In Kennesaw, a direct affront to American values and liberty

First-Amendment-Religious-Freedom-610x400Your fear and bigotry is a damn poor excuse for denying somebody else the basic freedoms that are guaranteed in the Constitution. It’s cowardly. It’s illegal. And it contradicts everything that this country is supposed to hold dear.

But that’s what happened this week in Kennesaw, where the City Council voted to deny a Muslim group the right to lease space in a local strip mall to gather and pray.

Kennesaw officials tried to disguise the true nature of that vote. Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, for example, tried to claim that the city has an ironclad policy against allowing church groups to operate out of retail centers. But as the Marietta Daily Journal reports, the mayor has a conveniently short memory. As recently as July, the council voted unanimously to allow a Pentecostal church to hold services in a retail space much like that proposed for the Muslim center. In fact, zoning regulations for the site approved for the Pentecostal church are considerably more strict than those for the retail space sought by the Muslim group.

Mathews and others also brought up alleged parking concerns, but after prayer-center representatives negotiated parking limitations with city staff, the city council still voted against allowing the prayer center to proceed.

Last month, in a packed public hearing on the proposal, critics were often blunt about their reason for opposing the center, warning for example that allowing an Islamic prayer center in Kennesaw would “endanger our freedom.” Another argued that an Islamic center would undermine “the values and the merits of a community.”

“I am first a Christian and then an American citizen,” one woman told the council. “As a Christian I am to put no other God before my Lord, and I am also to love my neighbor. If you know me, then you know that I do my best to do those things … but I also have the right to protect myself. This project has to do with Sharia law.”

Outside the City Council meeting Monday night, a group of protesters marched with signs warning of Sharia coming to America and a potential Islamic takeover of the country. Nationwide, the decision was greeted with glee by anti-Muslim bigots (here and here, among others).

People have every right to hold and express those opinions about the Islamic faith, such as they are. However, they do not have the right to use government as a means to restrict that faith, even if it’s a faith that they fear and dislike.  Freedom is not the willingness to let others pray and think and speak, but only as long as they conform to your own beliefs.

Freedom — the real thing, not the easy rhetoric about it — is dangerous. In fact, the only thing more dangerous than freedom is the absence of freedom. And for the moment, that’s what’s going on in Kennesaw.

Reader Comments 0

1083 comments
Wallace Torbert
Wallace Torbert

How could Shria Law be instituted?  Dumb Republicans.  Dumber than a sack of hammers, especially in Gawga.

Wallace Torbert
Wallace Torbert

Violation of the First Amendment.  Heck, I don't want sanke handlers near me either or crazy Waco style, sex maniacs near me either.

Joel Edge
Joel Edge

I really can't take your outrage seriously. I've read a lot of your opinion and being a champion of freedom doesn't fit a Democrat big-government supporter like you. 

Peachs
Peachs

One of the things “Christians” have managed is to somehow be the victims in all this. They have put real Christians in debates that the church has no business being in. They are loud and proud, and television personalities, power brokers, think tanks with low IQs telling the rest of us academics is the devil’s workshop, and so on. So they lead but you are not allowed to bring any facts or even think or you are enemies not only to the church but now you are an enemy to the country. They have turned presidential debates into wrestling arenas where the red meat flies like it was a butcher shop, and all this uncivil behavior is done in the name of God and now country. Big talkers who physically challenge the world to dare say they are wrong. Well you are wrong, and idiots to boot.

Peachs
Peachs

There is a litmus test on being a Christian and your political belief becomes a part of that test. Especially in the south we have confused the use of both and made them one.

Bruno2
Bruno2

Tuna: Here's where I stand on this notion of meaningfulness: I make no connection between our existence and meaningfulness because IMO, that *presupposes* a directive intelligence that either does not exist or has not been observed.

I still think that you are creating a false dichotomy here.  The undeniable intelligence of the Universe doesn't require a Creator or other directive entity.  The intelligence can be inherent to the material itself, even if we can't explain it in terms of atomic physics.  

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@Bruno2 

Woah!

...the material itself. ..... intelligence of the universe.   Wow. 

So, what's more likely, that this "material" self-created and gave us itself or that God created it and let us know? 

Maybe then you could tell us which parts of the universe, besides we, are intelligent? 

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Yes_Jesus_Can @Bruno2 I can understand why many people are attracted to the idea of a Creator, because it so neatly explains everything.  The other way, which is to keep an open mind, provides far less security emotionally, but I think is more honest intellectually.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Bruno2 

"Since you're a computer guy, maybe you can understand this:  At the deepest level, all computer programs contain a series of 1s and 0s."

Bruno, first of all, I respect your argument and agree with much of it. And acknowledge that we're in blue-sky county here.  But your argument that the order of 1s and 0s can be meaningful or not, presupposes an objective view of "meaningfulness," which is subjective.  What seems meaningful, may not be, and vice versa.

Also, your argument carries a whiff of the anthropomorphic fallacy, or am I mistaken?

