Category Archives: Political Opinion

Religion and the free exercise thereof

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution begins with the line, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. A concept which has been under attack since the nineteen eighties but has come under intensified assault since the election of Donald Trump.

Establishment of Religion

Books have been written on what the founders meant but the religious freedom clause is easier to understand broken into two sections. The first part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” is there to prohibit a state religion. The founders were very aware of the Church of England’s influence over Great Britain.

Bishops and ministers in the Church of England swore an oath to remain faithful to the King. at the time of the revolution there wasn’t a bishop in the Colonies but the Anglican Church was attempting to establish one. For many this was not just an issue of religion but one of individual liberty. Many who had fled religious persecution were afraid it had followed them to the new land.

We are all Muslim

It doesn’t matter where we come from or where we are going, we are here now. More importantly we are here together. We are all Muslim in the same sense we are all Christian, Jew, Hindu etc. But it is not something that comes naturally.

Tolerance and understanding have never been a big part of our American life. There have always been groups for ‘real’ Americans to disparage. African Americans were once considered less than human, Irish and Eastern European immigrants were called drunks and thieves while Catholics considered a threat to democracy. John F. Kennedy’s election was especially controversial. I remember hearing, “I’m not going to kiss the Popes ring” (although sometimes the object not being kissed was a portion of his Holiness’s anatomy).

Photo by Department of the Interior. War Relocation Authority - This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 536017.
Official notice of exclusion and removal

The internment of over 110000 Japanese Americans during World War II was a low point in our history. Franklin D. Roosevelt who ordered the incarceration is considered one of the top five U.S. Presidents. How could he order something diametrically opposed to the constitution?

Fear, racism and a lack of empathy.

Land of the free and the home of the brave

America, land of the free and the home of the brave – not anymore. Today we have the land of the mean and the home of the bully. There is no political debate only politcal shouting matches. Each side accusing the other of being unamerican, traitors, haters, ho’s sluts and bitches. Politics used to be called the art of compromise. Iin todays political climate however compromise is a dirty word and considered a sign of weakness.

And that would be fine if we were a small country with one set of beliefs for one type of people. But we are not, we are a diverse country with many different beliefs and a leader on the world stage. The sooner we recongnize that the sooner we can get start making Amercia into the greatest country in the world. Not the strongest military or greatest consumers but a country that leads by example – one that respects the ideas of others and is willing to help those in need.

It’s not how you treat yourself that determine what kind of person you are, it’s how you treat others.