Constitutional? Maybe. Imprudent/Unkind? Certainly.
I have often said, “Once you start down a slippery slope, prepare for a very hard landing.” It seems President Obama is finding that out the hard way as he sought to turn the local issue of the Ground Zero Community Center/Mosque into another of his teachable moments for Americans. President Obama and members of the Professional Left in their misunderstanding of the American People have sought to portray the majority of Americans opposed to the project as intolerant and ignorant of the Constitutional Protection that grants freedom of religion.
President Obama and the Professional Left are indeed entitled to their opinions on the matter, but to label the majority of Americans who oppose the project as intolerant and ignorant of the Constitution is misguided. I wonder how these same people would respond if in a similarly controversial move, a certain religious figure choose to build a community center/church near the site of a national tragedy and murder?
Take a controversial figure like Pastor Fred Phelps and his Westboro Church as an example. Would members of the Professional Left and this President be calling for tolerance and Freedom of Religion protections if Phelps and his followers wanted to build a community center/church near the site of Matthew Sheppard’s Murder? Would those at the Daily Kos and Bob Beckel take his parents and Gay Activists to task and call for them to simply “get over it,” when they rose up against the project as I am sure they would? Would Leftist Pundits like Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and others dismiss the rightful opposition to such a project as a conspiracy to undermine the religious protection granted by the Constitution? Would President Obama and others say that it is within the rights of those at Westboro to engage in such a project on private property if it was purchased across from the farm were Mr. Sheppard was left to die?
No, of course not. Tell me, then, why are those on the Professional Left trying to convince Americans to accept a project like this one, headed by another controversial figure, Imam Rauf, 2 blocks from the worst case of mass murder ever on American soil? Is it because they know better than we do? Tolerance and Constitutionality are handy tools when you can write your own definitions.
The majority of Americans are not opposed to another Mosque in the City of New York – in fact, there are two existing Mosques in the area that existed years before 9-11. But, Americans have the right to question the insensitive nature of those who have chosen this site for this purpose by those who share a name and holy book with the people who perpetrated this heinous act. Further, while distinctions can be made between “peaceful” Islam and “jihadist” Islam, those distinctions are blurred in the secretive funding sources behind this project. Imam Rauf has not ruled out accepting funds from individuals and groups that supported the actions of those who caused 9-11. If Imam Rauf is indeed a man who wants to build a bridge of peace between those in the Islamic World and America, he needs to find another location – one not so close to the former Twin Towers, where good people of many faiths met their end.
Few Americans of any stripe would ever allow the memory of Matthew Sheppard to be disrespected as described above – for Religious Freedom or tolerance. It should not be allowed to happen here and it is time for the President, as Leader of the Left, to call off the attack dogs and let Americans (and New Yorkers) have their say.