Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear America, I'm confused...


So maybe I completely misunderstand my American History? But er-uh, wasn't this country founded by some folks that fled their homeland, sandwiched themselves into a tiny ship for sixty-six days and endured all manner of hardship so they could have the freedom to pray to whatever flavor of God they desired? This is America, right?

This is the same country with the constitution that folks are so fond of bringing up. That very constitution with the First Amendment that specifically "prohibits the establishment of a national religion by the Congress or the preference of one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion." For example, Christianity over all else. This is America, right?

So what in all that is holy (pun intended) is all the hullabaloo over 1) Obama's preferred religion and 2) the building of a mosque a few blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City?

1) I'm confused as to how the very same people who condemned Obama for his relationship with Reverend Wright (a Christian minister) are now so determined to call him a Muslim. How does that work? How is he a Christian zealot two years ago and now a practicing Muslim since birth? Even if he was a Muslim (which he has so clearly stated he is not), who gives a damn? One of the talking heads asked for proof that Obama was a Christian. You mean beyond attending a Christian church for all of his adult life and not sending men in black to eradicate your bloated shiggity-talking ass? I consider myself a Christian but er, um - I'm not far enough along in my aith walk not to wish that Beck, Limbaugh, Palin et al. would just mysteriously disappear one day. (never to be heard from again)

2) I'm confused as to how we are supposed to be all for religious freedom but not if it's in the wrong location? I mean, folks do get that not all of Islam is Taliban/Jihad/Extremist? The same way not all Tea Partiers are idiot racists... right? Opponents of the Islamic center project argue it's insensitive to the families and memories of Sept. 11 victims to build a mosque so close. Supporters cite freedom of religion. Newt Gingrich has suggested that building the mosque near ground zero is akin to putting a Nazi sign "next to the Holocaust Museum." Dramatic much? Some idiot at the grocery store asked me how I would feel living next to a plantation musuem. I shot him a look and said, "Most of Texas is a plantation musuem." GTFOH with that.

So who can explain these glaring contradictions to me? Are we only allowing civil liberties when they come wrapped in the right package, at the right place, at the right time? Thoughts, comments, insights?

58 comments:

Newbie99 said...

The whole world looks on at America like "WTH, land of the free". It makes not one atom of sense.

James said...

you are correct in your statements.. freedom of religion is a protected fundamental human right in the U.S. I'm torn on this one.. legally and constitutionally they can and deserve to build a mosque wherever they choose.. but morally, i think it's insensitive.. America still haven't gotten over the hurt of 911 and i'm reminded of that everyday as i pass that big ole hole they call ground zero every day while working on assignment in New York now.. sure, you can probably legally build a jail next to a school but SHOULD you? I also question this Iman's motives from researching and reading his teachings but this is what makes America great and the envy of all nations. JMO

RiPPa said...

Didn't you know it was "scare the white people" year...?

Photowrite46 said...

I would doubt this is just a white folks fight. I'm sure in black churches across this country, especially the mega-churches who affiliate with the "right" at times, preachers are informing their congregation of how wrong President Obama is to support any folks other than Christians. Black Christians can be rule-based and judgmental too. Many support the whole philosophy that "Christ is the ONLY way." Because I have Christian themes in my stories I've been confronted on my FB page for using quotes by Rumi who is a Sufi poet. It's not surprising though. Since the beginning religious folks have used beliefs to distract, divide and separate. To be honest, the Pharisees and Sadducee folks were known for their crazy religious antics. And, it was religious zealots who persecuted and eventually got The Christ crucified. Faith is truly a personal walk and decision, it's humans who press their beliefs on the public and sometimes it's only to suit a personal agenda. I don't care where they build the daggone building. What we should care about as a country is all the children being shot in Chicago, the poverty that some are still trapped in, the rising expenses of getting an education, the numbers of black young men going to jail, dying, etc., the numbers of black women contracting AIDS, etc. We got an agenda, but it ain't where a building is built in my viewpoint. Folks need to let the President do his JOB, and quit with the distractions. --A wish that won't happen of course.

Shondriette D Kelley said...

As a lawyer and a Christian I co-sign this post 100%!! I truly wish that people would take their inner-rage and indignation and use it for something productive like housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, fixing the economy, educating our children...the list goes on and on. Our country is a shambles in a number of areas so it would be excellent if the energy expended on worthless protests, reality television, social media drama, political mayhem, etc. could be utilized for growth and healing.

Folks have a right to their own opinion but I wish the 1st Amendment had a clause that banned ignorance, intolerance, racism and general stupidity.

Old 454 said...

