The mosque decision is not New York's alone

Mark Callaghan
In our small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on September 11, people stood in line for hours waiting to donate blood; a scene played out all over the country. Money was donated, churches packed, prayer groups formed, and men and women rushed to serve in our armed services--all of us were under attack.

We were all violated , in a collective unimaginable manner, and for a time, unlike any other in our recent history, we were united. We were very much "in it to win it". Therefore it stands to reason that ownership of the decision to allow a mosque at ground zero is more than Mayor Bloomberg's and his cadre of progressive/liberal elites running NYC. New York is full of the very best of these sorts, but it does not represent the sum total of the best of us.

To most of the country the issue is not one of religious tolerance, but a matter of zoning. Is this building appropriate for this particular space? The answer: clearly no. The reason for the equivocation by our liberal elite, is of the same piece as their current love affair of all things Muslim. In part it is a reaction to what these progressives see as their real enemy-- conservative, Christian fundamentalists . But reacting out of spite comes with a price.

In his marvelous book "Chance or the Dance" Thomas Howard compares traditional values with modern secularism. In secularism , nothing is related, nothing connected. All decisions are for the moment, made with the best available knowledge--judgment free. Not so with our traditional value systems, and particularly not for Muslims--where all things are related, and nothing means nothing. Make no mistake, a mosque at ground zero celebrates victory, and says quite clearly "we are strong, they are weak, and we will win". Adding this particular sweetener to the liberal/progressive Kool Aid makes no sense, but is also fraught with danger.


In our small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on September 11, people stood in line for hours waiting to donate blood; a scene played out all over the country. Money was donated, churches packed, prayer groups formed, and men and women rushed to serve in our armed services--all of us were under attack.

We were all violated , in a collective unimaginable manner, and for a time, unlike any other in our recent history, we were united. We were very much "in it to win it". Therefore it stands to reason that ownership of the decision to allow a mosque at ground zero is more than Mayor Bloomberg's and his cadre of progressive/liberal elites running NYC. New York is full of the very best of these sorts, but it does not represent the sum total of the best of us.


To most of the country the issue is not one of religious tolerance, but a matter of zoning. Is this building appropriate for this particular space? The answer: clearly no. The reason for the equivocation by our liberal elite, is of the same piece as their current love affair of all things Muslim. In part it is a reaction to what these progressives see as their real enemy-- conservative, Christian fundamentalists . But reacting out of spite comes with a price.

In his marvelous book "Chance or the Dance" Thomas Howard compares traditional values with modern secularism. In secularism , nothing is related, nothing connected. All decisions are for the moment, made with the best available knowledge--judgment free. Not so with our traditional value systems, and particularly not for Muslims--where all things are related, and nothing means nothing. Make no mistake, a mosque at ground zero celebrates victory, and says quite clearly "we are strong, they are weak, and we will win". Adding this particular sweetener to the liberal/progressive Kool Aid makes no sense, but is also fraught with danger.