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'Mosque' Debate Is a Red Herring
The Cato Institute ^ | August 17, 2010 | Gene Healy

Posted on 08/21/2010 11:14:03 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

By 2012, our national debt will be larger than the entire U.S. economy, according to the International Monetary Fund. So what's on the front burner in Washington these days? Zoning issues in lower Manhattan!

Is it OK to put a Muslim community center close to Ground Zero? I don't know, but local authorities don't seem to mind.

That should settle it, but what Sarah Palin calls the "9/11 mosque" has somehow become a headline-grabbing controversy.

On Friday, President Obama insisted that Muslims have the "same right to practice their religion as anyone else" and can build a mosque near the former World Trade Center site. House minority leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, found the president's comments "deeply troubling." Newt Gingrich accused him of "pandering to radical Islam." (Are there a lot of votes there?)

All this posturing is getting tiresome. The "mosque" controversy isn't about property rights or religious freedom. It's a bogus issue seized by the GOP establishment to distract the rank-and-file from the party's reluctance to shrink government.

From all the caterwauling, you'd think the Park51 group planned to fashion a mock Kaaba out of trade center ashes and mount it atop the wreckage. But you can't see Ground Zero from the Park51 site — it's separated by two canyonlike city blocks, occupying the former site of a Burlington Coat Factory. "Hallowed ground," indeed.

The plans include building a large mosque — and a 500-seat theater, swimming pool and food court — which makes calling it a "mosque" just slightly more accurate than calling a YMCA a "church."

Republicans pose as the party of decentralization, yet here they are reversing Tip O'Neill's dictum, insisting that "all politics is national."

There's plenty of hypocrisy to go around, though. It's insulting to hear New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has persecuted bar owners for the crime of displaying ashtrays, wax rhapsodic about private property.

Apparently, if you want to pray to Mecca, your rights are sacrosanct, but if you'd like a cigarette at the bar after a hard day's work, then head on out to the stoop, peasant.

And while Obama pats himself on the back for defending religious freedom and private property, it's not clear who he's arguing with. The mainstream Right has renounced "using the machinery of government to stop this project," as National Review's editors put it.

You don't need to buy amateur theologian George W. Bush's line that Islam is "a religion of peace" to recognize that the Park51 controversy is a red herring. With Muslims making up 0.8 percent of the U.S. population, dhimmitude seems a more remote threat than national bankruptcy.

In a recent (pre-campaign?) appearance in Des Moines, Iowa, Newt Gingrich denounced Obama's "secular socialist machine," but, when asked, he declined to specify federal programs he would cut.

You see, cutting government is hard, and often unpopular. No surprise, then, that Boehner would rather play urban planner than embrace Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's "road map" for shrinking middle-class entitlements.

Faced with difficult choices, the alleged party of small government always retreats to the lazy politics of Kulturkampf. Hey, that guy's a "card-carrying member" of the ACLU! Ask me about my flag-burning amendment!

John Cornyn, R-Texas, head of GOP efforts to take back the Senate this fall, plans to make the Park51 "mosque" a major campaign issue. It's all too typical: Feed the rubes conservative identity politics, and, with luck, they'll be too distracted to notice you've grafted a Republican "K Street Project" atop the same old edifice of Big Government.

The establishment Right wants to play the Tea Party movement for suckers. It remains to be seen whether they'll play along.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 911mosque; barackobama; bho44; biggovernment; bloomberg; budget; cato; cornyn; democarts; democrats; establishment; gingrich; gop; groundzero; groundzeromosque; johncornyn; libertarians; michaelbloomberg; nannystate; nationaldebt; nationalreview; newtgingrich; obama; obamagroundzero; paulryan; politicas; republicans; right; tiponeill; zerogroundzero
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So sayeth the libertarians at the Cato Institute...
1 posted on 08/21/2010 11:14:04 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: 3D-JOY; abner; Abundy; AGreatPer; Albion Wilde; AliVeritas; alisasny; ALlRightAllTheTime; ...

Personally, I wouldn’t vote for Newt Scozzafava Gingrich for dog catcher, but if he winds up running against Obama after the 2012 primaries, then I guess I’ll hold my nose...

PING!


2 posted on 08/21/2010 11:18:28 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Michelle Obama: the woman who ended "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.")
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

While the economy will be the biggest issue, this will play a huge role.


