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America's religious freedom

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America's religious freedom

Post by Shirina on Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:27 pm

Bacon scattered at NY Ramadan celebration probed as hate crime

Pieces of uncooked bacon were scattered at a New York field where Muslims gathered to celebrate the end of Ramadan – an incident police are investigating it as a hate crime, authorities said Monday.

Organizers found the bacon on a section of the John D'Amato Field, in New Dorp, Staten Island, where about 1,500 people gathered Sunday to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of dawn-to-sunset fasting during Ramadan.(LINK)

Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting

On August 5, 2012, a mass shooting took place at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, with a single gunman killing six people and wounding four others. The gunman, Wade Michael Page, a white supremacist, shot several people at the temple, including a responding police officer. After being shot in the stomach by another officer, Page fatally shot himself in the head.

The incident drew notable reactions from President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and dignitaries attended candlelight vigils in both the U.S. and India.
(LINK)

Of course, the Sikh Temple shooting took place because these bigoted Americans are too ignorant to distinguish between Muslims and Sikhs ... oh, they all have dark skin and wear beards and turbans, so kill them anyway, right?

And then there's the Murfreesboro, TN controversy over yet another mosque ... which is simply "Ground Zero" all over again. In this case, Muslims wanted to open a mosque and the local government of Murfreesboro was deliberately trying to delay or cancel the mosque's construction by inundating the Muslim community with a pack of zoning laws. Some of the local politicians even claimed that Islam, a religion at least as large as Christianity, was not protected under the 1st Amendment. Now, since when did councilmen and women of a small town in Tennessee get to decide who is protected by the US Constitution and who isn't? I thought that was a matter of the Supreme Court? And we all know that the Supreme Court will decide in favor of the Muslims because Islam IS protected by the 1st Amendment. No one can even begin to make an argument that Islam is not an established, recognized, and legitimate religion.

As can be expected, the federal government had to step in and end the hatred and bigotry, allowing the mosque construction to go forward. Predictably, the Christian zealots in this country immediately started whining about persecution and Obama promoting Islam. Here's what they said:

Local political candidates also weighed in on the legal ruling over the mosque.

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, accused the Obama administration of meddling in a local zoning matter and said the suit was a waste of taxpayer money. “Christians’ rights to freedom of religion are violated frequently and the Obama Justice Department doesn’t coming rushing to our aid, but they will meddle in a local zoning matter to promote Islam,” said Black in a statement.

Lou Ann Zelenik, Black’s opponent in the Aug. 2 Republican primary, has been a vocal critic of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. “It is disappointing to see President Obama’s Justice Department take action against the government and citizens of Rutherford County to force the opening of this controversial facility,” said Zelenik’s campaign manager, Jay Heine, in a statement.(LINK)

Oh, so freedom of religion does not exist in Murfreesboro, TN? Did this town secede from the US? Apparently it thinks it has. The federal government had to rule against the local politicians on the grounds of religious freedom. Now remember, the conservatives, of course, hate the federal government. Yet incidents like this are precisely WHY we need a strong federal government. Otherwise localities all over the country from New York City to Murfreesboro, Tennessee will be free to legalize bigotry, hatred, and discrimination. I guess the conservatives want to take us back to the 1950's before there were civil rights laws.

Representative Black, of course, claims that Christians' religious rights are violated all the time. Which rights are those, I wonder? The "right" to persecute and discriminate against anyone who isn't an evangelical conservative Christian? So why DID the federal government have to step in? I think the answer to that question also refutes Representative Black's little episode of crying into her beer over Christian persecution. Perhaps its because when Christians decide to build a church, they don't have to put up with these kinds of shenanigans:

Incident 1: "For example, shortly after purchasing the Veals Road property, ICM posted a sign at the property stating 'Future Site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro,'" the complaint states. "In January 2010, however, the sign was vandalized and the words 'Not Welcome' were painted on it.

Incident 2: "After ICM replaced the vandalized sign, on or about June 23, 2010, the second sign was also vandalized and broken in half.

Incident 3: "On July 14, 2010, several hundred opponents of the mosque held a rally in the public square in Murfreesboro. At least one protestor carried a sign that bore words to the effect of, 'Mosque Leaders Support Killing Converts.'

Incident 4: "Construction at the Veals Road property began in August 2010. But on Aug. 28, 2010, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a large construction vehicle at the Veals Road construction site was intentionally set on fire.

Incidents 5+?: "Since 2010, the mosque has received a number of offensive phone messages. "For example, one offensive message said, 'You need to leave American soil. You are not wanted here.' Another said, 'Your "religion" is a sham ... My God says you will be crushed in the end ...' Another said, 'The beginning of the end of Islam in America has begun.'

Incident 6: "On Sept. 5, 2011, ICM received a threatening, expletive-ridden phone call stating that a bomb would be placed at ICM on September 11, 2011. ICM canceled activities for that weekend, and many members were deterred from showing up for weekly prayer services."(LINK)

Now, after all of that, how can an elected official like Representative Black stare a camera in the lens and bullshit about the violation of "Christian rights"? Someone tell me when the building of a Christian church sparked the kind of immature, primitive backwater behavior like the incidents outlined above? I admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Islam. Then again, I'm not a big fan of religion in general. But for God's sake (literally), we DO have freedom of religion in this country, and I believe in that right. They'll call Obama and liberals "un-American" yet who is it that actually defends the US Constitution? Hello! *raises hand* Yep, me ... a progressive liberal, you know, the "un-American" kind. How can these disgraceful people fly the Stars and Stripes on their porches during Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day when they consistently spit in the face of the freedoms our soldiers have fought and died for? It makes me sick.

But it doesn't end there. Nope. Did you really think it did?

