Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let Freedom Ring......

I love those three words, but what do they really mean?  As I sit here having my morning cup of coffee, I realize that today is September 11, 2010 and the 9th anniversary of that horrific day when the twin towers were brought down killing thousands, our Pentagon was attacked and a plane was so bravely crashed into a field, diverted from its original target.
I keep thinking to myself that what exactly was under attack that day, was our freedom, our very way of life, everything that as citizens of the free world we stand for.  Freedom is a wonderful and beautiful thing, but with freedom comes responsibility. 

The main issue in the news over the past few weeks has been two things.  The first is the building of a Mosque just a couple blocks away from ground zero in Manhattan.  The second is a crazy pastor down in Florida who wants to burn a bunch of Qurans if the Mosque is not moved.  I can’t help but to find myself saddened that we, as a society have come to this crazy place where these two things are actually the lead stories in our news.

In my heart of hearts, I believe that it is a horrible thing for a Mosque to be built so close to ground zero because of what that Mosque being built there will mean to radical Islam and to the families of the victims of 9/11.  On the other hand, being so against it or offended by it only gives radical Islam power.  If we stand together and say, “You might want to build your Mosque here to declare victory, but you have lost because freedom still exists here,” it would steal their thunder and make their purpose not quite so meaningful.

The Pastor in Florida, may want to burn the Quran, but to flip out in protest of it only fuels that flame.  As it stands now, he’s not going to do the burning, I think that he has made a wise choice; however, I support his right to burn the Quran in protest, just as I support the right of the Muslim world and/ or our own citizens to burn US Flags in protest of what we stand for.

Freedom is not easy.  If the government were to step in and not allow a Mosque to be built so close to ground zero, what’s to stop the very same government from not allowing the Jews to build a Synagogue or the Christians to build a church for whatever reason?  Is this a path that we wish to set our feet upon?
I support the right for people to build a church where they wish to worship, regardless of which faith they represent, just as I support the right of the surrounding community to protest in outrage, as they are doing.

What I do not support is our President speaking on the topic at all, regardless of his point of view.  It’s inappropriate.  He is head of State, it’s hardly appropriate for the State to get involved in concerns regarding our First Amendment rights, unless it’s to defend them….. on all sides.  The essential role of the government is to protect individual rights, and to ensure that its citizens do not violate the rights of others.

When asked to comment, I believe as the President, Mr. Obama should have said, “I do not want to get involved in these matters as President, I support the US Constitution and I support the right of the existence of the Mosque, and the right of the people to protest said Mosque.  I support the right of the Pastor in Florida to burn the Quran in protest as I support the right of the Muslim world to protest in the same manner.  What I will not tolerate are acts of violence against other individuals, both here and abroad.”  Those words would have been music to my ears.

Freedom is never free, there is always a price.  Sometimes that price is defending that in which you abhor simply because it’s ethically and logically consistent.  With freedom, comes an obligation to defend that which makes someone truly free, regardless of whether or not we agree with that person’s ideas.  When you can do that, then you truly understand what those three words in the title of this article mean.

Until next time.

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