Monday, August 23, 2010

Non-Christian Places of Worship

The world has changed since I was little. I grew up in the U.S. South, in various smallish towns. I don't remember seeing Jewish centers or even very many Catholic churches. Even Lutherans were a minority. In most towns where I lived, until I moved to Newberry, SC for college, we had one Lutheran church.

We've had many decades of interesting immigration patterns. We've opened our doors to all sorts of refugees fleeing all sorts of horror. Those people want to worship in buildings that they can call their own. And now, some of them are acquiring enough wealth to do so.

Let them. If they break laws, we can deal with that then. Obviously, I wouldn't advocate allowing a Muslim group to stone a woman in a U.S. city. Those beliefs don't square with our laws. But I have to believe that most religious groups aren't violating our laws. When they do, our government comes after them.

We like to say we're a country based on religious freedom, on escaping the fear of religious persecution. Let's prove it.

It's easy for me, I realize. I live in a place of amazing religious diversity. We even have several Hindu temples. Nothing bad has happened. Those September 11 terrorists, some of whom trained down here, didn't choose our location because we have great mosques. They trained down here because we have lots of places that will train you to fly and not ask too many questions--well, once that would have been true. To my knowledge, those terrorists never attended a mosque. They went to bars so that they would fit in and not attract attention. But never a mosque.

Maybe we should shut down the bars and open more places of worship . . .

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