Sen.Harry Reid Opposes the Ground Zero Mosque While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is Calling For Investigation of the Opponents of the Mosque

Over the weekend, President Obama weigh in on the Ground Zero Mosque say the Mosque construction is a First Amendment right of Freedom of Religion issue.  On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid(D-NV) signaled his opposition to the mosque to be built near the Ground Zero  site.

On Tuesday, House  Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in San Francisco talking and about  the redevelopment of Treasure Island Naval Base  into a residential community. The Speaker was asked about the Ground Zero Mosque.

Listen:House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Ground Zero Mosque Opposition

“There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how … this opposition to the mosque is being funded,” she said. “How is this being ginned up that here we are talking about Treasure Island, something we’ve been working on for decades, something of great interest to our community, as we go forward to an election about the future of our country and two of the first three questions are about a zoning issue in New York City?” (h/t Kristinn)

Calls to investigate the funding for those proposing the $100 million “Cordoba House” have fallen on deaf ears, though, as New York’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg has described such an investigation as “un-American.”

“I think everybody respects the right of everyone in the country to express their religious beliefs. ..The decision, though, as to how to go forward in New York, is up to New York,” Ms. Pelosi explained. “I look to my colleagues in New York. Some of them have different views on the subject. It’s up to them to work it out.”

The Speakers remarks sparked outrage:

Radio Talk Show host,Land Use Attorney, and Law Prof. Hugh Hewitt:

Just when you thought the Democrats could not go lower in the public’s esteem, the Speaker calls for an investigation of those who oppose the Ground Zero mosque, a portion of our population which runs north of 200 million Americans if polls are to be believed.

There isn’t a principle about religious freedom at work on the left. Indeed, most of the declarations about the Free Exercise clause have been wildly off the mark, and the president’s ringing “The writ of the Founders must endure!” from Friday night is as vacuous as any of them.

The trouble is that opposition to one mosque in one place does not a bigot make, though certainly there are anti-Muslim bigots in America.  The various straw men put forward and beaten down by Bloomberg et al serve only to deepen the anger of those opposed to one mosque in one place because of their concern over the politicization of Ground Zero, and the other line –taken by Pelosi in the comments above– that the mosque at Ground Zero is a “local land use decision”– is instantly understood as not only quite obviously absurd but also political cowardice, especially after the president entered the debate.

As a lawyer who has long represented churches and religious schools in land use disputes, the basic law is this:  The government may not constitutionally treat one proposed religious land use differently from similarly situated other religious land uses, and the government may not single out religious land uses for discriminatory treatment in ways that uniquely burden those uses.

Attorney Scott Johnson of Powerline mocks Queen Pelosi:

As a student of history, I think I know how this works. I want to spare my family and friends the pressure they may feel they are under to turn me in. I’m turning myself in to Speaker Pelosi.

I confess. I have opposed the Ground Zero Mosque, but I haven’t taken any money for it. I have also tried to gin up opposition to it, though without taking a plug nickel in return. Please believe me. I’m a volunteer!

I have also disparaged President Obama’s support of the Ground Zero Mosque at the White House iftar dinner on Friday night. You might want to look into why President Obama backtracked on his support on Saturday before he sent his information minister out to support it again on Sunday. There’s something fishy there, don’t you think?

I can’t speak for Debra Burlingame, the sister of American Airlines Flight 77 pilot Chic Burlingame. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t taken any money either, but the name of that group she’s affiliated with — 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America — sounds suspicious to me.

The Weekly Standard Editor and Syndicated Columnist Bill Kristol ridcules The Speaker:

Speaker Pelosi announces that she is reviving the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), abolished in 1975. Hearings on the Opposition to the Mosque, featuring inquiries, under oath, as to whether witnesses are now or have ever been members of the American Anti-Mosque Party, will begin when the House reconvenes in September.

On Wednesday, Speaker Pelosi clarified her remarks:

“The freedom of religion is a Constitutional right.  Where a place of worship is located is a local decision.

“I support the statement made by the Interfaith Alliance that ‘We agree with the ADL that there is a need for transparency about who is funding the effort to build this Islamic center.  At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center.’

“For all of those expressing concern about the 9/11 families, we call upon them to join us in support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act when Congress returns in September.”

“I support the statement made by the Interfaith Alliance that ‘We agree with the ADL that there is a need for transparency about who is funding the effort to build this Islamic center.  At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center.’

“For all of those expressing concern about the 9/11 families, we call upon them to join us in support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act when Congress returns in September.”

Washington Times

KCBS-AM “All News 740”

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