Friday, August 13, 2010

Why doesn't the religious right support the First Amendment?

A religious group in a major U.S. city is being attacked for the location they’ve chosen to build a place of worship. Given that groups like the Texas Eagle Forum and the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family known as the Liberty Institute complain so loudly about attacks on the First Amendment you’d think they’d be vociferously defending the right to build a house of worship in any properly zoned area.

It would seem that they don’t support the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) of 2000 which says in part: “No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that discriminates against any assembly or institution on the basis of religion or religious denomination.”

Just earlier this week Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association demanded that the government bar the construction of “even one more mosque” in America. Apparently they only apply the First Amendment to Christian denominations and as such the Islamic congregation in New York doesn’t deserve their support. Unfortunately for the Texas Eagle Forum and its fellow travelers their lack of support shows that they don’t really have any interest in protecting the First Amendment.

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