War on Terror

Gingrich: We Must Destroy Religious Liberty to Save It

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My column tomorrow is about Newt Gingrich's rabble-rousing over the Muslim community center in lower Manhattan. I did not have the space to address this particular argument, from his July 28 Human Events piece:

Apologists for radical Islamist hypocrisy are trying to argue that we have to allow the construction of this mosque in order to prove America's commitment to religious liberty. They say this despite the fact that there are already over 100 mosques in New York City.

In fact, they're partially correct—this is a test of our commitment to religious liberty. It is a test to see if we have the resolve to face down an ideology that aims to destroy religious liberty in America, and every other freedom we hold dear.

In Gingrich's mind, "apologists for radical Islamist hypocrisy" include not only the avowedly moderate Muslims who are trying to build Park 51 (whom he identifies, with little evidence, as "stealth jihadis") but anyone who defends their right to do so. Unlike Sarah Palin, he does not concede that right. Also note the arrogant condescension involved in declaring that Muslims have no need for Park 51 because they already have plenty of mosques. But my favorite part is his Orwellian claim that we must violate religious freedom in order to preserve it—because if the community center goes ahead as planned, the next thing you know we'll be living in a Muslim theocracy where all other religions are banned.

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  1. They say this despite the fact that there are already over 100 mosques in New York City.

    How many churches are there in NYC? Next time someone applies to build a new one, the city should deny the permit, because there already are so many churches and after all, who needs one more?

    By the way, can we please have more coverage on this NYC mosque issue? It would be great if we just do away with thread on any other topic – all “Ground Zero mosque”, all the time!!

    1. It would be nice if this, like the Ron Paul newsletter thingee in 2008, was exclusively a Reason fixation.

      Unfortunately the fucking nonsense is everywhere.

      1. Reason didn’t break the Ron Paul newsletter story, National Review did.

        1. The New Republic. Not National Review.

          1. One of those really needs to change its name.

            1. Pro … Just use the initials TNR, then you’re never wrong!!

              1. Did you hear that Commentary and Dissent merged? It’s now called Dissentary

              2. Um, no, because it’s just “National Review” without a “the.” Their abbreviation is NR, the other is TNR.

        2. It “broke” in ~1996.

    2. With all your exposure to the issue, how come you haven’t heard about the trouble the Orthodox church is having with their permit?

      1. http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..ls-forgot/

        Damn that FOX News!

    3. There are less churches than pederasts in NYC. So they still need to build more.

  2. ’bout time Reason covered this mosque issue. What took you so long?

    1. Needed a break in the gay marriage debate.

      1. Ya know what the best thing about state-sanctioned gay marriages is? Smoking highly taxed and regulated legal marijuana at the reception

        1. I think SIV’s greatest fear is not cancer but the idea that libertarians and liberals might have common cause over something…

          1. No Dumbass, my “greatest fear” remains some hot chick gets knocked up by me, we marry, she spends all my money and makes my life miserable until we part and I’m stuck with child support payments until nearly retirement age. I’m not real keen on centipedes either.

            1. But they say the nicest things about you!

            2. Don’t worry, SIV. You can’t knock up hot chicks if they won’t have sex with you.

              1. Blunt object and rope should overcome any objections.

      1. Is that a euphemism for strip club?

        1. No but “Starbucks” is.

          1. Thought so.

    2. ’bout time Reason covered this mosque issue. What took you so long?

      Serious question. Does Reason ever have articles in support of the religious freedom of any other religions?

      1. Sure. There was that piece about the Amazonian psychedelic-tea drinking religion (” O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal”)… oh, and stuff about Satan fairly frequently.

        In all seriousness… uh, yes. The magazine used to do pretty frequent coverage of religious-freedom related issues; of course this is getting a lot of attention because, well, assholes like Gingrich are making a big deal out of it.

        I’ve seen a couple people come out of the woodwork and refer to Reason as being “muslim-appeasers” or the like. Its pretty !#!*$& silly. Believing the Park51 center is “no big deal” doesnt seem to sit well with some. Or apparently it equates to “Death To America! Falafel Jihad!! Durka Durka!”

        1. Mmmmm…falafel. Now I’m hungry.

          1. mmm, me too!

  3. Jingoism: the beating heart of the Republican Party.

    And to be fair,

    Paternalism: the beating heart of the Democratic Party.

    1. Is there no place for paternalistic jingoists in your worldview, Episiarch?

      1. We have to stop this mosque for the little people who don’t know any better!

      2. Compassionate conservatism?

        1. Let’s just say the moment during the run-up to the 2000 campaign when I thought, “I wonder if Bush might be a little libertarian, like his brother is supposed to be?” ended abruptly when he started talking about “Compassionate Conservatism.”

          1. It’s the worst of both worlds! How can you not love it?

            1. “Heartless Conservatism” migt’ve gotten my vote.

              1. Might’ve, that is.

              2. Waterboarding not enough for ya? Jeez, there’s no pleasing some folks…

            2. Communatarianism is our bipartisan ruling ideology.

              1. I believe waterboarding should be safe, legal, and rare.

      3. And you, you knew the hand of a devil
        And you kept us awake with wolves teeth
        Sharing different heartbeats in one night

      4. Mike Huckabee has that market cornered, thankyouverymuch.

      5. Wouldn’t that be Huckabee?

  4. there are already over 100 mosques in New York City.

    Hey Newt! I believe that America has one too many Conservative Christians. Please kill yourself. Thanks a bunch.

  5. there are already over 100 mosques in New York City.

    So what’s one more?

    1. cuz it’s not.

      Is Switzerland in the EU yet, big guy?

      1. But it is in the UN. That disappoints me mightily.

        1. It wasnt when I lived there.

          (Yeah, yeah, correlation is not causation)

  6. It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.

    I thought we had gotten rid of that kind of thinking after it failed us rather spectacularly.

  7. First off, Jeebus H. Fucking Christos, not this?! Again??!

    Second – fuck Newt Gingrich and the Jerry Johnson-esque hairdo he rode in on.

