It may well surprise my readers when they hear me say that I will not join the efforts of those who seek to block the building of the new mosque at Ground Zero. I take this position for the same reason that I have refused to support legislation banning the burning of the American Flag.
John Stewart Mill once said that censorship is wrong for two reasons. First, it deprives people of the truth. Second, it deprives people of a greater appreciation of the truth via its juxtaposition with falsity.
When someone burns an American Flag we learn the truth about the extent of anti-Americanism among the ranks of our own. We also develop a greater appreciation of those who have fought for our freedoms. When I see my neighbor burning a flag I can boycott his business. I can then give my business to a veteran who has fought to defend the hateful idiocy of flag burners everywhere.
We cannot punish anti-Americanism if we engage in the prior restraint of its expression. We must allow it to flourish for a time if we are to mobilize a more effective response. The application of this reasoning to the controversy over the present Ground Zero mosque is obvious.
By not standing in the way of the construction of this mosque we will allow its supporters to exercise fully their constitutional right to make fools of themselves. When the mosque is completed I look forward to retracing the trail of its financial supporters to the very beginning. I have no doubt that such a search will lead us into the halls of the Obama White House. Nor do I have any doubt that Obama’s affirmative support of this project will lead to his permanent political downfall.
In the end, members of the Obama Administration may decide that the complex housing the mosque at Ground Zero would be a good place for an Obama Presidential Library. Either way, it is a good place to celebrate anti-Americanism for the free world to see and the sane world to judge.