3 posted on 08/21/2010 11:19:29 AM PDT by tobyhill
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

yes...so they say..I still dont think we should fund any mosque and thats exactly what we have been doing, why are we paying for the destruction of our contitution and the nation?


4 posted on 08/21/2010 11:20:29 AM PDT by dalebert
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Leaving his ignorance of the history of Islam aside, as a political matter I wonder if the writer has considered that this issue is going to help his cause by making it easier to pry the party of Big Government out of their position of power?

Or would he rather try to sway the masses with economic forecasts and talk of leading economic indicators?

5 posted on 08/21/2010 11:22:02 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Anther gem of an article, where arguments go in all directions simultaneously. Cato...


6 posted on 08/21/2010 11:22:48 AM PDT by alecqss
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Dhimmis say the darndest things.


7 posted on 08/21/2010 11:24:33 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle (http://www.conservatives4palin.com/)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

This guy dips in to logical fallacies, but he seems not to notice his own.

A red herring? Really? Like the human brain is only capable of processing one issue per news cycle? Like the mosque is a distraction from their own unemployment? Their misery index?

The Cato Institute used to have intelligent writers. I used to respect them.

Now they have this guy.

What a damnable dunce.

APf


8 posted on 08/21/2010 11:25:31 AM PDT by APFel (Regnum Nostrum Crescit)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Can’t help noticing CATO uses the same pro-mosgue arguments as MSNBC. Hmm.


9 posted on 08/21/2010 11:26:15 AM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Strongly disagree.

The question whether Obama is hiding his muslim faith is perhaps the single biggest issue right now.

It calls into question fundamentally, his honesty. His belief in America.

And frankly, his Constitutional eligibility. All of it, could be BS. And this is the first time, a significant proportion of Americans have started to take note.


10 posted on 08/21/2010 11:27:21 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR1fDL7x1Sg)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

>> Healy: All this posturing is getting tiresome.

Then go to sleep.

>> Healy: The “mosque” controversy isn’t about property rights or religious freedom.

It’s definitely not about religious freedom.

>> Healy: It’s a bogus issue seized by the GOP establishment to distract the rank-and-file from the party’s reluctance to shrink government.

It’s a real issue, it’s not a distraction, and the GOP is not in control of the govt.

Got Integrity?


11 posted on 08/21/2010 11:27:23 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Zoning issues in lower Manhattan!

Is it OK to put a Muslim community center close to Ground Zero? I don't know

reversing Tip O'Neill's dictum, insisting that "all politics is national."


It is not a zoning issue, and you SHOULD know if it's ok or not to put an Islamic center near GZ. As for the politics, it isn't national OR local, it's personal. If you're an American, you take the 9/11 attack personally.

Shame on Cato Institute for hosting that blithering fool.

12 posted on 08/21/2010 11:33:13 AM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
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To: alecqss

That’s what I was going to say. What was the point of this article?


13 posted on 08/21/2010 11:35:02 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The mosque issue is driven by the outrage of normal Americans who view it simply for what it is: a terrorist victory monument. It is not an issue “ginned up” by the Republican establishment. Friends I have who normally ignore politics are talking about the mosque. Amazing to me how these beltway elites are completely out of touch with America.


14 posted on 08/21/2010 11:36:41 AM PDT by vekzen
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

So being concerned about the fact that the mosque builders may be getting money from potential terrorists, and the fact that the imam has been caught on audio tape praising bin Laden’s violence isn’t an important national issue.

Okey dokey.


15 posted on 08/21/2010 11:40:48 AM PDT by Qbert
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To: Qbert

I dont just have a problem with this mosque. I have a problem with EVERY SINGLE mosque in this country. I do not view Islam as a religion. I see it as a totalitarian movement that has mastered the arts of deception and mass hypnosis. Intolerant? When it comes to this, damn right I’m intolerant. My country is at stake.


16 posted on 08/21/2010 11:47:15 AM PDT by SusanKatzKeating (Admit nothing; deny everything; make counteraccusations)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

A ‘mosque’ and ‘community center,’ the latter of which will receive federal funds for BEING a ‘community center,’ (at least eligible for them), and the FORMER receiving a poll tax, and an exhoribant one (per Atlas Shrugs) on non-believers—in compliance with Sharia.

Red? Maybe, even probably.
Herring? No. Coral snake. Even with injectable toxin in hand, you may not live after having been bitten.