    1. Don’t you mean Jimmy? How ’bout them Mooslims!

      1. I have indeed lost some weight since my playing days; thanks for noticing.

  8. Remember what I told you, Newt. When you’re in a hole, keep digging.

  9. We Must Destroy Religious Liberty to Save It

    I think he said the same thing about the Republican party.

    1. Still working on that, JW.
      Fuck the towel-heads!

  10. Enough already about that fucking mosque. Pretty soon progrssive/liberal fuckbags are gonna elevate Muslims past Blacks as the most prominent victim in the perpetual Democrat Victimhood Platform.

    This nonsense is stealing energy from important shit like gay marriage and Palin’s twitter feed.

    1. What about me, dammit?
      What about meeeee?!

      1. Yes, that’s something left and right can agree on–Levi is a psycho, and Sarah should hunt him down with her moose rifle and shoot him.

        1. But I love Bristol’s big tits. I mean Bristol! I love me some Bristol!
          And her mom! Woof! Hot for teacher!
          .
          .
          .
          .

          Did I say that out loud?

          1. BRISTOL + SARAH = BEST-SELLING SEX TAPE OF ALL TIME

            1. Stop it, you freak, don’t shatter these wholesome images.

              http://tiny.cc/44o62

          2. She does have nice tits…

    2. Those of us who support the mosque were happily minding our own business until you fuckwads came along and started causing trouble for the people trying to build it.

      You soiled the bed, now sleep in it.

      1. If we would just get over with and lay down for them everything would be great wouldn’t it?

        1. No, just get the hell out of the way of property rights.

        2. I wouldn’t characterize letting someone build something they want to build on their own property, that doesn’t harm anyone else, as “laying down for them”, but otherwise your statement is correct.

    3. Oh no he di’n. I think you might enjoy this imformative article.

      http://www.suntimes.com/news/j…..17.article

      1. In reading Jesse’s complaints:

        Judicial and governmental nominees blocked for months by senatorial “holds” grounded on nothing but wanting to obstruct the operation of the government. Now every major vote is met with a filibuster, in numbers we’ve never seen before, rendering the Senate virtually dysfunctional.

        Remind me again. These are bad things because ____________.

    4. Wait, does that help them or hurt them?

  11. Have libertarian heros Ron and Rand paul weighed in on this yet?

    1. Not as far as I know, but I’m sure Ron would support the mosque.

      Rand is in the midst of a tough senate race, so he’d be wise to avoid the issue altogether. Coming out in support of the mosque would probably doom him in the eyes of the average Kentuckian.

    2. Rand is against it, of course:

      http://www.whas11.com/communit…..65239.html

      1. I sure hope this is all an act to get elected and the Aqua Buddha worshiping Rand is the one we’ll get in the senate.

        1. Yeah, let’s hope he sold out his principles for political expediency.

          /rolls eyes

          Of course, you’re right, but it’s still a fucking shame.

        2. Didn’t the Taliban blow up the Aqua Buddha in AFG?

      2. Did you read all of the article?

      3. I think this is the more damning part:

        Meanwhile, Paul appears to be assuaging the concerns of Kentuckians who do not want to sacrifice federal spending in Kentucky in the name of national fiscal restraint:
         “There are bridges we need to have renovated and repaired or replaced. There are roads that need to be expanded, so I will fight for Kentucky’s interests, but in the context of a balanced budget.”

        Which part of his agenda was libertarian again?

    3. As libertarians not located in New York City, Ron and Rand Paul’s silence on this issue is perfectly appropriate.

      Would that others had left a local issue, local.

      1. I agree here, Paul’s stance is appropriate and politically smart.

        1. Well I totally disagree. This is a national issue of the utmost importance.

          Seriously.

          People like Christie at least have the balls to stand up and be counted with the honorable on this. People like that give me hope, albeit a slim hope, that there are those in the two major parties that aren’t total fuckwads out to control the masses either with the stick (R) or the carrot (D).

          Either way, I can’t believe you guys on here would say it is wise to be an unprincipled jackass and take the wrong side to garner a fe votes or to leave this alone because it’s a “local” issue when it is a Constitutional issue and you know it.

          1. Its a zoning issue not a Constitutional one. You can’t build a whorehouse next to a school either.

            Nobody is stopping them from practicing their religion, in fact if they change the zoning laws wouldn’t that be “the people” addressing their grievances? 🙂

            1. Zoning laws are shit.

      2. Would that others had left a local issue, local.

        Are we talking about the legalities here, or the “free speech against insensitivity” your side is peddling now? Cause if it’s the latter, local don’t mean shit. Anyone is free to speak about any issue occurring anywhere.

  12. Anyone want to start a betting ring on how many posts will be put up about this issue each day for the next week or so?

  13. But my favorite part is his Orwellian claim that we must violate religious freedom in order to preserve it?because if the community center goes ahead as planned, the next thing you know we’ll be living in a Muslim theocracy where all other religions are banned.

    IIRC, Milton said the same thing about Catholics in his Areopagitica: There should be freedom of speech and thought–but not for us papists, since we’d try to use that freedom to gain political power, after which we’d impose a kind of Spanish Inquisition on all those unsuspecting Englishmen.

    Although, in Gingrich’s defense, if the Weimar Republic had suppressed the freedom of speech and press of the NSDAP, it might have saved Germany, not to mention the rest of us, a lot of trouble between 1933 and 1945.

    1. If that’s what you got from Areopagitica, I’d suggest you reread it.

      1. You mean, I should reread this passage?

        “Yet if all can not be of one mind, as who looks they should be? this doubtless is more wholesome, more prudent, and more Christian that many be tolerated, rather than all compelled. I mean not tolerated popery, and open superstition, which as it extirpates all religions and civil supremacies, so itself should be extirpated, provided first that all charitable and compassionate means be used to win and regain the weak and misled . . . .”

    2. The Weimar Republic DID repress speech-hence the problems when the Nazis gained control of that apparatus.

    3. Even if they had successfully suppressed the Nazis the Commies would have taken over instead. They might not have killed as many people, they might have killed more, but a shit ton of people would still have died.

