Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a former president of Chicago Theological Seminary and current senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, writes in the Washington Post today that fighting against the mosque in “Lower Manhattan” translates into an attempt to deny American Moslems the basic religious freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution.
“It is crucial that Americans show the world that we have the courage of that conviction, especially when it comes to a plan to build an Islamic Center in lower Manhattan.”
Ms. Thistlethwaite, your tour guide on this guilt trip through the Constitutional intricacies of religious freedom, is twisting the facts to make her point; just as President Obama did in his speech last week.
Fundamental religious liberties are not even an issue in the “Ground Zero” Mosque controversy. Moslems have built mosques all over this great and free country and have practiced their religion without prohibition for many years.
The largest issues in the “Ground Zero” Mosque controversy are: 1) the FACT that the Imam and financial backers of the mosque have proven ties to established Islamic terrorist organizations and 2) the obvious assumptions that can be, and have been, extracted from that fact. Those, not religious liberty, are the primary issues (but obviously not the only issues) behind the opposition to the “Ground Zero” Mosque.
I personally have no doubt whatsoever that the “Ground Zero” Mosque is intended as a “victory dance” on the graves of the “infidels” who lost their lives on 9/11. The “Ground Zero” Mosque is clearly a political statement, not an expression of religious liberty. We must remember that in the Moslem world, religion does not exist outside of or separate from politics.
Here in the United States Moslems have their religious freedoms — more so than they would have in Moslem controlled theocracies — and no one is trying to take those freedoms away from them. A slap in the face, however, is not an acceptable expression of religious faith.