Notes From Babel

The Ground Zero Mosque and Other Favors the Dems Give Their Opponents

with 3 comments

The “Ground Zero Mosque” has been such a big deal lately I feel I would be remiss in not taking a position on it.  Not much value in following a blogger who won’t offer positions on current events as divisive as this one—Mayor Bloomberg telling opponents they ought to be ashamed of themselves, the President calling opponents un-American, and Nancy Pelosi urging the opponents be investigated.  This is all made especially surprising by the fact that only 20% of Americans are in favor of the mosque, and 54% oppose it.

Sadly, however, I don’t have a terribly strong opinion on the mosque itself.  Karen Lugo offers some good insight into the shari’a angle of the controversy—that is, to what extent is the Ground Zero Mosque headed up by Muslims with latent Islam-as-world-dominating-theocracy tendencies, and how does this impact the Free Exercise analysis?  So share Republicans’ bewilderment at how out of touch the Democratic leadership is with not just this aspect, but the more visceral aspect that any partisan/religious/ideological group would purport to set up shop on the hallowed site of the worst terrorist act ever committed on American soil.

On the other hand, I’m clearly not as worked up over the prospect of the mosque being built as many Republicans are.  But then, I get worked up over my fair share of other sorts of things, like the travesty of judicial (non)reasoning in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the passage of perhaps the most offensive affront to enumerated powers, federalism, and economic liberty in Obamacare, and substandard execution of the English language.

With that said, I’m more than happy to see the Democrats take on water over this issue.  Much like I took joy in seeing Obama get pummeled for his stance on Israel’s settlements—never mind the fact I happened to agree with him.  (Exactly why do we take so much guff from Israel, anyway?  Somehow their tail is wagging our dog.)  At any rate, if the President wants to impale himself on these issues—and thus neutralize the risk of keeping himself around for another term of destructive policies—he can be my guest.


Written by Tim Kowal

August 19, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Politics

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3 Responses

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  1. Interesting you put it this way, I read two articles that have quite the opposite take on this as it pertains to the GOP:,8599,2010923,00.html


    And I’d like to personally assert that I believe the stand most Republicans are taking will actually hurt them in the long run. They’d do much better encouraging a relocation of the facility merely for sensitivity reasons rather than going down this road of equating Muslims to Nazis and raising suspicions against an entire religion with a broad brush.

    And I’d argue the same to the mosque planners: move it! It’s not really at Ground Zero anyway, it’s two blocks away, but move it even further away…just to avoid controversy; it was fine at first to stand behind it in principle, but maybe its time to cave in to public opinion, even if you argue public opinion is only what it is due to misunderstanding and effective mass propaganda (perhaps what Bush could have argued for why he went against public opinion in the Iraq war).

    What’s the point of building it there if it brings physical danger to those who use the facility from angry hate mobs representing the worst of America, and wouldn’t it be counterproductive to build a community center whose entire vision is aimed at bringing tolerance and understanding– when it would be a victim of the largest intolerance and misunderstanding from even before the day it opens?


    August 20, 2010 at 5:53 am

    • It’s true that Republicans have to be careful not to cut against the principle of religious freedom that they seek to uphold on other issues. This is partly why I’m not militant against the mosque. One would hope that Muslims really could make some big moves to improve their reputation with their fellow Americans. But forcing Americans to test their allegiance to the principle of religious freedom at/near Ground Zero is not the way to do that. For better or worse, Muslims are working at a disadvantage. They can’t afford big headline issues that seem to pit them against the will of mainstream Americans.

      Tim Kowal

      August 20, 2010 at 6:22 am

  2. “Remember the Carmelite nuns at Auschwitz? They too wanted reconciliation, to bear witness to their contrition and build bridges. But their massive cross was there in full view of those who went to pay tribute to people murdered by what was ostensibly a Christian society, and it caused great offense. In the end, under pressure, the nuns removed the cross.”


    August 20, 2010 at 6:09 am

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