      1. I am not sure the Communists would have followed an expansionist policy like Hitler did. Of course, they probably would have allied with the USSR, but Germany without WW2 would be, realistically, the senior partner there. Kind of hard to predict what would happen. Though Poland and the Balts would still have painted red.

        1. Sure they would have. Ask the Finns.

          1. Well, I was counting Finland among the Balts (though yes, it really isn’t). The countries between Germany and the then-USSR, to rephrase, would have painted red. I am not sure they would have embarked in an immediate world domination scheme like the Nazis did. And they certainly would never have found allies in the other fascist leaning movements of Europe and Japan.

  14. Gingrich always struck me as one of the smartest pols, it’s sad to see him pander in this way…

    1. He’s running for the Republican Presidential nomination. Pandering like this is smart politically.

      1. Oh, you’re right, but it doesn’t make it any less sad…

      2. Is he really? Little late in the day for that. For him, I mean.

    2. I don’t know, for a guy with a PhD in History, he says an awful lot of stupid stuff.

      1. When did a Ph.D. confer intelligence?

    3. Really? He’s always struck me as a craven, unprincipled imbecile.

  15. Rand Paul On The “Ground Zero Mosque”: I Won’t Interfere With Local New York Issues.

    My, my, how forthright.

    1. This report says differently:

      http://www.whas11.com/communit…..65239.html

      It does seem to be of the “Muslims shouldn’t be offensive and build a (not-)mosque on the scared ground of (not-)Ground Zero” as opposed to the “Government should stop them terristttssss!!!!” type of comment.

      1. …on the scared ground…

        Wow, the Muslim have frightened the earth itself? I’m turned around on this issue.

        1. Yes, Moosleems make Mother Gaia cry. And they want to put Her in a Burka.

  16. I was looking for something to convict Gingrich of violating libertarian taboos, but I didn’t see anything. Is he advocating the use of government to keep the mosque away, or social pressure? Would Albert Jay Nock condemn Gingrich?

    1. But wouldn’t Nock allow for libertarians that find prejudice abhorrent to denounce Gingrich’s reasoning for applying social pressure?

      1. So is libertarianism a political philosophy or a social philosophy?

        Nock knew the answer: Political.

        1. Even if true, wouldn’t individual libertarians have stances on social matters? So those who find Gingrich’s reasoning for applying social pressure here to be riddled with prejudice they find horrible should freely apply that social pressure right back, right?

          1. Sure, but don’t pretend it’s “libertarianism.”

            1. Libertarianism is a philosophy very limited in scope; it is only concerned with the circumstances under which government coercion is justified within that government’s territory.

              It is silent about what type of coercion may be used when coercion is justified, and what actions are justified in dealing with people outside of its territory. So, if we’re limited to talking about libertarianism, that means no talking about the death penalty, foreign policy, or gay marriage, for instance. I would add immigration to that list but many here would disagree.

      2. Jesus Christ! You sound like some medieval Jesuit. What would St. Augustine say?

    2. In the quote above, Gingrich makes the issue about “allowing” the community center to be built. Together with his assertions that this allowance will breed Muslim tyranny in American, he certainly seems to be implying governmental action to stop construction.

      1. I didn’t read it that way, but I can see how it would be interpreted that way. I saw it as a willingness to apply social (i.e. non-state) pressure to the owners to relocate.

        1. There’s also the point that Newt’s being awfully selective in his outrage. I’m sure that the tragic events of 9/11 far outweigh an abortion clinic bombing, but in some small way the building of a fundamentalist, evangelical church within a mile of an abortion clinic that has been would also seem to be incredibly insensitive. Or how about the raising of a Confederate flag on MLK day? We have to stop making this stuff more of an issue than it needs to be.

          1. “Or how about the raising of a Confederate flag on MLK day?”

            A lot of people who thing the Mosque is a great idea, would find that abhorant.

            1. Hypocrites are right half the time.

              Anyway, most of the people here who support the mosque would have no problem with stars and bars on MLKD. I think it’s a stupid holiday to begin with, to be honest.

            2. seeing as one is celebrating a long-dead slave state and the other is a bunch of sufis…yeah.

          2. That’s ridiculous.

            1. How do you mean? The proposed examples or my contention that these issues are blown out of proportion.

              Let me clarify that I belief that placing social pressures on a group is a legitimate means to stop something. But if Newt wants to start making a big deal out of this, I think he needs to come out every time something “insensitive” comes up and publicly denounce it.

              1. Your last statement is what is ridiculous. One can’t prioritize one’s own outrages? He needs to download them from you?

                Please.

                1. A lot of things upset people. Confederate flags on MLK day, abortion protestors outside clinics, Janet Jackson’s boob.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmtk30-sTaY

                  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the above video provides evidence that Gingrich wants the city of New York government to provide some if not complete limits to the construction of the building.

                    1. He also mentions Congress and the attorney general of New York. He also says he’s sick of hearing about religious liberty for Muslims.

                    2. Sorry, I didn’t watch the video yet. If he’s saying that, then count me in on the denouncers.

                  2. I couldn’t agree more. Does that mean Gingrich is supposed to be upset by the things you find objectionable versus those he finds objectionable?

                    1. No. But when he decides that the government should step in and limit the freedom of some to build a place of worship, he’s attacking not only their religious liberty but he’s also going after mine and yours.

                  3. For Caleb at 6:33 if this doesn’t thread right.

                    Please mark links accordingly. I opened that expecting to see some sweet black tit-tay and got Newt instead. Thanks a lot.

  17. You are all missing the point. It’s a winner argument. Politicians only care about winning so they can keep (or get) their phoney baloney jobs. Obama has to be the dumbest politician ever to have stuck his ass in this beehive. Polls, if they are correct, say that Americans overwhelmingly understand the “right” to build a cultural center, with a mosque. And they overwhelmingly believe it should not be built two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center (I hate the Ground Zero crap). So, why get involved by stating the obvious? Gingrich and his ilk will just score huge points off it. Stupid.

  18. As news, I’d say Lindsay Lohan is more relevant to anything significant than this issue. And I think she’s woeful in the significance category.

