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

EZOB

Feere-- Like Ronald Reagan--  I can't spell the word, much less, know the definition--  Most probably  used by Left-Wing Liberals when meeting Wing-Nuts.

Oligarchy--  I really like this one.   Again, like Reagan, had to look it up in the "New" Webster.  I think that this word was just beccame acceptabler, like ain't, to describe the present administration.  Yep, that's it, they hit the nail on the Head, ruled by a few, O'Bama, Reid, Pelosi, and Napolitano.

Xenophobes--  You see, I don't want that bear for a pet that just killed that guy.  Really, I'm smart enough to know I don't want any bear for a pet, precedents have been established.  If you think these Foreigners like us, feel free to travel to Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, how many more places would you like to tour-North Korea??  Maybe even Mexico.  Get this--THEY DON"T LIKE US!!!!!   Please understand my feelings---I DON"T LIKE THEIR WAY OF LIFE AND I DON'T LIKE THEM!!!   I really believe most minorities are more prejudiced than the majority of Americans.  It's been a real long road and there's a long way to go, but there is also more acceptable approaches.

SamAdams

Brutus, just as so to maintain the reputation you've so generously given those you term "rightwingnuts," "Xenophobes" is spelled with an "o," not an "a." Seriously, has your browser had dictionary.com blocked or something?

I know you think misspellings are no big deal, but in one way they are: The lack of attention to detail in something so simple implies a potential lack of attention to detail in larger issues. It's the equivalent of those who make up names for those who disagree with them in the absence of anything TRULY debatable.

brutus smith

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

stormy

Maybe the far right has a tendency to spin history, but I've seen PLENTY of revisionist nonsense from the left on here.  Like the load of mularkey that has America's problems beginning with Reagan.

Do you really think that everyone on here is too young to remember the 70s and 80s?  Reagan rebuilt this country after Carter turned it into a laughing stock.  Yes, Bush-lite left our economy in a mess.  Carter left it in a BIGGER mess.  Inflation, interest rates and unemployment were all double-digit at the same time, FAR worse than the most recent recession.

A recent post suggested that Republican presidents brought us two consecutive "Great Depressions," one in the 1930s and one under Bush-lite.  MORE revisionist krap!  The worst economic upheaval of the last half-century was brought to us by a liberal dem.  The lefties on here would like America to forget what the last "progressive" president was like, but some of us have long memories. 

Chung Lee

Looks lime Stormy forgot her meds

brutus smith

 Or using "medical" marijuana. 

goofus
Paki Minister Wants Obama to Offer Eid Prayers at Ground Zero & Declare Himself Caliph of All Muslims Posted by Jim Hoft on Sunday, September 5, 2010, 1:04 PM

This probably won’t help dispel any of those “Obama is Muslim” rumors…

A Pakistani minister wants Obama to offer Eid Prayers at Ground Zero and declare himself the new Caliph of the Muslim World.
News.IN reported, via ROP:

A Pakistani minister wants US President Barack Obama to offer Eid prayers at Ground Zero in New York and become the “Amir-ul-Momineen” or Caliph of Muslims.

Minister of State for Industries Ayatullah Durrani, who belongs to the ruling Pakistan People”s Party, said the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr festival, expected to be observed on September 11, would be a “golden opportunity” for Obama to offer Eid prayers and declare himself the leader of all Muslims.

“In this way, all the problems of the Muslim world would be solved,” Durrani told The Nation newspaper.

Durrani, a former member of the Pakistan Ideological Council, contended that the Muslim world is in “dire need” of a Caliph and occupying this distinguished slot would provide Obama “exemplary titles” like “Mullah Barack Hussain Obama” or “Allama Obama”.

He said: “The time is approaching fast. Barack Hussain Obama must act now. This is a golden opportunity, Muslims badly need it.”

Obama”s elevation to the Islamic Caliphate would be the “key to success, he claimed but did not offer any explanation for his remarks.

That’s ridiculous.
We all know Obama is a Christian who attended a respectable church for years.

EZOB

   To all the Left-Wing Radicals who were busy watching Fox last night!!!!!!!!!   There was a very informative program on National Geographic that can better explain waht went on and is going on with the Mosques, Muslims, Jihad and such.

SamAdams

goofus, please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that you can't be caliph if you're not a Muslim? Hmmm...

brutus smith

Hoft comes out with stuff on Monday and by Friday Snopes debunks it. But we never see a retraction from Hoft. I wonder why? 

Chung Lee

Can Chung Lee say Tea Tools?

Ronald Reagan is the founding father of al-qaeda.

stormy

Chunk, I am not now and have never been female.  Perhaps you and Brutie should be nominated to share the "whispering coward" award.  Instead of responding to my argument, you make dumb, un-funny jokes about medication.

And who better to receive the award than one who not only hides behind a user-name, but a phony ethnicity as well.

Chung Lee

Stormy, Chung Lee thinks you would be able to get discount on ladies night.  Your post was complete nonsense and speaking of revisionist......Reagan put us in debt buidling missles that we need to maintain today, he gave illegals amnesty, and created the Taliban.  Quite the record! If you would have asked him he would have given his Iran Contra statement. ..... I don't remember!

Ronald Reagan is the founding father of al-Qaeda.

stormy

Chunk, maybe you'd like to include some identifying info the next time you question my manhood.  You really do deserve the whispering coward award.

Maybe all of the lefties on here should share the award with you; they never take you to task for impersonating a cooley!  If I wrote in a mush-mouthed Steppin Fetchit accent, your buddies would be all over me, but because you're one of them, you can be as politically incorrect as you want.

