Friday, September 10, 2010

Yes to Peace; Not So Fast to the Mosque at the 9/11 Site

Posted in response to Royce’s Excitable Bore 9/10 Blogspost

I have said time and again that the primary reason for most wars is religion and differences in folk’s belief in their God. I also agree that the United States of America is built on our ability – and really, our desire – to be free of oppression and our wish to be all inclusive and diverse. That said, I disagree with talk that the United States wasn’t established with Christian beliefs at its core. Even our Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That creator, referred in other documents (and our currency) as God, is established as a Christian God. That said, I do believe that as a Christian nation, our intent was to show compassion for all and an open minded environment that nurtured all religions, cultures, etc. Unfortunately, the U.S. has fallen victim to the same pitfalls that other nations have struggled with for years – intolerance for other religions, cultures and orientations.

That point aside, my personal belief is that the tragedy of 9/11 was one that will live in infamy in our nation’s history forever. It was a painful reminder of our vulnerability. Like many victims, the U.S. relates all things associated with their attackers as offensive – this includes their culture, their religion, etc. In an effort to appease the masses, while holding fast to our core desire for inclusion, we should be objective. For example, although our country believes in freedom of expression, it would be painful to many Americans - African Americans in particular - if a White supremacist group set-up shop in the center of Harlem, USA with the pretext that they are trying to promote racial unity. The truth is that the historical strife between those two groups would make that arrangement a breeding ground for disaster. We can also think of religious groups that believe that being gay is a sin and how gay America would feel if religious groups chose to worship in front of their homes simply because they have the right to congregate in public spaces. Not unlike these ficticious scenarios, the mosque being touted as a place of worship for our Muslim brothers within the confines of a site that suffered the greatest loss of life on American soil from a terrorist attack, is to some, a blatant attempt to rub salt in a wound that has not healed. To date, the towers have NOT been rebuilt, human remains have been found as recently as last year and the memory of that day, just 9 years ago, is still fresh in America’s mind – especially the minds of New Yorkers. There are countless other available sites to build this house of worship on, so it begs the question as to WHY must it be built at the site of the disaster.

Our civil liberties and freedoms cannot come at the expense of any other group. Christian or Muslim, religion is intended to worship a higher power; one that encourages love, peace and maybe even a more benevolent sense of self. My hope is that the mosque would be built off the site of our nation’s worst disaster and that maybe the next generation – one that didn’t experience the horror first-hand – can converge (Christian and Muslim) and agree that peace is the only way…maybe even build ONE unified temple where all denominations worship and seek to be better human beings for their differences.

Keep passin’ the open windows…


Caspar608 said...

this is your best work yet and should be submit as an op ed piece to several news outlets

Cocoa Rican said...

With your blessing and at your suggestion, I've submitted to the NY Times as an op ed piece. Cross your fingers, hold your breath and let's see what happens.

Thanks for the vote of confidence.