There’s a controversy looming in Tippecanoe County, Indiana over whether or not the city council should give their approval for the building of an Islamic center.
In response to that, Steve Viars offers his support:
Some residents from our community expressed concern over this decision, essentially suggesting that the approval was un-American. I think the polar opposite is true. Refusing to grant this request simply because the petitioners are followers of Islam would be contrary to our country’s cherished ideals of religious liberty and the importance of the separation of church and state.
Celebrating the presence of other religions at home is the logical extension of the sacrifice our countrymen have made around the world. Freedom is often most delicious when it is extended to someone with whom you disagree. Our heroes did not fight to protect and promote one particular religious point of view. The fruit of freedom is diversity and a rich tapestry of culture and beliefs.
… Diverse people are welcomed to the public square to express their opinions and promote their ideals. When we can do that with love not hate, openness not suspicion, and celebration not dread — then and only then will we truly be free.
And maybe you’ll be as surprised as I was to find out that Viars is a Baptist and the senior pastor at Faith Church in Lafayette.
Gotta give credit where it’s due. If more theists felt the same way, we’d be having very different conversations on sites like this one.
(Thanks to Mike for the link)