This is directed at all the people who claim they are all for the First
Amendment rights of the Muslims who want to construct a mosque at the
9/11 site but insist it's an "insult" to build it there — a "stab in
the heart," as Sarah Palin puts it, for the millions who have intense
feelings about the Sept. 11 attacks. More than one politician cries out
that the proposed Islamic center would violate "sacred ground.”
Question: What do you think about the plans of Glenn Beck to hold a "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial? Did I mention it is scheduled 47 years to the day after Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" rally on the very same spot?
To millions, that location on that date is also "sacred ground,” which will be defiled by Beck and his followers.
Glenn Beck, as we all are painfully aware, is wildly popular with millions who are attracted to his rants about, among other things, race. Unfortunately, his tirades are also seen by non-followers as insensitive, to say the least. His attacks on "social justice" and "economic justice" and his description of President Obama as a man with a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture" are regarded by more than a few as code words for white supremacy.
Beck contends this is merely his attempt to reinvigorate Dr. King's call to simply "judge a man by the content of his character.” Surely, however, he must realize some would regard that particular choice of words as a taunt, even a blasphemy.
And guess who will speak at this rally. You got it: the Grizzly Mamma herself, Sarah Palin, who apparently feels it’s OK to make a heart-stabbing speech, as long as she's plunging the knife into those who aren't among her adoring followers.
To be scrupulously fair, Beck did pay lip service to the religious-freedom argument in favor of the lower Manhattan mosque, but he hastened to add he was "offended.”
Apparently like his soul-mate Fox commentator Palin, offense in the name of self-serving hate-mongering is no vice. That's not exactly how Barry Goldwater put it, but some conservatives have come a long way since Goldwater: backwards.
So the next time your blood starts to boil over about the mosque plans, try and ponder how the Glenn rally will insult so many who revere the struggle over civil rights. Let's bring up the same question you do: Even though you have the constitutional right to be there, should you be?
Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.