The Crash and Burn of the Cain Train

Herman Cain is running for president. And he’s loony. And it terrifies me that Chris Wallance, host of Fox News Sunday, makes a valid, and–dare I say it–perhaps liberal-friendly argument against Cain’s seemingly unconstitutional advocacy for a community in Tennessee to ban/derail the building of a mosque in their town. See below:

Obviously there’s a lot to be concerned with here, beginning with Cain’s gross misinterpretation of Islam. He splits Islam into “religion” and “laws.” But don’t all religions have a set of -gasp- religious laws? What does this idiot think the Ten Commandments are? Suggestions? Or what does one do with the Book of Leviticus or the Talmud? I don’t understand why Islam is classified differently. There are extremists in every faith, but I don’t think that constitutes disallowing the practice of said religion by a country that calls itself the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.”

 

Secondly, what happened to the Republican hard-on for the constitution? Someone needs to remind Mr. Cain that the First Amendment protects Americans’ right to the free practice of religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

 

Thirdly and finally, if we use Mr. Cain’s argument and apply it to a different time in the nation’s history, say, pre-Civil Rights Era, wouldn’t that mean that voters in a given locale would have not only the power but the right to decide what kind of discrimination is acceptable? In other words, wouldn’t parts of the South, theoretically, still be supporting laws that segregated the races?

 

Racism, ethnocentrism, and discrimination based on religion are reprehensible. People should be held accountable for these kinds of views. And, generally, in the court of public opinion, they are.

 

The bright side to this story? 72% of Tennessee voters support or are indifferent to the prospective mosque. Sanity and Democracy: 1. Herman Cain and Discrimination: 0.

 

Original story courtesy of the blog for The Rachel Maddow Show @ msnbc.com.

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