Sunday, August 15, 2010

Freedom of Religion*

* Some restrictions may apply. Not valid for muslims within a two-block radius of specific construction sites.

Oh no! The president has stated matter-of-factly that our constitution means more than the paranoid ramblings of Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and everyone else who thinks that allowing a muslim community center to be built (and really, do they need our permission?) is tantamount to treason.
"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And 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. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable."
Really, in a sane society this would be about the most non-controversial thing a president could say. And all of you "strict constructionists" out there may want to stop and think how you feel about this. But, as much as a non-issue this should be, the people on the news seem to have another thing that they can milk for ratings. Controversy!

"Will this be an issue for Obama and the Democrats in the fall?" Crikey, I hope so. Let's have them point out just how bigoted and non-strict-constructionist the knuckleheads on the right are being here. Can we please please please have this debate with the tea party people who are soooo in love with our constitution? I'd love to see them attempt to defend their position on constitutional grounds. That'd make a fine and tasty pretzel, I'm sure.

Listen, people. There is nothing remotely controversial about saying we should follow the law and let private citizens build a legal building on a site that they own. And do not bring up the sensitivity thing. It shouldn't come into play. That's not a legal argument. If we need to be sensitive then should we knock down the existing mosque (not community center, like this new "controversial" thing, but an actual mosque) that sits just four blocks from the "sacred ground"? And what should the sacred perimeter be? Ten blocks? Twenty? Slippery slope, anyone?


Mrs. Chili said...

HOW is this even an issue?! Not only for the media, but for anyone? I get so frustrated about crap like this; no one is listening to what's really being said, no one is really THINKING.

Kizz said...

Did you go to the site for the existing mosque? The very first thing they have written is a disclaimer that they are not affiliated with any organization trying to build something new in the area, followed by a little history (they've been there since 1970). So now, along with dividing Americans of all religions this stupid non-constitutional non-fight is dividing people of the same religion, making it OK to disavow perfectly peaceful people of one's own faith. I feel a brain aneurysm coming on. Someone bring Glenn Beck over here so when my head explodes it'll punish him a little, too.

Kizz said...

Surely you'll have seen this on facebook already but it's a post of photos of things the same distance away from Ground Zero as the proposed mosque:

MAB said...

I did note the "We had nothing to do with it" quote on their website. Sort of like Americans having to disassociate themselves from George W. Bush when traveling abroad during the 2000s. But at least GWB was in need of disassociation, among other things.

And I hadn't seen those pix yet but all of that stuff is fresh in mind, as it should be for anyone who spends any time down there. It's got all of the stuff everywhere else in New York has.

Kizz said...

The thing I keep coming back to is the church, I think it's Trinity but there are 2 close together, where the aid workers stayed during the search. For years, up until your wife's baby shower in NJ actually, I didn't go to the hole, I'd go to the church. You could go to the church, send your tourist friends to the hole if they needed to go and never see any evidence of the WTC. It's right across the street and you can tour the church, take pictures of it, even worship at it without ever being part of the outsider nuttiness at the hole. Do other people understand the sort of separation that exists in the way our place is laid out?

And, more frivolously, has everyone forgotten the early episodes of Rescue Me when Leary's character finds vendors selling cheap souvenir crap outside the hole and he destroys every table he can get his hands on? It's crazy-making, all of it.

MAB said...

It's St. Paul's that's right across the street. And I went there every weekday with food for three months afterwards. Sobering.