You are absolutely right. There is a concerted effort underfoot to demonize Islam as a whole. Muslims died in the towers that day, some as first responders. American Muslims have fought, died and bled in the wars against Al-Quaida, Taliban, and Sadam's Iraq. The protest against the Mosque is a disgrace to all Americans. Building the mosque is not an issue of insensitivity. The leaders who would divide us on religious lines are following the same tactics used recently in Nigeria which have led to massacres both ways. The shame is that the People, Christians and otherwise, are so short sighted as to buy into the propoganda and rhetoric.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

"Most of Texas is a plantation museum"

Done!

Come on Chele, you know that "they" don't want freedom of religion, or adherence to the Constitution, or the right to exercise your rights, unless it is for "them" and for what "they" believe in.

Michelle Morris-Pulliam said...

no one wants to be honest and say what they truly feel about Obama. They want to point out one pointless notion after another. americans are too afraid of their own truth. We are not free....we have no religious freedom ( you can serve who you want, but it will cost you your job, your home and in some cases, your life!) we do not want to be real about anything, so we just sit back and watch as the crazies get crazier and the conspiracy theory folks take over the air ways, leaving no room for reason or rational thought.

ChiChi said...

This shit just pisses me off SOOO freaking much! What about all the shit "Christians" have done in the name of Jesus?! HELLO!

MidwestDominicana said...

There are so many things right with this post and comments. As a Christian, I believe in the principles that Jesus taught and the Holy Spirit leads and encourages us to follow. One of the things that I strongly believe Jesus wants us to do is love one another. He is the most awesome example of taking in any and everyone regardless of their lifestyle or walk. While there are examples of Jesus getting angry, He did everything in love. As His followers (for those of us who are), um...shouldn't we be doing the same?
My morning reflection today was exactly about that...for a country that mainly associates with the Christian/catholic faith, the majority of our population should be asking the question "What would Jesus do?" instead of trying to bend and skew our nation's Constitution to fit the agenda flavor of the day.
Being an example of the democratic and free country that we so love to exclaim we are should be our practice, not just our soapbox.

Jasmin said...

The building itself is actually a community center with a mosque inside--all of the features sound pretty cool to me.

Two of the best points I've heard note that no one cares about a) the strip club on the same block (so much for hallowed ground) or b) the mosque located inside the Pentagon (I think the irony speaks for itself there).

If that spot is so sacred (or, as sacred as some random plot of land a couple of blocks from the Twin Towers can be), why didn't anyone purchase it before then?

GammasWorld said...

Imma have to stew on this one a little while and comment when I get home ...

GrownAzzMan said...

America: Hypocrisy sold here.

GrownAzzMan said...

The folks who are opposing the Mosque on religious grounds or questioning what President Obama practices are giving Christianity a bad name. Unfortunately that is nothing new either. Some of the most racist, oppressive polices have been done in the name of Christianity. And I state this as a life-long practicing Christian.

ASmith said...

"How does that work? How is he a Christian zealot two years ago and now a practicing Muslim since birth?"

Amen Jesus. Amen.

We don't do much well anymore, but we messes with hypocrisy here in the great country of America.

GrownAzzMan said...

The same way he is a communist AND a Nazi. Hard to do since those views are in opposition. The important thing is to make him something scary. Consistency doesn't matter. SMDH!

NewYorkCityEsq said...

Onechele hits another one out of the park!

All of the demagoguery and witch hunting is possible because people are more comfortable with emotions rather than with facts. As a native New Yorker, who was in the city during 9/11, I have no issue with the mosque project. I grew up with Muslims and can see them as people; some are good, some aren't--- just like Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. There is no moral argument to deny Muslims a larger worship particularly since they were already in the neighborhood.

However, if we were to take the alleged moral argument against the mosque to its natural conclusion, it would have a devastating effect on Christian houses of worship since so-called Christians have been responsible for domestic terrorism for generations, all across this nation.

baileyqc said...

It's this right here. It's a game of let's think of the scariest thing ever and put it out there - the black President is a Muslim Communist Marxist giving reparations to black folks. Osama bin Laden is going to open a recruitment center on Wall Street. Now that everybody's terrified - introduce the great white hope that's going to save them from all this brown people devilment...

FreeBlackMan said...

Well, well, well - took you 500 hundred posts to finally say something substantive that I can agree with sans equivocation. Very few people have taken the time to point out that this "controversy" is in direct conflict with the very principles this country is founded on.
*slow clap* Well done.

rozb said...

Many people do not choose to think for themselves or get out of their comfort zones to learn about life and the world. Most of the protesters have never been outside of a 100-mile radius of their homes, nor did they pay much attention in school. They would know that the 1st Amendment alone would shout down all the mess: "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." Hmm - protesting a mosque and community center just because it happens to be located a few blocks AWAY from Ground Zero clearly violates that.

