I've never been a fan of organized religion. I find churches of all denominations to be full of hypocrites. This Florida pastor only seems to reinforce that idea in my mind.
However - this nation was founded on the idea of "Freedom of Religion" and is listed as the first amendment right in the United States constitution. So while I may not agree with organized religions, what they stand for or who is the leader of each group, I will defend to the DEATH anyone else's right to practice their own religion and family backgrounds until my last breath.
"In the summer of 1787, fifty-five delegates gathered in Philadelphia to draft the original Constitution of the United States. The original Constitution itself has only one provision that addresses religion and that is a provision that draws a sharp boundary ...In the summer of 1787, fifty-five delegates gathered in Philadelphia to draft the original Constitution of the United States. The original Constitution itself has only one provision that addresses religion and that is a provision that draws a sharp boundary between church and state,"
NOT Church and Church, not religion and religion, not Book of Mormon and the Koran, not ground zero and Muslim faith - but CHURCH AND STATE. What our forefathers meant by this was just this:
"In Article VI, Clause 3, the Founders prohibited all religious tests for public office. (“no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public trust"...) and didn't even involve our schools, as we have been forced to do so in the past decade.
When we begin to loose the ideals and beliefs that this country was founded on, what more could be left of us to destroy? Have we lost our roots? Have the bricks to our foundation crumbled away into non-existence? Have our hearts burst into flames? Were our spirits crushed under the Twin Towers of New York City?
The great nation of these United States was founded by people who openly, and at great cost to themselves and their families, rejected the divine right of a King to rule them in favor of a Republic, free of any particular spiritual expression.
"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. "
Do we forget that, in the first amendment within the Constitution that this nation was founded on, the freedom of religion was mentioned first? This is hardly an afterthought when displayed so prominently.
President Obama is quoted as having said just recently when asked about the Florida Pastor that "part of this country's history is people doing destructive or offensive or harmful things. And yet, we still have to make sure that we're following the laws.” (Mark my words, this will likely be the only thing I will ever quote from this man.) He's right.
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor that marked our entry in World War II, we went over and bombed Hell out of Japan. They're still reeling from the effects some 70 years later. During our seasons of war, though - we placed the Japanese Americans in our own concentration camps hidden all over, right here in the grand old United States. A dear friend of mine was born in one located in Colorado.
When the Germans decided Jewish people were bad, well, we all know what happened to them. It was a massive genocide, killing more than 6 million people based on their religion.
The Mormon's have been chased from Nation to Nation and State to State before they finally found their home in Utah. Religious persecution even here in the United States of America AFTER the constitution was written and the amendments on religion were added forced them to move again and again, never wanted, never needed, always searching for a home. When finally they settled in Salt Lake City, it wasn't their first choice. It was more like their 500th choice, and they chose it mainly because it was empty - nobody was around to chase them away.
There are so many examples of what Religious persecution in other parts of the world has done, like the many African nations where people are killed daily because they won't conform to the new leaders religion. Like Israel and Palestine. Like the Crusades that lasted 200 years.
We should be PROUD of where we come from and what our nation was founded on. We weren't always the closed minded shallow hate filled fanatics we seem to be now. While I agree that we should protect our people and our nation, I strongly disagree in the action some have taken against others Nation wide based on their skin color, religions or clothing preference.
We come from a proud breed of people, all of us. No matter what our background is, no matter where our ancestors are, each nation out there has a proud and strong people. We have much to be proud of and much to be thankful for. We shouldn't hate others because we fear them, or because they're different (though in too many cases we hate them because we fear them), but embrace the differences, learn from others, and hold fast to our own rich heritage.
THIS is where I come from. THIS is my heritage. THIS is my background. What about yours? Do you know where you stand? Do you know where you come from? Take a stand, be proud, show your true colors. DARE to do what's right.
" We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,
promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves
and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America."
God Bless our Free Nation.