The Founding Fathers believed in freedom of religion, and tolerance of all religions. The Constitution enshrines freedom of religion.
As such, anyone who tries to ban Islam as evil is anti-American.
As Greg Palast argues, if we ban mosques because some Muslims are murderers, we should also ban churches because Timothy McVeigh was a Christian.
Indeed, we should also ban synagogues because some Jews commit terrorism (see second bulleted paragraph).
Of course, anyone who sees their religion as the “good guys” and the other guy’s religion as “evil” is living in a cartoon.
As Christian writer and psychiatrist M. Scott Peck explained, there are different stages of spiritual maturity. Fundamentalism – whether it be Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Hindu fundamentalism – is an immature stage of development. Indeed, a a Christian fundamentalist who kills others in the name of religion is much more similar to a Muslim fundamentalist who kills other in the name of his religion than to a Christian who peacefully fights for justice and truth, helps the poor, or serves to bring hope to the downtrodden.
But there is another meaning to the Ground Zero controversy.
Nice Gesture … Now Can We End the Crusades?
The war on terror is largely a religious war.
As I pointed out in January:
Conservative Christians were the biggest backers of the Iraq war …
One of the top Pentagon officials involved in the Iraq war – General William Boykin – literally:
Sees the “war on terror” as a religious war between Judeo-Christian civilization and Satan, with Islam of course cast in the latter role.
Jeremy Scahill describes Boykin as:
A Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under Bush. Boykin was part of Donald Rumsfeld’s inner circle at the Pentagon where he was placed in charge of hunting “high-value targets.” Boykin was one of the key U.S. officials in establishing what critics alleged was death-squad-type activity in Iraq.
Boykin’s crusade is also important because one of his assigned jobs was:
Speeding up the flow of intelligence on terrorist leaders to combat teams in the field so that they can attack top-ranking terrorist leaders. It can easily be speculated that it is this urgency to obtain intelligence, and an uncompromising religious outlook backed by a [crusader] mentality, that has led to the lower echelons in the US military to adopt Saddam Hussein-like brutalities.
As Scahill notes:
What’s more, the center of this evangelical operation is at the huge US base at Bagram, one of the main sites used by the US military to torture and indefinitely detain prisoners.
The bottom line is that – while torture was ordered by the highest level Bush administration officials in order to create a false link between 9/11 and Iraq – it seems like many of those who enthusiastically rallied around torture looked at it, literally, as a religious crusade.
As I wrote on May 25th:
According to French President Chirac, Bush told him that the Iraq war was needed to bring on the apocalypse:
In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”
Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:
“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”…
There can be little doubt now that President Bush’s reason for launching the war in Iraq was, for him, fundamentally religious. He was driven by his belief that the attack on Saddam’s Iraq was the fulfilment of a Biblical prophesy in which he had been chosen to serve as the instrument of the Lord.
And British Prime Minister Tony Blair long-time mentor, advisor and confidante said:
“Tony’s Christian faith is part of him, down to his cotton socks. He believed strongly at the time, that intervention in Kosovo, Sierra Leone – Iraq too – was all part of the Christian battle; good should triumph over evil, making lives better.”
Mr Burton, who was often described as Mr Blair’s mentor, says that his religion gave him a “total belief in what’s right and what’s wrong”, leading him to see the so-called War on Terror as “a moral cause”…
Anti-war campaigners criticised remarks Mr Blair made in 2006, suggesting that the decision to go to war in Iraq would ultimately be judged by God.
Given that the Iraq war really was a crusade, the fact that the Pentagon is now saying that it may have to leave troops in Iraq for another decade shows that the crusade is still ongoing under Obama.
So if Obama wants to create better relations with the Islamic world, he might want to start by ending the Crusades.
And if Americans want to practice a little Christian charity, how about providing medical care to the heroes who pulled survivors out of the rubble on 9/11, and are now dying due to our neglect?