Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mosques and flags

When I first joined the Military almost a decade ago, I did so because I felt a duty to follow in the footsteps, in some way or form, of my father, uncles and cousin. There was a "duty" in the tangible patriotic sense, but also in a less tangible way that focused more on knowing what it was that formed my male influences and why they had done what they did.

The patriotic reasons are very easy to explain and understand even for those who are not in the military. The idea that “freedom isn’t free”, while clichéd , is also true. While I’m sure we all long for a day when a standing military is not a necessity, simply put, that day is not today. If that is true, which I believe it is, then someone needs to wear a uniform, and that someone might as well be me.

I am a liberal, I always have been and probably always will be, although, the definition of “liberal” changes quite often, so maybe I should take some time to define what it is I believe more firmly and then title it something else, like, “Adam-sonian”. I mention this because whenever I hear other soldiers say things about “liberal” in college derisively, or how “celebrities” should shut up, I feel the opposite—hearing people express views different from my own is exactly WHY I wear a uniform.

That being said, lately there has been an anti-Islamic fire burning in America that couches itself in the clothes of Patriotism and it makes me sick to my stomach. The “Ground Zero Mosque” being a prime example of such vitriolic and illogical hate. However, there is one closer to home.

I am from Fallbrook (Avocado capital of the world!) and I just read this morning that there will be a protest against a Mosque in Temecula, close to my hometown. The idea that people will wrap themselves in the flag to protest the free worship of others makes me sick to my stomach. It’s somehow harder for me to turn away from this than it is the Westboro Baptist protestors. At least the Westboro people say they’re un-American. These people wear the red-white-and-blue and claim to be patriots while simultaneously trying to deny the right of Americans their freedom of religion.

I would like to write more about this, maybe a little more personal reflection, but to be honest, I haven’t been as upset by something in quite some time. It’s so blatantly hypocritical, unpatriotic and disgusting that my brain can’t really wrap itself around the fact this is happening in my Country…in my State. Pathetic. If there is a way to support the mosque in Temecula, let me know.

Article here.


Blogger Alex said...

Wow, thanks for drawing my attention to this, Adam. The article made me feel kind of sick, but the comments section really made my blood boil.

I don't usually make statements like this, but I feel upset about this story not just as Southern Californian but also as a Jew. America represented freedom from religious persecution for my family, and makes me so angry to see that promise tarnished.

At least there's this: "the worshipers were generally shielded from the protesters as more than 70 mosque supporters — Christians, Mormons, Jews, Muslims and Catholics – lined up outside the center’s doors wearing white shirts and name tags that read, “Friend.”

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't realize this was happening...thanks for the post. I had kind of hoped that the area had changed its flavor since 1998. (BTW, this is an old friend who just found your blog, which I also didn't know was happening. It's awesome! I should get a logon, I suppose...)

8:15 PM  

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