For the record...I'm opposed to Muslims [?] who hate Christians AND Christians [?] who hate Muslims. For that matter I'm also opposed to Atheists who hate Christians AND Christians [?] who hate Atheists. You can add to that the fact that I'm opposed to homosexuals who hate Christians AND Christians [?] who hate homosexuals. I'm even opposed to citizens who hate President Obama AND citizens who hate George Bush. You get the point I'm sure!!
Really the point to me is that too many people are known today as much for their hatred as they are a personally held belief system and it is the hatred that seems to be driving so many rather than any sane, sensible, good arguments for what they believe. So our society ends up being far more characterized by hatred rather than the differing beliefs held by its people.
Take as an example the proposed Mosque being built near the site of the 9-11 Terrorists tragedy. [Ground Zero no one need define.] I've read a few good and bad arguments for the construction of the Mosque. But I've read many arguments on both sides that are tainted with a degree of hatred that is, to me at least, unacceptable. I don't think I need to identify the hate filled ones. Why give them another opportunity to reveal their disgusting and non-useful negative emotion of hatred!!
I would rather give you an example of some fair and insightful arguments from BOTH sides. But I'm thinking you will find, as I did, that these are from totally unexpected sources. Both writers surprised me with their arguments but neither dishonored the whole event of 9-11 with venomous words or ideas or any vicious attitudes toward those who might disagree.
One is opposed to the Mosque being built. He is Abdul Rahman al-Rashid, the
left-leaning director of al-Arabiya TV and former editor of London's Arab daily,
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. Abdul Raham al-Rashid said this...
"I cannot imagine that Muslims want a mosque on this particular site, because it will be turned into an arena for promoters of hatred, and a symbol of those who committed the crime. At the same time, there are no practicing Muslims in the district who need a place of worship, because it is indeed a commercial district. . . . The last thing Muslims want today is to build just a religious center out of defiance to others, or a symbolic mosque that people visit as a museum next to the site".
"The battle against the 11 September terrorists is a Muslim battle and this battle still is ablaze in more than 20 Muslim countries. Some Muslims will consider that building a mosque on this site immortalizes and commemorates what was done by the terrorists who committed their crime in the name of Islam. I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a symbol or a worship place that tomorrow might become a place about which the terrorists and their Muslim followers boast or which
will become a shrine for Islam haters whose aim is to turn the public opinion against Islam."
The other side is represented by Columnist Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post Writers group who is is often featured on the Oklahomans Editorial page where I read her speaking in favor of the building of the Mosque. Here is only a portion of what she said.
[Parker wrote about the killings of the writers of cartoons and film makers ridiculing Mohammad by Islamic extremists because their sensitivities were offended and their using anger and violence to stop it. She was pointing out the obvious wrongness of such action by anyone because "feelings were hurt." She then continued with this.]
"The idea that one should never have one's feelings hurt__and has a right to resort to violent means in the protecting of their self-regard__ has done harm rivaling evil."
"This is why plans for the Mosque at ground zero should be allowed to proceed if this is what Muslims want...We teach tolerance by being tolerant. We can't insist that our freedom of speech allows us to draw cartoons of Mohammad or make films that Muslims find offensive, and then demand that they be more sensitive to our feelings."
"More to the point, the tolerance we urge the Muslim world to embrace as we exercise our right to free expression is the very same we must embrace when Muslims seek to express themselves peacefully."
Now whether you agree or disagree with either argument, you have to admit it is the arguments they present that you wind up dealing with and not the emotions or antics of silly people who can't express their ideas without revealing their anger and hatred for those who might disagree. It is the silly people I'm learning to avoid on blogs, Internet social sites, editorial pages or wherever they might attempt to persuade others with their ideas, whose value is lost,I think, by their creating an atmosphere of anger.
[Please don't try to quote the incident of Jesus getting angered by the money-changers in the Temple to show that some anger is right. When I see someone giving themselves to the betterment of all kinds of people as did Jesus who was ultimately willing to die on their behalf, I'll not be opposed to whatever anger they show. I promise. It will be the righteous kind.]