We have a fresh new Toni Home Pundit for you today — meet RenewAmerica’s Robert Meyer. Granted, Mr. Meyer has the look of a high mileage wingnut, and he’s been seeding the Internet with his opinionated emissions since at least 2003, but he’s new to WO’C. Oh, I’ve been tempted by him before, I won’t deny it, but something about his byline makes my back ache; perhaps it’s his headshot, which puts one in mind of a bus bench ad for a louche local chiropractor.
Ground Zero mosque not about religious freedom The Ground Zero mosque controversy has been erroneously portrayed by certain news pundits as being an issue about religious freedom.
It’s about the right of a free people to exercise their sacred liberties in the shadow of Ground Zero, and more specifically in the New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club, the OTB parlor, or Thunder Lingerie (“come for the slutty nurse costumes and penis-shaped candles, stay for the Taste of Freedom, one of five flavored lubes available at the cash register”), without a bunch of bearded killjoys looking down their bluenoses. For was it not Jefferson in his Letter to the Danbury Baptists who said that, “religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & Strip Club.”
Of course this is another red herring designed to demonize those protesting against locating the mosque at ground zero — as if those opposing it want to deny a segment of Americans equal access to the First Amendment.
Anyway, it’s not a question of flat-out denial so much as it is a matter of competitive pricing. Conservatives think of the Bill of Rights in much the same way that Google and Verizon regard the internet; preferred customers deserve superior access. Muslims have the exact same rights as other Americans, they just have to wait a bit longer for them, and occasionally the First Amendment returns a 404 error.
Is it not ironic that only a few years ago we were told that dissent was the highest form of patriotism.
Now — at least judging by that Glenn Beck rally — it’s the highest form of paleness. If only Bull Connor had lived long enough, he’d be a Constitutional expert on Fox News, or at least have his own show on the National Geographic Channel, The Dog Shouter, (Fridays at 8 P.M.) where he would offer tips on training your Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds to detect black racism.
Now that those people are in power we have an Orwellian reversal and dissent is again unpatriotic, with the added feature of being bigoted and phobic.
Bigotry: it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Anyway, I don’t want to accuse Mr. Meyer of lacking a sense of proportion, but maybe a war of aggression launched on the basis of a counterfeit casus belli is slightly more Orwellian than a pissing match with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (although I’ve heard that Community Board 1 is pretty Kafkaesque).
We have a couple of commenters from New York who experienced the horror of 9/11 first hand, and yet don’t seem eager to void the First Amendment, so I’m wondering where Mr. Meyer lives, that he feels entitled to stand athwart Lower Manhattan and shout, “No Paseran!” Let’s check his bio, shall we?
Robert Meyer is a hardy soul who hails from the Cheesehead country of the upper midwest. Robert is known by his opponents as a “clever rhetorician”
Apparently I’m one of his supporters, then.
who often exposes the fallacies of knee-jerk arguments presented in local papers.
So he’s a crank who spends the long winters writing outraged letters to the editor of the Lake Koshkonong Advertiser-Pantagraph.
Seeking to develop precepts for every aspect of life — based on a conservative Christian worldview — Robert often gleans inspiration from looking off his back deck, over the scenic Fox river and recalling the wise counsel of those who mentored him.
Robert was abandoned in the woods as a child, and raised by shrews.
Muslim’s are certainly within their constitutional rights to build a mosque there if they desire. The question is whether they ought to. The issue is one of propriety, not religious freedom. Until pro-mosque apologists get past that fact they have yet to make a legitimate counter argument.
“According to Earl Warren, Negroes are within their constitutional rights to attend the same school as my children if they desire. The question is whether they ought to. The issue is one of propriety, not equal protection. Until integrationists get past that fact they have yet to make a legitimate counter argument. Also, we have William F. Buckley on our side.”
Of course, it’s a community center, not a Crystal Cathedral-like mega-mosque, but Robert makes a good point. For instance, I’m opposed to our apartment building putting a Babylonian Water-goat in the jacuzzi at some point, but so far the management company has never apologized to me.
That we are endowed with certain rights is granted by our national charter. How judiciously we are stewards of those rights will determine whether we can keep them and maintain our freedoms.
Apparently the Declaration of Independence is the law of the land now; no wonder these teabaggers are so desperate to “restore” the Constitution. Maybe we should split the difference and just go back to the Articles of Confederation.
