This past week I heard that there were plans for allowing a mosque to be built near the place where the Twin Towers came down. I immediately didn't like it one bit.

I don't know that there's many people who believe in diversity more than I do. I've written about it often here and in my newsletters. I've obviously lived the life of a very diverse person, while keeping my eyes open for those times when racism and bigotry rear their ugly heads, and then I condemn it when it's needed.

Still, there are times when even I initially find something abhorrent that I know is based either on race or religion that makes me react negatively. One of those truths in life is that we act on the input we've received throughout our lives, and it's not always the best reaction, even if it feels like the right one at the time.

In my initial reaction, I wasn't alone; it wasn't even a close call. I think one poll I saw came out with a figure near 85%; that's a lot of folks unhappy with the decision. And it's understandable; after all, it was a bunch of Muslim fanatics who decided to board planes on that fateful day and were ready to give up their lives for a cause that they themselves probably couldn't define, as long as they could take a lot of people with them. It was those men who have lead the world to be what it is today as it concerns terrorism and the world's reaction to it. There's a lot of bad things that have been set into place because of that act, not the least of which concern Afghanistan and Iraq.

So, my initial reaction was the same as many other people. It seems like a slap in the face to all those people who were killed on that day by these fanatics. I initially felt justified.

However, being me, my other mind started working on the issue as well. Truth be told, there were Muslims killed on that day who didn't believe in terrorism, who don't support this ridiculous concept of "jihad", whose only "crime" of the day was wanting to go to work, or wanting to fly somewhere for whatever reason. They weren't fanatics; they were American citizens, for the most part, like most of the rest of us, thinking they were going to go about their day, then go home that evening to meet with their families and friends. Everyone suffered a little bit on that day, and Muslims were no different.

As I wrote on my post last year titled What, a Muslim Can't Be President, this concept of people, most specifically these days the tea partiers (never thought I'd be mentioning them anywhere) bringing up their belief in President Obama being Muslim as if it would be the worst thing in the world smacks of racism and bigotry. Should anyone really care what a person's religion is, or whether that person has one or not, if their qualifications for the job are enough? As I wrote on a much older piece on perpetuating stereotypes, isn't it about time this country worked on getting away from these negative stereotypes, especially when compared to the greater numbers that prove those stereotypes aren't true?

I've reversed my original belief and say I have no problem with a mosque being built near Ground Zero. The people who voted to allow it carried the belief 29 in favor and 1 against. That's a brave bunch of people, understanding how emotions flow in New York City. If we're going to talk about first amendment rights and equality for all in this country, we have to start living it as well.