August 14, 2010
Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities - particularly in New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.
But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. 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 unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
It is refreshing to hear The One speak of the founding ideas of this country as if they matter and should govern how we govern. I wish he would apply those principles more broadly, and more often.
While it is true that Muslims have the same freedom of religion in this country as any other religion, and I believe they have the legal right to build what they want on their privately owned property, The One's message to the rest of us is pretty clear. Shut Up.
He says he understands "the emotions that this issue engenders." He understands. He just doesn't give a damn, and just doesn't want to hear about it. Multi-cultural sensitivity doesn't apply when the culture being offended is American.
The First Amendment to the Constitution protects freedom of religion by enjoining the congress from establishing an official national religion or restricting the practice of any faith. What The One wishes we would all ignore in this case is that First Amendment also protects our right to freedom of speech.
The principal that all Americans have the right to express their opinion in opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque, and that they will not be told to shut up by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
Posted by: T F Stern at August 15, 2010 10:48 PM (Ruh11)
>> Too true.
Posted by: Brian at December 09, 2010 04:14 AM (ZbNv7)
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