Pat Buchanan

His arguments echo Bloomberg's and Obama's: We have the right and we Muslims must now move ahead with the mosque.

With America's head of state enlisted on one side of this quarrel, and most Americans on the other, damage will be done to the national unity and there will be consequences for the president's party.

So be it. For if the president believes the Constitution decides this issue with finality, he is profoundly mistaken. We were a country before we ever had a Constitution. We were a nation, born in the furnace of a revolutionary war. That infant nation wrote its own birth certificate, a dozen years after Lexington and Concord Bridge.

While that Constitution guarantees freedom of religious belief and practice to all Americans, we were a Christian country then. And we remain a Christian country, Barack Obama's dissent notwithstanding.

Three-in-four Americans profess a Christian faith. That reality is not changed because the Warren Court outlawed Bible reading and prayer in public school, ordered the Ten Commandants taken down from classroom walls, purged Christianity from our public institutions or denies to Americans their freedom to put Christmas creches in their public squares.

Islam is a rising faith, the largest on earth, with 1.5 billion adherents. It is a militant faith that believes it will one day encompass all mankind. It holds there is but one God, Allah, that his last and greatest prophet was Muhammad, that Islam, the path of submission, is the path of salvation. It believes that its sacred book, the Koran, should inform the culture, that Sharia should be the basis of civil law.

Where it has become the dominant faith, it has been intolerant of rivals, especially Christianity, the faith of the Crusaders.

By no means are all or most Muslims fanatics of the Osama bin Laden variety, but many are uncompromising in their belief that, once their faith becomes the majority faith in a community or society, Muslims should write the rules and Muslims should make the laws.

And if Americans believe that Islam is consistent with pluralism, ecumenism and a belief in the equality of all religions and all lifestyles, we are headed for what the Chinese call "interesting times."

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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