(HOST) The debate about building an Islamic Center near Ground Zero has inspired commentator Olin Robison to borrow a slogan from the last presidential election.
(ROBISON) Regular listeners to these commentaries will not be surprised to learn that I favor the Muslims going ahead with building the community center in lower Manhattan. As one of the current candidates for Governor here in Vermont says in his ads, it is as simple as A,B,C.
We in this country have always stood for genuine freedom of religion, and that is what the First Amendment is all about. Even so, I gather that there was a time, way back, when one could not build a synagogue in Manhattan. Thank goodness that has changed, and I personally believe that that acceptance now applies to anyone; and I do mean anyone. Besides, just how far away is far enough?
If the authorities buckle under to this one, then who is next? Buddists, Christians, Jews? Who?
I am frankly rather astonished to hear all the fuss about the Muslim Community Center, now called Park5, which will apparently include a place for those who wish to do so, to pray.
It seems to me that Mayor Bloomberg of New York City hit the right note a few days ago when he said something to the effect that it should be built because to do otherwise would literally send the wrong message to the Muslim world, which includes at least a billion people worldwide. I personally agree with the Mayor and with former President George W. Bush, who seems to have taken a personal vow of silence, I agree with what he said way back shortly after 9/11, when he spoke to those who were gathered there. He said on that occasion, that our enemy is not Islam but terrorists. I have not agreed with very much the former President had to say, but I definitely agree with that part.
Another thing the Mayor dwelt upon was the distance. Just how far away is far enough? There are already any number of adult sex shops in the area. Surely they are more objectionable than a community center… whoever builds it.
If, just IF anyone was or is trying to turn this controversy to their political advantage, and it was or should be proven finally and conclusively, we would be outraged; and yet that is clearly a possibility. But we really don’t want to go there, for there is true darkness down that road.
Way back during the last presidential election season, the political right wing in our beloved country tried to taunt the man who was eventually elected with the slogan of "Drill, baby, drill." We haven’t heard much about that lately especially since the BP tragedy. Well, dear friends, I am on the side of the First Amendment to the Constitution and would like to propose to our Muslim friends the slogan, "Build, baby, build!"