Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin 'Restore Honor' to Washington
Glenn Beck is coming to town. So is Sarah Palin. They’re bringing about 300,000 folks with them for a major conservative rally called “Restoring Honor”, a fevered brain child of Beck’s originally meant to be about honoring American servicemen—and who can argue with that—but which has now enlarged the scope of events to Beck’s vision of America’s future. This Saturday, 10 am -1 pm, no signs or guns allowed.
Beck gave his own estimate of the number of people likely to come in requesting a permit. Which he got.
If that many show up, you can bet pretty much how most of them—including Beck and Palin—feel about the 9/11 mosque that’s supposed to be going up a shy two blocks from the hallowed ground of where the Twin Towers once stood: No. Absolutely not.
One of the rallying cries over the mosque controversy is that it’s an example of massive insensitivity on the part of the planners, and anybody who supports the idea, including President Barack Obama – who in any case said he didn’t actually give his approval for the project, but just wants to support freedom of religion. You can’t argue with that.
On the matter of insensitivity…let’s give a big raspberry for Mr. Beck. He’s holding his massive rally on the mall on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Beck claims he didn’t realize that it was the same date until it was too late, and the plans had already been made.
Perhaps he learned it on the nightly news.
But in any case, Beck says he has a dream, too, and that this is very much about civil rights and that he now carries the mantle of American visionary. It was not reported whether he cried or not while explaining himself. He did not mention the mosque at the time.
Here are some things about the mosque issue. New York Mayor Bloomberg supports it. So do many people who also believe in religious freedom and freedom in general, and whose beliefs are every bit as vehement as the anti-mosque crowd.
Now you can understand – if not necessarily agree with – the relatives and victims of 9/11 on their stand. They don’t’ want a mosque there in that proximity (two blocks) because it would be an insult to them and the victims. But like a lot of things tend to do, this thing has gotten a little out of hand. Ask a basic question: how far away should this mosque (actually an Islamic Cultural Center supporting Inter-faith activities, according to its supporters) be? If not two blocks, how many? If not lower Manhattan, where? New Jersey? Florida? Well, no. They don’t want mosques there either. Or in Tennessee or in various places in the West and Midwest. These folks are saying: Be afraid. Be very afraid of the other.
Maybe they needn’t worry. Of the millions of dollars the proposed center would cost, only around $15,000 has been raised, which makes its appearance unlikely any year soon. And the Inman of the center is in any case a Sufi, the least militant, the most tolerant sect of Islam that exists. But it’s too late for that. The anti-mosque movement — which is what it appears to be — is spreading like wildfire, which is perhaps what you might call an intended consequence of the actions of the opposition.