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Cannwin Rants Politically--Again

I was doing some catching up on the news yesterday and came across this article (well, came across is the wrong word... my news ticker never gives me anything of value like 'bomb kills 3,000 people and leaves crater the size of Australia' that would be to easy... no my news ticker tells me that Gyllenhall and Witherspoon have broken up, because that's really important. Surprised by actual news would be more appropriate wording.)

So evidently Switzerland has voted, overwhelmingly, to constitutionally ban minarets. Minarets being the spires used to call Muslims to prayer.

I'm blown away by this. It makes me pretty sad and grateful I live here in this country. I was particularly disgusted with this bit of quotation.

Backers said the growing Muslim population was straining the country "because Muslims don't just practice religion."

Oh, terribly sorry about that. I didn't know that actually living what you believe was wrong. I didn't realize that I was only supposed to go to church and nothing more. Heaven forbid. (note thick sarcasm)

How different is it then to ban temple spires?

The article goes on to say that there have been several attempts to ban the religious clothing of Muslims including headdresses and/or burqa's.

Alright, alright, I agree that the burqa is a bit dramatic but lets think about this from another angle for a moment. Imagine it this way... 'Women should have the freedom to wear whatever the heck they want so we're going to make sure they have that freedom. Therefore we're banning burqa's.'

How different from the Taliban is that? We don't beat them at least...

Academically I understand where this is coming from. It's backlash from a growing number of terrorist attacks and extremist behavior.

Emotionally I am terrified. What kind of justification is there for placing such bans on religion. Maybe I'm just taking for granted the fact that I live in the United States of America and have never, ever had a need to question my freedom of religion.

Emotionally I wonder what will this do to my country. It is a popular philosophy currently to see the U.S. Constitution as a living document, able to grow and change with the needs of our society. That's a bit scary to me. What happens when the argument arises that the founding fathers never could have foreseen the amount of religious extremism that is now occurring? Do we then begin to argue that a blanket freedom of religion is not what they exactly meant? That they intended for the freedoms to be for 'peaceful' religions? Who would we have to define 'peaceful'?

I see a trend in how Europe votes and how we, down the line, choose to vote ourselves. Did we not leave Europe in search of a better way of doing things?

Let us all hope and pray that the minaret, steeple, or spire is never constitutionally banned from this country. Let us all pray that we will forever have the freedom to "worship the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience."


Jennifer said…
Yeah, I was horrified when I read about that. I understand the fear that has prompted that, but oh, it's such a bad idea. Once you've started something like that, it's hard to get it to stop.
cannwin said…
Exactly what I was thinking... great minds think alike I guess. ;)
Claire Wessel said…
This country was founded by the religious extremists of their day. I think the bigger problem is that they are foreign and the Swiss people are making more of a statement that they want Switzerland to stay Swiss. Europe in general has a lot more regulation on the behavior of their people. For instance, you can go to jail in Germany if you homeschool your kids. In Sweden, you can't spank your children. It is much more acceptable there for the state to create laws to ensure homogenity in their populace. Here, our culture is founded on diversity, but the rest of the world has much more of a national identity they feel should be preserved. We are the same way, just our national identity is more about embracing other nationalities.
cannwin said…
So, claire, hoe do you feel about such a law?
Claire Wessel said…
I'm against laws against burqas and laws against minarets :) As far as Swiss homogenity, if they wanna keep it white, Christian and full of Ricola, they should change their immigration policies and not just force the immigrants to become different people or discriminate against their religious buildings.

I was thinking more about your comment about the temple spires and it occurs to me that all the temples I've read much on during the construction phase have had to deal with getting a zoning variance and things like that to allow the spire, often over the objections of neighbors. From what I heard, even our little church building here in town had to deal with some unhappy folks complaining about the spire. So, we don't have a nationwide ban, but we do have local ordinances that can regulate the height of the spire :)
cannwin said…
First of all, I love my little typo up there.... I meant 'how'

I find your "full of Ricola" bit humorous. Witty, dear, witty.

When I was thinking of the temple spires I thought of St. George, Utah where they have city ordinances regarding the height of the buildings around the temple. None are supposed to be taller than it. Interesting difference.

I know that the church had a lot of problems finding a site for a temple in New York. I'm pretty sure there was even some legal battles going on because of the walls they were coming up against.

I'm not sure what's worse. Blatant oppression of religion or subtle (not the word I was looking for but it's late and my brain is hurting) oppression. Which one is easier to fight?
Claire Wessel said…
I'm guessing the subtle kind might be easier to fight. I know the church had problems with the Newport Beach, CA temple, Boston, and Las Vegas. From what I recall, all were due to spire height (Newport Beach also took issue with night lighting). When you are talking city councils and variance applications, it just takes time, lawyers and cash. Outright oppression isn't really something lawyers and money can fix. If it is subtle, one could assume they don't want prejudicial actions to become public knowledge or feel that the actions are somehow unseemly. If it's an outright, voted-on sentiment, one would be fighting an uphill battle against public sentiment (seemingly widespread sentiment) which is a lot harder than greasing some wheels behind closed doors.

So, have you ever considered wearing a burqa to protest anti-Islamic sentiment?
cannwin said…
lol, I have to admit it has never crossed my mind. where on earth would you even find a burqa in the U.S.? I can imagine Ralexwin's face...

In reality though I'm not so brave when it comes to the big show. I'm actually chicken. I don't know if I've ever been on stage before and I dropped out of a college class once because I had to give a speech.

I'm a lot better now then I used to be (thanks to having to teach the women at church when we lived in Arizona-- that would be about 50 women, most older than me) but I would still rather hide behind my computer screen. :)

How about you?

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