What to think about the “Ground Zero Mosque” (GZM)? So far I don’t think we have addressed it directly at this site, but it is now an impossible issue to ignore. My initial impression was that I, as a Christian, oppose a Mosque at Ground Zero as I would oppose a Mosque anywhere on American soil. Islam is a false religion, and is hostile to the West, what we used to quaintly call Christendom. Christians should oppose the construction of Mosques in their community and the immigration of Muslims into our ostensibly Christian country as well.
But I felt like the anti-Mosque forces might be overplaying their hand and a backlash was possible. What is being built is not technically a Mosque, it is a “cultural center”, and it is not really at Ground Zero, it is close to Ground Zero. But I think I might have overestimated the public’s capacity for nuance because opposition to the GZM seems to be increasing and hardening.
But regardless of what happened to the opposition, I always felt and still do that the GZM is VERY POOR PR for the Muslim community even (and maybe especially) if they end up prevailing. It has an “in your face” appearance about it that seems extremely provocative and ill-advised. So I could oppose the construction on Christian and preservation of America grounds and still think I was also helping the Muslim community out. Like you counsel your drunk friend who is contemplating something foolish. “Trust me, you REALLY do not want to do that.”
Of course the Libertarian reaction has been predictable, with the exception of Wayne Root and a few others. For the libertarian this is about abstract property rights and abstract religious freedom, as all arguments for libertarians are about abstractions. Unfortunately Ron Paul falls into this trap in the video posted below. I love Ron Paul and hope he runs for President again, but some issues should trump libertarian ideology and fidelity to your religion and the nature of your country should be one. Ron Paul is usually careful about not getting on the wrong side of issues like this. He could have easily just fallen back on his paleolibertarian stance and stated that this is not a federal issue and is up to the people of New York.