This afternoon, Ted Olson — whose wife died in the September 11th attacks — distanced himself from other conservatives and told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he did not oppose the building of a mosque near ground zero. “It may not make me popular with some people, but I think probably the President was right about this,” he began:
OLSON: I do believe that people of all religions have a right to build edifices or structures, places of religious worship or study where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing. And that we don’t want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don’t think it should be a political issue. It shouldn’t be a Republican or Democrat issue either. I believe Governor Christie from New Jersey said it as well, that this should not be in that political partisan marketplace.
Olson also discussed the recent court decision to stay Judge Walker’s decision overturning Proposition 8 and why marriage equality is “consistent with conservative values.”