Perhaps a more accurate title for this article would be “Should a mosque be ALLOWED to be built near Ground Zero” . . . I certainly don’t endorse any branch of government building a religious center of any kind.
At any rate, in NYC, mere miles from where the Twin Towers were destroyed, Muslim leaders are planning build something called the Cordoba House, a 13 story Islamic community and prayer center. Basically, it’s a mosque. As you can imagine, this announcment has caused explosions of emotion all over the country, running the gamut from indifference to joy to absolute fury. I’d like to give you my take on the whole situation.
As usual, I will state my opinion first, and then explain it: This mosque should be allowed to be built, and here’s why.
Quite simply, there are no exceptions to the First Amendment. The government is simply not allowed to “prohibit the free exercise [of religion].” It is not allowed to deny any religion the right to worship, and that certainly extends to building a house of worship. It’s pretty open-and-shut. The government does not have the authority to stop this mosque being built.
Now, the arguments against it. Since this situation is addressed so clearly in the Constitution, none of the arguments against it are based in any sort fact; rather, they are based on emotion. Take Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker who has loudly attempted to stop this mosque’s construction. He has made the absurd claim that this mosque should not be built until Saudi Arabia permits Christian churches.
Right . . . right. Let me see if I understand this. We should suspend the First Amendment until Saudi Arabia adopts something like it themselves? This argument is so ridiculous it actually hurts my brain to try and understand it.
And Gingrich isn’t the only one! Let’s look at Palin, who (despite being totally awesome and would have my vote if she ran for Prez) has a slight propensity for saying boneheaded things (Let’s be fair, though . . . what politician doesn’t?). She said it would be “An intolerable and tragic mistake [to build a mosque] on hallowed ground.” Like Gingrich, she uses emotion to push her point: the government should stop this construction of a religious building.
And THAT, my friends . . . is a very dangerous road to start down.