Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ain't it America

The Supreme Court the other day rendered a decision that said the funeral protests of the Westboro Baptist Church are Constitutionally protected speech. This church, which is basically the family of one man, Fred Phelps, is known for their hateful rhetoric that suggests that the death of young military personnel is God's punishment because of the fact the the US tolerates homosexuality. This is the church with posters that say God Hates Fags and their website has a clock on it counting the days Matthew Shepard, the young man brutally murdered for simply being gay, has been in hell. I know a lot of Christians including those who see homosexuality as a choice, a sin, a destructive "lifestyle" who never level this kind of hate. They would never agree with Phelps and his ilk but they share a basic foundation of their faith, the Christian Bible. Hard to see them and Phelps share a meal though they share a Bible. Is it fair to lump them together?

Now we turn to Peter King, the head of the House Homeland Security Committee, has started hearings on the American Muslim Community. In part he is looking for radical infiltration. He has even suggested that the American Muslim community has not been as cooperative with police and other law enforcement. This of course is odd since nearly 1/3 of the intelligence we have gathered since 9-11 to stop Islamic terror has come from the Muslim community. So in effect King is putting all of the American Muslims on trial for the actions of a few, many of that few do not even live in the US. Is it fair to lump them together?

King is doing something that should be an outrage to people. He is questioning the loyalty of Americans who only share as devotion or love for the same text with SOME terrorists. He doesn't question whether they share the same understanding of the text. My guess, just like my most evangelical Christian friends can't find a place in the Bible that promotes Phelps' protests and hate speech, the vast majority of American Muslims are just as confused as to how certain Islamists find words in the Quaran that encourages suicide bombing. Yet while many Christians are not ask to explain Westboro Baptist nor do they get soiled by the dirt they throw it seems easy to do that to any Muslim. Especially an Arab American Muslim. We should not be making anyone who follows the faith of Islam a suspect. It is not American.

Ironically, the Supreme Court got it right with Westboro. As much as I hate their speech, it is the cost of living in a free society to have the right for them to say what they say. Too bad Peter King doesn't understand that some ideal. I wish the GOP would stop him.

No comments:

RIP Anthony Bourdain and We Must All Be More Aware

This morning I woke up with a little spring in my step.  It is Friday, Shabbat is almost here.  I can work outside this weekend for a bit a...