Chiming in on anti-Muslim reactions
The letter by Lawrence McSwain and the letter by Paulette Rappa (April 11-13) showed two very different reactions to the refusals of state senators Lawson and Bonini to listen to a Muslim prayer at the beginning of a state Senate session.
While Rappa's meritorious letter was written from the moral high ground, McSwain's letter presented quotations of the explanations by the two senators for their behaviors. And McSwain explained how he agreed with those explanations. I think all these explanations are spurious cop-outs.
From many reports in our media (polls and agents infiltrated into Muslim groups), the vast majority of Muslims in America just want to live their lives (like other Americans) and practice their religion (as guaranteed by our Constitution). Thus, the quote of Larson that Muslims "...don't believe in our Constitution...." surely cannot be true. Mr. Lawson's understanding that a Muslim "...prays to their god for our demise" would contradict the protection our Constitution provides.
Mr. Lawson fails to appreciate that two of the 10 Christian commandments do not permit recognition of other gods or idol worship and, thus, there would be mutual conflict between Islam's presumed imperative for our demise and Christian proscription of anything non-Christian. Besides, there is a real history of substantial bloodshed originating from Christian ideology, too (e.g. The Crusades, The Albigensian Massacre. Indeed, Christ said "I came not to send peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10, 34) and lots of people wonder about that, too.
Regarding the idea that Muslim law is above the US. Constitution, I can remember, over my whole life, many examples of Americans making reference to the Bible and claiming that they answer to a higher "law" than state secular law.
As further evidence, there is extensive conflict in America, right now, over the religious basis for certain practices in commercial business contexts that are seen by many as discriminatory.
Courts and interfaith organizations are also attempting to resolve as well as encourage adjustments in attitudes and interpretations toward the maximum good for the maximum number.
When I was very young, I was taught many helpful, wise, and kind (Christian) ways to be. One was: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The (secular) U.S. Constitution allowed freedom of religion.
It seems to me that the two state senators and Mr. McSwain are behaving in ways not consistent with either Christian ways or our U.S. law. If Muslims are so bad and so anti-Christian, then how could they even stand to be present in the U.S.A., in such low numbers against such a large number of anti-Muslim Christians?
Arthur E. Sowers