Here in a semirural area of Southern California a new community center/mosque is being built. IN that mostly undeveloped area the mosque promoters have chosen to build right at the property line of a Christian church of an evangelizing sect; sorry, TWO churches of similar sects; this in an area with more open land than built up land!
In response, while reasonable people sat and wrung their hands, a bunch of nut jobs decided to protest, and made signs carrying slogans with less than nothing to redeem them in the eyes of any just God; however this does not automatically make the mosque a good idea, or even nice; here follows my comments to the local newspaper, slightly expanded.
Up front I have to say that the choice of signs and slogans showed the empty hearts of the individuals involved – to not involve the Pastor and accept limits on rhetoric shows a bigoted soul, at least to my point of view.
However! This is another example of how the media asks all the wrong questions; generally of the wrong people as well!
Why would anyone think that members of an evangelizing (they call it Da’wa) religion deciding to put a large community center/house of worship cheek-by-jowl with the house of worship of another, irreconcilable evangelizing religion are NOT being provocative and bigoted in their choice; when this happens in a place as open and free from urban crowding as Temecula the answer become more than obvious.
But because of the inherent racism PC fascism we are made to feel that if we object in any way to the actions of other cultures, no matter how in your face or against our common laws and common values (Western I mean, not just Christian) that we are being racist ourselves.
But is it not racism to act as though anyone not from the West is just incapable of “behaving” in a civilized fashion; is it not racism to treat all non-Westerners like permanent children, to be coddled and cajoled, but not taught to know better?
Humans are Humans everywhere, genetics has little to do with what a person can become in life; of far more importance is culture, more than parenting, because parenting techniques are inseparable from local culture.
The US has been proof that it matters less where your father or grandfather came from than how you present yourself to the world, and how color blind the local culture is. We pretend that a “minority” is an inseparable part of his/her culture, and allow that culture to damn individuals to private hells rather than offend against a benighted practice.
Culturalism is NOT Racism; some cultures sacrifice the individual for the “collective good”, rarely fulfilling the promise. Other cultures sacrifice in order to maximize the potential, and minimize the anguishes, of the individual.
We call the latter cultures Western, since for the most part they are all part of a chain beginning with the Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Celts and Goths; but the club is not an racially exclusive one, Japan, Israel and South Korea are members in full; India may well be there soon as well.
There is law, based in the Constitution that forbids the government to impose a “substantial burden” on members of a religion. Is not allowing an aggressively proselytizing religious group to build a house of worship right next to another evangelizing faith’s established church imposing a HUGE burden on the original place of worship?
Either both of the groups will have to moderate their activities to avoid offending and provoking the other, or one will, or neither will. The end result is a substantial burden on the original churches, which did not choose the situation. On the contrary, they built in fairly open areas; free from the pressure to build projects one on top of the other.