Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Where is the outrage for religious freedom?

It was announced about a week ago that a Quran was burned at a United States military base.  Reports vary why it was burned.  Some reports say it was a mistake.  Others have said because it had militant notes in it.  While this may be an overused phrase, I have to wonder – where is the outrage about respecting religion?

The Republican presidential candidates where so upset when President Obama made it a requirement that churches and other religious organizations had to provide health care coverage for birth control.  Obama did this, even though, most of the religious organizations objected to the requirement because it was against their religious beliefs.  Romney, Santorum and others (who are those other guys?) charged that Obama was waging war on religion.

In an earlier Responsible Community blog, it was noted that many times in the history of the United States, we have curtailed a religious right to uphold a legitimate need of the community.  The Old Order Amish have to pay social security tax.  The Mormon’s can’t marry more than one wife at a time.  Even Native Americans can’t use peyote in their religious ceremonies and still expect to receive unemployment compensation if they are fired from their job because of its use. 
There was no outrage for any of those situations. 

Now, all these years after 9-11, we should have learned that Muslims don’t believe in destroying their holy book.  (We have learned it but for some reason we just don’t think it important.)  Military leaders at the base decided to burn the Quran despite this knowledge.  The book could have been shipped somewhere for safe keeping.  It could have been turned over to friendly groups.  There are a lot of things that they could have done that didn’t violate Islam. But, they didn’t.
So, where is the outrage for this religious belief? 

The Islamic groups that are violently protesting the burning are wrong.  There is no reason that anyone should be harmed or property lost because at the very least, the United States military made a mistake.  But, there is no reason that the Islamic groups and the presidential hopefuls should not be peacefully voicing their strong opposition to this action. 
If everyone truly believes in the Freedom of Religion, then they should.  All it does is show the hypocrisy of the presidential hopefuls (including Obama). 


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