Monday, November 30, 2009

Freedom of religion in America but not in Switzerland

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The First Amendment of our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion in America, and we have places of worship for every religion here.

We can identify most places of worship by symbols: crosses, stars of David, statues of Moroni, minarets, and so on. These symbols are important to the faithful. Imagine outlawing display of stars of David, or crosses, or minarets. Nope. Unimaginable. Not here.

But in Switzerland, which is five percent Muslim, voters just outlawed the building of minarets. There are now four in the country, and that’ll be all. The largest Swiss party, the Swiss People’s Party, says minarets are a sign of Islamization, and proposed the referendum that passed with 57% of the vote. The SVP's general secretary told the BBC: "This was a vote against minarets as symbols of Islamic power."

I’m thankful we have the First Amendment in our Constitution and in our cultural DNA. From now on, whenever I see a minaret I’ll remember to be thankful for American freedom

1 comment:

Judith Ellis said...
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