More people are chiming in on the Park51 Center in Manhattan, and there are some surprises as far as those who get it right and those who don’t.
Ted Olson gets it right:
“I do believe that people of all religions have a right to build edifices, or structures, or places of religious worship or study, where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing, and that we don’t want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don’t think it should be a political issue. It shouldn’t be a Republican or Democratic issue, either. I believe Gov. Christie from New Jersey said it well — that this should not be in that political, partisan marketplace.”
Howard Dean gets it wrong:
“I’ve gotta believe there has to be a compromise here. This isn’t about the right of Muslims to have a worship center, or Jews or Christians or anybody else to have a place to worship, or any place around Ground Zero. This is something we ought to be able to work out with people of good faith. And we have to understand that it is a real affront to people who’ve lost their lives — including Muslims. That site doesn’t belong to any particular religion, it belongs to all Americans and all faiths. So I think a good, reasonable compromise could be worked out, without violating the principle that people ought to be able to worship as they see fit.”
Just to remind you, Ted Olson was the Solicitor General in the Bush administration, and his wife, Barbara Olson, was a conservative pundit who was aboard the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Howard Dean was the Democratic governor of Vermont who ran for president in 2004 as the candidate from the “Democratic wing of the Democratic party.”