Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Constitutional Irony: One Amendment, Two Clauses

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; 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.”

On one side, we have the Muslims and their fellow travelers trumpeting the right to freely practice religion without government interference.

On the other side, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Lazio, Pamela Geller and the legions of FOX talk of sensitivity trumping rights.  “Think of the victims, we speak loudly for the victims!”

I wonder if they appreciate the irony of exercising a constitutional right to attack a constitutional right.


Jeni said...

Too many people today don't remember the "Freedom of religion" portion of our Constitution unless they want to use it to foist THEIR own religious beliefs on to the public. Islam is a religion, same as Christianity, same as Buddists are, or any other religion any individual chooses to follow and as such, any of those (and all others) have the right to practice their beliefs, side-by-side, in this country. We forget too easily that there are other countries in the world that DO NOT allow this type of freedom. And because of this and our many other "freedoms" in this land, sometimes it gets interpreted as MY freedom, not others, or yours, etc. What a shame!

Dave said...

Well said.

Annie K said...

I've been glad today to see so many people finally speaking out against the hate. It seemed like the only people vocalizing their views were those against the building of the mosque. I was beginning to lose faith in people.

The Curmudgeon said...

Do they appreciate the irony?

Probably not.

The news this morning is that a Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed by the collapse of the Twin Towers has still not been rebuilt -- nine years later -- despite promises, reassurances, etc.

I said it before: Mr. Obama was right when he said this was a purely local issue to be decided by the local officials (because at our respective distances we simply don't know all the facts). It's too bad Mr. Obama was unable to stay on point.

(And if you want to point out that the national angle is the statute passed by a Republican Congress designed to stick the G's nose into local zoning for the protection of would-be church-builders, go ahead.)

You already know I support the building of the N.Y. mosque in principle. But I did like the line from Dr. Krauthammer: "[W]hile no one objects to Japanese cultural centers, the idea of putting one up at Pearl Harbor would be offensive." The local officials should find a solution, and maybe an alternative site, that will be better accepted by all groups with a legitimate interest.

Dave said...

Anne, the agins are always louder than the fers.

Curmudgeon, I pretty much agree with you. I heard about the GE church yesterday but don't know the details. If local people can work a deal, they should.

Anonymous said...

If "sensitivity" trumps rights, then Rush Limbaugh needs to shut up and go home. His whole shtick is to upset people under the protective cover of being "politically incorrect."

j said...

OK fine. Build the damn thing. But..this Christmas I don't want to hear any of you leftists complaining about hearing Christmas music in stores or being offended when a clerk says Merry Christmas or when your neighbor puts a nativity scene in their yard or a driver is offended to the point of crashing their vehicle at the sight of a cross on a hill side or any of the other myriad ways the secularists find ways to be offended!!!!!!!!!!!! Jeni is right- too often it is My freedom trumping yours - the ACLU makes a living imposing one persons freedom on another.

Dave said...

J, when it comes to society, I'm a proud secularist. I'll appreciate you explaining how there's any other way for a society made up of people with disparate religious beliefs to co-exist. Isn't that what the First Amendment is all about?

And, I'm not at all offended by intolerance, just greatly disappointed.

Wes said...

Don't believe the hype on the Greek Orthodox church. There's more to the story, and it's not HURR HURR HURR OBAMA LETS MOOOSLIMS BUILD AND NOT CHRISTIANS HURR HURR HURR.


Dave said...

Do read the link in Wes's comment. There may have been a bit of overreaching on the church's part.

J said...

Dave- it is your blog and you are free to spin all you want but isn't a bit disingenuous to list only conservative opponents to the mosque?? I believe that if 64% of the country believes it wrong to put the mosque there even though it is constitutionally protected there must be one or two dems in that camp. Harry Reid and Howard Dean for example.

Dave said...


I think Reid's agin it because he's in a tough election against a conservative opponent. From an AP article:

"Justin Phillips, an assistant professor at Columbia University who studies state elections, said the rejection of the mosque by vulnerable Democrats wasn't surprising.

'The Democrats who are going to lose in 2010 are from moderate to conservative districts, so these are the Democrats who are trying to be very careful in their handling of this issue,' Phillips said. 'They don't want to take an unpopular position on anything right now.'"

From Howard Dean, after he got blasted for his initial comments:

"Of course I never attacked those [constitutional] rights; I explicitly supported them, as the president also did this week. Nor did I side with the Islamophobic rhetoric of Newt, Palin et al. There are a great many people in this debate talking past each other, as is often the case these days."

I'd call Dem "opposition" to the mosque an attempt to accomplish a political straddle.

County Sales Tax said...

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Dave said...

Thanks CST.