Park 51 ‘Mosque’ and Conditional Support of the Constitution

What is most disturbing about the Park51 ‘mosque’ issue is that the people who have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution are among those leading the charge to reject the very first protection the authors chose to enumerate. It is unlikely that the Founding Fathers codified freedom of speech and religion solely to protect people with whom the majority agrees. The point of the first amendment was to provide guidance for situations exactly like this one where the majority takes a position against an unpopular minority to deprive them of their rights.  Our leaders, rather than realizing the Founding Fathers provided ‘an app for that’ in the form of a clearly written First Amendment to help them craft a Constitutionally-valid response have chosen instead to bend to the will of the majority. If the majority is allowed to define exceptions to every protection guaranteed in the Constitution based on circumstances, then the document is of little or no value. This is what ‘shredding’ or ‘walking all over’ the Constitution actually looks like.
Besides the bigoted and/or cowardly display put on by any number of our elected leaders–including our own governor–throughout this contrived crisis, it is painfully obvious how little our politicians learn from experience. Once again a politically-created wedge issue is being used to divide the country for the short-term benefit of one party or the other. Fanned by a drama and ratings-driven media, we are doomed to be batted around from one context-free ridiculous brouhaha to another while unemployment soars, corruption thrives and America sinks ever more slowly into decline. Sadly, it is clear we can expect no leadership from our elected representatives at a time when a strong, clear defense of the principles on which this country was founded is needed like never before

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August 2010
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