Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tennessee Puts The Hate On-AGAIN

The anti-Muslim haters crawled out from under their rocks to oppose the Rutherford County mosque at a county commission meeting last week. Some of the statements that were made are shocking in their ignorance and intolerance. For example:
"Everybody knows they are trying to kill us," Karen Harrell said. "People are really concerned about this. Somebody has to stand up and take this country back."

”Take this country back” being code for “I’m a tea bagging idiot who just parrots whatever words Glenn Beck spews.” Isn't it funny how people who don’t like government interference in anyone’s business are suddenly demanding the Rutherford County Commission stop a private group from building a house of worship on land they own?

Just as we saw when Lee Beaman donated his Antioch property to the homeless, these folks seem to live in a world of double standards. If a megachurch wanted to build on that land and people objected it would be “oh my God Christianity is under attack” all over again.

Even worse were the statements expressed by supposed people of faith. Here’s one:

"We have a duty to investigate anyone under the banner of Islam," Allen Jackson, pastor of World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, said during Thursday's meeting.

This from someone professing to lead a group with the words “world outreach” in its title? Cognitive dissonance much?

Here’s another one:

But Michael O'Bannon, senior minister at First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, said questioning the new mosque is not religious intolerance.

"It is a genuine concern based on the fact that, while we believe and practice freedom of religion, experience has taught us that a segment of Muslims are very hostile toward anyone who is not a Muslim.

"Their Quran is very explicit about how they should treat infidels," he said.

I’m guessing this fellow hasn’t spent too much time reading his Bible, especially the Old Testament. And he certainly hasn’t spent much time reading his own United Methodist literature, since the United Methodists are one of the more tolerant denominations out there. I guess he missed the 2005 meeting between Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and a group of UMC bishops. So to Michael O'Bannon who says “a segment of Muslims are very hostile toward anyone who is not a Muslim,” I suggest you remove the log from your own eye.

But the best comments came from a self-described “tea party Democrat” named George Erdel running for Bart Gordon’s seat. First of all, let me say there is no such thing as a “tea party Democrat.” There is not one thing about the tea party that represents the Democratic Party. This person is clearly delusional. He said:

"Islam is a system of government. Islam is a system of justice. We've got people here who remember Sept. 11, 2001. These people are scared.

"I'm afraid we'll have a training facility in Rutherford County."

Yes, please roll that tape of the guys in their pajamas on the monkey bars, we haven’t seen that one enough. What an idiot.

Fortunately, a real Democrat has spoken up. U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran Ben Leming, also running for Bart Gordon’s seat, writes on his website:

 “I see a lot of people quoting our Constitution these days, but only when it suits their agenda. You can’t have it both ways. I believe in the United States Constitution.  I have fought and will continue to fight to uphold every single right guaranteed by it. This includes the right to worship freely. Just because we may not agree with someone’s religious views does not mean we get to decide whether they can have a place of worship in the community. This is simply un-American,” said Leming.

The Rutherford County Commission approved a proposed site for a new Islamic mosque planned for Murfreesboro in May. One local leader in the community, Pastor Allen Jackson, said “We have a duty to investigate anyone under the banner of Islam.” He went on to mention American troops in his remarks.

“I completely repudiate those statements.  He does not get to speak for me or most other members of the military. I expect more from a man who should be teaching the message of tolerance, forgiveness, and love.” said Leming. "I support those leaders who voted to uphold our American values and rights. Doing the right thing, even if it is unpopular, takes courage."

I can’t tell you how embarassed I am by my fellow Tennesseans sometimes. I understand people are afraid and I get that scared people do stupid things, but haven’t we seen this movie like a thousand times before? Have we learned nothing from the way we treated Japanese and German Americans and immigrants during WWI and WWII? Come on people, cut the crap already.

I’m tired of living in Amygdala America. It’s time that we started drowning out the voices of hate once and for all. We need more Ben Lemings speaking out.