First Amendment reminder
This blog is all about my wandering life and the joys (and sometimes sorrows) it brings me, which is why there’s really no reason for me to ever write about politics or religion. But, I’ve noticed an increase of anti-Muslim social media posts — including some from people I know and love. I wish it was just angry posts, but protests and angry people are also making headlines. Before I go further I know there are more fellow Americans out there who don’t think this way, but it seems our angry, hurt voices are getting most of the attention.
And all of us have every right to be pissed off about any of the multitude of extremist groups out there. They suck and they do horrible things to good people — most of them also Muslim. Extremist groups try to annihilate anyone who is against them. That is ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaaeda or any of the other groups out there like them. That is not Islam.
To protest AMERICAN mosques because of terrorist actions is like blaming all Christian faiths for the workings of the Klu Klux Klan. I already hear the rhetoric of “but Christians don’t behead people for speaking bad about them.” Guess what? neither do most Muslims. Murder is also a sin to them — despite what others (including extremists) might tell you.
I’m not Muslim, nor do I have any desire to ever convert to that faith. I’d make a lousy Muslim, and I’m okay with that, and the people I work with (hello? mostly Muslim) are cool with that too. I do my thing; they do their’s.
Despite my lust for discovering other lands and people, I do so love where I come from. We’re supposed to be the land of freedoms. Good God we have the first amendment, which gives us the right to pray to whatever version of God (or lack of God) we desire. We also have the right to be as prejudiced and anti whatever as we want to be, but that doesn’t mean we have the right to harass people at their places of worship (or on the streets or their homes, but that’s a whole other story). We’re supposed to be better than that, and we’re supposed to be better than giving in to hate.
Sadly, I type this knowing the anti-Islam movement is not our only form of angry bigotry, but I’m going to stick to the Islam piece because quite frankly it’s just too damned embarrassing to discuss our other great divide.
If my words are currently pissing some readers off, they’re not meant to. I love my people. Just please oh please don’t violate the words of our constitution. Don’t condemn a whole religion and ostracize fellow Americans for how they pray because of what others do in the name of their faith. To do so could only bring out more hate and bring us to a place we don’t want to go — and without knowing it in essence (hopefully never the same level of violence) people who give in to what others tell them is true are doing the same thing as the ignorant young who join extremist groups. They too are being told we (including our Muslim counterparts) are the enemy; let’s not become their stereotype.
And to prove the Internet is not just for spreading our uglies, I nabbed this: Leviticus 19:18
“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.