President Obama has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the proposed construction of a $100 million mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City.
“Muslims have the right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country and that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan.”
The president is correct, at least in the recognition of a group’s right to “practice their religion” as they please. However, the president, once again, has made a serious error in judgement First, this isn’t a federal issue. By injecting himself into the debate, President Obama has assumed that he is the moral conscious of the country. He ain’t. Obama seems to be in a never-ending campaign of appeasement to the Muslim community. It’s no wonder that people – in growing numbers – have questions about his personal theological perspective and believe that he is actually a closet Muslim. Correct or not, fair or not, it’s Obama that keeps this speculation alive.
President Obama’s most egregious misstep doesn’t go to Muslim “rights.” In fact, we should all stand by Muslims to protect their constitutionally protected freedom to worship as they choose. Although traditional Christian practices have been challenged and even attacked for over a generation, that’s no reason for Christians or Jews or anyone else to believe it acceptable either legally or morally to deny religious freedom in any form.
The problem with Obama’s benevolent declaration is that freedoms and rights often conflict with certain proprieties. The classic admonition that the freedom of speech doesn’t give one the right to yell FIRE! in a crowded theater comes to mind.
There are societal considerations that are taken into account for stipulating the practice of a number of “rights.”
What would be President Obama’s reaction to the KKK’s “freedom of assembly” at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Atlanta, or at the Washington Holocaust Museum?
And what of the “freedom of speech” rights for pornographers? They are allowed to manufacture and sell their wares, but – BUT – there are community regulations that stipulate that sales must be certain distances from schools, child care centers and churches. There are restrictions on sales of alcohol and gambling venues.
Obama and his fellow travelers seem to believe a fetus doesn’t have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but, for some head-scratching reason, Muslims in America do.