As I follow the news these past few weeks, I find myself awash with emotional thinking.  The stories of ministers who want to demonstrate by burning religious texts, soldiers on trial for war crimes, armies of police saddling up for the possibility of violence, T.V. specials speculating on the reasons why Bin Laden might not be dead….on and on it goes.  We are in a moment, I believe, that will define a course of revolution in the years to come.

When I first started following the Mosque near ground zero story, my feelings were of anger and violence.  I connected immediately with those soldiers coming home to their beloved New York.  In my mind, I imagined a man walking by that place of worship and the thoughts and feelings that must come next to a youthful man freshly home from travesty. Given the long road ahead for our soldiers coming home, the time it will take to free the mind and body from the acts required in war, what would Park 51’s placement further do?  I felt it was rude and a subtle act of incitement to demand and hold out for that location under the premise that it’s the right of a citizen of the US to practice a religion freely in any location.  I hoped for protesting, inflamed rioters, soldiers posting up at the entrance…..anything! Please! Can we please stand up?!

When I listen to people speak on the mosque, I hear much about rights and religious freedoms, on tolerance and upholding to our constitution even when it’s hard.  In the same moment, I hear people outraged over the idea of demonstrating frustration by burning a book.  Some claim it’s ignorance and showboating, others say forget religious sensitivity, burn one billion of them!  All the while, there are stories of soldiers on trial for killing civilians and taking fingers as trophies.

Trump steps in, and apparently the location of the Mosque is so important, that even he can’t buy a new spot for it.  Does this sound like merely wanting a place of peace and worship?  And Mr. Jones, what exactly is your point? Now, you ‘might’ do it and suddenly you have bigger reasons that you did last week?

How do ‘authorities’ define acts of war crime while at war?  Evidently blowing up entire communities of people is just, but fingers are off limits?  None of this makes sense.

Even my own reactions and emotions on any of these events are subject to flux.  I don’t want Park 51 to stay there and I do want people to exercise freedom of speech with demonstration and fervor.  I enjoy my freedom not to participate in religion, I want the freedom to publicly stand against a concept and a way of living that I see to be harmful.  I understand that in exercising my freedoms, I am agreeing to tolerate that right for others.  Where is the right place to stand?  I want to practice tolerance, yet I want to be present in NY, FL, KS, TN, and WY so that I can stand and see and feel the strength of emotion that surely comes tomorrow.  Is the book going to burn?  Flags are already burning over seas.  They are burning our flag and threatening our lives and safety if we burn that book.

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