Where Should God Live? Navigating the GZM Park51 Minefield

Telling God where to live? Can you say Lose-Lose?

Everybody who touches this issue of the Ground Zero Mosque, Park51 project seems to be losing something.

In the Times, Maureen Dowd ("Our Mosque Madness") says President Obama fumbled this political football.

In Time Magazine, Michael Scherer reports that, "Grover Norquist Says Mosque Controversy Is Bad For Republicans."

Wait. We thought this issue was a boon for the Republicans. Looks like they fumbled too. Must mention that Norquist invokes an incisive article by our friend Jonathan Sarna:
Over the long term, Norquist also sees danger for Republicans not just among Muslim voters, but among other religious groups as well. “Religious minorities all go, ‘I get it. This means me too,'” he said. He pointed to a recent story in the Jewish newspaper The Forward, called “When Shuls Were Banned in America,” which draws connections between the current mosque controversy and New York's history of antisemitism.

“Long term, you could do to the Muslim vote and every other religious minority what Republicans did to the Catholic vote in ‘Rum Romanism and Rebellion,'” Norquist added, using a phrase uttered at a speech attended by Republican presidential candidate James Blaine in 1884, which arguably cost him victory in that election, by alienating Catholic voters.
Ya know what we think? This issue is a hot grenade. Like every issue that mixes together the volatile ingredients of religion and patriotism.

But this one is much more explosive. It's an argument about whether we ought to tell God not to live on this block. In our pluralistic society we agree to respect each other's religions. So we agree that a mosque is God's house.

Telling God where to live or not to live -- that's just an all-around bad idea.

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