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Tuesday, September 07, 2010



Ah, but the opposition is different, because of the very difference you identify in the opposed actions. The clergy coalition meeting with the Florida pastor are responding to and trying to prevent an act of deliberate provocation and offense a negative, arguably warlike act that does not build one's own religion but tears down another. The folks protesting the Islamic Center are responding to an act of positive religious expression, practice, and outreach that does not violate the principles of anyone else's scripture. Getting riled up over the Islamic Center requires an already built-in level of rage that opposition to a flaunted, advertised Koran-burning does not. If the media does not portray the multifaith coalition I saw in C-Span yesterday as bigots, it could be because of the very plain fact that those people are not bigots. If the media portrays the folks in streets shouting about "sacred ground" in the heart of secular, capitalist Manhattan, it could be because of the plain fact that many of those people are bigots.

Indeed, even though the actions are different, both the Islamic center developers and the Koran-burner are exercising rights with which the government may not interfere. But availability of equivalent Constitutional defense does not mandate equivalent moral interpretations of the acts.

George Mason

The problem is that the media has given this guy world wide exposure instead of ignoring his infantile act. This has unfortunately become the norm. The media has found a situation they can make quite controversial and it becomes an international event rather than what it is, an act of no significance outside of a small circle of people. This "minister" now has his fifteen minutes of fame (infamy) and can be expected to be on next seasons reality show.


The Florida guy is doing something idiotic, but has the right to do it. He is indeed wanting to provoke someone and rub their noses in it. No question. The building of that "religious" center in New York is also something that will provoke people. The question is whether the provocation is intentional or not. Since there has been so much outcry, then it is appearing more and more that it is intentional. There is a history of Muslims building mosques on locations they have conquered. But like the Florida guy, they have the right to build it all things being equal.


Cory: the Press has a double standard. It may have no sympathy with radical Islamists, but it just doesn't get very mad at them. The Press does have a "built-in level of rage" against right wing Christians. I have no objection the Mosque, but neither do I think, as you seem to, that a majority of Americans are bigots. Islam was the motivating factor behind 9/11. It is not unreasonable for New Yorkers to be sore about that. To be sore and yet acknowledge the right of the Muslims is the very opposite of bigotry. It is constitutional responsibility.

Besides, whatever we think of those who object to the Mosque or whatever it is, they are in no way acting against the Constitution or its principles by expressing their opinions.

George: I think it was indeed a mistake for public officials to take notice of this guy.

Dugger: you offer a reason why someone might think the Mosque is offensive. You also make the distinction between your sentiments and the constitution. That is more than the New York Times can usually accomplish. Most Americans are, apparently, up to it.

Bill Fleming

I think an argument could be made that what Jones
was proposing to do was aiding and abetting the enemy.

In fact, I think there's a strong possibility that someone
made that crystal clear to Mr. Jones and scared the
living hell out of him.

If so, good.


Bill: I find your comment rather alarming. I applaud you for that. Giving aid and comfort to the enemy is potentially a crime. If burning a Koran as an act of religious and/or political speech is a crime, then the Free Speech clause and the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment are dead letters.

I very much hope that no one in the Administration made such a threat to Rev. Jones. I think he was pressured, certainly from above and probably from below, to do the right thing.

Bill Fleming

KB, not a threat. More like a revelation.


Bill: Ah...Yes. I appreciate that distinction.


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