What We're Saying
The president is now fomenting anger toward Muslims. He has so elevated the importance of the preacher at a 35 member congregation in Gainesville, Florida, that the number of copycats who will pop up is scary to think about.
"If you can build a church on the site, if you can build a synagogue on the site, if you can build a Hindu temple on the site, then you can build a mosque on the site," said the president.
You can't say yes to Islamic expansion in America, not if Islam is a threat to our freedoms, which the president seems convinced that it is. But if he's right, the same universality of applying constitutional rights should then apply to a bookburning pastor in Florida who wants to exercise his freedom of speech, no?
Obama said that Americans should not treat Islam differently from other religions, and that U.S. Muslim soldiers are currently fighting in Afghanistan. "We are not at war against Islam. We are at war against a terrorist organization," said the president.
We are at war with a terrorist organization that lives on the back of Islam. But the president's fearful response to Rev. Jones' publicity event implies a level of danger in generic Islam that I'd never considered. He must really think Muslims are dangerous to throw the FBI, General Patraeus, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State and the weight of the presidency at a little church in Florida.
At his press conference today, President Obama asked:
"When we start acting as if their religion is somehow offensive, what are we saying to them?"
Exactly my point. And when we act like the religion of peace is so violent and primitive that freedom of speech in America, a fundamental buiding block of our democracy, must be curtailed in order to avoid a meltdown, what are we saying about Islam?