Andrew McCarthy over at The Corner has managed to take the Park 51 Mosque argument to a bizarre new place. He's decided to ask a couple of questions based on his own hypothetical imaginings:
He really doesn't get the fact that this argument doesn't work in his favour. Saudi Arabia would probably not allow a church to be built because Saudi Arabia does not practice a policy of religious freedom.
Imagine that there really were these fundamentalist Christian terror cells all over the United States, as the Department of Homeland Security imagines. Let’s say a group of five of these terrorists hijacked a plane, flew it to Mecca, and plowed it into the Kaaba.
Now let’s say a group of well-meaning, well-funded Christians — Christians whose full-time job was missionary work — decided that the best way to promote healing would be to pressure the Saudi government to drop its prohibition against permitting non-Muslims into Mecca so that these well-meaning, well-funded Christian missionaries could build a $100 million dollar church and community center a stone’s throw from where the Kaaba used to be — you know, as a bridge-building gesture of interfaith understanding.
What do you suppose President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, the New York Times, and other Ground Zero mosque proponents would say about the insensitive, provocative nature of the proposal?
The fact that America does is one of the many ways in which America is different from Saudi Arabia.
However, it is people like McCarthy who are making the argument that America should emulate Saudi Arabia by arguing that followers of Islam should not have the rights afforded to them under the US constitution.
I would have thought that McCarthy would wish to celebrate the fact that his country is not like Saudi Arabia, that he would recognise those differences as something which reflects well on the United States.
It doesn't seem to occur to him that the argument he and the Ground Zero mosque protesters are making - telling religious groups what can and cannot be built - puts them much nearer to the mindset of those in power in Saudi Arabia than it does to the architects of the US Constitution.
I find it baffling that this thought has not even occurred to him.
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