Freedom of religion settles it as far as building the Ground Zero mosque is concerned, says Susan Barnes-Gelt in the August round of Head On TV debates; so ignore the “dittohead” opposition and build it. Absolutely not, says John Andrews. “To erect a Muslim shrine on a Muslim killing field is just wrong.” John on the right, Susan on the left, tape five mini-debates each month for Head On which has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997. Here is the script for their mosque debate:
Susan: This country is defined by commitment to freedom of religion. Siting of a Muslim community center two full blocks and around the corner from the 9/ll site in Lower Manhattan is a tempest in a teapot brewed by dittoheads. You can’t even see Ground Zero from the proposed Cordoba House.
John: The Ground Zero Mosque should not be built. Muslim holy warriors attacked on 9/11 in hope of destroying America. Muslim peacemakers, if they care about America, will join the vast majority of us who oppose this jihadist victory shrine on New York’s hallowed ground. This isn’t religious, it’s a political provocation.
Susan: John, you are too smart and too reasoned to mau-mau the dittoheads on this tough and emotional issue. There are no ‘but fors’ in the de facto motto of these United States is‘e pluribus unum’—out of many, one. That means my people, your people and their people.
John: The Ground Zero mosque should not be built. Most New Yorkers and most Americans overwhelmingly agree. No one who understands America or loves America would set out to erect a Muslim shrine on a Muslim killing field. The sponsorship isn’t identical, but the symbolism is just wrong. Put the mosque somewhere else.