Federally Funded Islam?

Austin Hill

11/28/2010 12:01:00 AM - Austin Hill

It’s disturbing that we even need to have this conversation.

It’ll be more disturbing if the Obama Administration doesn’t intervene and stop the process.

The people behind the controversial “Park 51” Islamic mosque project in Lower Manhattan have apparently applied several times for federal grant money with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. LMDC is officially a New York state agency, but the money that this agency doles-out for the purposes of “reconstructing New York city” in 9-11’s aftermath is nonetheless federal tax money.

The money is administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, while “HUD” itself is overseen by President Obama’s hand-picked cabinet officer, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Thus, it is accurate to say that President Obama and his Administration have a very direct connection with this project – and somebody from the Administration needs to take a stand, do the right thing, and put a halt to it.

Much of the debate over the “Park 51” has involved concerns that the intended location of the project would be “offensive.” The “offense” is found in the fact that the would-be mosque is to be built not far from the region formerly known as “ground zero,” and in the fact that ( no matter how much President Obama and his Administration wants to pretend otherwise) those who attacked our nation on 9-11 were self-described Muslims.

Yet President Obama and his friends in the Administration seem to be disconnected from the many ways in which Americans are offended with the building an Islamic mosque, in a region where Americans were killed by Muslims. In fact, President Obama and several of his top Administration officials (include Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano here) seem helplessly enslaved to a far left-wing approach to such moral dilemmas, which leaves the views and sentiments of everyday Americans out-of-grasp for the Administration.

This approach can roughly be characterized in three very simplistic assumptions: A) Religious traditions, cultures, world views, and moral systems are all relative to one –another; none is any better than any of its counterparts. B) The only reason that an adherent to a particular religion or world view, or a member of any particular culture would do harm to anybody else is because of an unjust power struggle –this is to say that those who do harm to others do so simply because they haven’t been given adequate material provision or economic opportunity; and C) If government can be used to “level the playing field” – that is, if the “strong” (or “wealthy” or “majority class”) can be made a bit weaker, and the “weak” (the “poor” or the “the minority class” ) can be made stronger, then some arbitrary definition of “fairness” with ensue and everyone will begin to peacefully coexist.

This is why, despite three terrorist attacks on American soil in the last 12 months, all of which were committed by young men of Middle Eastern descent who identified themselves as “Muslims,” President Obama nonetheless continues to reiterate to the Muslim world that “America is not at war with Islam.” This is also why the Obama Administration pretends that a Catholic Nun, or a 7 year-old child, or an elderly man in his 70’s are all just as likely to be packing explosives adjacent to their genitals, as anybody else who wants to board a commercial aircraft. None among us is any better or any worse than anybody else, so the liberal thinking goes, and if we all get the same treatment, then the occasional bad behavior will cease.

Of course, the world doesn’t actually operate this way. In fact, the “real world” in which we all must live is far different from the theoretical world of American academic elites. But, so far as we can tell, Barack Obama has spent most of his life in the world of academic elites (according to my calculation he is only the second U.S. President to have been raised almost entirely by “intellectuals,”), and abandoning his assumption that American culture and Islamic culture are morally neutral is likely impossible for our President.

Thus, President Obama will likely continue to offend American sensibilities with his bowing to foreign heads of state, his repeated displays of “kindness” and “assurances” to predominantly Muslim nations, and all the rest. Yet he has taken the offensiveness to an entirely new level, with the prospect that our tax dollars (or more accurately, our children’s and grandchildren’s tax dollars) will be spent on an Islamic house of worship.

This proposal runs afoul of the so-called “separation of church and state” that is usually top of mind for liberals. But it also means that American taxpayers could end-up helping to fund the very ideological system that is committed to our nation’s destruction.

Will somebody in the Obama Administration stand up and do the right thing – even if our President is incapable of doing so?