Thursday, August 05, 2010

Conservative Hypocrisy at Ground Zero

Or, to be more accurate, a few blocks away from Ground Zero.

You've undoubtedly heard that a lot of conservatives are complaining about the proposal to establish an Islamic community center--sort of the Muslim version of the Y--in lower Manhattan. I'm sure you also know that the opponents and the MSM keep calling it a mosque, even though it isn't; calling this place a mosque is like calling a new Catholic hospital a "cathedral" because it will have a chapel in it.

Still, one can't help being struck by the multiple layers of hypocrisy displayed by the conservatives opposing this development.

First, the most important part of the Constitution to conservatives is the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Particularly for the religious right, you know that they are ever on the watch for government incursions on their right to worship god as they wish. Yet what are they doing here? They're asking the government to bar this particular group of Muslims from worshipping god as they wish. I guess they've decided that they're in favor of religion, but they're only in favor of one religion.

I actually think it's good for them to be forced out into the public view with this position.

Second, though, look at what religion they're objecting to: they appear to be objecting to a religion that stands for a strict adherence to the dictates of scripture, and that, as a practical matter, enforces the subjugation of women. In other words, they should like it because their view of Islam is totally in line with their own religio-political views. The group that exists anywhere in the world that is closest to fundamentalist religious conservatives are the Taliban, and other fundamentalist conservative Islamists. They're obviously missing something here. Maybe they should line up with their fellow intolerant fundamentalists on this issue.

But there's more. For instance, the fight this week was in New York City's Landmarks Commission, and they get to decide whether the owner of a potentially historic building is going to be allowed to make changes in that building. The people who are fighting the community center are wrapped up in the whole Republican private property ideology. If anything, they are against any government restrictions on what an owner can do with their property. It's pure hypocrisy for these people to go to the Landmarks Commission and ask them to tell the owner of this particular parcel that they are not allowed to put this property to the use they want to put it to.

Finally, when they didn't get the decision they wanted out of the Landmarks Commission, the wingers are now suing to get the decision overturned.

Wait a minute! These right-wingers are the guys who lined up behind Reagan and every Republican since then to whine about what they consider frivolous lawsuits, but they're actually the ones who are advancing this frivolous case when it suits their political aims.

So let's review: religious right-wingers are attacking the freedom of religion; misogynists and male supremacists are attacking an institution of misogyny and male supremacy; private property fundamentalists are asking the government to interfere with the use of private property; and people who don't like frivolous litigation are initiating and pushing frivolous litigation.

Good going, conservatives!

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