17 posted on 08/21/2010 12:01:36 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spirito Sancto.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
A Warning about Warnings
18 posted on 08/21/2010 12:05:23 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Chump Obama promised "Change" and we got chump change.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
From all the caterwauling, you'd think the Park51 group planned to fashion a mock Kaaba out of trade center ashes and mount it atop the wreckage.


19 posted on 08/21/2010 12:08:54 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Chump Obama promised "Change" and we got chump change.)
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To: SusanKatzKeating
And like clockwork, the NYT is back to using the old 'extremist' smear again (unlike the 'tolerant' guy in the photo, of course): http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/08/21/once-more-from-new-york-times-sigh-u-s-anti-islam-protest-seen-as-lift-for-extremists/
20 posted on 08/21/2010 12:10:01 PM PDT by Qbert
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
But you can't see Ground Zero from the Park51 site — it's separated by two canyonlike city blocks, occupying the former site of a Burlington Coat Factory. "Hallowed ground," indeed.

Photobucket">

Fiterman Hall, located at 30 West Broadway between Barclay and Park Place, was damaged in the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) when falling debris from 7 World Trade Center left it with significant damage in its south façade.

After September 11th, the City of New York, DASNY, CUNY, and others took steps to clean out some of the debris, close breaches in the south façade, and stabilize the structure. Because mold and WTC dust contaminated the building and rendered it uninhabitable, Fiterman Hall had to be deconstructed.

21 posted on 08/21/2010 12:14:14 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Chump Obama promised "Change" and we got chump change.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Call To Prayer - blasted by loudspeakers across Ground Zero
22 posted on 08/21/2010 12:20:22 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Chump Obama promised "Change" and we got chump change.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

This guy obviously doesn’t seem to believe we’re in a culture war. And actually even if he did, like many libertarians, he probably thinks we were in part responsible for starting it.

Seems like libertarians believe in living in houses with no gates or doors, and only confronting a burglar once he’s inside the house and taking his stuff.


23 posted on 08/21/2010 12:23:35 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

It’s becoming more and more apparent that the Libertarians are as much a threat to the survival of this republic as the leftist Democrats and the fake conservative Republicans.


24 posted on 08/21/2010 12:24:41 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (It's a time for choosing. You can have liberalism or you can have America. Pick one.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Yeah, that’s the ticket - the GOP establishment got the Muslims to try to start building a mosque at ground zero so that it would be an issue to distract everyone from the debt. That’s the ticket - wanting to distract people from the winning issue that was at the forefront of their campaigns - then to top it off, they got Obama to endorse it, and Pelosi to come out and call for people who disagree to be placed under investigation.

The author of this piece needs to be trained on logical fallacies, news cycles, and how topics of discussion at any particular moment can eb and flow. The 911 families are not part of the “GOP establishment.”


25 posted on 08/21/2010 12:31:15 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
I have no doubt that the mosque issue is unimportant to Libertarians. Religion for them is something to be tolerated, but not embraced. I would say that Libertarians have a negative view of religion, especially when it comes to issues such as abortion, drugs, and marriage. There is much that I find attractive about Libertarianism, especially the idea of limited government. What I do not like about Libertarianism is the view that everything is based upon materialism. Man does not live on bread alone.
26 posted on 08/21/2010 12:35:19 PM PDT by Nosterrex
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks; skeeter

There are so many things wrong with this essay that I don’t know where to start.

Cato is too single-minded for me in general, and this guy takes it to an extreme. You can’t be a one-trick pony, guys. It’s a big nation with a lot of problems. Most conservatives don’t think social conservative issues are peripheral, and this is really a national defense issue if you look into it with an open mind.


27 posted on 08/21/2010 12:42:13 PM PDT by firebrand
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To: Nosterrex
Many/ most Libertarians are small government liberals. That's why moral/patriotic issues like this one are "red herrings."

They're only partly conservative. And it's almost all about money and living the way they want to live.

28 posted on 08/21/2010 12:44:55 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Proud Mom of a Bronze Star recipient!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

An imbecile who is paid to think, but doesn’t.


29 posted on 08/21/2010 12:49:00 PM PDT by Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears (Pray for our leaders: Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

To this idiot, the controversy is over nothing more than a glorified YMCA.