It kills me when you hear pundits in the media calling this a "Christian Nation", when the founding fathers tried to go out of their way to establish a country unfettered by any particular religious dogma. Just because we use the word God on money and buildings, or we use a Bible to swear by in court, does not necessarily mean that it is the God that had the 6 lb. 7 oz. baby Jesus (hope that did not offend) as His son.

If we were to follow this tact, then there should not be any worship near the Oklahoma City bombing because Timothy McVeigh was raised as a Christian. Nor should there be any Christian worship near any place that had a bombing, killing, or other terrorist act committed in the name of Jesus.

When you never leave your neighborhood or listen to anything other than one or two biased news channels, stuff like this will keep happening. President Obama can show up to church every Sunday, put Jesus in every other sentence, and wear a Bible dangling from a chain around his neck, and people will STILL call him that RACIST, COMMUNIST, SOCIALIST, FASCIST MUSLIM whose sole purpose is to ruin this country and set white people back 100 years. Wow...setting them back 100 years would put them back in the driver's seat. Just goes to show how little education translates into GIANT misconceptions.

Besides, when the loudest representation of your demographic is a Sarah Palin or a Glenn Beck, then perhaps you may need to upgrade from there.

rozb said...

Don't forget he is a Fascist and a Socialist as well.

GrownAzzMan said...

*Dead* "Besides, when the loudest representation of your demographic is a Sarah Palin or a Glenn Beck, then perhaps you may need to upgrade from there."

Brneyed1 said...

@OneChele, how dare you approach this insanity with sound logic and reason??

Seriously though, I'm amazed at the sheer number of nutjobs that have crawled out of the woodwork now that we have a black President. And the whole "mosque-not-a-mosque" thing? It's a building people. Buildings don't kill people, last I checked.

Amen on the post...oops, sorry, is that allowed? That was a Christian-type response, so that's okay in this country, right?? *whew*

OneChele said...

Someone has really mastered the back-handed compliment!

OneChele said...

I see a T-shirt.

OneChele said...

I try not to point out that the Crusades (Salem Witch Trials, Nazis) started just like this. "Good Christian folk" with a cause and an axe to grind.

derek love said...

There you go with the making sense of it all - that's un-American. Just throw some buzzwords out there "Axis of Evil" "Extremists" "Conspiracy" "Reparations" and then sit back on watch the swirl. That's how we get down these days.

BlakjacQ said...

Here's what's even scarier. These nutheads are also using their quest for intolerance as a means to rewrite history (as eloquently described in this cnn post: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/08/26/bunch.beck.history/index.html?hpt=C2). We should all be very, very careful at what is happening right now under the guise of anti-Obanmanism...

derek love said...

*bougie version of a cuss-out... loves it*

derek love said...

Oh, you went there.

Firsttime poster said...

@ James, I totally feel the same way. Being born and raised in NY and having lost people I know in 911, the building of the mosque is more about insensitivity to the people who are still mourning the loss of their loved ones. I understand the laws and freedoms but pain is associated with the individuals who caused the pain. It has nothing to do with my religious beliefs but my personal feeling as someone who lost someone. . Maybe its just too soon. People haven't healed from 911 yet.

rozb said...

Whether it touches a nerve or not, ask most folks what they know about this issue and they go on half-truths and that first visceral emotional response instigated by the media and talking heads. Many people of all religions died that day, not just those of Christian faith. If you try to restrict the rights of someone to practice because the location is where some zealots and terrorists who claim your religion committed an atrocious act, then there also would not be churches up everywhere.

For instance, everyone knows that the South was the last area in the US to let go of the institution of slavery, replacing it with a series of Jim Crow laws and local expressions meant to demean and enslave in other ways. However, you cannot throw a rock and not hit a church down here. Some churches are right around the corner from where someone was lynched in the name of "White Christian brotherhood" or where there was some sort of slavery-era atrocity committed. The 13th St. Baptist Church was blown up by racists who believed they were doing their Christian duty at that time. Horrible, beyond disgusting acts have been committed in the name of Christianity, and yet, more churches and Christian institutions are being developed every day.

To anyone who lost someone on that day or experienced the horror themselves, I am truly sorry. But like it or not, Muslims have a constitutional and moral right to build a place of worship at that location. BTW - folks do know that there are people who already practice the Islamic faith not too far from that location, don't they?

OneChele said...

Jacq out of lurkdom! Thanks for the link.

LikeLena said...

I did not even think about that - whoa!

LikeLena said...

She's got some good nerve bringing logic into this! :-)

Violet Rose said...

You spoke so much truth here. I was just in Europe and had someone ask me 'Why did you elect Barack Obama if you don't like black people" - Awkward, especially since I'm black. But for those countries to be giving US the side-eye... not a good look America.

diamond life said...

