The right to worship?

The relevant basis for our religious rights in this country stems from the First Amendment:

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.

There is also the application of this amendment to what states have the right to do, courtesy of the Fourteenth Amendment, which is technically needed to apply the rights at a state level too. One might argue that municipalities are not restricted, which opens up a whole different can of worms than I wish to discuss herein.

What I wish to get at is this: President Obama’s primary responsibility is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

Now the meaty topic of the moment seems to be about a desire by some people to build a mosque near the site of the former twin towers. I have explicitly not been following the discussion because, to me, the issue is a simple one. If someone wishes to block the efforts to build the mosque, it has to be done without any reference to the religion that would be practiced therein. Otherwise, rights are infringed by those attempting to block the mosque. In short, as long as the people seeking the building of the mosque obey relevant ordinances regarding the construction of the building, fire laws regarding maximum occupancy, whatever, then it has every right to be there.

President Obama has, as I understand it, voiced the view that, while it may not be a wise choice, the right exists for the mosque to be built there. I believe that he is correct to do so, because that’s his job. Now there is news brewing that this is a perfect opportunity for the republican party, by blasting President Obama on this choice of his.

I submit that anyone who thinks such criticism of the president is reasonable is, by extension, declaring that the president’s job bears no relation what-so-ever to the laws of our country. Declaring that the president can act outside our laws, to the detriment of any particular religion, strikes to the very foundation of our country. And sacrificing our country is precisely what the republican party would be doing, if they choose such a course of criticism.

So, please take a moment to think through what I’ve written so far, then consider this. An attack against one religion in our country implies that no religion is safe. So, either the fact that the building is a mosque has zero bearing on its right to be built at the twin towers site, or you have zero rights in our country to worship your favorite religion, whatever it may be.

That’s the actual choice put before us.

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About twio

In accepting Doubt, I find Certainty
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Religion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The right to worship?

  1. Jon-Paul says:

    Some of the information you espouse here is respectful and warranted. And now the flip-side: Is there the need to bash the Republican Party? Furthermore, I suggest that you or whomever re-write the next to last paragraph insofar as it is confusing and vague. Stating that the President’s job in part, has to do with the law and legal matter therein is one issue and you’re quite right, it doesn’t bare any relevance to this article whatsoever. However, what I am going on about is the mere notion that you would even go near Barack Obama’s treatment of the laws in this country. Reducing sentences for minority groups vis-a-vie crimes committed; the on-going illegal immigrant problem we have and the attitudes of Homeland Security, USCIS, USICE, and others is not the way I’d go on this issue. Moreover, I understand where you are trying to go with the 1st Amendment and 14th; however, anyone with a real dutiful knowledge of history (American Colonial) would know that religion in this Nation is far more than any amendment or Constitution. Cheers!!

    jps

    • twio says:

      Thank you for your quick response. I’ve added a link regarding the relevant news item that supports my comments regarding the republican party. Also, please note that both my references regarding the republican party are in the hypothetical, “…perfect opportunity…”, “…if it embraces such tactics…”.

      As to President Obama’s choices regarding his treatment of the laws of this country, I could respond with counterpoints regarding precedents set by our last president, and thus expand the discussion tremendously. Instead, I will ask that we stick to the narrow topic at hand, namely the implications inherent in the situation regarding the mosque.

  2. Matthew says:

    Interesting to compare to the situation in the UK, where planning is almost entirely devolved, with extremely unfortunate consequences for onshore wind.

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