Yeah, that’s the issue, numbskull. I bet this pantywaisted eggheadhas never done an honest day’s work in his life.


30 posted on 08/21/2010 12:51:36 PM PDT by Do Not Make Fun Of His Ears (Pray for our leaders: Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Who needs any mosques anywhere? I am sick and tired of the terrorist “religion” being shoved down our throats. Stand up against this crap, my fellow Americans. Since 9/11, where these islamic terrorists murdered over 3000 of our fellow citizens, we have had to hear how great muslims are. It is all bull$hit to put it frankly and I am sick and tired of it.


31 posted on 08/21/2010 1:14:40 PM PDT by rambo316
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I will post this on every mosque thread I encounter.

This is what they refer to as a victory mosque...it is what they build when they believe they have pummeled their enemy. It will be viewed as a western mecca...muslims from around the world will journey there on every 9/11 to celebrate. It must be stopped!


32 posted on 08/21/2010 1:26:15 PM PDT by PoloSec (Note to Princess B H Obama: May PISS be Upon Mohammads Head...You Pervert)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I agree, I am soo sick of the Mosque “debate”, this whole issue shoudl begin AND END in the City and State of New York!

Nobody else has any authority to do anything about it and if New York doesn’t want to defend themselves from a symbolic conquest thats their problem NOT OURS! It only becomes our problem when they cross the border either into or out of New York.

New York has the means to deal with this or not deal with this, its THEIR CALL! Not ours!


33 posted on 08/21/2010 1:27:22 PM PDT by Monorprise
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

It’s not always about the money, Gene! One of the landing gear from the planes hijacked that day hit there, so yes, it is hallowed ground and near other such ground. No wonder the Libertarian Party goes nowhere in this country!!


34 posted on 08/21/2010 1:34:57 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I don't need a newspaper to know the world's been shaved by a drunken barber.)
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To: EternalVigilance

Ignorance and disdain to another viewpoint is the real threat to our republic. Libertarianism as defined in Wiki:

Libertarianism is advocacy for individual liberty with libertarians generally sharing a distinct regard for individual freedom of thought and action, as well as a strong suspicion of coercive authority, such as that of government. However, there are also broad areas of disagreement among libertarians.

Libertarians generally advocate for the maximization of freedom of thought and action with few exceptions. One exception shared by libertarians is that the actions of an individual should not infringe upon the freedom of any other person, a premise often referred to as the non-aggression principle.

Minarchist libertarians, such as Robert Nozick, advocate for a minimal state with the belief that it is permissible for governments to counter aggression, while more anarchist libertarians, such as Murray Rothbard, have stated that aggression should be countered without government. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes the minimal state as providing only law enforcement, a judicial assembly, and armed forces; also described is the right-libertarian view called anarcho-capitalism which holds that government can be completely abolished because private companies working for profit should provide the court systems, military, and police forces. In contrast to the anarcho-capitalist ideals, left-libertarian anarchists such as Noam Chomsky propose libertarian socialism which promotes the idea that liberty is best achieved through large-scale decentralization to empower workers, with the result of eliminating both government and private capitalist organizations, which they view as coercive.

Libertarians also exhibit differing approaches in areas such as the treatment of property rights, especially with respect to natural resources, with some libertarians advocating the grant of strong private ownership rights, and others holding that private ownership should be avoided as being inconsistent with the basic principles of libertarianism.

Source: Wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

Additional Readings:

The Rise and Fall of Liberty (Ludwig von Mises Institute)

http://mises.org/daily/4642

“Review of Huebert’s Libertarianism Today”
Abstract: Libertarianism Today, by Jacob Huebert (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010), is an excellent introduction to libertarianism.
http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/19-block-review-of-hueberts-libertarianism-today/

“Rand, Rothbard, and Rights Reconsidered”
Abstract: This paper examines rights and the protection of rights from both the minarchist and the anarchist perspectives.
http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/18-touchstone-rand-rothbard-and-rights-reconsidered/


35 posted on 08/21/2010 1:37:10 PM PDT by luckybogey
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To: luckybogey

I know all about libertarianism. It lacks a moral core, therefore it is empty.

And quit kidding yourself, it is the abandonment of morality that is destroying America.


36 posted on 08/21/2010 1:39:30 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (It's a time for choosing. You can have liberalism or you can have America. Pick one.)
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To: Qbert

The difference between me and the people who scream “extremist:” I have read the Koran. The NYT can call me an extremist if they want. I know what I really am: A realist.


