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We must guard the rights of all citizens

I was disheartened to read David Epps’s opinion piece in last weekend’s issue of The Citizen. It is bad enough that Fox News pundits and self-serving right wing politicians are drumming up Islamophobia in this country. It is more than sad when our religious leaders join in that noise.

Fortunately, many religious leaders take the opposite view to David Epps regarding the building of a mosque and community center near Ground Zero in New York City. As we can read in the Aug. 18 edition of Time Magazine, seven of eight prominent diverse religious voices in the U.S. interviewed on this subject were committed to religious freedom.

In the words of Heidi Hasdell, president of the Hartford Seminary, “One serves one’s faith by living up to the ideals of that faith. The ideals of Christianity, like the ideals of Islam and Judaism, are peaceful. They are ideals of constructing peaceful and productive relationships with neighbors. The responsibility is to live up to the ideals of one’s religion and not sink to the lowest fears.”

Harold Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School: “We must recognize that it was not the whole Muslim world that crashed into the Twin Towers on Sept. 11. It was a small fanatical group within Islam. We need to stop demonizing the whole of the Islamic world because of the actions of Islamic radicals.”

Osama bin Ladin does not represent all of Islam any more than the Rev. Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., is a spokesman for all of Christendom. Let us hope that we will not be judged abroad by one fanatic and his small flock deciding it was their godly duty to burn the Koran.

There is a lot of ugly noise these days, and the fanatics are usually the loudest. We need to tune our ears, open our eyes and hearts, educate our minds, learn to discriminate between fact and propaganda. So much information is available to us, if we will only do our homework.

On the issue of the New York city mosque, we might want to read about the sponsoring Cordoba Institute and its commitment to peaceful worship and harmonious interfaith relationships. We might want to review a lesson from the 1940s, when fear and paranoia caused this nation to imprison over 110,000 Japanese Americans (over 62 percent being citizens of this nation), stripping them of civil rights and property. (Ironically, all U.S. spies convicted during World War II were Caucasian.) An official apology was issued by our government in 1988. We learn slowly. And how easily we forget.

I agree with David Epps on one point: We can not — and should not — forget the terrible tragedy of 9/11. There are too many lessons to be learned from that terrible tragedy.

Another point that seems to get lost in this controversy: Whether or not we call ourselves Christians, we have a responsibility to support our nation’s constitution and guard the rights of fellow citizens. The United States Constitution promises freedom of religion. If we go back on that promise, we will indeed be lost.

Sara DeLuca

Peachtree City, Ga.



Ms. DeLucas article really got to me, and forced me into this reply. Man, do I hate being lectured to by someone that doesn't understand what they are talking about. This has to do with her diatribe on not being christian
and upholding the Constitution because you might not support the right to put a mosque at ground zero in New York.

Her article opened with, and made it clear she detested Fox New, Right Wingers, and lumped them all as Islamophobiest for not undestanding our rights to "Freedom of Religion" in this country. How's that for open minded discussion?

Well, this mosque situation in New York is not about freedom of religion
...duh. Nobody is questioning the followers of Islam the right to
practice their faith in this country. It's all about location, location, locatiion. Would any one feel comfortable if they want to the Arizona
Memorial in Pearl Habor to watch the raising of the Japaneese flag? No one
questions the right for the Japaneese to have a flag, it's just that everything has it's place. I would even suggest we get along fairly well with the Japaneese now. After all, we allowed them to take over the automobile business in this country, didn't we? It is just that some issues need to be respected, especially, if your doing them, as you say, in the name of religion.

Another good example is, and speaks to the general concept of confusion: Most everyone understood and excepted the fact that our President at the time, William Jefferson Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. His impeachment wasn't about that, although that's what all the press was toting at the time. It was about the matter of him, as President, lying under oath. It's called Purjury, and of all people to uphold that oath, above all others, it shoud have been the President. He swore to do that. My point is, we tend to mix one with the other and get lock brained on our issues as we see them. I think this is the case here.

This mosques issue is not about the religion, but the location...simple. I see a need for Ms. DeLucas to be a little more understanding of the real issue, and not a foced fed concept of what she wants it to be.

There, now I hope I can go back to being a christian, and upholder of the
Constituion again.

Roger Begin,
Peachtree City


I didn't see any thing about Fox News!

On the subject of the New York Mosque, I think you forget that if we can stop a church from being built in one place legally, then we can stop one from being built anywhere! a quarter mile or more away in a city is a long way. There is a strip-tease joint and a gambling place across the street from the Towers, but they are probably owned by Christians!

You are not an upholder of the Constitution! Would that have been before the Constitution was changed outlawing slavery or when women were allowed to vote? Narrowness and opinion!

So David's Mom is posting as Courthhouserules these days?