8 Attacks at Houses of Worship in 11 Days -- What's Going On?

David Conrad, a resident of Morton Grove, Ill., was likely peeved by the noise from the Muslim Education Center. Conrad’s home is adjacent to the center’s parking lot, and during the holy month of Ramadan, men, women and children pack the mosque on a nightly basis. On Friday, Aug. 10, Conrad allegedly shot a pellet rifle at the mosque wall, while some 500 people were praying inside. The building structure sustained minor damage, but no one was hurt. Was this just the rumbling of a disgruntled neighbor?

In the past 10 days, there have been eight cases of vandalism and attacks on houses of worship across the nation, including the deadly shooting spree in a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin on Aug. 5. The other seven incidents were mosque defacements, which have sent a tremor of fear through America’s Muslim community.

Just 25 miles from Morton Grove, an Islamic school in Lombard was targeted with an even more chilling assault on Sunday night. An assailant flung a homemade “MacGyver bomb” at the building, while worshippers prayed inside. The soda bottle — filled with household chemicals, including acid — did not break the window, and again, the worshipers were rattled but unharmed.

The Illinois attacks come on the heels of an incident in Joplin, Mo., where a mosque was reduced to ashes by a powerful fire last Monday. Although authorities are investigating whether it was an act of arson, a previous fire at the mosque over the July 4 weekend was determined to be arson.

Elsewhere, a mosque in North Smithfield, R.I., was vandalized by a man who “head-butted” and pulled down signage. Teens were arrested on hate crime charges for taunting worshipers by throwing eggs and oranges and shooting bb pellets at a mosque in Hayward, Calif. Vandals defaced the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City with paintballs, and, in an especially malicious incident, women hurled pig legs at a mosque site in Ontario, Calif., while people were leaving the temporary prayer space.(LINK)

Conservatives, even Christian conservatives, will try to hoodwink popular opinion into believing it is the liberals who are violent, that liberals are the ones who like to kill people based on race and religion. While yes, sometimes, a liberal will take things too far, they are always isolated incidents without any real support network. But here it is plain to see that not only is Islamophobia suddenly on the rise (it's been almost 12 years since 9/11 so that's no excuse), so is membership in hate groups and anti-government militia groups. There is more afoot here than isolated morons expressing their hate, and that is especially true when local politicians jump on the hatred bandwagon in order to twist laws to justify violating the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

I know this post is long enough already, my apologies. But let's pan the camera out and look at this from a macro standpoint. Talk about violence:

Virginia Republicans Call for Armed Revolution if Obama Wins in November

In the Virginia Republican Committee newsletter, there is nothing to imply that protecting Americans from the “prey of the rich on the poor” is the reason for calling for armed rebellion. According to the newsletter, President Obama, is a “political socialist ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized,” and that the only option is “armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November:” If one is confused as to what Republicans consider is a “political socialist ideologue,” the newsletter claims President Obama “shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might,” and that under Obama, “the government is out of control, and this opportunity, must not be forsaken for we shall not have any coarse (sic) but armed revolution.”(LINK)

Armed rebellion. Because hatred, bigotry, and racism is a cause worth fighting for. And why not? During the Civil War, over 600,000 Americans died fighting for or against the right of the Southerner to oppress the black man. History does tend to repeat itself. I'm just glad there will be a handy plane waiting to take me away from this spiraling abyss called America.

Thanks for reading.
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Shirina
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Re: America's religious freedom

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:47 pm

Righteous indignation can very easily supplant civilised behaviour, and can be subtly inculcated in the young. When I was still at school, following a particularly vivid exposition of the Crucifixion one day in the RE class, several boys boiled out of the room to confront a startled Jewish pupil accusing him of killing our Saviour.

Much later in my life came the AIDS scare in the 1980s, and the general public were not at all tolerant of sufferers.

Today in the Book section, Ivan reviews the matter of bullying in the workplace, which is not a million miles away from the religious style of intolerance in the way it can affect the victim.

Thus it begins. With God on our side.
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Re: America's religious freedom

Post by ROB on Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:54 pm

America's Religious Freedom
United States Constitution, Amendment 1

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof [of religion]; 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.
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Re: America's religious freedom

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:15 pm

If the existence of a Law were sufficient to ensure its observance by the Public, there would be no requirement for Police or Courts.
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Re: America's religious freedom

Post by ROB on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:45 pm

oftenwrong wrote:
Thus it begins.  With God on our side.
 

You demonstrate no understanding of God’s “side.” God, in Hebrew Elohim, expanded YHVH Elohim, is Author, Creator, Owner, and Sovereign of all that is, was, and ever will be; thus, God has authored “right”, God has created “right”, God owns “right”, and God is the sovereign of “right.” God owns the only side that’s “right”; accordingly, the only side that’s “right” is God’s side.

One who seeks to recruit God to her/his side recruits in vain. One who desires to be on the same side as God must move oneself to where God resides, God’s side.

RockOnBrother wrote:
America's Religious Freedom
United States Constitution, Amendment 1

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof [of religion]; 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.
 
oftenwrong wrote:
If the existence of a Law were sufficient to ensure its observance by the Public, there would be no requirement for Police or Courts.
 

If a law (in this instance, the United States Constitution, Amendment 1) did not exist, there would be no requirement for police or courts to ensure its observance by the public.
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Re: America's religious freedom

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:32 am

The Christian right in the USA clearly aren't happy with the constitutionally protected right to practice any religion. They quite clearly feel the American government ought to promote their version of Christianity at the expense of other religious beliefs.

I imagine the more extreme right wing Christians view Muslim terrorists as a bit of a godsend.

As for God's side being right, well when god uses its omnipotence to show unoquivocally what exactly it wants we might not look so ridiculous claiming either that God is on our side, or that god is absolutely right. Since neither position can be evidenced satisfactorily. Or even evidenced objectively come to that.
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