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A Letter From A Reader on the 'Ground Zero Mosque'

Presented without comment with comments in the comment section:

Joel,

I'd like to help you put this whole arguement in a perspective you've never considered. All my life, I have admired the athletic, popular, totally successful guys who are so good at what they do, they don't feel that they have to constantly prove themselves. They are confident and secure in their own identity but they never take themselves too seriously.

That's an analogy of the United States population. We are a very benevolent society, having given more to provide food and shelter to the afflicted than all the other countries of the world combined. Who else defeats an enemy in war and then pays to rebuild their country? The US bears the torch of freedom for the rest of the world and we must be doing something right because everyone wants to come here.

Even the malcontents that scream from the rooftops about all that is wrong with our country never stop to thank God that they live in a country where they can shout obsenities and hide behind the internet to dispel their hate without being arrested as traitors.

As for the Muslims. They are a minority, are they not? In a way, that makes them guests in our house where we sweat and fought to build this country long before they got here. We extend our courtesy to them and grant them every right we've earned and initiated. We tolerate them, we tolerate their religion, but, as a virtuous and principled people, we will not tolerate bad behavior, nor should we.

No nation can survive without virtues and values. One of our most cherished values is the right to raise our children as we see fit. We love them, but when they do wrong, it is because we want them to blend into a diverse society that we teach them good behavior. The Muslims that want to build this mosque are exhibiting bad behavior, basically being rude. I mentioned before that minorities can be considered guests in our American 'house' and we will treat them as equals and defend their rights when they show good intent. The Muslims who insist on imposing their will on this country by trying to use our own constitution against us are, without a question, within their rights. However, they are exhibiting bad behavior in our house. As a guest in someone's house, wouldn't you respect their wishes? After all, part of democracy is 'majority rules' and every special interest group cannot be pleased all the time.

One more thing. If I lose a fight/contest/game, I'll be a good sport and gracious loser. But if the person that beat me insists on 'rubbing my nose in the dirt', I get riled. As the tolerant man I mentioned in the beginning, we have been polite but we're tired of being tolerant to people that behave badly and enjoy rubbing our face in the dirt.

Why is it always American that has to be tolerant? Why can't the minority be tolerant and respectful of the wishes of the majority, especially if they insist they want to blend with this majority? What is it about these Muslims that they can't be good guests in our house and let us be good hosts witout having to rub our faces in the dirt? We can be tolerant but allowing our faces to be rubbed in the dirt is just plain cowardice and weakness. We didn't get where we are by being weak.

As a last word, let me offer this comment. If I am a racist because I don't want my face rubbed in the dirt, then you are a traitor for not standing up for your country. Toleration is a good thing, but children have to be taught good behavior and these people must be 'persuaded' to behave as the good citizens they claim to be. Anyone that is OK with this mosque, I wouldn't want on my side in a fight because they have no problem laying down and giving up while their face gets rubbed in the dirt.

This whole arguement is not a legal one and not an arguement of toleration of diverse groups, it's all about pride of country and pride for self.

Jim Crawford
Louisville, Georgia

Comments

Anonymous said…
"We are a very benevolent society, having given more to provide food and shelter to the afflicted than all the other countries of the world combined. "

This quote is a helpful abstract of the letter as a whole. Firstly, it's not true; the United States ranks near the bottom in Global Development and Economic Cooperation, and in the middle of the pack (15 out of 22) for Prosperity, Human Development, and Education. But because Jim thinks it's true, he feels confident enough to base most of his argument on a falsity.

I kind of have to skip ahead, because the letter is just too stupid to contemplate in its entirety, but the following jumps out at me:

"I mentioned before that minorities can be considered guests in our American 'house' and we will treat them as equals and defend their rights when they show good intent. "

Um, no. What a colossal misunderstanding of this country, followed by:

"As the tolerant man..."

I think you meant "ignorant," there Jim.

"Why is it always American that has to be tolerant? Why can't the minority be tolerant and respectful of the wishes of the majority, especially if they insist they want to blend with this majority? What is it about these Muslims that they can't be good guests in our house and let us be good hosts witout having to rub our faces in the dirt?"

Hmmm. Jim, you realize that "these Muslims" are American citizens, right? I mean, you understand this, correct? They have all the same rights that you do - freedom of speech, of religion, freedom from government interference in their manner of worship? Argh.
Joel said…
I responded to Jim:

Hi Jim:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. A couple of very quick thoughts of my own: I don't think I've accused anybody of being "racist" in regard to the mosque controversy. You apparently believe I have. I think there are lots of reasons -- bad reasons, in my opinion -- that people are treating American Muslims with disrespect in this matter. Race might be one reason, but it's certainly not the whole of it, and perhaps not any of it for folks such as yourself.

That said, I very much disagree with your view of the role of "the minority" within society. American citizens are American citizens, period, with the full legal *and* moral claim on the rights of all other American citizens -- no matter their religion, creed or race. Asking minorities of whatever persuasion to accept a "lesser than" status in order to preserve the sensibilities of the majority strikes me as fundamentally undemocratic and un-American. Muslims are not "guests"; in many cases they're not even recent arrivals. There have been "Mohammedans" here since the founding.

Finally: You seem to believe that American Muslims are "the enemy." In truth, there's as much variety in Islam as there is in Christianity -- Baptists, after all, are different in critical respects from Episcopalians -- and more Muslims died on 9/11 as victims of the attack than as perpetrators. Most Muslims -- the vast majority -- are neither Al Qaeda, nor sympathizers. To lump them all into one evildoer pot is wrong -- and wrongheaded.

I defend my country. That means I defend its values -- including religious tolerance, and equal rights for minorities -- and the Constitution that enforces those values.

Thanks again for your correspondence.

Joel Mathis
Anonymous said…
Jim,
I think it is unwise to ever assume a motive on someone else's part. The entire country is assuming that the Muslims want to as you say, "rub out noses" in a wound. I do not doubt that the wound is still there or there would not be so much anger surrounding this issue. At the base of this conflict is our lack of understanding of our own pain that still surrounds the 9/11 attacks. But just because we feel that pain and anger, does not mean that that was the intention behind it. I ask you to look at this news clip and the information it provides, and ask yourself if it is possible that this reaction has been inflated by a media that seeks to polarize rather than bring peace to the citizens of this country.

<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11055122>click here</a>
Anonymous said…
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11055122

Trying again...

might need to copy and paste...
KhabaLox said…
I think the author's analogy of the USA as a bunch of jocks pretty much says it all.

"Guests?" "Misbehaving children?" The condescension and arrogance is amazing, though sadly not too surprising.
Anonymous said…
I for one, would feel the same about this regardless of who was involved. For example, if 19 strippers had hijacked planes and flown them into the Twin Towers, I'd be against anyone putting a new strip club at that location. Or if it had been 19 pizza delivery guys, I'd be against a new pizzeria there as well. Are we clear now?
Anonymous said…
He completely lost me when he misspelled "argument."
KhabaLox said…
"Are we clear now?"

Actually, not that you put it that way, I am opposed to Al Qaeda opening a training camp near Ground Zero.

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