Ron Christie, a GOP drone often invited to join in on MSNBC gabfests of little, if any, importance......was invited on to gab again yesterday.
The MSNBC yakkers were talking about (what else?) the Islamic Cultural Center planned for the old Burlington Coat Factory building a couple of blocks and around the corner from Ground Zero.
Christie, against the construction of the Center at the Coat Factory site, realized he had no reasonable leg to argue on, and resorted to the conservative default mechanism on this particular discussion.
That default position goes something like this:
Sure, Muslims have every legal and constitutional right to build an Islamic Center on the old Coat Factory site. Everyone knows that they have that right in America.....BUT.....is it the right thing to do?
I have found that position, that argument, if that's what it is.....to be lame in the extreme.
To illustrate why it's lame, consider.....
Blacks have the legal and constitutional right to sit in the front of buses......but is it the right thing to do? Many whites are still very, you know, "sensitive", about being in close proximity to blacks......so, even though blacks have the perfect right to sit in the front of buses.....why can't they show their willingness to get along with whites by sitting in the back of buses?
Atheist Americans have the same legal right as non-atheists to exercise their free speech rights......but are atheists who exercise their free speech rights doing the right thing? After all, when atheists exercise their free speech rights, religious citizens are often offended, their feelings bruised, sensitivities made more sensitive. Shouldn't atheists, then, refrain from exercising their free speech rights? Sure, atheists have the right.....but is it the right thing to do?
See where we're headed here?
The Constitution prohibits government officials from establishing religion in any way. However, millions of American Christians are very offended when government refuses to "put god back into our schools" through symbolic prayer and Bible reading mandates, etc. Sure, the Constitution demands that government officials take a hands off approach to establishing religion in public enterprises.....but when a prohibition upsets so many American Christians, hurts their Christian feelings so much.....is it really the right thing for government to do?
Biological evolution is the consensus scientific explanation for life here on earth. Because of that scientific consensus, evolution is taught to all public students in science class, and is found fully elaborated upon in all public text books. However, many creationists are deeply offended that evolution is taught in public schools. The very thought that evolution is taught in public schools causes emotional pain and suffering to creationists. Of course there's really no argument whether or not evolution is accepted science,...it is.....but is the right to teach the latest scientific consensus really the right thing to do if it offends so many creationist Americans?
See why Ron Christie's.....and many others', "but is it the right thing to do?", response to the Park 51 project is so lame?
America could not function.....at all....if guaranteed rights were replaced with "does it hurt someone's feelings?" litmus tests.
Throughout this nontroversy, one person has stood out as a genuine American statesman.....New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg not only has supported the right of New York Muslims to construct an Islamic Center 2 blocks and around the corner from Ground Zero......he said the other night that the Islamic Center MUST be built. Bloomberg said that if we deny the Center's construction at the old Coat Factory site.....
“We would feed the false impressions that some Americans have about Muslims,......We would hand a valuable propaganda tool to terrorist recruiters, who spread the fallacy that America is at war with Islam.”
If the construction of the Islamic Center was stopped, Bloomberg rightly says....
“The question will then become, how big should the ‘no-mosque zone’ be around the World Trade Center site? There is already a mosque four blocks away. Should it be moved?”
“If we say that a mosque and community center should not be built near the perimeter of the World Trade Center site, we would compromise our commitment to fighting terror with freedom.”
And to those who are oh-so-worried about fee-fees and sensitivities, Bloomberg says now is the time to buck up and be an American.....
“We must have the courage of our convictions. We must do what is right, not what is easy. And we must put our faith in the freedoms that have sustained our great country for more than 200 years.”
So, to answer the title question....."But is it the right thing?" for an Islamic Center to be built a couple of blocks away and around the corner from Ground Zero......The Reverend joins Mayor Bloomberg in saying.....
Today, right now.....it's the ONLY thing that should be done.
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