Speak Out!

August 17, 2010

This posting is based on two convictions:

  1. What we believe and experience spiritually should be reflected in political actions.
  2. That gay people should defend the rights of all oppressed people.

I have recently learned of opposition to a mosque two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center. Check the facts on this.

The following is my email to President Obama – with similar emails sent to my senators and congressman:

As a United States Citizen and registered voter, I ask you to speak out in support of the mosque and community center proposed for downtown Manhattan. The center, conceived by a Muslim leader known for his interfaith work with the Bush Administration after 9/11 and founded with the mission of spreading religious understanding and tolerance, will provide a swimming pool, auditorium, restaurants, and other spaces open to the community, and is to be built on the site of a former Burlington Coat Factory.

Those fighting against the center – including Sarah Palin, New York Republican Rep. Peter King, and Newt Gingrich – have cloaked themselves in the banner of patriotism. But there is nothing patriotic about blocking the right to religious freedom. As New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has said, “The ability to practice your religion was one of the real reasons America was founded.”

Please remind your Republican colleagues in the Federal government that religious liberty is enshrined in the Constitution, which they have sworn to uphold. And please echo the words of Thomas Jefferson: “Those who would deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves and will not long retain it.”

I would appreciate hearing any statements you make on this.

I encourage you, my readers, to send similar messages to your elected representatives.

2 Responses to “Speak Out!”

  1. John said


    Most of your founding fathers were agnostic if not completely atheist. I think they would be disappointed that religion continued to play such an important part of your country’s public life.


  2. Don Simms said

    Sunfire, so glad to have your material to read! It piques(sp?) my thinking on the subject, and encourages me to stay in the solution, rather than the problem. I prefer to try to stay in that place today, and keep my mind there. One thought that came to me was most all Americans hold or have held an ethnicity, faith, religion, race or belief system, or even a last name that belonged to the “enemy”(or perceived enemy). We lose site of that, I think. Next that comes to mind is the difference between nationalism and patriotism. Nationalism being closely connected to forms of fascism, and blind and ignorant bonds to the country’s name only. Not our ideals or our origins as a safe haven for people. Patriotism, from my understanding, being more of a spiritual view and outlook about our home turf, that can cross all political lines. Perhaps these vestiges of U.S. life, and this vocabulary are better left to sink into oblivion. They do little to feed or give substance to our spiritual life, and only confuse us as we work to free ourselves from the confines of Western thought. However, these details of American life serve to guide my newer way of thinking, and reinforce my happiness with individuals like New York City’s mayor. The current mayor seems to have an open and evolved outlook to me. However, I have been mistaken(plenty) before. I so enjoy being connected to you. Thank you for your insights. Literally a gust of fresh air to those of us outside Easton Mountain tonight! Thanks for sending it to us! always, Don

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