“We Are the Freaks of Freedom.”

August 19, 2010 at 10:12 am (By Amba)

Michael Reynolds restates American exceptionalism for our time.


  1. realpc said,

    It’s legal to build the mosque there, but it is not nice. We can disapprove of something, even if the constitution says it’s ok.

  2. wj said,

    real, you might want to check this out:

    It appears that this particular dust-up is not so isolated as some of us had thought/hoped.

  3. amba12 said,

    After reading that link, wj, I feel obliged to go on the record that when I said the anti-mosque controversy has been whipped up for political gain, I was NOT talking about “bigotry.” I was talking about the exploitation of sincere 9/11 sensitivities.

    The Democrats are much too quick to play the “bigot” card, like the Republicans are too quick to play the “appeaser” card. Yes, there are people on each side who fit both descriptions. But both terms lump the entire other side together under a dismissive term that does not accurately describe the majority of either.

  4. Maxwell said,

    The Democrats are too quick to play the bigot card. Opposing health care reform, for instance, has nothing to do with bigotry, yet some Democratic bloggers tried to make that claim. Opposing fiscal stimulus or even monetary stimulus is not bigotry. Opposing affirmative action is not bigotry. Opposing Obama’s policies in general is not bigotry.

    But 30% of the populace – and 50% of Republicans – saying Muslims have no right to build a mosque near the WTC?

    Sorry. That’s bigotry.

  5. realpc said,

    It’s hard to separate religion from politics. Muslims have a very long tradition of hating Jews, and Muslim nations have generally opposed Israel. And we are supposedly a friend of Israel. There is an awful lot of Muslim anger towards Israel. No not every single Muslin hates Israel, but that has been the position of some Muslim nations.

    Christianity is no longer much of a force in international politics, and Judaism never really was. Islam is a major political force in the world. And if it were not for the intense hatred some Muslim organizations feel for Israel, and therefore America, 9/11 would not have happened.

    Of course there are millions of Muslims who only care about the religious aspect of their faith, not the politics. Many of them are Americans. But we still have to recognize that there is a political aspect. It is not purely a question of religion.

    Imagine if the Catholic church had decided Israel should be destroyed, and to express this hatred, they committed the worst attack ever on the American mainland and killed thousands of people. And later they decided to build a big church right near the site of the attack. And it was all justified by the constitutional right of religious freedom.

    Let is be realistic and accept the fact that politics can disguise itself as religion, in order to get special rights and protections.

  6. amba12 said,

    Within wj’s link above is another one that’s worth reading.

  7. amba12 said,

    I commend that link to you particularly, Maxwell. It’s a Muslim-American who served in the military in the Arab world right after 9/11. He talks about how important Bush’s immediate statement that “we’re not at war with Islam” was and how important that sentiment still is for winning the larger battle.

  8. wj said,

    And the “too quick to play the bigotry card” applied to this particular facility (and last I looked it was no more a mosque than a YMCA facility is a cathedral) would be more convincing if we were not seeing the same objections to building a mosque occurring with regard to other sites all around the country.

    Yes, the Democrats are sometimes too quick to play the “bigotry” card. Just as the Republicans are sometimes too quick to play the “not real Americans” card. Which just says that both parties contain some folks who care more about winning elections than about America and American values, IMHO.

    But I’m having real trouble finding an argument about this facility which a) actually looks at what is really being built, b) pays any attention to where it is really, and what else is in the general neighborhood (e.g. real mosques), and c) makes an argument within that reality.

  9. Maxwell said,

    Thanks. I liked that a lot. Though I’m sure he’s just practicing taqiyya ;-).

    FWIW, it sounds like this particular controversy may be over real soon. Some conspiracy.

  10. Randy said,

    I seem to remember a lot of talk in recent years about American exceptionalism being little more than dog whistling by xenophobic cudgel-carrying neanderthal Republicans. Guess I was wrong.

  11. wj said,

    Those xenophobes are a merely subset of American exceptionalism believers. Perhaps even a small subset. They just happen to be a particularly noisy one.

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