Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times does good service this morning, informing us that a movement against religious freedom is spreading far and wide across America.
We’ve heard before of a push by Sarah Palin, Mark Williams and other prominent figures in the GOP-controlled wing of the “Tea Party” to ban the building of houses of worship in the United States of America. These anti-religious figures have argued that faith groups should be excluded from the First Amendment constitutional rights of assembly and religious exercise if they are not Religiously Correct (RC).
Why are Sarah Palin, Mark Williams and other Tea Party Republicans trying to deny Americans the right to freedom of assembly and religious exercise? What is it they’ve got against religion?
The answer is that they’re bigots.
Bigot. n. a person who is intolerant, esp. regarding religion, politics, or race
Sarah Palin, Mark Williams and other Tea Party Republicans are religious bigots in the sense that they’ll support the erection of religious buildings and the conduct of religious worship services only if carried out by religions they agree with. Groups that don’t pass their Religious Correctness test are to be prohibited.
If you’re like me, you may have heard of this push to deny the constitutional rights of un-RC groups, but only in connection with the Cordoba community center, a New York City complex that will contain a mosque. Because the mosque inside the community center is not Religiously Correct to their eyes, Palin and Williams and the other Tea Party Republicans have decided the whole community center should be banned.
Palin and Williams and the Republican wing of the Tea Party would like to have us focus on the Cordoba center exclusively because it happens to be (as numerous Christian and Jewish worship centers already are) placed within three blocks of the former World Trade Center site. In Manhattan, there are thousands of buildings that are “proximate” to the World Trade Center site. That’s what Manhattan is. This proximity allows religious bigots like Bob Kunst of Shalom International to spout off like he does in the latest of his daily e-mail blasts:
The Mosque at Ground Zero, is giving the Islamic Nazis a major victory, that has nothing to do with religious tolerance, as would dividing Jerusalem be the same outrageous victory for the Nazis, and Shalom International has been protesting against and will not allow. Both of these issues are supported by and funded by Saudi Arabia, responsible for ‘9/11’ and pushing the division of Jerusalem, as well as Saudi Arabia behind over 15,000 Islamic Nazi attacks worldwide since ‘9/11’, that’s killed Jews, Christians, Hindus, Bhuddists, other Muslims and all ‘infidels’.
Saudi Arabia is building mosques everywhere to spread Wahabism and to put this mosque at the very sight when the Islamic world declared ‘war’ on America on ‘9/11’, which is no different than the Japanese putting up a memorial at Pearl Harbor to their emperor,” or putting a disco at Auschwitz, which they have already done….
The Islamic Nazis will have their trophy at ‘Ground Zero’ with this Mosque, a permanent and arrogant attack upon all Americans, constantly.
With Muslims calling the U.S. withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan a ‘victory’ for them that will recruit very many for their ‘jihadist’ politics, the crowning Jewels will be a Mosque at ‘Ground Zero’ and to ‘Divide Jerusalem’. The only thing left will be the Vatican, which is also part of their domination politics, by the same forces alligned with Hitler in WWII and ‘Ground Zero’ the beginning of WWIII, that Obama is allowing with Iran to get its nukes it will use against Israel and America….
In Congress, I will do everything possible to make sure that this Mosque is not built at ‘Ground Zero’ and will cut off all funding to NYC that allows it. We will mobilize the Unions in NYC, not to allow this travesty to happen.”
“NYC is inviting more attacks from the Islamic Nazis by allowing this Mosque at ‘Ground Zero’.
They want you to think they’re only pushing against religious liberty and the First Amendment in New York City. But Laurie Goldman’s article establishes that moves to ban mosques are afoot across the country:
In Tennessee, Republicans politicians and Tea Party activists are organizing to ban a mosque. Why? A Tea Party activist and Republican Party candidate explains that it’s an effort based in religious bigotry: “our nation was founded on the tenets of the Judeo-Christian tradition; we have a right to defend that tradition; we have a right to defend that tradition…. we are not obligated to open our society to any of them [Muslims].”
In California, Tea Party activists, Republicans officials and Christian religious leaders picketed a mosque, protesting against the right of Muslims to worship in the state. Bill Rench, the pastor of Temecula Cavalry Church who is leading the effort against religious freedom there, says the real injustice is that “we have been called bigots, racists, hypocrites and intolerant.” “No more mosque in America,” reads a sign at Rench’s rally. Rench himself declares:
There is a concern with all the rumors you hear about sleeper cells and all that. Are we supposed to be complacent just because these people say it’s a religion of peace? Many others have said the same thing.
If the religion is Religiously Incorrect in California, Rench and the Tea Party and the Republican Party say its rights have got to go.
In Wisconsin, the Tea Party-associated Act! for America group supported Christian religious activism “against Political Islam and its threat to our way of life” by trying to ban a mosque in Sheboygan.
Back in New York State, bigots against religious freedom aren’t satisfied with trying to keep Islam out of Manhattan. They’re also trying to keep a mosque out of Brooklyn and succeeded with rallies to keep a mosque out of Staten Island.
This is a movement populated by Republicans who affiliate with the Tea Party and associate with fundamentalist bigotry against Islam. It is active from coast to coast. Its central tenet is enmity against the Constitution for its ridiculous declaration that Americans should be free to assemble and worship, even Americans who are Religiously Incorrect.