Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Taxpayer Funding of a Muslim Cultural Center

If there was ever a wrong solution to a non-problem, the Governor of New York has found it.

In order to prevent the construction of a Muslim cultural center and mosque to a "less emotionally charged location" he is proposing "providing state funds to help the center find another location."

(See MSNBC.com N.Y. governor may propose relocating Muslim center.)

While no just and fair-minded people has good reason to protest the construction of the cultural center near 9-11, every just and fair-minded person has good reason to object to being forced to pay for the construction of a Muslim cultural center no matter where it gets built.

It is the very essence of the principle of the First Amendment that citizens not be forced to contribute to the construction and maintenance of a church against their will. To use tax-payer money (money effectively extracted from people by force) for a religious project is to force people to make donations and contributions to that religion against their will.

The article reports U.S. Representative Peter King as saying,

[It is in the best interest of the Muslim community to do this] to show that they are serious about building bridges.

The only bridges to be built are bridges with bigots. A non-bigot has no objection to this cultural center and, as such, the cultural center as currently intended would be just as effective of a bridge as a cultural center built somewhere else because the non-bigot is not blaming all Muslims for 9/11 - only those who are guilty and those who cheered the ones who are guilty.

However, I would like to know how allowing Muslims to pay for a cultural center out of their own pockets is insulting and "opens old wounds", but forcing the victims of 9/11 to donate money to such a mosque is perfectly sensible.

Of course, we are talking about mindless, irrational bigotry here, so it would be fruitless to ask questions of the irrational bigot as if expecting him or her to make any sense.

Either way, it is not legitimate for the government to force citizens to contribute the construction of a cultural center from any religion. If citizens are so upset about this cultural center built near the World Trade Center, let them donate their own money to have it constructed elsewhere. Let them engage in whatever private agreement they, as free citizens, wish to negotiate.

It is also not legitimate for the government to put its hand into people's bank account to pay to prevent offense to a bunch of hateful bigots.

However, do not force others, who are not inclined to contribute to the construction of the Muslim cultural center, and not suffering from the bigotry that would make them offended by the construction of this cultural center near the former World Trade Center, to make contributions to religions and bigotries they do not share or support.

No comments: