BLOG: Why I support the 'mosque,' and why it matters

Tom Jackson
Sep 2, 2010

The controversy over the "Ground Zero mosque" has become a clarifying moment in recent political history, when we get to find out whether conservatives and Republicans care about anything except winning the next election. If you've paid attention, the short answer is that many of them don't.

We found out only a few months ago that many Democrats and liberals don't really care about the First Amendment if that pesky "freedom of expression" stuff might arguably give Republicans an advantage. Now we're finding that while Republicans love to give lip service to "liberty," many of them don't care about freedom of religion or private property rights.

More on that in a moment, but first a few words on the controversy.

You'll notice that I put square quotes around the words "Ground Zero mosque" in my first paragraph.

That's because it's not at Ground Zero, e.g., the site of the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. It's two blocks away. 

And it's not a mosque, either. The proposed project is an Islamic community center, similar to a YMCA. It would include a prayer room — a "mosque," if you will — but it's also supposed to have basketball hoops.

These facts are important, because if you took the rhetoric of the opponents at face value, you'd believe that a huge mosque, complete with minarets, is going to be built over the ruins of the World Trade Center.

The whole controversy is a manufactured one. And if someone wanted to build a mosque, so what? In this country, we don't tell people they aren't allowed to build a church, or a synagogue, or a temple, on their own property, if they are following the relevant building codes and zoning laws.

What I think is most interesting about the controversy is what is says about Republicans.

But first, let's beat up on Democrats a little.

On Jan. 21 this year, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold the First Amendment in a case called Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Specifically, the court voted 5-4 to strike down a provision of the law that blocked a nonprofit corporation, Citizens United, from airing a film that criticized Hillary Clinton.

For me, the scandal of the decision was that only a bare majority of the nation's highest court could bring themselves to strike down political censorship. 

But that's not how many Democrats saw it. Many have campaigned for new laws to overturn the decision, on the ground that removing restrictions on corporate political spending might aid Republicans. Almost alone among prominent liberal commentators, Glenn Greenwald put principle over partisan political advantage and explained that the decision was correct.

But now Republicans are in the spotlight. And we are now seeing the spectacle of prominent Republican politicians who favor freedom of religion (if it's for Southern Baptists, in Georgia) and property rights (in cases where it's politically convenient). 

Opinion polls show that many Americans oppose the so-called Ground Zero mosque. If a line of political attack is poll-tested, that's apparently all that matters.

So we have Newt Gingrich declaring that Cordoba House can't be built "so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia." There's no word yet on whether Gingrich favors banning the Nation magazine until North Korean newspapers agree to run his op-ed pieces.

And we have the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto, who anchors his argument about Democratic tax policies by referring to his opponent as a "Ground Zero mosque champion." Why resort to reasoned argument when a smear will do?

 

 

 

Comments

Sam

Pastor Ron, you give real Christians a bad name, my guess is that you are either a mail order pastor or self anointed, I pray for you flock.  By the way I am a conservative.

Pastor Ron

Sammie you sound like one of those Log Cabin Conservatives. 

jend

Have you ever wondered how Hitler managed to get an entire population of seemingly educated citizens to shut their eyes while their military murdered millions of people?

In 1933, a newly elected Adolf Hitler had big dreams of creating a German Empire, whose borders would push to the very edge of the European continent.  He knew however, that no one in their right mind would send their son off to war in the name of Imperialism, as it is not a noble cause, and certainly not one worth dying for.   But Hitler was smart, and 1933 he had his own parliament building, The Reichstag, burned to the ground.  This act was quickly blamed on a "communist terrorist" who was "coincidentally" Jewish.... And when Hitler decided to invade Poland later that year, the German citizenry rallied around him in support.  After all....they thought they had been attacked.

And we all know what happened next....

9/11 was an inside job:  a false flag operation designed to rally the support of the American citizenry as we expand our Empire through the oil fields of the Middle East.

Wow.  Mission accomplished.

 Wake up.  America is under attack.  But not by Al-Qaeda.  Our enemies our domestic.  They were $5,000 suits and work at the very highest levels of our government.   And while we're all divided and distracted by this "ground zero mosque" story, they are actively, and systematically destroying this country.

http://video.google.com/videopla...

