Before angering the lefty blogosphere with a lame backtrack, President Obama endorsed the proposed Muslim shrine and community center near ground zero on constitutional grounds, reiterating his commitment to religious freedom.
Some Kool-Aid swilling bloggers, like the usually astute Glenn Greenwald, have embraced the President’s original position by predictably playing the race card, arguing that opposition to the Cordoba House project is grounded in ignorance and bigotry, as Greenwald writes in the New York Times:
The argument against the proposed Park51 community center is necessarily and definitively grounded in bigotry: the premise that Muslims generally are responsible for the 9/11 attack, as opposed to the handful of extremists who actually perpetrated it.
Greenwald reaches this incorrect and confused conclusion because he atypically gets his facts wrong. 9/11 was not an isolated act perpetrated by an independent “handful” of standalone nutjobs.
Rather, it was the precipitating declaration of war by a vast, potent network of Islamic fundamentalists, who have plotted and still are plotting to murder Westerners and topple America — it’s called al-Qaeda. Greenwald should make himself familiar with it.
Crucially, the perpetrators of 9/11 were radicalized, trained, armed and puppeteered by that network.
In light of that, an Islamic shrine and club shouldn’t be build in the shadow of ground zero. Not because it is or isn’t constitutional, or because its opponents are prejudiced or not, but because it’s rude, needlessly provocative, and inappropriate.
My mother was big on words like tacky, uncouth, crass, and ill-advised. She taught us that there is a time and a season for everything.
The constitutionality and race card arguments are red herring — designed to distract from tackiness of the project. Its constitutionality has never been in question and the bigotry of its opponents is moot. The question is whether or not this is the appropriate time and season for this specific project.
You are free to wear a bikini to church, but shouldn’t. Free to use the n-word on the radio, but shouldn’t. Free to scream ‘You Lie!’ at the President during a formal speech, free to hold a priest convention next to a elementary school, free to build an Islamic shrine near ground zero, but shouldn’t. See how this works?
It’s disturbingly clear that there is increasingly little room for tact and self-control in civil society, when people grow up thinking that they should do whatever they want, simply because they “can.” I thought people learned that’s not true in kindergarten.