Another step backwards

In Missouri, a mosque was burnt to the ground earlier today under circumstances that can be best described as suspicious. Unsurprisingly, this story isn’t being covered by CNN or FoxNews’s websites and it was buried at the bottom of MSNBC’s website. Evidently we’re still not ready for the frank and open discussions that we need to resolve our issues with national identity. Note that this mosque was also attacked on July 4 – of all days – in a firebombing that did limited damage.

I ask this almost rhetorically, but it is a serious and open question. How is that a religious center is attacked on the day centered on celebrating our liberties – including the liberty to worship freely in our own belief?

There are no words. None. I’m not a religious person by any stretch of the word, but I do believe in the premise that people should be allowed to worship freely so long as it doesn’t infringe on the abilities of others to do so freely. That’s why I oppose mandated prayer in public schools. It’s a choice to be religious and if you’re not, that’s fine, and if you’re different, that’s fine, too. Are you hurting me? Are you trying to force your beliefs on me? No? Then keep praying and I say more power to you.

Attacking religious structures in this country is tantamount to attacking the freedom of religion – be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh or non-religion. People have a right to develop their thoughts about the world around them peacefully, without fear of attack or harm. Does this put them above criticism? No – but criticism isn’t about laying harm.

America – we need to talk. And soon. If you want to talk, leave a comment. If you think we all need to be talking, contact CNN, MSNBC, and Fox and ask them why they aren’t talking.

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