What is the motivation behind placing the mosque there if doing so causes so much public grief, considering that the Imam behind the project, Feisal Abdul Rauf, has indicated he wants to build bridges? Interesting, that in the discussion, the most obvious thing that could be done to facilitate a peaceful resolution is scarcely mentioned. The Imam could just decide to build the mosque elsewhere.
Yes, you rarely hear folks say, “you people can live in the city, it would just be more tasteful and less offensive to us if you lived in your own little special section.” At least, not since the heyday of Venetian Ghetto.
In fact, were I a Muslim, this is what I would be calling on my leadership to do.
Appease your enemies? Too bad the project isn’t being run by Imam Chamberlain.
Some might argue that we must show the world that we are tolerant. Of course, according to the enlightened commentators, allowing the mosque to be built on the designated site is just the medicine we need to establish that impression.
It’s not oppression if people voluntarily give up their rights, and besides, the golf courses at most black country clubs are nicer than Augusta anyway.
But are not Muslim nations the ones suffering from the image problem? When we consider the austerity and human rights abuses within Muslim nations, shouldn’t they be trying to demonstrate that they are tolerant?
Robert will stop beating his wife the second it’s no longer legal in Saudi Arabia. That’ll show ‘em.
There are parallels between this issue and the soldiers’ funeral picketing performed by Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church congregants, a story which has popped up in the news again.
God Hates Fags. And cooking schools, photography classes, and daycare centers.
If those in charge moved the mosque to another location, think of the public relations bonanza it would be for Islam.
If Vivian Malone and James Hood had just paused outside Foster Auditorium, listened for a moment to all the jeering bigots, and thought, “You know what? They make a good point,” and then turned around and walked away, imagine what a PR coup that would have been for the civil rights movement. George Wallace would have been left just standing there in the schoolhouse door with no one to block, and I bet after awhile he would have started feeling kind of self-conscious, and like he didn’t know what to do with his hands.
It would put egg on the face of those who claim Islam is intolerant, it would silence the people who think the mosque construction is an effort to pour salt in the wounds of 9-11 survivors. and it would shut up the people who are claiming that building the mosque at ground zero coincides with the Islamic tradition of triumphalism(building mosques at the locations of great conquests).
I’m sure once American Muslims surrendered to the demands of Pam Geller’s Stop Islamization of America, she would accept it gracefully and move on. She looks like a reasonable person.
But we can offer them good advise and bank on the presumption they will ignore it.
Or at least misspell it.
If you believe that the bombing of the World Trade Center in February of 1993 was a test of Bill Clinton’s resolve, and the 9-11 plane crashes were a test of how George W. Bush would react, then you have to wonder if terrorists don’t view Obama as an absolute pushover. In that case a more violent approach is unnecessary. Of course this is all speculation — but prudent speculation nevertheless if one is to be vigilant.
So in your analysis, Bob, we can either let them build Park51 and live in peace, or prevent them from building it and get bombed? Decisions, decisions…
No doubt we will be told that protesting the mosque only results in a motivating factor for terrorist recruitment. But if the Imam is merely a moderate, how does he have so much influence on militants? That sort of assertion is easily reversible. A lack of resolve might well embolden the terrorists to be more daring. Are we supposed to capitulate to every demand under the threat of reprisals?
Ironically, the Cordoba House people have been asking themselves that same question.
Recall that during the Cold War, we often heard the phrase “by conquest or consent,” indicated there was a stealth method of socializing America without a bloody revolution or all out military conflict, but America’s fall was surely inevitable.
This sinister phrase comes to us by way of James Paul Warburg, who was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also wrote the lyrics for the hit 1930 musical, Fine and Dandy.
One should hardly suppose that militant Islam does not likewise countenance both revolutionary and evolutionary strategies in their plans of conquest.
Granted, the Soviet Empire, allied with the subversive influence of the International Communist Conspiracy could achieve neither our conquest nor our consent, but there is an even greater danger than America will be seduced by porklessness. As goes the Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger, so goes Western Civilization.
Noticeably absent in all the furor are the champions of religious suppression, crying for expanded “separation of church and state.” It seems that some of these secularist organizations are little concerned if the religious persuasion at issue is in conflict with the advancement of Christianity.
That’s the great thing about being a First Amendment absolutist; we don’t have to take sides in your doctrinal mud-wrestling.
If the mosque issue has the result of being politically polarizing, I hope that isn’t the only positive outcome when the dust finally settles at Ground Zero.
A pogrom would be nice too. Just for old time’s sake.