Friday, December 29, 2006
I wrote on Wednesday about America's tradition of religious diversity and the desirability of having government stay out of religion and land use. Here's a story that may be an exception on both counts.
Houses of worship have often received preferential treatment under zoning laws. This caused little controversy when the nation was largely heterogeneous in terms of religion. As more and more Americans are not Christians or Jews, however, the siting of houses of worship is likely to result in some tension. Here's a story about local opposition to a large planned Muslim mosque complex near Katy, Texas -- including a cockeyed attempt to annoy the Muslims with a pig race on neighboring property.
On way to look at such a story is as an exception to Americans' usual tolerance of minority religions. But in an age when it is part of the nation's task on the world scene to prove the superiority of our creed of tolerance, this episode justifies some speaking out by governmental leaders. Perhaps a leading Texan in national office?
[Thanks to Prof. Anthony Schutz of the University of Nebraska for a link to this story.]