Interesting to note that when Michael Moore came after the NRA and Charlton Heston for their staging a rally not long after the tragic events at Columbine, people like John McCain called him a "Disengenous Filmaker". The right found minor technical issues with his claim of insensitivity by the NRA supporters to show Moore to be a "propogandist", such as the fact that the NRA actually did cancel some of their previously planned events in the area.
Fact: At Denver, the NRA cancelled all events (normally several days of committee meetings, sporting events, dinners, and rallies) save the annual members' voting meeting -- that could not be cancelled because the state law governing nonprofits required that it be held. [No way to change location, since under NY law you have to give 10 days' advance notice of that to the members, there were upwards of 4,000,000 members -- and Columbine happened 11 days before the scheduled meeting.] As a newspaper reported:
In a letter to NRA members Wednesday, President Charlton Heston and the group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said all seminars, workshops, luncheons, exhibits by gun makers and other vendors, and festivities are canceled.
All that's left is a members' reception with Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., and the annual meeting, set for 10 a.m. May 1 in the Colorado Convention Center.
Under its bylaws and New York state law, the NRA must hold an annual meeting.
The NRA convention April 30-May 2 was expected to draw 22,000 members and give the city a $17.9 million economic boost.
"But the tragedy in Littleton last Tuesday calls upon us to take steps, along with dozens of other planned public events, to modify our schedule to show our profound sympathy and respect for the families and communities in the Denver area in their time of great loss," Heston and LaPierre wrote.
Moore's fabrication here cannot be described by any polite term. It is a lie, a fraud, and a few other things.
Despite Heston's speech of defiance, the NRA did take a few steps back in what they were doing and only continued the primary event because the Law required them to - at least that's how Moore's critics put it at the time.
But now with the Park 51 Community Center they think people feelings should count more than anything else, never mind the law, or the Constitution.
This we have while Howard Dean is attempting to split the baby.
Call me silly but the baby doesn't usually survive this procedure. 1st Amendment Freedom of Religion (not to mention Private Property Rights) can not be overridden by someone's hurt feelings.
Dean's argument here is that at least some people opposing the Mosque aren't doing it for bigoted reasons, but here's my question to that point - if you've gone from opposing al Qeada to opposing where Muslim's can and can't worship - then you've certainly crossed the concerned citizen/bigot barrier.
Who is this person who isn't a bigot, but can conflate the actions of 19 men with the religion of over a Billion people (who weren't there, and didn't support what they did?)?
I can understand Harry Reid's argument, because it's simply based in cowardice and a desire to side-step the issue by shoving it out-of-sight/out-of-mind. That's just head-in-the-sand political expediency.
Dean is a little more earnest, instead of running from the problem he wants to confront it with dialogue, he wants a discussion between the Center and the mythical unicorn-like Non-Bigots who are too sensitive to think Muslim's can worship 2 blocks from Ground Zero, however they can worship inside the Pentagon and FOUR BLOCKS from Ground Zero.
Here's another recent parallel to this impasse, the makers of the movie Jesus Camp, have a new film coming out about a corner "12th and Delaware" in Florida where a Abortion Clinic sits directly across the street from an "Crisis Pregnancy Center" where they virulently propagandize pregnant women against Abortion.
Is Anybody asking this Crisis Center to move and stop deliberately defrauding and propagandizing pregnant women? Not so much.
Maybe we she take a book from Dr Laura's page and tell all these hyper-sensitive people that they just need to "grow a sense of humor"?
Ok, well maybe not.
Anyhoo, I do have a suggestion for a potential "Compromise".
Wanna hear it?
Alright, instead of moving the Community Center a single inch - they should take some of the top floor prayer space and offer it up for use as a Chapel and a Synagogue. If you're goal is to help foster greater "Inner Faith" cooperation, actually having an inter-faith house of worship - with it's own gym and spa - would go a long way toward doing exactly that. People of faith within the community, and even those of no particular faith at all could come together - co-mingle - and express themselves, and express their faith while enjoying a game of hoops or other activity. Even Newt Gingrich has supported this idea (if you can ignore all the other bullshit he says about Imam Rauf, the rationale for al Qaeda and the purpose for making the Community Center) at about 4:25.
Many people are reacting to the idea of the Center out of fear, but if they also feel that they share in it's existence, that they're welcome and invited in - (where they can "keep an eye on what's happening" if they feel like) - then it won't be nearly as frightening, and might actually be able to better accomplish what it is they have originally set out to do.
I don't think will work mind you, but I think if there were talks (which I don't support) then there is something that could be put on the table to negotiate over. If this line in the sand, which already been drawn by one of the biggest critics of the Center, isn't enough - then too bad.
If the neo-bigots and the cowards don't want to go for this idea (even when it comes from when of their own) I say tell 'em to take a hike - they already have approval for the Center, the support of the City Council and Support of the Mayor.
They actually don't need anyone elses approval at this point.
I do take Dean's point that trying to do a positive thing, becomes far more difficult when it begins which such vitriol (Y'know like the Civil Rights Movement, Equal Rights Movement did - and Gay Rights Movements continues too) and in the end they want to be part of the local community, not an irritant inside it.
Offering this compromise (even if it gets slapped down - which I think it will) would make swallowing the dictates of the law and Constitution a little bit easier, at least for some.