    1. Unless she gets out of a limo without any bloomers on. Now that’s news.

          1. Thanks, SIV. At least I wasn’t disappointed like I was going after the Janet Jackson boobier clip above.

            BTW, what’s the deal with that movie now? Is it back in production yet?

          2. Sorry, SIV, the whole skeleton-with-giant-tits look isn’t all that appealing, no matter what Hollywood wants me to believe. I like slim women as much as the next horndog, but come on.

    2. Did someone coerce you to post in this thread? If you don’t think it’s significant, you don’t have to put the effort into saying so.

      1. It’s my effort, and I’ll put it forth as I like.

        Commenting on the insignificance of my insignificant remark is also insignificant.

  19. In Gingrich’s mind, “apologists for radical Islamist hypocrisy” include not only the avowedly moderate Muslims who are trying to build Park 51 (whom he identifies, with little evidence, as “stealth jihadis”) but anyone who defends their right to do so. Unlike Sarah Palin, he does not concede that right.

    Wow Newt, it’s pretty bad when even Sarah Palin is being more reasonable than you on a read meat social conservative issue.

    1. Gingrich has always been the Al Gore of social conservatism. They guy goes through wives like a normal person goes through cars.

      1. I usually ditch my car before it’s dying of cancer.

    2. Are they battling it out in a haruspicy competition?

  20. As news, I’d say Lindsay Lohan is more relevant to anything significant than this issue.

    She’s a fine example of some libertarian shit, like the justice system’s unequal treatment of its drug-war targets, but there’s no watch-me-define-my-identity-against-teh-teabaggers angle on her story, so it’s not a Libertarian? story.

  21. Is it too late in the afternoon for another episode of the John & Fluffy show? Because, man, that never gets old. Just like this topic…

  22. Blago guilty on one count!
    Cable news goes berserk!

    1. Shakes Fist in Rage!!!!

      1. Raises gloved fist and bows head in victory!!!

  23. http://www.chicagobreakingnews…..-jury.html

    Blago beat everythign except lying to the FBI, which is a complete bullshit charge anyway. Ladies and Gentleman, your Department of Justice.

    1. He didn’t beat the other counts, he just didn’t get convicted. Five’ll get you ten they re-try him.

      1. They already announced that they will.

        1. If there case is so good, why couldn’t they win one real charge in this round? I think the tie should go to the defendent.

        2. Boom.

      2. But then you couldn’t get the state trying and trying until they get just the jury they want for a conviction.

        I agree, it should be unanimous conviction, anything else is acquittal. Of course I would bet that might lead some jurors to convict even if they aren’t sure.

        1. Too far in the other direction. While it’s better to err on the side of acquittal, that’s already taken care of by the burden of proof. Society has an interest in the guilty being punished, too.

    2. I suspect the jury figured “Hell, he didn’t actually take anything from anybody or deliver anything to anybody. No blood, no foul. But he’s kind of an ass, and the feds worked so hard on this, let’s give ’em one count, anyway.”

      1. I suspect the same, which tells you the whole thing was a charade. If there was any real corruption there, the jury would have found it.

    3. Gotta agree with you here John. I feel a sense of disgusted amazement at the fact that the DOJ is so bad, it makes one sympathetic to a guy like Blago.

  24. I think he’s just afraid that one day he’ll be stoned for adultery.

    1. Blago? The stones would invariably be deflected by his kevlar-reinforced hair.

      1. eh… I think he was referring to Newt… but you observation about Blago’s hair still stands.

  25. I’ll be interested to see if they re-try him. I have to believe plenty of administration insiders would be happy to have this just go away. Nothing but downside for them in another trial.

    1. He mostly got off? Guess he won’t be writing that book that was going to bring down the administration.

      Disappointed!

  26. Just for the record, anybody who opposes these people’s right to build a mosque on their own property is an enemy of liberty.

    I remain convinced that the people who want to build this mosque should change their mind out of deference to big opposition from the community at large.

    …but freedom means the right to act like a jackhole. Doesn’t mean they aren’t jackholes for doin’ it, but they have every right.

    Whether they should exercise that right is another question entirely, but Gingrich just made himself an enemy of freedom if he would deny them their right to act like jackholes.

    You can count me in with those who are denouncing Gingrich for this.

    1. But haven’t you just taken exactly the same position as Gingrich?

      1. “But haven’t you just taken exactly the same position as Gingrich?”

        Never.

        I’ve never once said they don’t have the right or shouldn’t have the right to build whatever they want to on their own property.

        Actually, I’ve said a couple of times that they have the right to build a monument to the hijackers if that’s what they want to build, and that if that even if that’s what they wanted to build, we should still respect their rights.

        I have argued quite vocally that they shouldn’t exercise that right and that it looks to me like they’re being willfully insensitive, but that’s another story all together.

        There’s a lot of things people have the right to do that I don’t think they should do–doesn’t mean I want the government to take away their right to do them.

        I think people should watch their language around children–doesn’t mean I want the government stepping in!

        But just because I don’t want the government interfering with people’s right to act like jackholes, doesn’t mean I give up my right to criticize them for acting like jackholes.

        Newt crossed a line, apparently, I would never cross–actually, I resent the hell out of him for it, because now it’s even harder for people like me to criticize these mosque people’s asinine behavior without being lumped in with sick bastards like Newt who would deny these people their rights.

        P.S. I did say he was right about how some Islamists (including Osama bin Laden) have used “Cordoba” as a rallying metaphor for bringing Islam back to the West, but saying he was right on that point and saying he’s right on denying these people their rights are two completely different things.

        1. Can you point out for us the passage where Gingrich says the group has no right to build the mosque? I can’t find it. He seems to be saying the same thing as you, Ken, that they shouldn’t build it because of the affront it poses.

          1. Sorry Jeffersonian. I know I’ve already posted this in another line of comments, but this video

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmtk30-sTaY

            shows Newt Gingrich advocating the use of Congress, the attorney general of New York, and the city of New York in preventing the construction of the building.

