Just about everybody who cares desperately about the ground zero mosque is guilty of hyperbole and fuzzy logic. That is the only conclusion I can come to about this “tempest in a tea pot” controversy.
First up: my fellow conservatives who see this mosque as “insulting.” Give me a break. But the liberals who are feigning outrage about the conservative reaction are just as bad. Keep on reading and I’ll explain why.
Conservatives, we believe in the rule of law. This means the only thing you should care about regarding this mosque is: does the zoning allow it? You are not a fuzzy-headed liberal. You should know that “feelings” are irrelevant when it comes to the law. If this were an Episcopal Church or a Buddhist temple, you wouldn’t care (as long as the zoning allowed it). So, to say “it hurts peoples’ feelings” is fuzzy-headed liberal logic. Don’t succumb to it.
I don’t care if the imam involved is not really a moderate and I don’t care if he said bad things about the United States. Do we have a First Amendment in this country? Yes. Does it allow free speech and free practice of religion? Yes. These are the only things you as a conservative should care about.
If the imam gathers radicals to him, and they gather at this mosque, it makes it that much easier for the authorities to capture them. Who cares if the Muslim world sees this as another sign of the “U.S. defeat” and chortles about a “victory for Islam?” Are you defined by what the Muslim world says about you, or are you defined by the rule of law and the Constitution? Just because some radical Muslims see this as your defeat does not mean you must take it as your defeat. In fact, this is a great example of American values winning out — the Constitution triumphs again. We allow freedom and we respect the rule of law in the United States.
So, conservatives, shut up about this mosque.
Now, liberals, you really need to shut up about criticizing conservatives on this issue. Yes, I’m talking about comments like this one. Anybody who opposes this mosque, including the ADL (!!??), is a “bigot.” Give me a break.
Liberals, you invented the whole environment where “feelings” are more important than the law. You invented political correctness and campus speech codes. You are willing to set aside the First Amendment so that nobody’s feelings ever get hurt.
The First Amendment is all about allowing unpopular and sometimes even hurtful speech because the alternative — suppressing speech somebody in power doesn’t like — is much worse than allowing people to spout off ridiculous nonsense.
But yet when some people say their feelings are hurt by this mosque — including, by the way, 60 percent of New Yorkers — you say they are all bigots. Well, you can’t have it both ways. Either feelings are important or they are not. Personally, I believe feelings are mostly irrevelant and what matters is the rule of law. But this is specifically what liberals do NOT say in many crucial situations. They care about feelings, alright, just not the feelings they disagree with. This is called hypocrisy.
Speaking of hypocrisy, let’s throw in another bit of liberal hypocrisy regarding temple baptisms by our Church. The Church has agreed not to baptize Jews because it hurts their feelings. But anybody who knows anything about the temple baptism process knows this is a rule that is almost impossible to enforce. When you find somebody’s name who is related to you there is often no way to know his or her religion. You submit the name, the person is baptized, and their record gets updated in the central Church archives. Some of them may be Jewish, some of them may not. So every few years we hear about a Jewish group getting upset because the LDS church will not stop baptizing Jews. And liberal Mormons all cluck their tongues with disapproval — why doesn’t the Church stop doing this?
Well, first of all, it is impossible to know for sure the religion of somebody who died 200 years ago. But second, can we please stop using fuzzy-headed logic about this? If Jews don’t believe the LDS church is true, then who cares if we baptize a person who is dead? Such a measure should be meaningless to your average Jewish person.
In addition, if we as Mormons believe the Church is true, we should believe that there are dead people who are anxious to be baptized. Some of them may have been Jewish while they were alive. We have the freedom to practice our religion, so we should practice it and baptize our relatives. Some may have been Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist while they were alive — but their mortal religion has nothing whatsoever to do with their decision in the spirit world to accept another religion (where they will continue to have free will).
Just to be clear, I am not criticizing the Church leaders’ decision to agree to the demands of Jewish petitioners asking for such baptisms to stop. I am instead taking to task the Mormons who criticize the Church for not following through more completely on such a request.
Again, this request is all about “not hurting peoples’ feelings.” Feelings should be way down the list of things that are important. But liberal Mormons say feelings are extremely important — except when those feelings belong to New Yorkers opposed to the ground zero mosque, in which case they are all bigots. See how easy it is not to be consistent?