Graciousness Here and Viciousness There: The Cordoba Mosque

Leon Wieseltier has a moving piece in the New Republic on the Cordoba Mosque proposal. It's short. It's impeccably written. And it captures my attitudes exactly, albeit with more eloquence and rigor than I could ever muster. Read the whole thing.

This part stood out to me:

There are families of the victims who oppose Cordoba House and there are families of the victims who support it. Every side in this debate can invoke the authority of the pain. But how much authority should it have? I do not see that sentiment about the families should abrogate considerations of principle. It is odd to see conservatives suddenly espouse the moral superiority of victimhood, as it is odd to see them suddenly find an exception to their expansive view of religious freedom. Everybody has their preferred insensitivities.

His last graf:

A night at the J. At the JCC on Q Street a few weeks ago, there was a family night for “kibbutz camp.” As the children sang “Zum Gali Gali,” an old anthem of the Zionist pioneers, I noticed among the jolly parents a Muslim woman swaddled in black. Her child was among those children! Her presence had no bearing on the question of our security, but it was the image of what we are protecting. No American heart could be unmoved by it. So: Cordoba House in New York and a Predator war in Pakistan—graciousness here and viciousness there—this should be our position. For those who come in peace, peace; for those who come in war, war.

(hat tip: Sullivan)


Here is 20 minutes of very clear thinking on religion — on especially the similarities of the three Abrahamic religions — from Robert Wright on Charlie Rose.

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