            1. It’s clear from that YouTube what he’s advocating…

              He’s calling on first Congress to declare it a war memorial site, so they can say what can and can’t be built there. Then he says that the governor of the State of New York could step in, and then he says the Mayor could step in…

              If that isn’t asking for the government to step in and interfere with these plans–because it’s a mosque! Then I don’t know what it is.

              He finishes up by attacking the idea of religious liberty by suggesting that maybe we should only tolerate Muslims to the same extent that Saudi Arabia tolerates Christians!

              …as if that should be the standard of freedom? He’s pandering, of course… He needed something to be relevant in the presidential discussion, and this is his ticket. I was a fan of Newt in the ’90s; if we could get someone that did what he did to the budget again, that would be insanely great–but he’s just pandering for the attention here.

              Using religious tolerance as a wedge issue–it’s inexcusable.

              1. “He finishes up by attacking the idea of religious liberty by suggesting that maybe we should only tolerate Muslims to the same extent that Saudi Arabia tolerates Christians!”

                Because Saudi Arabia is intolerant, we should be intolerant too!

                I don’t think that’s what the framers had in mind. I know that isn’t what Franklin had in mind.

                I can see ’em at the Supreme Court now…

                Religious freedom? That’s a tough call. I know! Let’s use Saudi Arabia as the measuring stick. Yeah!

                That’s so dumb, Newt could only be pandering.

          2. “Apologists for radical Islamist hypocrisy are trying to argue that we have to allow the construction of this mosque in order to prove America’s commitment to religious liberty. They say this despite the fact that there are already over 100 mosques in New York City.”

            If we’re having a hair splitting contest, that’s a contest in which I’m not even interested in participating.

            Some people find it confusing, for whatever reason, but in real plain English, I’ll stand up for the rights of Neo Nazis to march past the homes of holocaust survivors–and I’ll loudly call them complete jackholes for doing it.

            If Newt’s calling for Americans to not “allow the construction of this mosque”, then I’d hate for people to think I was somehow on his side in this debate…

            Regardless of what Newt says, I’d just like to take the opportunity to make my position clear. Want to act like a jackhole? That’s their right. I have a right to ridicule their rhetoric about wanting to be a bridge between Islam and the rest of American society after they just presented a nice chunk of American society with the finger too.

            …want to use the government to discriminate against Muslims? Then you’re not just being a jackhole; you’re denying people their rights–and that’s much, much worse.

            So, if the shoe fits Newt, he should wear it. In the meantime, I don’t want to be confused with that position–that position makes me want to wretch. I’ll denounce him for it.

            Claro?

            1. Not really, Ken, because it seems that you and Newt (per the article) are pretty much in lockstep. Now, if Gingrich really wants the NYAG to tie these guys up, I have heartburn with that, too.

              1. Go look at the YouTube link Caleb Turberville linked up yonder…

                Newt and I aren’t on the same page here at all.

        2. Completely agreed.

    2. Just for the record, anybody who opposes these people’s right to build a mosque on their own property is an enemy of liberty.

      I’ve been reading Hit & Run for years. That ought to be all the excuse anyone needs to be an enemy of liberty.

      1. “That ought to be all the excuse anyone needs to be an enemy of liberty.”

        Not sure I follow.

        Freedom to do what you want–but only if it’s okay with everyone else–isn’t really freedom at all…

        If your rights don’t exist despite what the majority wants, then it’s entirely unclear whether you really have any rights at all that can’t be voted away.

        I’ll stick up for a newspaper’s right to publish cartoons ridiculing the Prophet; why shouldn’t I stick up for the rights of Muslims to protest newspapers for what they print?

        Will these Muslims stand up for me when I want to do something incredibly unpopular like when I stood up for them? I seriously doubt it.

        But we’re all a minority somehow, and what goes around comes around, you know?

    3. I remain convinced that the people who want to build this mosque should change their mind out of deference to big opposition from the community at large.

      Curious, would you have taken the same position about black people moving into white neighborhoods in the 1960s? Say, right after a race riot in another part of the city, so we have a similar “traumatic event” component to the one you guys are beating to death.

      1. “Curious, would you have taken the same position about black people moving into white neighborhoods in the 1960s?”

        Did you see me say anything about how black people don’t have the right to live in white neighborhoods?

        I don’t see how what you’re talking about is in any way relevant to anything we’re talking about here.

        I’d point out the differences, but there are so many–how ’bout you start pointing out the similarities?

        1. He wasn’t asking you if thy had a right. He was asking if you thought that they should move out of the neighborhood in deference to their white neighbors.

          1. Thank you Mo. I was beginning to wonder if I was speaking the Charlie Brown trombone language.

        2. If your point is just that people shouldn’t move into a place where the community doesn’t want them, even if they have the right to do so, then they’re similar in that regard.

          1. Okay, um…

            No, I don’t think black people should move out of white neighborhoods for fear of offending their white neighbors with their presence.

            Do I think that’s relevant here?

            No.

            The reason the World Trade Center site is sacred (for want of a better term) to so many Americans isn’t because of racism against Muslims–it’s because thousands of innocent Americans were murdered there by terrorists in the name of Islam.

            The plot was financed and carried out by a network of money and ideology–originating with Muslims from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Muslim world–and promulgated in order to further their twisted ideology through mosques and madrasa all over the world.

            The fact is that network of money and ideology is still alive and well and still promulgated all over the world.

            The fact is that the evil bastards who financed, indoctrinated and trained those hijackers will use the presence of this mosque for propaganda purposes–to celebrate the deaths of all those Americans all over again…

            Again, thousands and thousands of Americans volunteered for military service because of the slaughter of innocent Americans at the World Trade Center–thousands of those volunteers are among the wounded or died…

            Far be it from me to tell people what they should and shouldn’t care about; I couldn’t care less if the Dome of the Rock were a mosque, a synagogue or a casino–but a lot of Muslims and Jews really do! …turning it into a casino would be really insensitive… Anybody who wants to turn it into a casino is a jackhole.

            But how any of that has anything to do with segregation and integration in the ’60s and ’70s remains a mystery to me.