Other countries been given us the side-eye for a while. Hence the "Ugly American" tag we've picked up. This country is very much a "do as I say, don't as I do" kinda place.

yourgirlC said...

Don't forget another buzzphrase that seems to do it for some: New World Order. Whatever you want to say, follow it with "No NWO" and you gain more followers.

Jason P said...

This right here. Add in Leftist Regime.

LikeLena said...

All I can do is cosign.

yourgirlC said...

Help me to understand. You say this as if you know that the ones who caused the pain are building the mosque. So, anyone who belongs to a group that has some people who commit despicable acts are guilty as well?

This reminds me of a friend (first generation Chinese-American) who was trying to explain her parents' racism against blacks (but, of course, not against me). Her parents' restaurant was robbed by some black thugs who shot her father. Surely I should understand their attitudes toward "the Blacks".

Mocha Dude Speaks said...

I also love when people say "not you of course" when discussing issues with other Black people. Like I'm supposed to be honored they somehow find me superior.

thinklikeRiley said...

You know when they say "the Blacks" to me, it might as well be "darkies"

Honest said...

According to those zealots religious freedom for Christians who aren't protestants. That is all. All other religions get the side eye.

David Chase said...

"We don't do much well anymore, but we messes with hypocrisy here in the great country of America. " I'm done. Truth spoken. *logs off*

GrownAzzMan said...

"Not you of course" is code for please don't punch me for the racist ish I am about to/just finished spouting.

Crystal said...

I just don't get why some people don't get that the only reason why people like palin, limbaugh and all the other pundits say the things they say is just so that they can have a way to make a living. If everything was alright then they would not have anything to complain about and nothing to do to make that paper!!! Some people are so blind!!! It is sooo ridiculous how people just want to complain about and judge Obama but then do nothing and then they want to protest a mosque being built near ground zero but you have done nothing in the almost 10 years since to help the victims, their families, the city, the country or the world. I live in New York, and I remember that Sept. 11 so clearly, I remember hearing it, literally hearing the crash before I knew what it was and I really do believe having a mosque built near Ground Zero would be a beautiful thing, It would show American's as United We Stand, not just Christians were hurt as a result of the attacks, and not all Muslims are terrorist extremists, some are proud Americans who just want to do what all Americans want to do which is live freely. I strongly believe that having a mosque around ground zero would send a message to the world that America is everyone united, free and good.

Sweetli30 said...

You nailed it.

The hypocrisy of some of these people, is just nauseating.

And it boggles the mind to think that there are actually people who take as gospel the lies and inconsistencies that are coming out of the Limbaughs, Palins, Becks and Gingrich's of the world.

maureen palmer said...

Sometimes I relegate that mess to people who have not read Const, but I know that is not true. Media pounded on POTUS religion and Pakistan is teethering on the edge of security threat. Personally, I do not think building a mosque near ground zero spells victory to terrorist. If anything it's the opposite; they can't destroy the core of what America is.
If I'm correct I believe there is a mosque not too far from Pentagon, could be wrong about this.
I think there is so much noise being made about the mosque b/c of the mid-term election; they figure they can use it against the incumbent.

Myas-mom said...

Hypocrisy at its finest!

Myas-mom said...

I didn't even get that far cause I died at, " President Obama can show up to church every Sunday, put Jesus in every other sentence, and wear a Bible dangling from a chain around his neck, and people will STILL call him that RACIST, COMMUNIST, SOCIALIST, FASCIST MUSLIM..."

Myas-mom said...

I beg to differ! Seems to me like most people are giving it away "for free"!!!

Freemanpress777 said...

You're not supposed to understand it just get in line and put up your anti-islam signs and accept it.

Brneyed1 said...

I lost family that I loved dearly in a car accident, yet I don't cry when I see people buying cars and driving. Hell, I drive every day.

I lost family who drowned in a pool...my neighbors want to put a pool in their backyard...too soon??

What about the people who where in the PLANES that where plowed into the buildings? Should we no longer fly? "Shut down all of the airports people, cuz it's too soon to be flyin'. People DIED in those planes!!"

FreeBlackMan said...

You got me.

Nae said...

First time commenting but you, my dear, get a virtual standing ovation from me! Bullshiggity indeed!

SpkTruth2Pwr said...

First things first - love the new layout!

Second. I am not even going to attempt to rationalize what is going on. I wrote somewhat stream of conscious on this issue myself on my blog, and I am still confused, angered, ashamed, frustrated, and inspired to educate all at once.

You hit on some of the inconsistencies I see between this debate and the people that most of us in the country descended from. People's ancestors ran from religious intolerance, but want to be intolerant to a religion they choose not to understand or generalize. Frustrating and Shameful.

RiPPa said...

There is a mosque IN the Pentagon.

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