We’re Threatening Our Own Way of Living

"Faiths" is not to be used interchangeably with "terrorists," no matter how convenient it is to the opposition's argument.

I hate guns. Hate’em. Hunting rifles are one thing, but handguns? Assault rifles!? How did we not renew the ban on assault weapons a few years back? I say let’s do away with all guns and when it comes to recreation, well, many hunters have said they prefer bows over guns anyway. So, sorry Second Amendment.

Wait. The right to bear arms is a legitimate part of the Bill of Rights. Liberal as I am, I happen to like the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That said, please be more careful with your guns.

It’s easy contradicting oneself with matters regarding the U.S. Constitution. Take the protests in Manhattan this weekend. Some people think Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to have their recreation center nearby Ground Zero. Some say it’s insulting to the families of those who died on 9/11, insulting to those who survived it, adjusted their lives because of it, tried for years to find normalcy. Maybe.

Said protest was as American as it gets. Citizens exercised their rights of free speech and assembly to protest freedom of religion. They fought the First Amendment with the First Amendment, and they did so passionately. 9/11, as Glenn Beck so often points out, brought out the best in Americans. Nearly a decade later, it sometimes brings out the worst in us. We’re an emotional country. Proud, but emotional.

I understand both sides of this debate. Most people do. I’m not saying I love the location of this proposed Muslim recreation center, which many have decided to call a mosque because it makes the story more salacious and fits cozier in newspaper headlines. What makes me uncomfortable is 9/11 has reasonable Americans willfully disregarding the First Amendment. The terrorists will never change our way of living. I’d say the moment we start telling certain religions where they can and can’t worship, no less build a gym, our way of living has changed.

This is something we would’ve allowed prior to 9/11 without batting an eye. Admit it. If 9/11 never happened, we’d never know about this proposed Muslim recreation center. Instead, it’s one of the loudest debates in the country. I would guess a majority of the country opposes the center. But guess what? Rights weren’t created to defend the majority. If you love America, that’s just one thing you should be grateful for everyday.

I think, for the opposition, there’s a legitimate fear that if the Muslim recreation center goes up, it means the terrorists have won. (When I say “terrorists”, I mean Muslims, because those in opposition seem to believe they are one and the same.) To me, it’s making a huge statement about our freedom and acceptance of different people and religions. I can’t imagine anything more demoralizing to those who tried to change our way of living. To those who would view erecting the Muslim recreation center as a defeat, you’ve completely lost touch with what our country is about.

But, hey, that’s your right.

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