            Do I think everybody should always be so sensitive to everyone else that it changes their plans–in response to racists?

            No.

            But why does that need to be said?

            In what way is the pointless racism of white suburbanites comparable to the disgust at the prospect of very real terrorists all over the world galumphing about on American corpses–again?

            1. it’s not sacred. that’s silly talk.

              1. I think that’s the best word we have for it…

                …it’s not as extreme as Auschwitz, but it’s like that. Ever been to Arlington? Or the Vietnam War Memorial?

                People have been getting upset about the WTC site for more than ten years now. It’s been used to justify all sorts of baloney–if you don’t want to call it “sacred”, I can’t think of a better word…

                And I’m not saying it should be “sacred” to everybody–like I said, the Temple of the Rock isn’t sacred to me! But why should that matter? Not everything is about me.

                It’s sacred to some people. …to the point that thousands of them volunteered for military service because of what happened there. …so even if it isn’t particularly sacred to everybody–to some people it is. …and being insensitive to them is…insensitive.

                1. thousands of them volunteered for military service because of what happened there

                  …and even more Americans have volunteered for military service in our history to defend religious freedom. Don’t you think it’s a bit insensitive to those people to be pressuring people to leave a neighborhood because their religion is disliked?

                  And don’t give me this “non-coercive” garbage. A society that applies noncoercive pressure against people based on their religion is pretty fucked up in its own right, even if the government isn’t involved. No, that’s not a libertarian position, but I don’t want to be part of that and you shouldn’t either.

            2. The fact is that the evil bastards who financed, indoctrinated and trained those hijackers will use the presence of this mosque for propaganda purposes–to celebrate the deaths of all those Americans all over again…

              So THIS is the sensitivity you think should be respected? The prospect that radical Muslim terrorists will be happy about the mosque going up?

              Ken, 9/11 is Al-Qaeda’s one hit wonder. They need as much excuse to celebrate it as Hanson needs to celebrate “Mmm-Bop”. It’s going to be impossible to tiptoe around everything that might give them cause for celebration. Heck, if the sufis are pressured to build the mosque elsewhere, Al Qaeda will probably use that event as a recruiting tool proving America is not as tolerant as we claim. We can’t base our sensitivities, much less our actions, on what Al Qaeda likes or dislikes. Doing so is the surest way to let the terrorists win.

              1. +Win all “mosque” threads

                1. People have been getting upset about the WTC site for more than ten years now. It’s been used to justify all sorts of baloney–if you don’t want to call it “sacred”, I can’t think of a better word…

                  back in those days, i worked at 120 broadway, which is right across from where tower two was. around october 2002 (iirc?) is when the ‘murican tourists started showing up and taking pictures of their families in front of the fencing.

                  the first time i saw this, i was fairly disturbed. it seemed pretty weird, considering it didn’t look like much and is an odd place for a family vacation snapshot. after a while, i got over it.

                  it’s still a big tourist draw. maybe that’s sacred. maybe the people who are mad about this are fucking stupid. i’m leaning towards the latter, because the former makes zero sense. being sensitive to stupidity is a silly move if you don’t have to be. six months from now people will have moved onto the next outrage, depending on how successful this is as a wedge issue for the desperate.

      2. Totally disingenuous argument.

  27. Personally I could care less where someone builds a building to worship Mufasa, nor could I care is someone chooses to whine about it.

  28. Jacob, I’ve admired virtually every word you’ve ever written, but that headline is just dishonest.

    1. And no mention of Harry Reid. Hasn’t Reid said the same thing?

      1. If Reid was speaking as a private citizen, then he’s in the clear. If he’s talking about using government action to keep the mosque from being opened, I’d have real heartburn over it.

        1. Jacob would have heartburn either way. But picks out Gingrich to talk about. Reid is a much more important person than Gingrich or Palin. But Reason never mentions Reid because they won’t admit that these views are held by both parties.

          1. What’s funny about your attempt to “work the ref” here John is that Sullum likely came across Gingrich’s words and not Reids because he was reading Human Events a faithfully conservative mag…

            1. Reid’s words are much more important than Newt’s because Reid is a duly SEIU-appointed member of the Senate while Newt is nothing more than an employee of ______________ (insert big business name here).

      2. He said the same thing? He wrote a letter about the relation of this mosque to our existential struggle to defeat an Islamic radicalism hell bent on subverting our tradition of religious freedom, and that we should subvert that freedom to prevent that? Hmm, didn’t catch that in the news cycle…

        1. That’s not the issue here, MNG, and you know it.

  29. My column tomorrow is about Newt Gingrich’s rabble-rousing over the Muslim community center in lower Manhattan.

    Thanks for the warning.

  30. 1. It’s not “on ground zero”.

    2. It’s not a mosque. It’s a community center that contains a mosque.

    3. Change the word mosque to church and see how people feel about it. “Hey, we’re building a church on ground zero”. “Yay”!

    1. I always thought that 9/11 was supposed to be an attack on our religious liberty, for not buying into Al-Quida’s idea of what we should believe.

      It takes a lot of strength to realize that we can’t come down to the level of the attackers.

      Sorry, Newt. But this center is going to be used by citizens of lower Manhattan. AMERICAN CITIZENS! Not Arabs. These Muslims need a place to gather. We can’t go around having Congress declaring it a war memorial city and state of New York tying it up in bureaucratic red-tape so that people who believe differently than you do.

      1. …can’t have a place to meet.

        1. Maybe not “need.” But they want a place to meet.

    2. 2. It’s not a mosque. It’s a community center that contains a mosque.

      “Officer, that’s not dope.It’s a plastic bag that contains dope”.

      1. By that logic, the Pentagon is a mosque and every building on Notre Dame’s campus is a church.

        1. That’s a shit comparison.

          There are other places of worship in the Pentagon and Notre Dame. A “community center” built to house a mosque is quite different.

          I’m pro-mosque, but let’s call a spade a spade.

          1. I’m pretty sure every place of worship at Notre Dame is Catholic. If you could kindly point to the synagogue and mosque on the campus map, it’d be greatly appreciated.

