Saturday, August 14, 2010

Better Late than Never?

Obama came out on the NYC Mosque controversy.  Given some time, he then articulates the issue clearly and persuasively:
But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
the reason that we will win this fight is not simply the strength of our arms – it is the strength of our values. The democracy that we uphold. The freedoms that we cherish. The laws that we apply without regard to race or religion; wealth or status. Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect to those who are different from us – a way of life that stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today. 
Obama, combining the 1st and 14th amendments, separation of church and state and equal protection under the law, does not help me resolve which amendment is my favorite.  Nate Silver shows that this is not as brave a stand as we might have thunk as even a Fox News poll shows that more than sixty percent of Americans do buy into the 1st amendment.  Still, Obama does the nation a service by putting the Islamophobes back into a corner (under their rock?).

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