Monday, August 23, 2010

Debate: Should a mosque be built near Ground Zero?

I really can't pass this one up. For anyone who takes seriously our Constitution and our heritage as a free nation, the answer to the overarching question is obvious and unalloyed. Americans do not discriminate against religion. Period.

Leave aside that what's planned for lower Manhattan is not a mosque, and that it's being planned by Sufis, who are to al Qaeda's radical Wahabbis as free-love Jesus freaks are to Inquisition Catholics. Leave aside that the people involved are not in any way related to the criminal zealots who took down the towers. Never mind that they have clearly and repeatedly expressed their mission in terms of healing and solidarity against terrorism. Leave aside the distress of a few revenge-addled relatives of terrorism victims. None of this matters in light of the larger principle.

Freedom to practice religion is a sacred founding right of this nation, and our fundamental rights are never subject to votes or current public opinion. If that ever happens, this nation is well and fairly lost, and to the extent that we tolerate public "debate" like this, we shame ourselves. There is no equivalency here, no reasonable "other side."

Now knock it off. This is another phony issue raised by evil, power-hungry men and promoted by money-grubbing corporations to make you angry and careless about your vote. Don't fall for it.


Catalyst said...

While I agree with your basic premise, there is some disagreement about whether it is a mosque.

Steven Ayres said...

English-speakers have a distinction between "church" and "chapel" that is not readily available in Arabic. The English "mosque" is defined as "a building used for public worship by Muslims" (Webster's).

Use To Do said...

After going to the link posted by Catalyst, I come to a different conclusion than PolitiFact. By the reasoning in the final paragraph of that article, if a local hospital contained a chapel, it should be called a chapel and not a hospital. So, from now on, should we tell people that when we had our appendixes, gall bladders, spleens or whatever taken out, that it was done in a cafeteria?

Steven Ayres said...

Nicely formulated, U.