Thursday, August 26, 2010

New York Mosque Controversy

I have been meaning to write about this odious kerfluffle.  Instead, I'll just link to Ron Paul's comments and President Obama's speech

Here's a fun game.  I will quote various bits from the statements.  See if you can tell who said each one:

Defending the controversial use of property should be no more difficult than defending the 1st Amendment principle of defending controversial speech.

The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place because all the suicide bombers loved to play soccer.

It is repeatedly said that 64% of the people, after listening to the political demagogues, don't want the mosque to be built. What would we do if 75% of the people insist that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City? The point being is that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as well as individual dictators. Statistics of support is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society—protecting liberty.

 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. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure. 

There is no doubt that a small portion of radical, angry Islamists do want to kill us but the question remains, what exactly motivates this hatred?

 And let us also remember who we're fighting against, and what we're fighting for. Our enemies respect no religious freedom. Al Qaeda's cause is not Islam -- it's a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders -- they're terrorists who murder innocent men and women and children.

And the reason that we will win this fight is not simply the strength of our arms -- it is the strength of our values. The democracy that we uphold. The freedoms that we cherish. The laws that we apply without regard to race, or religion, or wealth, or status. Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect towards those who are different from us -- and that way of life, that quintessentially American creed, stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today. 

The House Speaker is now treading on a slippery slope by demanding a Congressional investigation to find out just who is funding the mosque—a bold rejection of property rights, 1st Amendment rights, and the Rule of Law—in order to look tough against Islam.

The only way to tell the difference is to look at tone.  The president is more conciliatory, and the outsider is more accusatory. 

If Ron Paul and Barack Obama are saying the same thing about something, then they are probably right.  It takes something really extreme to unite these two guys.  It boggles my mind that any American could oppose the construction of a religious center on private property with private money.  The people who are making a stink of this have no clue what the values of our country are.  It honestly and deeply frightens me that so many people can be persuaded to agree with them.

1 comment:

NotanEster said...

YES. I feel the same way. When I first heard about the debate, I thought, 'how the heck is this even an issue?' Mind boggling indeed.

Further, the apparent conflation of 'Muslim' with 'extremist' on the part of some of these dissidents is also disturbing.