Sam

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines

jend

Instead of hurling personal insults at strangers, I prefer to spend my free time trying to educate people on the dangers of apathy and fascism.  If you would care to discuss any of the information that I posted, I would welcome the debate.  It is my sincere hope that if we educate ourselves and eachother as to what is really going on here, that we can save this country, and build a better future for our children.  Fighting is counterproductive, Sam.

Sam

Jend you really believe 9/11 was "an inside job", if so I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.  Pastor Ron using religion as a crutch will make you disabled.

44846GWP

I agree with Bill Mahr, "For people to be free, religion must die". Pastor Ron, you are just as full of B.S. as the radical Muslims.

Duhast

Wow, I sure missed a lot here…

American, I post citations from the bible which were pretty straight forward in saying who can be enslaved and who can be killed for not believing? I cite real examples and you come back with personal and generalized insults. I apparently struck a “hangnail”.

My point in the posts was to show that both religions are just a screwy, just as violent and just as easy to take out of context. So, for those of you who wish to insult Islam should really look at your own religious texts. Because your bible sanctions murder, rape, and slavery, does that mean you think it’s OK? Didn’t southerners use bible passages to justify slavery? Don’t cult leaders use passages to justify their atrocities? Don’t many religions use passages to subjugate women?

They don’t do these things because of their religion. They use their religious texts to inflame already angry people. It doesn’t matter which religion is used to ignite a powder keg.

SamAdams

Mr. Jackson, you're wrong on several points. While you're entitled to your opinion even if I disagree with it, you're NOT entitled to alter facts.

Calling the Cordoba Community Center merely a community center may not be a misnomer. But given that even those who fully intend to build on the site have also referred to the project as a "mosque," you should probably stand corrected.

Further, you say that "ground zero" is two whole blocks away. Well, if you suggest it's two blocks from the proposed building site to the actual place where the foundations of the World Trade Center stood, you're right. But "ground zero" covers a whole lot more area than that. Some, including you, seem to forget that other buildings fell that day. While the building on the proposed mosque site didn't actually fall, it WAS punctured by falling debris, including a large hunk of the landing gear of one of the doomed airliners. As far as I'm concerned, if the spot had blood on it, it's part and parcel of "ground zero." I'm frankly taken aback that anyone who actually remembers the morning of 9/11 could disagree.

You also imply that Republicans have no respect for freedom of religion or for private property rights. If you have any evidence that a Republican has said that the Muslims shouldn't have freedom of religion, or that a private property owner can't build as he pleases (within zoning ordinances, obviously), produce it. I've heard no such thing. The reason so many are against the Ground Zero Mosque (and yes, I WILL use that terminology) is the stunning lack of respect or human decency it represents.

You may not know this, but Islam has a long and unvaried history of building places of worship at sites it's celebrated a victory. From old Orthodox churches to Jewish synagogues, conquering Muslims have either refurbished or rebuilt mosques (if I recall my history correctly, this practice began around 630 CE). The oh-so-holy-to-Islam Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is a famous example of such a slap in the face. The Cordoba "Community Center" is another. (And speaking of Cordoba, have you actually READ any of the group's mission statements? ::: shudder ::: )

Given some of your past writings, I'm going to assume (do correct me if I'm wrong) that you think hate speech laws and hate crimes laws are a good idea. Me? I consider them infringements since hate alone ought not be a crime. It's ignorant, but not criminal. But if we play by the rules of many on the progressive side of things, just consider the Ground Zero Mosque to be both seeing as how they pretty much are.

Chung Lee

Chung Lee is a little confused here Sam Adams.  Because a building got hit by shrapnel it becomes part of ground zero?  Ground zero by definition is point of explosion.  The community center was hit by debris from the explosion.  With that said, you are expousing an opinion that you want to be a fact.  Honey it would be nice if you learned the difference between the two. 

One more thing...... what you see as   "a stunning lack of respect or human decency"  May be seen by others as the "epitome of freedom of religion and expression".  Do you remember  the invasion of Iraq and the 24 hour coverage of "shock and awe?  Do you think that maybe the cavalier attitude toward the death and destructions of men women and children may have been seen as "a stunning lack of respect or human decency?"  Chung Lee is not justifying either but just pointing out a lack of consistency.

goofus

in fact it is the path that all extremists take.

