What the @#$! is This Place Coming To?

I just want to comment on the Crazy News Story of the Day today (9/25- if you're reading this after Tuesday, here's a link to it).

After reading this, I am infuriated at the apparent intolerance shown by those who oppose the plan to install foot sinks for the sake of Muslim taxi drivers.

"Still some say that allowing the sinks on public property violates the separation of church and state." I can go on about the issue of church and state for a while, but this is a ridiculous argument. How is "church" interfering with state by putting in a couple of sinks for washing feet? And I scoff those people who argue against the sinks because airports are public property- don't many airports have chapels? Don't hospitals, even government-owned ones, have chapels, places to worship whichever deity you give reverence to?

I'm further angered by the Reverend Jerry Hillenberg of Hope Baptist Church, "who outlined a biblical and constitutional campaign against the airport proposal in the church's newsletter. He also spoke about it in a sermon given Sunday. Hillenburg, whose son died while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, said he is personally offended by the idea of installing a foot-washing sink in the airport to accommodate one group of people."

A man claiming to be not just a Christian, but a shepherd of Christians, dares to blatantly flaunt intolerance, because it would "accomodate one group of people." Such an attitude goes against much of what scripture teaches, especially the Bible he might have thumped as he preached against this plan.

It's fascinating to me that in this country, where people so vehemently defend their "rights" and "priveleges", that such intolerance could occur. Are we not promised the right to worship as we please? Should it not, then, be the responsibility of civil leadership to accomodate that right when possible? It's not as if anyone is asking them to have everyone in the airport stop at prayer time so Muslims can have room for their prayers. It's a couple of sinks. In all honesty, who would or could they hurt? Is it really worth the intolerance?

On a similar note, the situation with Iran's President Ahmadinejad. In short, he was invited to speak at a public forum at Columbia University, prior to speaking before the United Nations. As an introduction, Columbia's president insulted Ahmadinejad, calling him a "petty and cruel dictator." Others protested the assembly, saying he shouldn't have a chance to speak and spread his "propaganda."

Again, it's interesting, isn't it, that a people who are so quick to defend to the death their right to free speech would so quickly deny it to someone whose views they happen to find reprehensible. First of all, as a human being, he has just as much right to his opinions and to express those opinions as you or I have. Second, no one has to listen. He was invited to speak publicly- why shouldn't he share his opinion? I'm sad and angry that Columbia's president would sink so low as to insult a guest speaker.

No, I don't agree with much of anything Ahmadinejad says or believes. I feel like he is a dictator, whose views are anything but healthy for Americans and American foreign policy. But how dare you invite him to speak his mind and then belittle him for it. I'm all in with Socrates and his view that "I may not like what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

I don't really like Ahmadinejad, and if he's guilty of what the U.S. government says he is, he deserves more and worse than insults. But I'm saddened by the hypocrisy that has been thrown at him like so many rotten tomatoes.


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