I’ve been struggling with this subject for some time. Not just the subject, but even if I should post this. Publishing my thoughts on this – feels dangerous. But the First Amendment is backed up by the Second. So here it is:
Here’s the thing. Sometime ago I observed a TSA Agent going about her business of providing Security Theater at the Airport. She was Muslim, and wearing her traditional Muslim head-covering. My knee-jerk reaction was that of anger. It was her people are the reason why we have the TSA now. Why we have to take off our shoes at the Airport.
But what got me even more angry – was that I got angry about that. Damn it! I’m not racist. I never have been. I’m not against anyone of a different faith than mine! I’ve been wired against Hate all my life!
You see, I swore an Oath that I took and still take very seriously. To protect the constitution. To protect those that believe and say things that I might disagree with, but I’ll fight to the death to protect their right to say it. That includes Muslims who wish to worship Allah and hold to the beliefs and practices of Islam.
Here’s another thing. I’m a Mormon. One of our Articles of Faith says:
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
We know what it feels like to be looked down upon for being different. Mormons were driven out of their homes, several times. Our church built homes only to be forced to leave them. We built a whole city, only to be forced to leave it… A new temple that took so much sacrifice to build. (Nauvoo) We only got to use it for a little while. The Hayes Administration tried to block Mormon Immigrants. A Governor declared a genocide on us. If you study Mormon history, you find you are studying persecution and abuse for a very long time. One of my own family was murdered for simply being Mormon.
So when we hear people speak like how Donald Trump is speaking, a part of us feels sick inside to see this happening again, even to another people. It’s wrong, and all of my upbringing is against it.
And yet, there is a part of me that agrees with Trump’s assertion that we should hold off until we “figure out what’s going on” as he said. Is holding off until we have a viable vetting process such a bad idea? President Jimmie Carter did just that. Yet when Trumps says that, he’s a badguy? I don’t get that.