And Reagan didn't create the Taliban.  The U.S. supported a loose-knit alliance that opposed the Soviet puppet regime, one faction of which later became the Taliban.  Oh, lest we forget, he was continuing a policy that started under Carter.  Y'know, when you and your allies write RIDICULOUS things about Reagan, you lose credibility.  Unlike you, most Americans revere his memory.

As to the missiles, they did their job, and they cost a fraction of what your pseudo-messiah has spent in less than 2 years.  How fortunate that the purse-strings are about to be cut!!!

Salvatore
R U Kidding me

well you you agree with it then the germans can hang there flag on a building next to the holocaust museum.

Chung Lee

Can we all agree that a German citizen or company can buy a building next to the Holocaust Museum?

brutus smith

 Is stormy talking about that Reagan guy who cut and ran from Lebanon after our Marine barracks were blown up? Or that Reagan guy who negotiated with terrorists (Iran) ? Or the Reagan who called the Taliban freedom fighters?

Chung Lee

I think she is talking about the revisionist Reagan they the right is trying to create.

goofus

 I love it when Brutus and Chung Lee reinforce my opinion that Islamists can't be trusted. Accusing Reagan of not doing enough in retaliation to an Islamic bombing of a Marine baracks. The french conducted an airstrike in the Bekaa valley targeting the Islamic Revolutionary Guards baracks of Sheikh Abullah after the bombing. Reagan was prepared to launch an airstrike also, but through lobbying efforts of  Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, who was against sending the Marines into Lebanon as a peace keeping force in the Lebanese Civil War from the onset, decided against it. On Feb.8 1984 the U.S.S New Jersey fired 300 shells at Druze and Syrian positions in the Bekaa valley. The man responsible was secretly indicted but was killed in a car bombing. Reagan,Carter(black hawk down),Clinton(khobar towers and USS cole) have all underestimated the Islamic threat.

stormy

MORE revisionist krap from the lunatic left.  The Taliban did not exist when Reagan was Prez.

BS, the American people don't care about Iran-Contra.  They didn't care about it then, and they sure as he11 don't care about it now.  By all means, keep smearing Reagan; you're only alienating any moderates who happen to read your drivel.

Chunk, you two-bit Charley Chan knockoff, I dare you; identify yourself.  I'll be happy to meet you.  Then you can have the fun of insulting my manhood to my face, and I can have the pleasure of knocking you right out of your shoes.

Again, everyone, you'll notice that the lefties never give Chunk any grief for his pidgin english or his cheesy insults.  If he were a conservative, they'd be on him like soy sauce on fried rice, but because he's one of them, he gets a pass.

 

Chung Lee

How about you identify yourself "stormy" and Chung Lee will come find you?  Chung Lee will tell you now that Chung Lee is not a Log Cabin Conservative and no Larry Craig meetings!

brutus smith

 stormy, you make my point. You didn't care then so why do you care now? If Obama sneezes you guys say he didn't sneeze right. 

Chung Lee

The Taliban didn't exist when Reagan was President?  Well, then why did he say

"These gentlemen (the Taliban) are the moral equivalents of America's founding fathers." Ronald Reagan, 1985

Looks like the facts once again get in the the way.  No problem..... just keep repeating the lies.

Cross

The Taliban was formed in 1989, after the soviet troops withdrawal.

 

 

 

stormy

Nice misquote, chunk-punk!!!   The part in parentheses is not Reagan, but YOU.  Reagan was talking about the Mujahedin, ONE faction of which LATER became the Taliban.  You are not fooling anyone.

BS, what's with "you guys?"  To this day, I don't hate Obama.  There were things about him that I liked, and I was willing to cut him some slack at first.  Yes, he inherited a mess.  Yes, his immediate predecessor was a clusterf*c*.  I'm not on here defending Bush-lite, and you know it.  Our gov't was out of balance for most of his time in office.  It's out of balance NOW, in the other direction; but of course, that is about to be corrected.  It must be killing you, knowing you can't stop it.

Chunk, as far as identifying myself; you first, coward.  I made the first challenge; it's up to you to pick up the gauntlet.  Of course, you never will, so here's another idea.  Name a public place, a time, and what you'll be wearing; be sure to mention something distinctive about your appearance or attire, so I won't clobber the wrong person.  I'll do likewise, and we can settle this man to phony chinese weasel.

Chung Lee

If you so brave why don't you do that?  Are you a coward?  If it is such a good idea why won't you do as you say others should do?  Or is that part of being a mindless right winger.  Chung Lee pretty sure you will not be doing much clobbering Nancy.  Come on tough guy put your ideas to work.

stormy

Again, I'm not a right-winger.  I just look like one to someone as far to the left as you.

I drew the line; you're the one who won't step over it.  I even gave you an option that wouldn't require you to publicly identify yourself on here, and you wouldn't exercise it.  You're the coward.  To borrow a phrase from BS, you are nothing, nada, zilch.

Go change your panties; you just peed in them.  I'm through with you, and with this thread.

Oh, wait a minute.  I don't want to end this off-topic.  I support the right of law-abiding American Muslims to build a community center, which happens to include prayer facilities, a couple of blocks from the WTC site.  Freedom of religion, and the right to use and enjoy one's own private property, clearly trump issues of sensitivity.  No disrespect for the victims of 9-11 is intended; it's just what I believe.

OK, that's it.  I'm outa here.

kURT

Hugo Back & the KKK. He was an assoicate supreme court justice for a long time.

What does this have 2do with this topic? Plenty. In the 20's Hugo was affiliated with the KKK along with many US citizens. The KKK promoted fear against Catholics, Jews, & immigrants as well as hatred against blacks. 

This topic is similar.

All of M are dirty - some more so than others.

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