Profile in Courage.

I’m proud of Obama for coming out and unequivocally speaking in favor of the proposed Islamist Center near the site of the World Trade Center bombing, as he did at a Ramadan dinner at the White House last night.

It seems a position he had to have particular guts to take. A George Bush could support the mosque without political penalty because there isn’t anybody out there who thinks George Bush is a secret Muslim agent taking his orders from Osama Bin Laden. But a lot of people think exactly that about Barack Hussein Obama. His unique vulnerability translates to zero political upside for him in the position, and a whole lot of downside. So he could have calculated the prudent thing, for which no one would blame him, to be to continue to treat the mosque controversy as a “local matter.” But he didn’t. He said, “Goddammit, for once I’m going to say what I believe and what’s right, even though I’ll pay a price for it.” I wish he would do that more–it’s one of the more disappointing things about his presidency that he hasn’t–but at least he did it this time. Maybe it’s a sign (along with his firing of Gen. McChrystal) that he’s finally growing a pair.

I’m not at all comfortable with the mosque in Lower Manhattan. I don’t dismiss as paranoia the suspicion that it could be a breeding ground for terrorism. But I also know that freedom of religion is a constitutional guarantee in our country, and there is no wiggle room in that. The right answer might not be the one we like, but that doesn’t make it less right. Thank you, President Obama, for being unafraid to stand up for it. May it become a habit.


6 Comments on “Profile in Courage.”

  1. Norma says:

    This took no courage–just a finger in the eye of Americans for whom this location has tremendous meaning and memory. If you read him carefully (books, speeches, etc.) without the misty eyed adoration of the media and guilt wracked liberals mining for tid-bits that aren’t there, you’ll see he is what he is. Bland, odd, cold, and not at all concerned about the feelings of others.

  2. Rovronr says:

    I sort of read the ending of the comment above like this: Bland, odd, cold, …not at all concerned about the feelings of others, and BLACK, BLACK, BLACK, OH MY, FEAR, FEAR FEAR!!!

    Racist bull shit.

  3. Rovronr says:

    I am neither misty eyed, nor guilt wracked. I’m just sick of trolls and their groundless fear-mongering. We have nothing to fear from a mosque in the Ground Zero neighborhood. We have everything to fear from retrograde flag waving American exceptionalism.

    A country that has room for a mosque at Ground Zero is a country that has the strength to endure petty, sick minded criminals like Bin Laden and his gang of sick thugs.

  4. Rovronr says:

    Sooner or later I was bound to snap. Sorry, Ted.

  5. Ted Naron says:

    Snap away.

  6. Reka says:

    Hi! I’m writing from Europe, I lived several years in Germany, France and been around. Believe me, the mosques are not a question of religious freedom but a real clash of societies and values. It does not help to give them freedom here , but it could help to support those who want to open up the minds of the people in their own country. A lot of great scholars , men and women of moslem countries, live in the West because their life is in danger in the East, where they should be working on making changes happen.
    Like your site

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