Though the country largely opposes plans to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero, apparently that common sense has yet to sway some elected officials, who have settled on a single line of reasoning in making their impassioned pleas: The Constitution says it's okay.
They arrived at this posture after throwing other unconvincing arguments against the wall. First it was an issue of "tolerance," that nebulous and utterly inscrutable liberal piety often used to scare off otherwise rational opposition. Then they tried to tell us that the mosque wasn't really a mosque, that it wasn't that close to Ground Zero, and that the folks behind the plans were well-intentioned moderates.
But those assertions having failed to win the hearts and minds of most of the country, the new tactic relies solely on the supremacy of the First Amendment. And President Obama is just the latest public figure to voice his support using this declaration of constitutional might, joining Mayor Bloomberg and others in trumpeting the country's freedom of religion clause as the only real argument that matters on the issue.
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