Here is how it goes:

1). Come to truly believe, religious-like, in a new idea
2). Proselytize for it among your friends and family
3). Join other like-minded folks
4). Begin to lose friends and family for your insistence on your new faith
5). Begin to discount other people for not believing
6). Become too radical even for your early new, like-minded friends
7). Begin to believe that people are expendable and secondary to your new religion
8). Join other radicals that feel the same
9). Engage in or start claiming that property damage is right to push your religion
10). Last step: Commit violence for your religion

goofus
While Abbas Talks Peace With Obama – His Ministers Honor Mother of 4 Terrorists Posted by Jim Hoft on Thursday, September 2, 2010, 9:54 AM

Israel’s peace partners honored the mother of 4 Islamic terrorists.

The Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Karake, honors mother of 4 terrorists with PA Shield. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 28, 2010- PMW]

“The Palestinian mother is a central partner in the struggle…
It is she who gave birth to the fighters, and she deserves that we bow to her in salute and in honor.”

As Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was in Washington to discuss peace with Israel, members of the Palestinian Authority honored the mother of 4 suicide bombers in Bethlehem this week.
Arutz Sheva reported:

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon says that while PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) talks peace in Washington, his men encourage terrorism back at home – and Gazans celebrate terrorism by giving out candy.

Ayalon decried the fact that the PA minister for prisoner affairs recently visited the Abu Hamid family, four sons of which have been sentenced to life for murdering Israelis. The official, Isa Karaka, shared the Ramadan break-fast meal with the family, and praised the mother for the way in which she has contributed to the struggle for independence. Karaka also visited the home of suicide terrorist Iyat Al-Ahres in Bethlehem, who blew herself up outside a supermarket in Kiryat Yovel in Jerusalem in 2002, killing two Israelis.

“While peace talks are underway in Washington,” Ayalon railed out, “Abu Mazen’s ministers continue to incite and encourage terror attacks against Israel. These visits must be viewed with great gravity.”

Meanwhile, in Hamas-run Gaza, great pride is being taken in the two attacks carried out in Israel this week. Hamas has claimed responsibility both for the point-blank murder of four Jews near Hevron, and the attempted murder of a husband-and-wife near Rimonim last night. The terrorist organization has sharply criticized Fatah for seeking to arrest the perpetrators of the attacks.

The official Hamas website has posted a special page in praise of the two attacks, including photographs of Gaza residents distributing candy to passersby – a traditional expression of joy – in celebration of the deaths of four Israeli Jews.

Obama may want to put up a few more Pro-Palestinian billboards in Israel

Bailey

 

Hillary has filed a complaint against Arizona with the United Nations for human rights violations (the Arizona immigration law). Think about this people.

"How fortunate for leaders, that the masses do not think." - Hitler   Obama has set a precedent with this act, ITS TREASON! This act has for the 1st time established OUR government as being SUBMISSIVE to the UN, making our Constitution SECONDARY to the UN or New World Order. NEVER before has an administration sacrificed the Sovereignty of our nation like this, both Bush’s spoke of the new world order but Obama has found a way to make it happen, slowly and under the radar, but none the less a treasonable precedence.  This is JUST the beginning of UN control over the US and the liberals will press forward with this type of manipulation and the sheep who never were taught or studied their Us Constition will eventually accept the UN or New World Order as the norm. This is another deadly shot that is hitting our Grandchildren, soon we will be under the dictates of the World government, world court, and the Constitution that gives us freedoms that NO OTHER COUNTRY in the past or present has ever provided will become null and void. What an evil man this president is and those who support him.

Americanonly

Bailey, you are so right.  Americans have closed their eyes and become a bunch of sheep going to slaughter.  This President has been groomed by Kissenger (not sure of spelling) and a Russian man for the very job of leader of the NEW WORLD ORDER.... it's not fiction it's fact.  He has gone all around the world asking countries to forgive us ...........People wake up... Name me one other country that has gone in after the war is over and rebuilt those places.  This president of ours has bowed down to Arab leaders yet has shunned the Prime Minister of Israel.  In many photos where others were standing in honor of our flag with their hands over their hearts, our president doesn't .   This president has divided our country by his lies and his lack of love of America.  He says he loves America........then why is he bent on distroying our economy by getting rid of capitolism... The more dependent we become on this government the more control they will have over you.  By the time Americans realize what is going on with this president it will be way too late because Government will be completely in control NOT THE PEOPLE.  Our Government has grown to enormous size and hasn't stopped ... It's growing more and more all the time.  Our president has walked on our constitution and gets applause from Liberals... so many people have miss quoted the constitution so it shows me they really haven't read it. 

