Caleb (a fellow who does not take his own faith lightly) posted an article on a gun store/range owner deciding to ban all Muslims from her business and why that's not just silly and prejudiced, but highly likely to land her in Federal court on civil rights charges.
Cue the predictable outrage! Including that old chestnut, "No member of $RELIGION can ever be a good U. S. citizen, because their first loyalty is to their faith." That one goes way back to before the founding of the United States -- see, for instance, John Adams' 1765 A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law, or note that John Jay argued that holders of public office should be required to renounce their allegiance to [a foreign religious leader]. He got it, too, though the legislature weaseled by genericizing his highly specific objection. And that same group remained a target because of their supposed un-American loyalty through at least the early part of the 20th Century.
Oh, but wait, those presumptively disloyal believers weren't Muslims, they were Catholics. And we know that Catholics never, ever (cough, IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY, cough) engage in terrorism to achieve political goals. What's that? Just a few? A disaffected group? Soooo...nobody in Boston ever passed the hat for the Provos? What? That still doesn't count? Hmm.
There you have it. If all Bs are members of set A, does it therefore necessarily follow that all As are members of set B?
Caleb says no. I say no. Logic says no. The Civil Rights Act says our opinions (yours, too) are moot: operators of places of public accommodation don't get to discriminate against people on the basis of their religion. Dang, didn't I just read some stuff about that in a Constitutional Amendment? And the Bill of Rights passed in the face of severe doubts about the Americanism of members of a specific religious faith. How'd that work out? Nation collapse over it yet?
Some shortsighted jingoist is going to whine, "B-b-but, you're so dumb, Bobbi: they'll just use our freedoms against us!" So, better to do without, simply rip out that part of the First Amendment, scribble over it, throw it away? Stop being Americans ourselves? Miss out on the chance to do what we do best, win over the decent majority with freedom while slapping the provably bad 'uns around, and substitute ruthless repression instead? --Doesn't sound like my country, but it does remind me of a few, and things didn't go so well for them.
6 months ago