Beliefnet
Lynn v. Sekulow

Jay,

You explained your legal argument (I still don’t believe it’s
a winning one), but you fail to address the broader issue. That is, why can’t
Americans be tolerant enough to respect the rights of all, whether they agree with them
or not?

So far, when it comes to the so-called “Mosque at Ground
Zero,” we have failed to show any tolerance.  And that’s a shame, particularly because, as Allen G. Breed
wrote for the Associated Press, “the Founding Fathers made sure the concept of
tolerance was woven into the very fabric of the young American republic.”

George Washington promised that we will have a government “which
to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” Yet Muslim
Americans have been made to feel like second-class citizens and have been
attacked simply for wanting to practice their faith, which I mentioned on Al
Jazeera
last week.

I can understand why this is such a sensitive and difficult
situation for some, but there is no justification for the way many Americans
have reacted to this Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan.

I’d like to see Americans come together and respect people from
all backgrounds.  I’ll leave you with a
thought from the Rev. Monty Knight, president of American’s United’s
Charleston, S.C. Chapter, who contributed an op-ed to the Post and Courier yesterday.

“My life has been enriched by relationships with people
different from myself, religiously or otherwise – enough, in fact, for me to conclude
that the surest way to rob any of us of our humanity is to pay too much
attention to how we have been labeled,” he said. “The First Amendment reflects
the highest and noblest vision of our great nation. And for many of us, at
least, that means we are most Christian when we understand, accept and respect
those who aren’t.”

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