Why has this negativity developed? One reason is that people in the heartland see the defenders of the Mosque as mostly members of the liberal punditocracy. Distrust of these privileged folks, which has long been rife, has intensified because of the general alienation from our political and institutional structure. And of course the blogosphere provides a more varied perspective, with many contributors, I would assume, speaking out against the Mosque.
More important, I think, is that ordinary people notice a disconnect between between the defense of this Muslim facility and what they view as attacks on long-standing Christian features of our society--creches, saying "Merry Christmas," crossses in certain public places, and so forth--attacks that seem to reflect an effort to de-Christianize our society. Why don't these bien pensant pundits and politicians (e. g., Mayor Bloomberg) subject public displays of Islam (we just had a dinner in the White House) to the same withering criticism that they normally accord observances of Christianity? The reason, of course, is not their determination to drive "religion" from the public square--but that they want to drive the C h r i s t i a n religion from the public square.
The love affair of the liberal-left spectrum with Islam ("moderate" Islam, of course) has many roots. It is particularly prevalent among the people I call Euro-polyannas. In his two books Bruce Bawer has thoroughly exposed these fools. The background of all this is--that there is no background. Everywhere, a tremendous lack of knowledge of Islam, and its supremacist history, prevails, This willful ignorance makes it easy to regard these mosque-builders as "just folks." Of course the liberal pundits detest the folks, so that ploy is an obvious instance of bad faith.
In newsrooms, apparently (I have never worked in one), an atmosphere of ridiculing religion prevails, so that those who profess a religious faith are well advised to remain in the closet--not unlike the gay journalists of yore. Unless, that is, one is writing a religion column, where the writer nonetheless has to be careful not to offend the atmosphere of militant secularism that reigns among his colleagues.
Among the many ironies is that former President Bush--that consummate bungler and idiot--is being asked to come out of retirement so as to defend the mosque, in keeping with his earlier polyannaism regarding Islam. In a bizarre era in which a Glenn Beck says gay marriage is fine, one can, I suppose, expect anything.
As devoted readers know, I have written a torrent of words in an attempt to expose the deceit and fabrication that infest all three Abrahamic religions. I am not defending religion. But I am curious to know why this mosque has elicited so much favor--and so much hostility.
Perhaps the Mosque might have received a more uniformly positive reception if it had been presented as part of a larger project for implanting religious centers, including Christian and Jewish ones, near Ground Zero. But the punditocracy wouldn't like that at all. They hate all religion--except for Islam.
Oh, I forgot: the Dalai Lama is always OK.
UPDATE. In an interview with a San Francisco radio station House speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she joins "those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded." She added: "How is this being ginned up?"
This is truly bizarre and outrageous. Those who dare to question the Mosque will now have their "funding" questioned. This is the tactics of a police state, and stands in direct contradiction to the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech.
By way of personal declaration, my own funding comes exclusively from my pension. Is Pelosi going to have Social Security go after me? Give me a break!
Labels: Religious freedom