Friday, August 20, 2010

The Limits of Compassion

Howard Dean was on Countdown last night to talk about the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy and, to his credit, Keith Olbermann remained adamant that there should be no controversy; that a people’s right to worship when and where they choose was not a fit subject for the “negotiations” or “discussions” that Dean wants to hold.

Much is being made about the feelings of the families of those killed in the events of 9/11 and yet one of the most famous of those family members, Ted Olsen, wants no part of any denial of the right to build this building. Is he less grieved by the loss of his wife than anyone else? I’m inclined to doubt it, I suspect that he just has a greater sense of what is right in this universe and has managed to move past misplaced anger.

No one has dared to say to these families that while we can never fully comprehend the loss that they feel, we grieve for them and would wish to do for them anything that we can do to lessen their burden, but that condemning an entire race and an entire religion for the actions of a few criminally insane outlaws is simply wrong and we will not cooperate with them in doing it.

How many condemn the entirety of the Roman Catholic church for the actions of the Spanish Inquisition? I would suspect that number would be infinitesimal, and yet not only was the number of persons involved in that atrocity far larger than the number of Islamic terrorists, they were the officially sanctioned hierarchy of the church itself. And yet we know that they did not represent what we know of as Christianity, but that they were a horrible aberration.

No one tries to dictate the building of Roman Catholic churches because blasphemous members of that religion once tortured and killed people in the name of their God, and no one should be dictating the building of mosques because a handful of blasphemous criminals have killed people in the name of Allah.

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