Is it possible to think that the proposed mosque near ground zero is much ado about nothing and at the same time not hate America? The media, and the politicians they hack for, would like you to think not. As is usual with the MSM, they are presenting only two diametrically opposed views to the building of the mosque and saddling them with left and right monikers. Just another day at the CNN/Fox/NBC/CBS/ABC office. Take a simple issue, split it into two views at some arbitrary point, then present it as a political right vs. left argument. It’s stupid. The truth is so much easier. It’s even intuitive.
There really is only one issue: should a private property owner have to ask the government’s permission to use his own property in whatever way he wants? The answer is no. If you said yes, have fun on that slippery slope down towards the government dictating every move you make.
That mosque site is none of “our” business. If the owner(s) wants to build a mosque, they can build a mosque. If they want to build a church, they can build a church. If they want to leave it vacant, so be it. It’s nobody’s business but the owners’. If the people in the surrounding area don’t like it, they have ways of making life miserable for the tenants. It’s called social pressure. And it’s much more desirable than government fiat at the point of a gun. Maybe, the people living near the mosque put up posters saying “Get Out!” or something like that. I don’t know. I think that would be a bad idea, but then again, I don’t live near the 9/11 site, so I don’t know what their mindset is. The point is, that’s up to them if they want to be that way. But, I prefer that to giving away that social power to the state, never to be reclaimed. Then it ceases to be a local issue and begins to encroach on us all.
And that’s the secondary issue to keep in mind. It’s one that so many conservatives tend to ignore. Namely, the permanent giving away of social power to the state. I hear conservatives saying things like, “we shouldn’t let them build a mosque there next to the 9/11 site. It would be disrespectful to the memory of 9/11.” I don’t think they understand just how pregnant with consequences that statement is. For one, who is the “we” here? The “we” seems to indicate some amalgamation of themselves with government in deciding the fate of the mosque developer. But, as is always the case, what will really happen in reality isn’t we. It’s they. Because, of course, it’s the all-powerful state that will be the one to ultimately force the developer into obedience. And, that’s a very, very short sighted decision on the part of conservatives, because once the precedent is set that it’s the state that gets to control what kind of religious activities go on, on a piece of private property, you’ve opened the flood gates of religious discrimination.
We saw the same kind of short sightedness during the Bush years. So many conservatives (myself included) were quick to jump on board with horrible laws like the Patriot Act, without ever thinking through the consequences for future administrations. So what we’re left with now is an all powerful executive branch with a war mongering, liberal fascist in charge. We handed the pervues of society over to the state when “our guy” was in charge, not realizing that he was never “our guy.” Nobody has a “guy” who’s on their side in politics.
But, stepping back over to the mosque issue for a moment, we now see politicians, like Nancy Pelosi, coming out and stating opinions on it publicly. This is a bad sign. Pelosi is something of a political bellwether. When she starts talking, it’s a good indicator that everybody else in Washington is thinking the same thing. And, what are they thinking? That this is a win-win issue for them. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t be openly discussing it. You see, as we’ve talked about before, politicians only state opinions about issues in which both sides of that issue benefit them. Then they can safely take a position, because if they “lose”, at least their base saw them fighting the good fight, and if they “win” then their base is stoked that they won. This mosque issue is a classic example.
Think about it. If Pelosi takes a pro-mosque stance, the Democrat base will love her automatically. If she takes an anti-mosque stance, she still wins because she is reaffirming the legitimacy of the state to make such decisions. Thus, she increases her own power. It’s a win-win. The only people who lose are you and me. Because, a decade from now when someone wants to build a church near predominantly gay community, it might be denied a permit since doing so might cause “emotional tension” in the community. See how that works? Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to defend the freedoms of others you might disagree with in order to preserve freedom for yourself. The state has no business at all in this issue.