And, as long as we're having fun here, do you feel the universe requires an observer?

Thanks for the discussion!

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Bruno2 "I still think that you are creating a false dichotomy here."


I can respect that.  Could you elaborate on your position, please?


"The undeniable intelligence of the Universe doesn't require a Creator or other directive entity."


I think you're being a bit pedantic when you refer to this "intelligence" as somehow being "undeniable."  You might not think it so, but another observer certainly *could* have a principled position that rejects and denies your notion of undeniability.


"The intelligence can be inherent to the material itself, even if we can't explain it in terms of atomic physics."


This is the part that I'd especially like for you to elucidate upon, please.  

td1234
td1234

First we have Zimmerman, then Brown and now this NYC incident and the progressives on this blog are 0 for 3 in with juries and Grand juries in this nation. 


Maybe it is the progressives that do not understand the law? 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 we understand it - we just wish the rest of you would follow it, even when inconvenient. instead, you b-t-h and moan about the media and the government - except when they're talking about killing someone. 

Ghost Buster
Ghost Buster

@td1234 Or maybe, td, there is (i) the law, as it is applied to white people, and (ii) the law, as it is applied to black people.  

A corollary is: (i) there is respect, as it has been accorded to white Presidents, and (ii) there is respect, as it has been accorded to the current black President.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 Emmet Till didn't understand the law, and died for it.


Was his death justifiable and right?


RedTabby MeowMix
RedTabby MeowMix

@td1234 @Tuna Meowt He was a young black teenager that was beaten to death for whistling at a white girl in the 50s


Although I did not know it was strictly against the law for a black person to whistle at a white person, apparently that was the case. it was horrific

moonbat_betty
moonbat_betty

I would say if someone is resisting arrest and did not have a weapon, a tazer would be a better option, but that could possibly kill someone as well.


A gun that could snare someone in a net would be pretty cool. You just net them and then throw them in the back of the car.

gotalife
gotalife

It is sickening and disgusting. Another dark day for America.

Peachs
Peachs

Religion and government have no common ground, or shouldn’t.Politics has totally destroyed the church as we know it in our lifetime.From there it has destroyed our families, our communities, and on into our schools where it waters down and denies the truth of education, rewriting and blocking information.It takes intelligence out of the equation and substitutes it with populous rhetoric.If logic and intelligence does not lead this country we are no better off than the rest of the world we see, ourselves, as superior to.In fact in many cases we are worse off. But in the direction we have chosen we can’t see this or it is denied to us in information we receive.

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@Peachs 

Politics has destroyed the church? 

Peachs!  That has happened, more so in communist and totalitarian regimes where religion has been outlawed.  Ironically because the dictators can't have any other belief system that allows human dignity to flourish as Christianity encourages. 

Politics, I agree, can be destructive.  The answer to that?  A strong and vibrant faith in God! 

Peachs
Peachs

@Yes_Jesus_Can @Peachs 

All you have done is outlaw everybody else and kept the church, what is the difference, and I might add what you call a church is not a church but a political gathering.

gotalife
gotalife

Jesus is a laid off carpenter so now we would be a good time for him to save humanity.


Of course government would crucify him again but comes with being the Savior .

Wallace Torbert
Wallace Torbert

@gotalife The Jews  had Jesus killed goofy. The Romans just complied to keep the peace.  Remember, the Jews chose a thief over Jesus to be pardoned.   Let me guess Rush Limbaugh church?

gotalife
gotalife

All over selling single cigarretes.


A American spring moment.

td1234
td1234

@gotalife It is the Democrat way to stop people from not paying their taxes. 

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@td1234 @gotalife If that guy bought those cigarettes...he already paid the taxes.  So he was selling what amounts to "used" goods and no taxes are owed.  If I sell you my car neither of us owes taxes on that sale.

td1234
td1234

@Doggone_GA @td1234 @gotalife NY law states if you take a pack and then resell them as individuals you have to pay taxes again. 


Talk to NY about it not me. 

td1234
td1234

@gotalife @Doggone_GA @td1234 He had been arrested 31 times for not paying his taxes. 


Get rid of government so that we do not have taxes and then the "harassment" will stop.

td1234
td1234

The guy killed in NYC by police had been arrested 31 times and was resisting arrest and it is the police fault. 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 he was killed by a police officer administering a choke hold - which is against police guidelines (for this very reason apparently). he wasn't being violent in the interaction with police and the "offense" he was supposedly committing was not a violent one . . . so yeah, given the totality of the circumstances it was the police officer's fault and he should be tried. but he's a police office, so he won't be. nothing new here, eh?

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 So if you have a prior arrest on your record, any future misadventure with the police is automatically and totally your fault, huh?


td1234
td1234

@SimpleTruths @td1234 What is so hard about stop resiting arrest is so hard to understand? 


You are 0 for 3 in your interpretation of the law. 

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@consumedconsumer @td1234 

So the police officer was "administering" a choke hold and shot him execution style, eh? 

You'll pardon me, if I doubt the veracity of your notion.