            1. It may not be a mosque or synagogue, but its certainly not a church:

              TOUCHDOWN JESUS!

        2. “By that logic, the Pentagon is a mosque and every building on Notre Dame’s campus is a church.”

          But Notre Dame is private property, so they ha-

          Oops. Nevermind.

    3. I read somehwere that landing gear from one of the planes that hit the towers tore the roof off the building in that exact spot. Also heard something about a Greek Orthodox Church that went down in the attacks also has not been allowed to be rebuilt.

      Damn that FOX News for informing the public about news the MSM wants buried.

      http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..ls-forgot/

      1. You can’t even spell your own name right.

    4. 1. http://us.yhs.search.yahoo.com…..at+factory

      2. Will women be allowed to pray on the same floor as the men or will they be relegated to the basement?

      3. If worshippers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster flew into the towers then wanted to build one of their Churches at one of the crash sites the outrage would be the same.

      1. It takes a special kind of retard to come up with this shit. Congratulations.

  31. my favorite part is his Orwellian claim that we must violate religious freedom in order to preserve it?because if the community center goes ahead as planned, the next thing you know we’ll be living in a Muslim theocracy where all other religions are banned.

    That’s approximately the way things work in Turkey.

    Why have I seen mentioned in only one place that the organiz’n in question is run by Sufis — about the last Moslems you’d ever connect to jihad?

    1. THANK YOU.

      Sufism is probably the most liberal of the three main currents of Islam. It’s also one of the most persecuted in the muslim world.

      It’s nondogmatic, flexible, and nonviolent. It’s also had a long and influential relationship with Judaism.

  32. “It’s a community center that contains a mosque”

    The developers are moderate Muslims trying to give people the idea that all of them are not radicial extremists. They were not trying to be “in your face.”

    Having said that, I think moving it further away from Ground Zero would be a wise move.

    1. The problem is that it is now a matter of principle. Caving would send an even worse message: that an angry intolerant mob should be able to dictate how people use their own property. Even if they were to move it, the mob, emboldened by its success, would demand more. They are in the right, they should not back down.

  33. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..90825.html

    Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
    Chairman, Cordoba Initiative

    “In America, we have a Constitution that created a three-branch form of government – legislative, executive and judiciary. The role of the judiciary is to ensure that the other two branches comply with the Constitution. What Muslims want is a judiciary that ensures that the laws are not in conflict with the Quran and the Hadith. Just as the Constitution has gone through interpretations, so does Shariah law.”

    That’s all anyone needs to know about this guy; he advocates that the US be governed by the Quran and the Hadith.

    So much for the Moderate Muslim hypothesis.

    Also note, he seems to be a proponent of a Living Constitution – apparently stoning apostates from Islam to death won’t require a constitutional amendment, just a reinterpretation of the first amendment.

    1. Way to take that quote way out of context. He was using the US system as an analogy for the point he was making. You cut it off right before this part:

      he two pieces of unfinished business in Muslim countries are to revise the penal code so that it is responsive to modern realities and to ensure that the balance between the three branches of government is not out of kilter.

      Rather than fear Shariah law, we should understand what it actually is. Then we can encourage Muslim countries to make the changes that achieve the essence of fairness and justice that are at the root of Islam.

      It’s pretty obvious he’s talking about Muslim countries with sharia law, not the US. Nice try asshole.

      1. Then we can encourage Muslim countries to make the changes [in Shariah law?] that achieve the essence of fairness and justice that are at the root of Islam.

        That’ll happen about 400 years after the Pope endorses abortion.

      2. I quoted a full paragraph, clearly speaking about the US, and gave a link to the full article.

        The sentence “What Muslims want..” in that paragraph clearly refers to Muslims in the US, like everything else in that paragraph.

        And I have to wonder, do you think theocratic totalitarianism isn’t ok in the US, but is fine and dandy in other countries?

    2. But a Living Quran is impossible. Islam is by definition inerrancist. Like Bible inerrancy advocates, Islam is bound to the Quran. Sure, you can reconcile the Quran with many things of modern societies much better than Saudi Arabia does. You can even manage to be a Muslim and still not try to conquer every non-Muslim country. That is compatible. And yes, Islam has suffered from its lack of centralized authorities in the sense that it has allowed hundreds of little groups to proliferate, from the most liberal to the most fanatical (which is part of why real-life Islam greatly varies). However (like it supposedly is with the Constitution, though it really isn’t with the courts there have been), the Quran is absolutely non-negotiable, and the Hadith very little negotiable.

      Now is that incompatible with living in a modern, religion-neutral state? I don’t think so. It isn’t for very radical members of other religions either, is it? But it sure poses questions that we weren’t used to or very eager to ask.

      Remember Islam has about 1400 years. When Christianity was about that old, it had the Reformation, and that meant about 200 years of open violence between different Christian groups and persecutions of dissidence. In the end, Christians, even very radical ones, learned to live with others. The same can and will happen with Islam, but it needs to grow up after that fateful teen-centuries age.

      1. “But a Living Quran is impossible.”

        I wouldn’t think so. Certainly, one can’t change the Quran, but interpretations have changed and will continue to change. What’s so hard about saying that the Quran is eternal and perfect, such that it is always true as interpreted in any time, by any standard?

        Granted, it doesn’t really make sense, but neither does the Living Constitution, or religion, for that matter.

  34. That’s all anyone needs to know about this guy; he advocates that the US be governed by the Quran and the Hadith.

    Oh, Jesus. He’s not saying he wants the judiciary branch of the U.S. government to follow the Quran and the Hadith. He’s saying that Sharia law helps Muslims interpret those things, like the judiciary helps the government to interpret the constitution.

    He’s saying that Sharia Law changes the way Muslims practice their religion so that they, as Sufis do, do fewer and fewer terrible things in the name of their religion. It’s how Muslims become liberal, which is what we want them to be.

    1. “Oh, Jesus. He’s not saying he wants the judiciary branch of the U.S. government to follow the Quran and the Hadith.”

      Not even close. I quote again.

