freedom of religion

My thoughts on the Ground-Zero Mosque

I think all bloggers are required by the law of the internet to comment on the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” so this is my attempt.  You are welcome to comment but I will be moderating.  Please keep it civil.

Now to my actual commentary -

There is no such thing as an unbiased opinion, so I will lay my bias out there at the beginning.  First, I am a Christian.  I don’t mean that merely as a title.  I mean that I have chosen to place my faith in Christ, and it is the most important thing that I have ever done.  Further, I consider myself a Christian apologist.  (Although I am still a bit shy of making this list) I have a strong desire to defend Christianity and the Christian worldview from all opposition in whatever form.

Secondly, I am a conservative Christian; meaning that I believe the Bible to be true in all that it declares.

Thirdly, I am a proud, patriotic American.  I am crushed with sadness when I think about the events of September 11 2001, and I know with certainty that the perpetrators of those events are opposed to what America stands for.

Those are my biases, so know that before you read any further.

I truly wish there were no mosques anywhere.  I believe that Islam is a false religion that involves worshipping a false god.  I believe that in many cases Islam is not merely a false, empty religion but that it encourages violence.  If not encouraging, at the very least it condones violence in a way that other world religions don’t.  (Though, if I were in India, I may feel the same about Hinduism.)

However, we live in a country where the freedom to practice religion is guaranteed by the constitution.  It is one of the beautiful things about our country; that people with such opposing convictions can come together and make a mostly peaceful nation.

In part, the first amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  The way I read this it means that as a country we will not have an official religion, nor will we prevent anyone from worshipping in a way that their religion requires.  (I know there are exceptions, e.g. human sacrifice, but for argument’s sake let’s leave them out.)

Politically speaking, I do not want to be involved in anything that tells other people how they can or cannot worship. Nor do I want someone telling me how I can or cannot worship.

I would definitely question the wisdom of those who want to build this prayer center when so much controversy has arisen.  It definitely does not seem like a good PR move for Islam in America.  And I clearly understand the irony that religious freedom is utterly incompatible with Islam yet religious freedom  is what will allow an Islamic center to be built there.

The most important part of this issue from my standpoint is not the political, but the spiritual.  I believe that God has given mankind moral free-agency.  In other words, humans make actual moral choices.  This fact means that we are free to choose wrongly.  There are consequences for all choices, and there will be a judgment that gives those consequences, but we are free to make them.

I believe that Islam is a false religion.  I would expect any Muslim would say the same about my religion.  The wonderful thing about the USA is that we are both free to say so, and I hope it stays that way.