Kimo

 

Everyone has a right to look at this from all angles and spin to suit their needs and wants. The way I see this issue is: Use the “ground zero”, “mosque” to sway voters, get the “majority”, to get “control” of the money, that’s left in the pot. From what I see, it’s working…………………………
Duhast

American & Baily. It's posts like yours they put up on the news after you finally go all the way off the deep end and shoot up a school, mall, or some other public location.

Paranoid schizophrenia Symptoms By Mayo Clinic staff

In paranoid schizophrenia, delusions are often focused on the perception that you're being singled out for harm. Your brain misinterprets experiences and you hold on to these false beliefs despite evidence to the contrary. For instance, you may believe that the government is monitoring every move you make or that a co-worker is poisoning your lunch. You may also have delusions of grandeur — the belief that you can fly, that you're famous or that you have a relationship with a famous person, for example. Delusions can result in aggression or violence if you believe you must act in self-defense against those who want to harm you.

6079 Smith W

 

jend writes:   “9/11 was an inside job.”   Not possible.   The major problem with most "conspiracy theories" from those like the UFO crash at Roswell, NM to those of the Kennedy assasination is that it would be necessary for thousands of people to keep silent.   Even POTUS Clinton said that the “Truthers” were nuts:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk7-XfE7KcU   Also, Herr Hitler only exploited political and social sentiments that had been brewing in Germany for 70 years or more.  

Even after the war, many Germans tended to absolve Hitler of most wrong doing and blamed his advisors.

If you want atrocities study the results of the U.S.' Indian Removal Act:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Removal_Act

6079 Smith W

 

@ Duhast:   It’s been said: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they’re not out to get you.   In popular thinking, the brain has a left logical side and a right emotional side. Dismissing one’s "gut" reaction (right side) and rationalizing a situtation (left side) can sometimes prove to be deadly.   Over the years, I’ve learned to “listen” to my unconsious. Subliminally we take in a lot of information on an unconsious level.   Learning to recognize what your unconscious is trying to "tell" you can be a very valuable skill set for good decision making.   Unfortunately, our culture teaches us to dismiss it in place of the rational conscious mind.

 

6079 Smith W

 

44846GWP writes:   I agree with Bill Mahr, "For people to be free, religion must die".   Karl Marx, Stalin, Lenin, Castro and numerous other of history's oppressors and mass murderers agree with Mr. Mahr also.  

The State becomes the religion.

SamAdams

Duhast, it's not paranoia when it's a simple fact: Secretary of State Clinton and President Barack Obama DID "report" Arizona to the UN Human Rights Commission for human rights violations. That IS treasonous. Meanwhile, it should be fascinating to see what such Commission members and human rights advocates as China have to say about the whole thing...

Chung Lee, do NOT call me "honey." Do not call be baby, sweetie pie, or pumpkin, either. Patronization will get you nowhere, and trust me when I tell you: where I'm concerned, it'll get you there real fast. Insofar as "ground zero" goes, do you refer to "ground zero" in a nuclear blast ONLY as the place where the bomb blew up? Or is "ground zero" a RADIUS of destruction? (In case you're still unclear, it's the latter.)

For your further information, Chung Lee, I don't know that even the most hawkish have been "cavalier" toward death and destruction in Iraq or anywhere else. But war is war. Please explain how the attacks on 9/11 WEREN'T acts of war, and how the proposal to build the Ground Zero Mosque IS (your comparison of attitude, snookums, not mine).

Chung Lee

Sam Adams you sound like confused girl who need man to think for you.  Sort of like the founding fathers who thought the complexities of politics was far too difficult for the female mind to understand.  Their words not Chung Lee's. 

Chung Lee never heard about any connection Iraq had to 9/11 other than the obvious....... they are Muslims!  Personally, Chung Lee would think the US was unjustified in their destruction and occupation of Iraq.  What do you think peaches? 

brutus smith

 One question for the right wingnuts. Why is it you expect all other nations to follow UN directives but not us? That was the main reason Bush started a war with Iraq, they weren't following UN directives with "Weapons of mass destruction". OK for the pot but not the kettle. Typical right wingnut Conservative Repub philosophy, do as I say not as I do.

