Sometimes, just sometimes, Democrats impress me. John Kerry holding the Scottish government's feet to the fire over the release of Abdul al-Megrahi, for instance. Kerry doesn't buy the argument that it was right to show mercy to the PanAm flight 103 bomber given his (supposedly) terminal illness, as you would normally expect a bleeding heart liberal to do. I also respect Dianne Feinstein for approving of the Patriot Act, supporting the death penalty, and running San Francisco as a centrist during her tenure as mayor of that normally loopy, hard left city. I like Joe Lieberman, of course, for several reasons.
Add to the list Harry Reid and the recently defeated Senate candidate Jeff Greene. Why? For their opposition to the location of the proposed Ground Zero mosque and for criticizing the Messiah's thoughts on the matter.
President Obama's main premise, that we have freedom of worship, is correct, but, as Greene noted, he's got it all wrong. What gets conveniently lost in the liberal left's argument in favor of the mosque is that American citizens have a Constitutional right to voice their opposition to it. What about our First Amendment rights?
Like Reid, one of the highest ranking Democrats to oppose the mosque's location, I feel that this isn't a matter of religious opposition. It's simply the mosque's proposed location, and the powerful symbolism it carries with it that bothers me. Muslims don't like it that we are focusing on the religion of the terrorists that killed 3,000 people nine years ago, but how would they like it if we erected a monument dedicated to the Crusades in a place that carries significant symbolic sentiment to them?
The Constitution should not be wielded as a tool to trump popular opinion in this matter. I have heard so much blather with regard to "good, law-abiding Americans who just happen to be Muslim" wanting to build their Islamic community centre at the Ground Zero location. But are they really thinking this one through?
If the Muslims who sought permission to build at the Cordoba Centre are that respectful, wouldn't they have backed down after realizing how their fellow Americans, assuming they consider us as such, agonized about the symbolic importance of their decision? If they're moderates - as the left is assuring us that they are - can't they understand that it would please everyone if they simply looked elsewhere to erect their place of worship? I think it's an affront of the highest level to blame the average American for his or her "bigotry" when it's the mosque-builders who are being intractable and intransigent.