David Kirkpatrick

August 22, 2010

On the Cordoba Center controversy

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:26 am

Or as it’s better known these days thanks to the latest media meme, the “ground zero” mosque. Here’s the plain facts as simply put as I can get them down — the group behind the Cordoba Center has every Constitutional right to put the center right where it is planned to be as it has met New York’s zoning, and other, requirements. Proponents, and (more likely) opponents of the center have every Constitutional right to debate, discuss, cajole and otherwise use their free speech rights to influence the general public and the group behind the center. Whether placing the Cordoba Center that close to ground zero of the New York 9/11 attacks is a good or bad thing is subject for debate, but whether it can, or cannot, be placed there is not.

Which leads to this incredibly wrong-headed post by Andy McCarthy at the Corner.

From the link:

A friend poses the following: Imagine that there really were these fundamentalist Christian terror cells all over the United States, as the Department of Homeland Security imagines. Let’s say a group of five of these terrorists hijacked a plane, flew it to Mecca, and plowed it into the Kaaba.

Now let’s say a group of well-meaning, well-funded Christians — Christians whose full-time job was missionary work — decided that the best way to promote healing would be to pressure the Saudi government to drop its prohibition against permitting non-Muslims into Mecca so that these well-meaning, well-funded Christian missionaries could build a $100 million dollar church and community center a stone’s throw from where the Kaaba used to be — you know, as a bridge-building gesture of interfaith understanding.

McCarthy goes on to pose a series of hypothetical questions on the reaction from the Saudis, the Obama administration, Christian leaders and more. It’s very clear he’s getting at the point if his friend’s imagined situation had come to pass (I’ll just ignore the insinuation right-wing Christian extremist groups don’t exist in the United States) the conversation would be quite different.

In that he would be very correct, but unless he’s arguing the United States should become more like Saudi Arabia — a freakish mix of monarchical and theocratic power — the entire premise of his point means nothing. Of course if the situation were reversed the entire discussion would be radically different. Because the Cordoba Center discussion is playing out the way it is here is testament to the strength of the United States Constitution, and an example of what makes our nation great — truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.

It’s too bad some actors in this late-summer mini-drama want neither freedom, nor see bravery, in America. Some of those commenting on the center want the power to bulldoze the Constitution and to see fear in the America people.

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