Juan Cole, who regularly publishes some of the most commentary available on the Middle East on his blog, Informed Comment, has published one of the most brilliant take downs of Sarah Palin and the insanity of anti-Muslim and Christian Dominionism rewriting of American History I have seen in his post Palin on the Ground Zero Mosque vs. the Founding Fathers
Not only does he make clear that in Al Qaeda we are dealing with a small sect, not a government, that represents a distortion of the teachings of Islam, he goes into great detail documenting the American founding fathers statements on the role of religion in the emerging United States, the clear principles of separation of church and state, and most of all, the tolerance for other religions that was the heart of there thinking as they sough to form our nation and its laws.
A couple of quotes, but go to Cole’s site and read the entire thing.
Finally, forbidding the building of a mosque in New York is inconsistent with the ideals of the Founding Generation of the United States of America, who explicitly mentioned Islam among the cases when they spoke of religious freedom:
‘George Washington asked in a March 24, 1784, letter to his aide Tench Tilghman that some craftsmen be hired for him: “If they are good workmen, they may be of Assia, [sic] Africa, or Europe. They may be Mahometans, [Muslims] Jews, or Christian of any Sect – or they may be Atheists …”
Ben Franklin, the founding father of many important institutions in Philadelphia, a key diplomat and a framer of the US Constitution, wrote in his Autobiography concerning a non-denominational place of public preaching he helped found “so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”
I left the following comment for Cole, attached to the post at his blog.
This is one of the finest, most succinct posts I have ever read on your blog.
Clear, documented, historically and factually accurate, and putting the lie to the Christian dominionism lies being pushed by the far right such as Glenn Beck and Grizzly Mama Palin.
Of course it will never penetrate the dense skulls of the 24 percent of our population who steep happily in their ignorance out of fear, and well, ignorance. I once spent nearly a year if life of my youth working with profoundly mentally disabled teens in a state mental hospital. I learned very quickly that a key to understanding them was to come to grips with the fact that they were incapable of understanding their own condition and state. The retarded and mentally damaged do not have the capacity to understand that that is their condition.
That is where we are with at least a quarter of the populace of America. No amount of clear exposition of fact will penetrate the ignorance and superstition and fear and hysteria of their current state of being.
Besides, you didn’t boil this down to a tweet, a sound byte, heck, it is not even a one page double spaced executive summary, so much in demand by the current generation of leaders in our society at large; so who in this modern day is going to read it anyway, other than other academic type liberal progressive over-educated elitists?
Sorry, but if there is anything I am steeped in these days, it is 64 years of weariness with the madness that is culminating in a deep, dark cynicism toward my fellow human beans and this society of ours, which I see devolving into political and social madness more and more every day.