vs. Rome. The Orthodox Catholic church is still the State Church in Russia and has legal powers to prosecute Pentecostals and other Christians that challenge their status. This is little different than Pakistan where Islam rules as a Church State. Protestant Missionaries in that country are frequently killed, imprisoned, or otherwise abused because the Muslims claim the Christians blaspheme Islam and Allah by their very sharing of the Christian gospel.
In our earlier days, Roger Williams went to Rhode Island and established the Baptist denomination because it was not allowed where he lived previously. Those were times when denominations fought one another. If memory serves me right, Maryland was opened up to Roman Catholics, who were not tolerated in other states. Non-Christians were frequently persecuted, as were Quakers. Areas of Pennsylvania finally became a haven for Quakers.
In other words, our separation of church and state was so that Christians and non-Christians, as well as differing Christian denominations, could all stand on equal ground without interference. It was not freedom FROM religion but freedom OF religion (or no religion), without any superior Church state (Vatican) or state church (Anglican Church or Germany‘s Lutheran Church) having superior legal standing. All are free to worship according as their group understands.
I accept that. Moreover,I appreciate the wisdom of our forefathers in preparing the way. I can accept the worship of Allah, on that basis (I too believe in one God and do not object to the Arab word for God--Allah). However, the general consensus seems to be that the followers of Allah do not allow me to worship according to the dictates of my conscience; the only reason they presently accept us in America is because they are legally bound by our separation of church and state.
The problem is an internal problem for the members of the Islamic Faith; it should not be our problem.Their rules of conduct allow for Sharia (religious court); historically they have conquered by the sword, crying “death to the infidel,” meaning decapitation or conversion for us non-Muslims. There is no place for this in American life, although British Courts are already compromising the freedom of Christians.
Thus, I conclude that for myself I will continue to disagree with building a mosque at grand zero, or any other place for that matter, until Islam rejects Sharia, the sword, and terrorism. They can call me an infidel, but I see them as a cult of violence. When they cleanse the hatred, hostility, and violence of terrorism from their forms of religious faith, and will discuss conversion rather than decapitation, then I will be agreeable for them to worship according to the same privileges by which I enjoy freedom of worship as an American.
I harbor no animosity toward anyone. As John C. Calhoun once said, I look up to no man, or down to any man. If this is not acceptable to them, they should not be here, no matter how much better the economics are.
from Warner's World, I am