Reacting angrily to President Obama’s statement yesterday in support of the Cordoba House community center in lower Manhattan on the basis of religious freedom, blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson compared supporting the rights of Muslims to establish mosques in America to supporting “human sacrifice” by the Church of Satan. Erickson went on to suggest that the president’s interpretation of American religious freedom could also extend to support for “jihad”.
As the Guardian’s Michael Tomasky notes, the president’s support for the Cordoba House “is going to be demagogued to death in the next few days. The important part is going forward. Hang tough. Stand by the position. Don’t trim sails or add asterisks after Mitch McConnell or Dick Cheney or whomever says whatever hideous thing they’re going to say.”
By supporting the rights of an unpopular religious minority, President Obama is firmly within the bounds of America’s best traditions and values. The same can’t be said of those cultivating fear of Muslims for political gain.