Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Questions Freedom of Religion For Muslims

TPMDC reported yesterday that Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, a candidate in the state's gubernatorial primary (currently running third), suggested in an answer to a question at a campaign event that Islam may not be protected by the Constitution's free exercise clause. Referring to a dispute over a zoning change to permit an Islamic center to be built in Murfreesboro (TN), (background from CNN) he said: "Now, you know, I'm all about freedom of religion. I value the First Amendment as much as I value the Second Amendment as much as I value the Tenth Amendment and on and on and on. But you cross the line when they try to start bringing Sharia Law here to the state of Tennessee -- to the United States. We live under our Constitution and they live under our Constitution." In a rambling answer, he also remarked: "Now, you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult whatever you want to call it. Now certainly we do protect our religions, but at the same time this is something we are going to have to face."