Can anyone tell me what the President’s POV on the Ground Zero Mosque is after his comments on Friday night, his walkback on Saturday, and the White House’s walkback of his walkback later in the day? As best I can tell, the President believes that the Muslims behind the Cordoba Project have the Constitutional right to build their Super Mosque anywhere they want and that he kind of hopes he does, well, so long as his belief doesn’t expose him to any adverse political effects.

I don’t want to plonk down a couple thousands words on this issue because plenty of other have done just that. I just want to make two points that ought to be obvious to anyone who has gone more than glanced at the matter of the Ground Zero Mosque.

  1. There is no Constitutional right to build: The President said there was in his speech on Friday, and reaffirmed it in his walk back on Saturday, but he’s wrong. You don’t have to take my word for it; you can affirm that fact yourself. Buy a plot of land — it doesn’t have to be very large — and try to build a split-level house on it. You’ll find out very quickly that the President was full of beans. You can’t build whatever you want without getting the permission of your local Zoning Board and a handful of permits. Guess what?  What is true for you and your humble little home is true for a group of Muslims and their Mosque.
    Actually, it’s worse for churches. It’s fairly easy to get building permits for businesses and houses, so long as they’re going into the areas zoned for them. Most places don’t have a zoning category for churches; religious buildings usually have to convince the zoning board to give them an exception. That’s not an easy, or cheap, process. But I don’t hear the President griping about that, or insisting that zoning boards are un-Constitutional, do you?
  2. There is a great difference between “can” and “should”: We all know the basic principle that just because you can do something does not mean you should. Legal does not always equal wise, especially when it comes to religion. The Apostle Paul explained the difference between “can” and “should” very well in his first letter to the church in Corinth and I’m surprised that the President, who has never hesitated to quote the Bible to make a political point, missed this one. What Paul said, in a nutshell, is that the devout must always consider that their behavior can have an effect on the less devout. I don’t know that this is a tenet of Islam, but I have a hard time believing that it isn’t. The Cordoba House folks seem much less interested in offending an entire nation of potential converts than they do in jamming their mosque in a place where the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers and Americans do not want it simply for their own edification.
  3. Ross Douthat is never more comfortable than when he’s nuzzling up to his left-wing co-columinsts at the New York Times. Sorry. That didn’t have much to do with the substance of the argument, but as the man says, there’s never a bad time to take a shot at Douthat’s easy-breezy “conservatism”.

So, at this point, since “can” is not at all an issue, we’re back to where the anti-Mosque folks have been the whole time — arguing the “should”. The Cordoba House folks are the interlopers here. They have not asked for our deference; rather, they have demanded it. They have presumed on our generosity and our good will. Until they learn some common manners, I see no reason to give them any deference. I am curious to know why the President believes we should. It’s time he stopped hiding behind a fictional Constitutional right and tell us.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Delicious
  • FriendFeed
  • Technorati Favorites
  • Google Gmail
  • Reddit
  • WordPress
  • Share/Bookmark

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 characters available