 

F. ear  O. ligarthy  X. enophobes

gene44870

hey where are these so called weapons at ? No one found then before during or after the war .so where are they ?

It was alla front for us to go to war , His dad took us to war and now the son did , And what did it cost us . well take a good look around yea

All your tax dollars are going to so called rebuild thier country that by the way , at the last report wasnt getting done , yet all this oney was sent over there to rebuild and that isnt be finished ,they have a brand new prison there , but no one is in it and only one guard at the main gate

The water treatment plant is suppose to be in working order yet they still have waste flowing through the streets .I am not defending then , but it really make me hot under the collar when i think of all the good them dollars could have done right here .and yet nothin is getting done accept the defist is at 12 trillion dollars yet no one wants to talk about that and try and fix it .

Oh and most of all if you recall , the us told the U.N That we would be invading them and the U.N ask us not too , Yet Bush seen fit to defy the U.N and go anyway .So who do we really have to blame , Bush and no one else , and thats the cold dirty and nasty facts like it or not

gene44870

Its not about rights , its about respect for all who dies on that fatefull day , that changed this country and is suppose to make us stronger .

I think it should  be left up to the people who losts there lives there and  their families , and i would have to say  that they would not want something like that , even if its a couple of blocks away

Its being disrepectifull to all the people that died due to there ways of life .And who can say that they may or may not use it as a breading ground for my attacks on U.S grounds ?

They say that there are already people in the U.S that are here for all the wrong reasons and want to harm us again , and you have to remember not only about the ones that died or died because of that day , but you have to use common sense and say no to this cause it could be a front to attack us again , and this time within the U.S  boarders.Untill this was over  and laden is brought to justice and the treat is disolved , then i would say no , You all are swarned to up hold the constitition and part of that is to protect the US through whatever means needed , But then you would in my eyes be saying that there writes over ride ours .wheres it end , when they biuld it and then declair victory in the war ?

I am not saying that is what they are or are not doing , But it makes me think as you should be .If they want to build here say they can pratice thier  religion if you want to call it that , then let them go back to there country and they can all they want , but as long as they are in this country they should have to respect our wishes and not build one at this time .

remember all those who lived and died on 911 and still goes on today , and dont risk american lives

You have a responsiablity to everyone one weather they are republicians or demacrat  or independent  to protect us , and to defend the constitition forget about politics and use common sense .

where do you think one of the men that drove the plane into the twin towers learned how to fly ? right here in the so called land of the free , Try and remember that and do the right thing.

I am not against practice of free religion believe me , But then that religion cost lives of people that never needed to die , then I have to think that they should be concidered as well .

Chung Lee

Brutus that is too easy of question.  These people are not capable of reflective thought.  Interesting how these people clamor on about democracy but then they are against a world democracy?  Only proves the least you know the better Republican you can be...... just ask Glenn Beck.  "I held the inaugural address in my hands"  followed by "always tell the truth".  What a D-Bag!!!!

brutus smith

 gene says "Thye say that there are already people in the U.S that are here for all the wrong reasons and want to harm us again". I agree. Their names are Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Murdock, Boehner, McConnel, 6079.

 

F. ear  O. ligarthy  X. enophobes.

Lucius

As insignificant as this point may seem to be, I do not believe that "oligarthy" is a word. I think you might have meant "oligarchy." Perhaps the use of an online dictionary would enable you to better create acronyms insulting FOX.

kURT

Wow! Check out Barry Goldwater & his families past. Against gays till he learned his grandson was gay. Then he changed his stance (flip-flop). Wasn't his wife involved with an abortion clinic in Arizona?

History is great. All are dirty - some just more than others.

brutus smith

 Love the right wingnut word police on here. If you wingnutters would spend a fraction of the time spent on personal attacks to actually looking up history, you might actually become educated. You would know one of your heroes, Ronald Reagan, couldn't spell or punctuate worth a darn.

 

F. ear  O. ligarchs  X. enaphobes.

goofus

If this building is just going to be a community center, what's all this junk about religious freedom?

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