Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Left Discovers Freedom of Religion

What does opposing, or supporting, a mosque near the World Trade Center site have to do with Constitutional rights?   Nothing.   Not a thing.

On Friday the President said:   "... I believe the Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.   That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and ordinances."

We don't disagree with a syllable of that.

In the torrent of news reports on the subject since Friday, we haven't heard any critic of the siting of the mosque who does.

The real issue is not whether the mosque may be built, but whether the proposed site is appropriate, under the circumstances -- whether it should be built there.

This distinction apparently is too complicated for editorial writers at the New York Times ("Defending all Americans’ right to worship ... is fundamental to who we are.")

And the poor folks at the Democrat and Chronicle, even in an editorial calling for a different venue for the mosque, can't resist their primal impulses:   "Democrats should use the situation to their advantage, to stand up for the Constitution and religious freedom.".

The "constitutional rights" issue is merely a red herring, thrown out to deflect the debate from the real issue -- the appropriateness and decency of siting the mosque in the proposed location.   As an argument in this debate, "freedom of religion" is a straw man, used by leftist apologists for this latest outrage to the sensibilities of most ordinary Americans.   Invoking it merely diverts from the question of whether the mosque should be built there.

Senator Kirstin Gillibrand showcased another emerging diversionary tactic, in her interview with the Democrat and Chronicle on Tuesday.   Gillibrand says she "supports the New York City community board's decision" about the mosque.   That's the decision that OK'd the mosque.

But expressing it as she did allows a complicit press to render the story not as "Gillibrand backs Ground Zero mosque," but "Gillibrand supports community board on Ground Zero Mosque."

Thus Gillibrand and her media enablers seek to interpose an antiseptic firewall between the candidate and the issue.   You can practically see the memo from Democratic Headquarters that the Senator parroted in her D&C interview: "Keep it focused on the rights of local agencies to make the decision."

We expect to be hearing more about the "rights of local agencies to decide" as it becomes clearer each day that the public understands the difference between the whether the mosque may be built and whether it should be.

"New York voters oppose by a nearly 2-to-1 margin plans to build an Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan, according to a new Siena Research Institute poll released Wednesday. ... At the same time, by a 64-to-28 percent margin, New Yorkers say Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has the constitutional right to build it. ...Even a majority of those who oppose building the mosque agree ... that they have the right to build it."
The public understands the difference, even if editorial writers don't, or want to wish it away.  

And just maybe that difference is grasped more readily by a public that sees the same Democratic-Media Complex that for decades has used bastardized interpretations of the Constitution as a battering ram against religious expression in public, now suddenly discovering the right of Freedom of Religion -- as long as it's practiced by an Imam.


Rottenchester said...

Hmm, I'm unable to detect your position. Why is a community center and mosque built by a moderate Muslim faction a few blocks away from Ground Zero, where a few other mosques already exist, "inappropriate", if that is your position.

And if it isn't "appropriate", to use that weasel-word, is it appropriate for me to start advocating that every Catholic Church in Rochester that's within 200 yards of a public school playground be moved?

Philbrick said...

I think the Imam has a right to build his mosque there, but he shouldn't do it.

It's difficult to dismiss the idea that this is a deliberate provocation, designed to outrage. Like in Northern Ireland, back before things calmed down, militant protestants would parade through Roman Catholic sections and vice versa, just to upset each other.

The Imam ostensibly proposes the mosque for the purpose of "building bridges of understanding" between Muslims and others. By his own standard, then, the project already has failed.

I use "inappropriate" in this context merely as a shorthand for "they have the right to build it, but shouldn't"

No reason to criticize any Islamic place of worship in proximity to the WTC site before the 9/11 attack. But that changed things. Had there been a convent next to Auchwitz before WWII and had it carried on, no one would have complained. But to propose a new one there after the war evoked legitimate criticisms that led to the project being moved elsewhere.

I don't understand your suggested analogy about Catholic Churches and public schools. Or rather, I think I do, and that the analogy is flawed.

If the image of the Catholic Church most familiar to the public were derived from people, acting in the name of the Catholic faith, flying bombs into schools and killing all the children, then yes, I'd consider building churches near schools to be the wrong thing to do, regardless of the constitutional right to do so.

Anonymous said...

So amusing that only "certain" religions receive support from the left. Does the liberal left openly comment that Muslims believe in an "imaginary friend" like they often often say about Catholics, Baptists, etc.?

Since when did the left give a crap at all about religion? Oh ya, only if it has to do with the demeaning our own country.

Now I get it!