Wednesday, September 12, 2012

God Is On Your Side

Today we have an interesting exercise in compare and contrast. On one hand, a bunch of fervently religious people physically attack a symbol of a country from which a citizen created a movie they find patently offensive, killing the US ambassador and other diplomatic staff. On the other, we have a bunch of fervently religious people who want to impose their will on everyone and put (keep?) the flag and God in schools and every public and national ceremony.

The protesters on the wall then raised on the flagpole a black flag with a Muslim declaration of faith, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet.” The flag, similar to the banner used by al-Qaida, is commonly used by ultraconservatives around the region.

"We as a Nation will stand up and join together and fight back to anyone who tries to remove it! If you live in the USA from another country respect our land, our Flag and our God. Please use the freedom of this great Nation and Respect the American way, by bowing your head if you do not agree with our ways."

The crowd chanted, “Islamic, Islamic. The right of our prophet will not die.” Some shouted, “We are all Osama,” referring to al-Qaida leader bin Laden.

"Atheists are 2% of population. Muslims are 2% of population. Majority rules. History rules. Tell the 4% to look the other way if they don't want to see the flag or hear God's name."

A group of women in black veils and robes that left only their eyes exposed chanted, “Worshippers of the Cross, leave the Prophet Muhammad alone.”

"The United States of America originated as a CHRISTIAN nation and a nation of FREEDOM, therefore those that want to keep GOD and our American flag at their public places and ceremonies should have the right to do so!"

All actions and behavior are justifiable if you have God on your side.

1 comment:

James Madison said...

There are definite parallels between fundamentalists, Muslim and Christian.

But, today I think we should also think about America's secular Constitution, our own fundamental law.

The Constitution gives the power to declare war to the Congress, and the President executes the war. The Congressional War Power was meant as a way for representatives of the American people to debate the national interest of wars, and also has served to rally the public to support wars.

President Obama went to war in Libya without the consent, or even debate, within Congress. Congress, while not granting the President a declaration of war, also did little to condemn him for usurping their power. Politically, Obama took advantage of the people's low opinion of the current Congress to violate the fundamental law of our own country.

We are now looking at potential wars with both Syria (another civil war) and Iran (a potentially nuclear power; Israel certainly is and will likely fight). There may be good reasons for wars against (or within) either Syria or Iran, as there were good reasons for war against Libya's Gaddhafi.

But war is a messy thing, with unintended consequences. Might the Constitution, fundamentalist though it may be, perhaps be wise in calling for a wider debate before committing to war? Or is this President correct in declaring himself the wisest of all, and correct in grabbing the war power for himself and his successors?

On 9/11/12, events placed two events before the US people that ask whether we still believe in fundamental American law.

Should the President have the power to declare war, as he did in Libya?

Should the President have the unlimited power to indefinitely detain, assassinate, torture, and indemnify torture, as his actions at home, at Gitmo-limbo, and abroad suggest?

Our fundamental law says he should not.