Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This explains a lot...

According to a survey conducted by the First Amendment Center :

Sixty-five percent of Americans believe that the nation's founders intended the U.S. to be a Christian nation and 55% believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation

(emphasis mine)

Other gems from the poll:
  • "Just 56% believe that the freedom to worship as one chooses extends to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme — down 16 points from 72% in 2000."

  • "25% said 'the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees'"

This all hits close to home due to recent events in my community. A small Ismaili congregation wanted to build a jamatkhana in our neighborhood. The outpouring of filth from my neighbors was disturbing, even for a suburban city deep in the Bible Belt. At zoning hearings and other events, large numbers (150, I believe was the record) of residents would show up to protest the possibility of such a facility being built in the city. I can guarantee if a Christian church had proposed building their facility there, no one would have said a word. It's ok to be Christian, but it's not ok to be anything else. And that saddens me.

Oh, and to all the people who think the founders meant for the USA to be a Christian nation. Please, study history. Many of the people who first came to this country came for (gasp!) religious freedom. They didn't want to be part of the Church of England, so they left. Many of the founding fathers weren't Christian in the current evangelical Christian view (Thomas Jefferson, for example).

Now, the people who think the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. Please, for the love of God, read the freaking Constitution. There's this thing called separation of church and state. If a church or official religious organization gets involved in politics, they can lose their IRS non-profit status or be fined. All because of that principle.

When did people get so dumb?


shammydharamy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aziz said...

As an Ismaili and Canadian living in Canada for last 35 years working and traveling in both countries, I have always had positive impression of American's, However there seems to be a shift even hostility towards Muslims, That is rather disturbing given the founding Principles.

The 14th-17th century, most people forget the English could not own lands and human beings were considered Kings property and the Russian peasantry taking up arms against the Czar or even the French revolution and If I am not mistaken Thomas Jefferson played a role in the release of hostages from the Bastille.

Indeed the early settlers came to stake Land claims and sought freedom and Liberty from the Tyranny of Theocracy, we have seen the blood letting from the war of Roses, 100 year war between the French and English, Protestant and Catholic and the same scenario played in Norther Ireland.

Many Ismailis must be asking what happened to those lofty visions of the Founding fathers, Pluralism, Tolerance, Diversity, understanding and the spirit of Frontier brotherhood.

My community has always endeavored for betterment of humanity, tolerance and respect for all people and they deserve the same.

For more about Ismailis please this site.
Official site


Peace and Love.

Disgruntled Ladye said...

shammydharamy, aziz,
Thank you both for visiting and commenting.

I also appreciate the links about the Ismaili faith. For a Christian, sometimes it is difficult to understand the difference between the Islamic faiths (just as I imagine it is difficult for a non-Christian to understand the differences between various Christian denominations), but I think that trying to understand is one of the best things we can do to foster tolerance and acceptance.