I don't think that word means what you think it means...

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Generally, I don't discuss politics here, since there are so many other blogs doing a much better job than I can. There are a couple things in the US news lately, however, that have been bugging me.

First is the so-called "ground zero mosque" controversy. What a contrived story this is. The fact is that as long as they meet local and state zoning requirements, the government has no say in the building of their community center (and yes, it's a community center, not a mosque)*. Why? It's called the First Amendment of the Constitution of The United States of America:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
A large percentage of people opposed to this are conservatives. Does anyone else find it amusing that a group of people who frame themselves as "strict constructionists" when discussing constitutional issues, conveniently ignore the first amendment when someone wants to build a Muslim community center two blocks from ground zero?

The second thing bugging me ties to the first amendment as well. It is this, when someone disagrees with you, they are not abridging your first amendment rights. To claim your first amendment rights were violated when you quit your job over controversy brought about by your own words is BS.

The key words in the first amendment are 'Congress shall make no law...'. Unless a law was passed prohibiting you to speak your mind, nothing was violated. If the you are arrested for speaking your mind, I will be on the front lines with you, fighting for your constitutional rights. Until then? Please, just be quiet.

*This has nothing to do with whether or not you think it is in poor taste to build something Muslim near ground zero. I personally don't think it is. But then, I am not one to judge a group of a billion people based on the behavior of a small subset of them.

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