Some choice words from Ron Paul (someone I don’t often find myself agreeing with) on this “Ground Zero mosque” nonsense:

Is the controversy over building a mosque near ground zero a grand distraction or a grand opportunity? Or is it, once again, grandiose demagoguery?

In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.

They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars. A select quote from soldiers from in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice.

The claim is that we are in the Middle East to protect our liberties is misleading. To continue this charade, millions of Muslims are indicted and we are obligated to rescue them from their religious and political leaders. And, we’re supposed to believe that abusing our liberties here at home and pursuing unconstitutional wars overseas will solve our problems.

This sentiment seems to confirm that Islam itself is to be made the issue, and radical religious Islamic views were the only reasons for 9/11. If it became known that 9/11 resulted in part from a desire to retaliate against what many Muslims saw as American aggression and occupation, the need to demonize Islam would be difficult if not impossible.

Defending the controversial use of property should be no more difficult than defending the 1st Amendment principle of defending controversial speech. But many conservatives and liberals do not want to diminish the hatred for Islam–the driving emotion that keeps us in the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.

This is all about hate and Islamaphobia.

We now have an epidemic of “sunshine patriots” on both the right and the left who are all for freedom, as long as there’s no controversy and nobody is offended.

Political demagoguery rules when truth and liberty are ignored.

While I find these new megachurch-style houses of worship in general to be vainglorious wastes of time, space and funds, I find the protests against this particular one even moreso. The fact that nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Muslim, indeed, the fact that nineteen 9/11 hijackers committed their crimes in the name of Islam, has no legit standing whatsoever as an indictment against a religion (and more importantly, a demographic) that counts amongst its ranks some 1.5 billion members. While you can question the motives of those behind the project, who had to know from the start that they were courting a PR disaster, it’s just silly to take offense at what is just one more monument to a hobbled humanity’s continuing reliance on the crutch of faith being added to the multitude.

It was not a concerted effort on the part of a religion that brought down the Twin Towers, but a go-it-alone radical interpretation of the supposed word of god by nineteen of a religion’s adherents. These are two staggeringly different things, and it makes all the difference in the world in how we perceive the events of 9/11. If Islam is to blame for 9/11 then Christianity is to blame for every abortion clinic bombing ever carried out, and the infamous 12th and Delaware “pro-life center” across the street from a clinic is just as “insensitive” as the mosque prompting all the outrage today.

As a related aside, and callous though it may sound, I’ve really had enough of the “9/11 families.” They lost their loved ones in a spectacularly tragic historical event – this makes them no more qualified to speak on issues of politics or social/domestic/foreign policy and law than someone who has lost a loved one in an automobile accident or to a fatal disease. Sorry, it just doesn’t, and the moral authority, airtime and clout bestowed on them by a chickenshit media is undeserved and should be stopped.