The same guaranteed freedoms that allow the Mosque also allow for dissenting viewpoints. The attempts to have the building reclassified were entirely American -- using legal processes. Should you be truly interested in the very intolerance you speak of, read up on the curious case of Molly Norris, an American cartoonist based in Seattle now in hiding at the behest of the FBI due to daring to draw Mohammed.

Using your reasoning, if Muslims can force one American into hiding, then they can force all Americans into hiding. You can have your broad brush back now.

Observerofu's picture

Ms. DeLucas obvious disdain for Conservative views where well displayed. So an open minded discussion about her subject would not only prove to be a waste of time it would also fall into the category of fighting an ideology of

She neither understand nor comprehends the true reason for the opposition of the Park 51 location. If her arguments held a shred of truth then wouldn't it also necessarily follow that Mosques Nationwide would have "Conservative" radicals Islamophobiest outside their doors? Of course they would, but since her vapid arguments hold little merit she proves an old axiom.

Better to keep silent than be thought a fool, then open it and remove all doubt.

Ms. DeLucas has essentially removed all doubt.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Down boys. I always find rabid attacks by fundamental Christians so amusing. Yours is a love and faith that truly passeth all understanding. Before you demonize over 20% of the world's population you might like to reflect on your Lord's lessons regarding tolerance and generosity of spirit. One more thing: If you don't get the connection between the right to build a mosque on private property - wherever that might be located - and the concept of religious freedom in this country, you need to do some serious study.

Cyclist's picture

I'm curious. Given that the French have also embraced the same concept of relgious freedom give us some suggestions on how they should handle the growing Islamist call for Sharia Law?

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

amen frogeta!

ctkcec's picture

If you will re-read the article, I believe that you will find I took no position on the mosque in that column. The article was about the sentiments of the young woman who thought Americans should "get over 9/11." I am fairly used to people claiming that I said something that I did not but, in this case, you assumed a whole series of "facts not in evidence."

David Epps

I suggest you go to and read this article written by a Constitutional scholar.Completely supported by facts, the author's ponts are:
1. Islam is not a religion.
2. Rights come from God alone from the Declarationof Independence
3. Muslims fo not have the right to divest us ofour Rights
4. The purpose of civil government is to secure the rights God gave us.

For every right God gave us, the Muslims take away,especially the right to a fair trial.

"The First Amendment doesn’t grant any rights to anybody! All it does is prohibit CONGRESS from making laws about religion, speech, the press, or assembly!"

So Muslims do not have a “First Amendment right” to build mosques, proselytize, and implement shariah here. "

NUK_1's picture

Isn't there a public bathroom you can practice your "wide stance?"

Your points are ignorant and pathetic. On one hand you seemingly agree with:

"The First Amendment doesn’t grant any rights to anybody! All it does is prohibit CONGRESS from making laws about religion, speech, the press, or assembly!" don't think Muslims should be allowed to build mosques? Or proselytize? Just what does "assembly" mean to you, ignorant fundie? Oh, that's right.....freedom for me and not for thee.

Your interpretation of the Constitution is thankfully not been shared by most Americans, including the people who wrote it and those who have followed since then. For that, I say Thank God.

Your response is a typical ad homineum response. My comments, and identified as such, were from an editorial at Canadian Free Press writtten by a Constitutional scholar.Some comments were in quotes to show they were made by someone else.I doubt most Americans are knowledgeable about the Constitution.Thank God we have a federal law that public schools must have a program on the Constitution on 17 Sept. every year.

NUK_1's picture

"Publius Huldah?" Yeah, OK. I guess that's good enough for a kook site. No verifiable credentials at all and just a constant stream of blather. That's a real winner for a "Constitutional scholar."

You are right that a lot of Americans don't have a solid understanding of the Constitution, but they are not going to get from "Publius" heavily-distorted view.

hutch866's picture

Islam is not a religion? A constitutional scholar decides this? 2. Rights come from God alone from the Declarationof Independence. I thought Jefferson wrote the D o I. I looked and didn't see God's signature. I read her paper, looked like a bunch of hooey to me, and I saw no supporting facts, just opinion. by this reasoning, I guess the atheists have no rights here in the states either. If this is your argument, you better go do more research.

I yam what I yam

Cyclist's picture

I seen this yesterday in the Jerusalem Post that "W" would, as a means of moving the peace talks forward in 2008, bring 100,000 Palestinians to the US to settle. That would have been most interesting if word of that would have leaked out during negotiations.

And guess what, according to former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, there is no difference between Bush '43 and President Obama regarding Isreal. So maybe this could still be a bargaining chip.

Any thoughts?

<a href=""><strong>Jerusalem Post</strong></a>

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

I would rather have the Mexicans or Puerto Ricans than Palestinians!

Mexicans can work hard, Puerto Ricans have beautiful colors on their houses, but Palestinians let Jordan and Israel take their country away! Most Palestinians live off donations from UN and other charitable causes. I don't even think they make tents nor fish anymore.

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