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Roger Ebert on the "Ground Zero Mosque"

By August 29, 2010

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"The Bill of Rights has a parallel with pregnancy. You can't be a little pregnant, and you can't be a little free. Nor can you serve yourself from it cafeteria style. "

For more, check out Roger Ebert's editorial 10 Things I know about the Mosque.

So speak of your god of love, or your god of hate, your spirits of the world, gods who do not care, Erisian discords, alien Elohim, elementals, thetans, chakras, power crystals, militant atheism, doubting agnosticism, ancestral ghosts, sacred geometry, and the Loch Ness Monster. If you find god resides in your Sketcher Shape-Ups, more power to you.

I cannot possibly expect people to respect my choice of beliefs if I do not extend at least a basic courtesy to others.

August 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm
(1) LJRich says:

Agreed, for the most part. Sadly, I still see this as less about religious freedom, and more about being tacky. I don’t agree with the Imam’s choice of location, an that’s the beef that most American’s have with this idea. He could build that thing across the street from me, and I wouldn’t care. However, that spot is a sore subject for many, that’s the issue, IMO.

August 31, 2010 at 10:43 am
(2) Dani says:

Regardless of how “tacky” it may or may not be, you are correct — this is not about freedom of religion, or anything related to the First Amendment at all.

The basis for this comes down to property rights, the fundamental right by which a Capitalist country stands or falls. A printing press, a computer, a piece of land, can only be used for lawful purposes if you own it. And once you own it, it’s yours to use for a lawful purpose.

Note I used the term *lawful*. I can’t open a strip club next to a school, or an adult book store next to a church, or a store that sells narcotics. But I can open a house of religious worship, or in the case of Cordoba House, a community center that will act as an overflow area for prayers.

If we start telling people “You can’t use your property for this or that lawful purpose” we are undermining the very fabric of Capitalist and liberal (small ‘L’) society. The public can say “we don’t like that,” but public opinion cannot be used as a force to legally keep people from using their property for lawful purposes. That sets up a very dangerous precedent of Tyranny of the Majority, which our Founders guarded against via the Federalist system they created.

It’s not First Amendment, it’s far more serious — this threatens the very basis of our society.

September 2, 2010 at 6:28 pm
(3) Solar Hero says:

Look first commenter, there are already TWO mosques CLOSER to Ground Zero than the proposed mosque…been there for decades. Take your sore spot and rub it with the Bill of Rights!

September 7, 2010 at 9:34 am
(4) Darkenwulf says:

A simple question: aren’t there more important issues facing our societies than the proposed Muslim religious center? This is exactly what politicians dream of – some kind of question and uproar that masks their illegal activities. While we look one way en masse they are skedaddling the other way.

September 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm
(5) Ramon says:

It matters not how many mosques exist in the neighborhood! This issue instead of empowering the US has weakened the people of our great nation. We see ministers acting like children. We have lost our chance to to reflect on our tolerance of others.

What a shame that we act out of fear, that we act out of revenge and without understanding. In fact, we have raised a question concerning our integrity!

September 10, 2010 at 12:09 am
(6) Tamaal Ghosh says:

A news site reported a right-wing rally at the site of the community centre amongst which was a banner stating that “Everything I need to know about Islam I found out on 9/11.

This seems to me to encapsulate the underlying principle of all good reactoniaries: ignorance is bliss.

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