Glad to see that our tireless – and fearless – friends at Faith in Public Life are leading the charge in organizing opposition to the Muslim-bashing that has become the modus operandi in some political circles. They organized a group of religious leaders to speak out against this new wave of religious intolerance, an intolerance that is little different in essence from that which torched the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1834 or stoked the flames of French anti-Semitism during the Dreyfus Affair. The text of their press release is here.
In a related story, Politico shows why the White House is not touching the Mosque at Ground Zero controversy: 68% of Americans oppose it. That said, there is one politician in American life who can give the kind of home run speech that could turn those poll numbers and illustrate to the American people why there should be a mosque wherever a group of Muslims wishes to build it, and that politician is President Barack Obama. He has enough on his plate already, to be sure, but I would welcome one of his big speeches on this subject of religious tolerance which is so tightly woven into the fabric of American life alongside its opposite, religious intolerance.