Last weekend’s so-called First Amendment demonstration really wasn’t about standing up for the Constitution. In addition to sending a message that, under the First Amendment, repulsive hate-mongers have a constitutional right to say whatever they want, it sent a message of religious intolerance. It was intended to deny Muslims their First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. Of course, the right-wing idiots who congregated in the street outside a Phoenix mosque at prayer time to display their cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, also threatened to exercise their “Second Amendment” rights.
Hey, idiots, the Second Amendment guarantees you the right to own and bear arms as part of a well-organized militia in order to defend the United States. It doesn’t give you the right to threaten to shoot other Americans.
The people who resort to such threats have no concept of compassion, decency or responsibility. They hide behind the Constitution and the Bible, selecting only those few passages that support their narrow-minded views and ignoring the rest. They have no concept of what it truly means to be an American or a Christian. They merely want to provoke a violent reaction in order to have the satisfaction of saying “I told you so.”
That is the bad news.
The good news is that, despite the provocation and repugnant actions of the wing nuts, the Phoenix Muslim community showed great patience in the face of religious discrimination. There was no violence. And the really great news is that, this week, a group of Phoenix citizens came out to support the Muslim community. They assembled at the mosque to show that, even in Arizona, the hate-mongers are a tiny minority of the population…people who only care about their own rights while denying the same rights to others.
We would all be well-served to follow their example.