Herman Cain has made a statement that is maybe more absurd and dumber than any statement by any presidential candidate ever.
Yes, that is including all those Republican candidates who make routine anti-gay comments. Cain, a Republican presidential candidate, has said that local communities have the right to ban mosques. Just ban them at their whim. I am not fond of the Islamic religion. I have never given money to build a mosque, and I never will.
Islam, just like Christianity and Judaism, has its problems. Especially its fundamentalist wings. But a religion and its buildings can't be banned just because they might be unpopular, such as in Tennessee. Tennessee is a hotbed of opposition to the rights of Muslims to build mosques. Cain defended the ability of Christian fundamentalists to stop these buildings.
Cain's defense is that Muslims are trying to get Sharia or Islamic law imposed. First of all, Muslims have no political power in America. They have as much power in America as say, Mormons in Japan. Now, which group in America does have the power to impose their religion on others? Which group has the ability to ban the right of gays to marry the partner of their choice, because of a religious text?
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Which group has enacted Blue laws that ban car sales or alcohol sales on a Sunday? Which religion leads the charge for obscenity prosecutions against the makers of adult videos? Which group opposes a right to die? Which group in Alabama has gotten a blanket ban on sexy toys? If you said fundamentalist ultra-right wing Christians, you would be right.
So if one religion can be banned for suspicion that followers might impose their religious law on the rest of us, if they had the power to do so, why is another religion not banned when they have actual political power?
Anyway, there is a Constitutional right to advocate for any public policy that you might want. If one wants to strip gays of their rights, because of their Christian or Islamic beliefs, that is their right. If one wants to impose blasphemy laws which would see columns like this banned, that would be their right.
Herman Cain cares deeply about secular government when the threat from theocracy comes from Islam, but not when it comes to potential voters for him on the Christian right. If a Muslim or those in a mosque are plotting violence or terror, than yes, by all means arrest him or her. But the same would hold for those of any religion. Eric Rudolph committed violence in the name of Christianity, that does not mean we ban Christianity. Mr. Cain, who holds himself up as an expert on the Constitution, should maybe re-read it. Because if mosques can be banned, why not synagogues or, in Dearborn, Michigan (which has many Muslims), churches?