Islam and the Freedom of Religion

Recently the topic of freedom of religion has been in the news again due to a group wanting to build a mosque near Ground Zero.  Some Christians are joining forces with those who equate Islam immediately with violence.  They fear a mosque in their neighborhood because they think it will spread terrorism.  Fear is a very powerful emotion that is very contagious.  After 9/11 most of our exposure to Islam was in news stories about extremists and their angry anti-American sentiment.  If we just take this information in without dialoguing and critiquing what we are watching and hearing, we make assumptions about all Muslims.

Amendment 1 to the Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”  This law does not differentiate between religions but puts them all on an equal plane.  This means that Muslims have every right to build a mosque in a city as Christians or any other religion have to build their own religious centers.  This also means that if prayer is brought into the school, that all religions need to be recognized. I believe that some need to realize that we are not a Christian nation but a nation that was founded to give freedom to all religions and provide for a separation between the Church and the government.  This separation is good for both the Church and the government.

Even if our faith says that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus, we still need to show love and acceptance toward those of other faiths.  We also need to understand that only a very small minority of Muslims are terrorists.  We need to enter this culture of fear that is present today in our culture and speak with wisdom and love.

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About joelnewton

I am a husband to Hillary, a father to Anna and Norah

Posted on August 8, 2010, in Church and Culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. There is a big difference between tolerance and naivety. While tolerance and respect for all people is essential, to allow a Muslim worship center in such a sensitive geographical area shows total disrespect to the people who sacrificed their lives for freedom and liberty during the 9/11 terrorist attack. Regardless of the propaganda from the naive wishful thinking of the anti-Vietnam era baby boomers and their political influence over the media today, there is a serious danger from radical Islam throughout the world. (Read your newspaper) This radical element within Islam is a threat to most countries in the world who hold to beliefs such as tolerance, freedom , and self-determinism. Just listen to and seriously consider their doctrine as it is preached from mosques all over the world. Religion is religion and politics is politics. When religion turns into politics (Muslim, Jewish, or Christian) it is seldom good. If religious values are disguised within a political agenda as in Hitler’s personification of himself as the Savior, it can be violent and antithetical to any and every religion.
    It is naive allow a mosque to be built near the site of the 9/11 attack for the sake of tolerance. Many Muslim countries themselves, because of their latest “Victories over the Great Satan,” are becoming more bold in denying freedom to Christians in their countries. To be tolerant of a known terrorist threat (that is diametrically opposed to tolerance) does not appear to be wise for a country built on freedom and liberty.

  2. I read an article in The Economist that pointed out that when we march against all Muslims because we fear the terrorist segment of Islam, we alienate Muslim Americans who, until then, felt very American. When shunned, persecuted or otherwise treated disrespectfully, some among them may begin to feel less American, more “them” than “us.” These would then be more likely to listen to the radical, anti-American minority of their faith. This is exactly what we don’t want! But with Fear in the driver’s seat and 24 hour news needing fodder, we seem to have lost sight of WHY providing freedom of religion is the way to go.

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