I haven’t yet weighed in on the whatever-it-is that the Muslims want to build in the area of the September 11th attacks. In a way, I suppose I’m glad I haven’t since I really don’t know a lot about it. My basic opinion of it hasn’t changed, though.
Originally, the information I saw led me to believe that this was a proposed community center with a small chapel. Perhaps that’s true, but newer information says that it’s planned to have the top two stories dedicated to a mosque, and that said mosque will be high enough to overlook the site of the ominously-named Ground Zero. Well, that’s a fish of a different flavor. It does indeed seem a bit of an insult that these people with this foreign religion can lord it over the victims of the wrath of Allah.
How dare they?
There’s a catch, though. We have this whole Constitution thing here in the states, and although some others (are you listening, Pat Condell?) may not completely understand it, government here is not supposed to interfere with religious belief, insofar as it isn’t actually flying planes into buildings, and that means their religion as well. If they own the property, can obtain permits which are not restricted by religious preference or prejudice, then they are entitled to the same rights and privileges as any other religious group here in the land of the brave and the home of the free.
Saying that the Muslims cannot build a mosque nearby because some of their number destroyed buildings is like saying that Catholics cannot build in Chicago because some of their number perpetrated the Valentine’s Day Massacre. Their families might get their little feelers hurt.
And who should be less likely to support the building of a house of worship than me? I am, after all, a hard atheist, and it would be a beautiful day for me if anyone building a church of any kind had second thoughts and decided against it. But I cannot condone the anti-Muslim sentiment in this case for the simple reason that the Constitution protects me as much as it does them, and that’s the point of the whole thing. If three hundred million U.S. Americans all hated Muslims and were alarmed at this mosque, it would make no difference. Unless and until the Constitution of the United States is amended to remove the protections of belief (and, one hopes, disbelief), it is the law of the land.
On the music scene, I’ve discovered Dan Mangan. This Canadian is making inroads to the U.S. and is certainly worth a listen. There are some nice videos on YouTube. Dan sounds like a New Age Gordon Lightfoot (apologies if that isn’t complimentary!) with a sometimes-gravelly voice and often a strong passion. Recommended.
It was great to see James Randi on video recorded from the atheist meetup in Kopenhagen earlier this year. He seemed in very good health and made me think I am starting to walk like an old man. He isn’t, by the bye. Richard Dawkins has also shown up on atheistmedia.com, and is always worth a listen.
Our dog days seem to be over as we segue into shorter, cooler days. The nineties have become sixties. Does that mean Global Warming is over? Don’t get me started. With the latest power bill in hand, I’m temporarily glad we no longer need air conditioning, but the heating will start soon enough. And our power company has managed to invent a stepped bill that cannot hide the fact that the rates are more in line with the rest of the nation. That we have hydro power is no longer germane. We get to pay higher rates because the people they sell off the extra power to will pay them. The cost has doubled in a few years and there’s no end in sight. I’m told that natural gas is also no longer a savings over electric for home heating. That’s bothersome. I was considering replacing the pellet stove with a gas one to get away from having to haul and handle bags of pellets. The electric heat isn’t sufficient and the cost is astronomical.
I guess I’ll have to either get used to astronomical costs or live like a monk.
Note to businesses: don’t relocate here for the cheap power.
What do acquiring money and having children have in common? They’re both a responsibility. Is it responsible to drop the religion bomb on a child too young to have any defenses against it? Just sayin’.