I recently received an earful of disapproval from a very loyal reader and supporter, saying that I am “too liberal” in my view that Muslims should not receive the approbation of society for the actions of that religion’s most radicalized adherents.
Let me make my own beliefs perfectly clear.
I am a believer in what is generally believed to be an “outlier” tradition in our Western society (reincarnation), and I don’t want any fundamentalist of any stripe interfering with what I believe. If I am right, that is on me alone. If I am wrong, that is on me, too. Right or wrong, it can’t possibly make any difference to anyone but me… unless your goal is to control what I think.
If there is anyone whose beliefs about religion are closest to mine, it is Bill Maher—although I believe he is throwing out the baby with the bath-water in rejecting all belief in an afterlife. But he will be the last to deny me the right to bet on reincarnation… especially if I eschew proselytizing as a personal practice.
Unless my memories of civics have failed me, it is my understanding that among the first Europeans to found this country were adherents of Puritanism, one of the most “forbidden” religious sects in the Europe of that time. They came here to escape the persecution of that age and to assure that no one would interfere with their right to practice their religion without outside interference.
It is too bad that the Puritans did not practice what they preached—the desire of society to establish theocracies has happened time and again; it is a perennial stumbling-block when society takes leave of its senses. It’s too bad that repressive societies like Saudi Arabia have instituted “religious police” and other crimes against human rights to exercise political control. But if such knuckle-dragging did not exist, no one would want to come here. Yet it seems to me that what so many immigrants forget is that the repressive practices of their “Old Worlds” must remain there—freedom for one’s self requires a new level of tolerance towards all. That’s what “American” is supposed to mean.
This is not a “liberal” notion, as my complaining reader has said. It is, in fact, one of the bedrock beliefs of conservatism… it preserves the foundations of the nation our ancestors founded and that we have inherited. You can call me a “liberal” all you want, but I think it is a bum rap.
Groove of the Day
87° and Clear
The Autumnal Equinox was today at 9:21 am Central Time