      “What Muslims want is a judiciary that ensures that the laws are not in conflict with the Quran and the Hadith. “

  35. I’m thankful for controversies like this one, because they remind me why I hated the Republicans so much in the first place.

    1. NEVER FORGET

  36. Posted this on another thread, but it’s relevant here too: Gov. Paterson is offering to find some state land for them to build the mosque on. Of course, this is almost certainly a blatant violation of the Establishment Clause.

  37. “First they came for the people whose religion says that everyone else is a dog or a monkey, and that unbelievers must convert, submit or die, and that no law is valid but the law of the great Shazam. Then they came for casual anti-semites. Then they came for the people who remove those little clips on the gas station pumps so you have to hold it while it pumps. Then, when there was no one left to defend me, they came for me!”

    A sobering lesson indeed.

    1. That’s cute, but who are “they”?

      1. The Jews, dummy

  38. Maybe if some excitable lefties hadn’t called President Bush a bigoted A-Rab hater for 8 years, we would take their praises of him now as fair minded when it comes to Islam more seriously.

  39. Has Gingrich ever stopped to consider the advantages of Sharia? If he wanted to (yet again) divorce his wife in the middle of her medical crisis so he can marry the secretary he’s been cheating with, he wouldn’t even have to bother with going to her hospital room.

  40. No hypocrisy here move along please.

    Jacob Sullivan is using his 1st Amendment right to trash Gingrich’s 1st Amendment right to trash the idea of a mosque near ground zero. Bizarre indeed!
    I wonder if Jacob would support an American’s right to put up a billboard of Mohamed near a mosque? How about a Porky Pig’s rib house with the head of a pig coming out the building as advertisement? I wonder if the zoning commission would allow such things? HMMMMMMMM! I suspect more hypocrisy abounds.

    1. Iowahawk got to the bottom of this a couple of weeks ago. He used to post here from time to time. Did someone piss him off?

      http://iowahawk.typepad.com/io…..looza.html

    2. Where’s the hypocrisy? Do we only get to call politicians stupid if they’re Democrats? Is there an approved list of Republicans? I wish there was a chart.

    3. Reason held an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Contest” a few months ago, so I suspect Jacob would have no problem with what you suggest. Mosque opponents coming in here with their questions of “I wonder if you would support…” are very funny because they’re usually wrong in their assumptions of what libertarians would support. You want to push that line, go to Kos.

      Also, libertarians oppose zoning boards of any kind. So, that’s a pretty weak tack to take as well.

    4. Jacob Sullivan is using his 1st Amendment right to trash Gingrich’s 1st Amendment right to trash the idea of a mosque near ground zero. Bizarre indeed!

      Right, they’re both exercising rights enshrined by the 1st Amendment. Freedom of speech is not freedom from criticism.

      I wonder if Jacob would support an American’s right to put up a billboard of Mohamed near a mosque?

      Probably.

      How about a Porky Pig’s rib house with the head of a pig coming out the building as advertisement?

      You bet.

      I wonder if the zoning commission would allow such things?

      I don’t think libertarians (including Sullum) like zoning boards very much.

      HMMMMMMMM! I suspect more hypocrisy abounds.

      MMMMMM I suspect not.

      Welcome to Libertarianism 201: Land Use. Decoder rings and PBR/snooty microbrews are to your left.

  41. Hmm, little curious about some to L opinions here. Sure, I believe in religious freedom. I also believe in separation of church and state. I also believe in the freedom to separate religious freaks that fly planes into building, from the rest of their body parts by whatever means necessary. Muslims are disciples of a pedophile camel merchant. Nothing less, nothing more. Respect for muslims? Lol, what a joke.

    1. Like Gingrich is the disciple of a fairy tale guy. Nothing more and nothing less. That’s irrelevant, or at least should be, to the question.

  42. according to islamonline.net, there are at least 83 mosques in NYC. According to the CIA world factbook, there are zero churches, synagogues, temples, or shrines to be found anywhere in saudi arabia. It is against the law.

    America has already demonstrated her tolerance. Above and beyond.

    Build that effin mosque somewhere else.

    1. Leaving aside the idiotic “two wrongs really do make a right” and “we should be like Saudi until Saudi becomes like us” arguments, what about this:

      So there are 83 mosques. What’s ONE MORE?

    2. Those facts are completely unrelated.

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  44. No hypocrisy here move along please.

    Jacob Sullivan is using his 1st Amendment right to trash Gingrich’s 1st Amendment right to trash the idea of a mosque near ground zero. Bizarre indeed!
    I wonder if Jacob would support an American’s right to put up a billboard of Mohamed near a mosque? How about a Porky Pig’s rib house with the head of a pig coming out the building as advertisement? I wonder if the zoning commission would allow such things? HMMMMMMMM! I suspect more hypocrisy abounds.

  45. Leaving aside the idiotic “two wrongs really do make a right” and “we should be like Saudi until Saudi becomes like us” arguments, what about this:

    So there are 83 mosques. What’s ONE MORE?

  46. according to islamonline.net, there are at least 83 mosques in NYC. According to the CIA world factbook, there are zero churches, synagogues, temples, or shrines to be found anywhere in saudi arabia. It is against the law.

    America has already demonstrated her tolerance. Above and beyond.

    Build that effin mosque somewhere else.

    1. Seems we have a spambot of sorts. Oh well:

      Leaving aside the idiotic “two wrongs really do make a right” and “we should be like Saudi until Saudi becomes like us” arguments, what about this:

      So there are 83 mosques. What’s ONE MORE?

  47. Just for the record, anybody who opposes these people’s right to build a mosque on their own property is an enemy of liberty.

    I’ve been reading Hit & Run for years. That ought to be all the excuse anyone needs to be an enemy of liberty.

  48. Remarkable – there are now political spambots!

    1. I swear I didn’t see your post before I posted about the spambot.

  49. This issue has sorted out the real libertarians from the pretenders better than any other I can recall.

    1. And it’s dredged up more stupid than even I thought possible.

  50. we must violate religious freedom in order to preserve it

  51. It is a test to see if we have the resolve to face down an ideology that aims to destroy religious liberty in America, and every other freedom we hold dear.

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