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365-60: Celebrate Diversity

Celebrate Diversity, originally uploaded by spakulsk.

On this the ninth anniversary of the attacks on New York, Washington and rural Pennsylvania; I find it disturbing with regards to the rhetoric that is pervasive right now. I’d like to remind everyone what it is to be American. To be American means freedom of speech and assembly. That 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.

This means we are to accept the proposed Mosque in lower Manhattan. It’s at an abandoned and private building that stands blocks away from the former World Trade Center site. It is the constitutional right as private citizens to legally do what you want with your private property. That is what makes America the great country it is. It celebrates our diversity and our openness as a society to accept those of other beliefs, faiths, ideologies, orientations and acknowledge them as our neighbors. This discussion on the anti-establishment of the Mosque in lower Manhattan is silly and pointless. We are all Americans. We all have the right to be ourselves. We all have the right to build a Mosque, Synagogue, Mandir, Vihara, Temple or Church on private property. That private property’s relation to neighboring structures (past or present) is irrelevant…

On the same argument, Rev. Terry Jones has every right to burn copies of the Quran. I think it is highly distasteful and as a Christian, a very non-Christian thing to do. However, in freedom of speech; you have the right to burn the Quran. You have the right to burn the Bible. You have the right to burn the American flag. It’s all protected under our constitution. But one should be mindful of their actions. That Quran or Bible or flag has different meanings to different people. We should be respectful of our neighbors when we conjure thoughts of destruction of another’s symbolic item. Celebrate diversity. Do not fear your neighbor. Discuss our differences. Embrace what we have in common.

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