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Are We Missing The Point?
By Richard Lee King   

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I really hate to beat a dead horse, but I just read a 2 1/2 month old article that promped me to comment.


(An Islamic cultural center near “Ground Zero?”)
I really do hate to beat a dead horse but I really do think that a lot of people are missing the point. 
To explain, I’m behind on my reading. Today is November 19th and I’m just now getting to my Sports Illustrated magazine dated September 6th.   In it, there is an article titled “Mann Down” which discusses comments made by Carol Mann, “an LPGA star in the ‘60s and ‘70s and winner of 38 tournaments worldwide.” Her comments appeared on her “FACEBOOK” page and were in reference to and critical of: “the proposed construction of an Islamic cultural center near where the World Trade Center towers were located before the 9/ll attacks.” The article quoted her as saying “It’s too much of a flagrant demonstration of our own ‘tolerance’ out of control,”  
I’m afraid I have to agree with her. It’s like they are throwing it in our face. To allow the terrorists to construct their chosen place of worship just down the street from the symbol of their “greatest accomplishment” and a site that, to most Americans will forever be considered the most sacred of sacred grounds, would seem to dishonor not only the people of, many nationalities, who died as a result of this attack, but all of those who have supported our counterattack.
I’m not religious and I don’t see it as a religious issue. It’s an issue of symbolism, pure and simple. The propaganda that they will realize (and utilize in their “recruiting”) from this type of tolerance cannot be measured, nor overstated.
I’m still beating that same dead horse, but it seems to me that America is signing the death warrants to our own way of life. Rather than make the changes necessary to make our Constitution and Bill of Rights do what they were intended to do, we let the alarmists rule the roost. As Mann said, “The United States is a Christian country, founded on Christian principles and with an expectation of Christian behavior.” For years our court houses have had Christian religious symbols, as has our currency and our Pledge of Allegiance.   Most of us American’s grew up saying our Pledge of Allegiance each morning in our schools and it included the words “under God.” 
Trust me when I say that it’s not those of us who have no religion who are leading the fight to remove the references to God in all of the ways that Americans refer to it.   You can take that statement and make it mean whatever you want it to mean, but I’m not offended by seeing “In God we Trust” on my money and of all the thousands of times that I have said our Pledge of Allegiance, I have never once felt offended because it contained the words “under God.” BUT, for years we’ve let them “chip away” at our way of life and this is just another “chip” albeit a rather large one.
My father (rest his soul) served during WWII, my oldest brother, during the Korean conflict and my oldest son, during the first war in Iraq.  None of them were/are particularly religious, but they are/were all Americans, willing to defend our country at the risk of their own lives.  I don’t think any of them would have considered themselves as atheists, but they were not necessarily of a religious nature either.  Yet none of them were/are offended by references to God in our American way of life.  The point of all of this is that it’s not those of us who are not religious who are making the stink about American religion.  It’s those who practice a competing religion. 
Throughout recorded history, most of the wars have been fought over the religious beliefs taught to us by our mothers. That’s not to say that all of the combatants were religious, but the “straw that broke the camels back” and causes the war is most always in some way connected to religion.  I’m afraid that the “chip” or the load of “straw” contained in this Islamic cultural center just might be leading us to head down that wrong road again.
Copyright 2010 Richard Lee King


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