That Way There Be Monsters


Been thinking about the ban on Muslims many are saying we should enact. Right now, it would be unconstitutional because of that whole freedom of religion thing. I guess we could amend the constitution to restrict the rights of “dangerous” religions—we couldn’t name one because the name would change and a rose by any other name.

Those who are rabid gun-rights advocates—it is amazing the crossover between those wanting to ban Muslims and those who want totally unfettered access to any weapon at all—will often say that the second amendment is necessary to protect all the rights enumerated in the Constitution. Possibly, but get rid of the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion, the thing that makes the country special will have been killed and we would cease to have the freedoms that define us. In other words, kill the first amendment and the rest will fall apart from decay and rot.

Well, let’s say we want to take the risk. Which are the dangerous religions? Islam, a lot of people say now. What about Hinduism (Hare Krishna and the like), Buddhists, Jain, Pastafarians?

Other dangerous religions might be Shinto because the Japanese were Shinto and they killed a lot of Americans; Lutherans should be banned because of all the killing done in the name of God by German Lutherans.

Haven’t there been more atrocities committed in this county by Christians than from all another religions combined?

Maybe we should ban all religion?  Nah. Those who want to ban the dangerous ones believe fully—and incorrectly—that all the founders were devout Christians and intended to set up a Christian country (never mind the reason they came over here in the first place was to get out from under religious tyranny). So, it will have to be Christianity at least—however that is defined.

Well, then what is Christian? Many do not think Mormons or Catholics are Christian, which is totally ludicrous.Then, who decides who is and who is not a Christian? Can’t be the Pope, right? Maybe Franklin Graham, or maybe some just a little further along that side of the spectrum—Westboro Baptist Church?

Then comes the real problem (assuming we still have a country): how do we determine which of the people coming in are Christian.  I mean, we cannot let them self-identify because anybody coming here to kill masses of people would certainly lie. Right? So, how does one prove their Christianity? As Herr Drumpf has taught us, official documents like birth certificates and baptism and confirmation records can be faked. And even if they were born Christian, many, like Muhammad Ali converted to the dangerous one.

Wow, what if a Christian went on vacation and converted to Islam? We would have deny them re-entry.

Maybe we could ask everyone to say the Lord’s Prayer at Border Control stations and if they get it wrong, no entry. But which version—the Catholic or Protestant one? Maybe make them sign a loyalty pledge, which worked so well for Captain Yossarian. Make them eat bacon or take a drink of wine and deny entry if they refuse—because no good terrorist would ever do such a thing (except they have).

Here’s the thing: freedoms and the protections we have under the constitution mean that there will be risk in the country. We cannot arrest someone for thinking about doing something (well, there are conspiracy laws, and I am not sure exactly how they work, but some overt act is required—I’ll let the lawyers work that one out).

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” While Ben was talking about tax law and related matters, we take it now to mean what the words themselves say, and we had best beware of starting down that dark path of restricting speech and religion because that way there be monsters.

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