37 posted on 08/21/2010 1:55:09 PM PDT by SusanKatzKeating (Admit nothing; deny everything; make counteraccusations)
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To: Qbert

The difference between me and the people who scream “extremist:” I have read the Koran. The NYT can call me an extremist if they want. I know what I really am: A realist.


38 posted on 08/21/2010 1:55:14 PM PDT by SusanKatzKeating (Admit nothing; deny everything; make counteraccusations)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

President Bush dropped in ratings because everything was thrown at him. A death of a thousand cuts. Leave no stone unturned. BC,religion,economy,vacations, etc..


39 posted on 08/21/2010 2:00:50 PM PDT by Brimack34 (Sarah Palin- You hate her cause she's perfect)
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To: EternalVigilance
BTTT

Scorched earth libertarians are worse that ignorant misguided libtards.

40 posted on 08/21/2010 2:05:49 PM PDT by DirtyHarryY2K (The Tree of Liberty is long overdue for its natural manure)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

This is why the Republicans should they retake Congress MUST concentrate on the economy. There are some who want to try to impeach Obama or hold never ending hearings and investigations on Obama administration wrong doings. Wasting time on impeachment or hearings and not working tirelessly to fix Obama’s economic mess will assure our economic collapse and may put Obama back in the White House in 2012.


41 posted on 08/21/2010 2:11:07 PM PDT by The Great RJ (The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven't read.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

This moonbat at the Cato Institution is the same guy who said this about Ryan Sorba a pro traditional marriage proponent:

He called Sorba

“...an obnoxious lout named Ryan Sorba condemned the CPAC organizers for welcoming a gay organization”


42 posted on 08/21/2010 2:12:11 PM PDT by eleni121 (Thank you J-LO for canceling your Turk gig - decent human beings don't sing for rapist Muslim Turks)
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To: EternalVigilance

Since you “know all about libertarianism” then obviously you know this:

Christian libertarianism is a term used by people to describe the synthesis of their Christian beliefs with their libertarian political philosophy. It is also a political philosophy in itself that has its roots in libertarianism and it is a political ideology to the extent that Christian libertarians promote their cause to others and join together as a movement. In general, Christian libertarians believe that Christians should not use government as a tool to control others’ moral behavior or to initiate the use of force against others. They further believe these principles are supported by Christ’s teaching and by the Bible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_libertarianism

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.” — Mark 12:17.

God’s Word tells us that if the Son makes us free, we “shall be free indeed” (John 8:36) — meaning, among other things, at liberty from sin. We are told of “the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). We are told that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17). We are told to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free…” (Galatians 5:1). And we are told of Christ’s “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25).

The Lord Jesus Christ is, in all areas of life, the First, True Libertarian!

http://www.theamericanview.com/index.php?id=963


43 posted on 08/21/2010 2:17:47 PM PDT by luckybogey
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To: SusanKatzKeating

>> I have a problem with EVERY SINGLE mosque in this country.

Having actually lived next door to one (thus neighbor of the beast)...so do I!


44 posted on 08/21/2010 2:28:10 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
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To: luckybogey

Libertarians don’t even define the word “liberty” the way the Founders of this republic did.

And putting a Christian veneer on what is at its core a godless philosophy just helps confuse and deceive more people.


45 posted on 08/21/2010 2:33:05 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (It's a time for choosing. You can have liberalism or you can have America. Pick one.)
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To: luckybogey
“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.” — Mark 12:17.

Everything belongs to God. Even you and your politics.

46 posted on 08/21/2010 2:34:30 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (It's a time for choosing. You can have liberalism or you can have America. Pick one.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

So, the elites of all three parties are in agreement that the mosque is fine and we’re numbskulls if we are unhappy about it.

Hence, the birth of the Tea Party. I’m sick of these fools.


47 posted on 08/21/2010 2:40:43 PM PDT by marron
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Ouch. My sympathies.


48 posted on 08/21/2010 2:41:59 PM PDT by SusanKatzKeating (Admit nothing; deny everything; make counteraccusations)
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To: marron

My party disagrees with them.


49 posted on 08/21/2010 3:07:52 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (It's a time for choosing. You can have liberalism or you can have America. Pick one.)
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To: tobyhill

I don’t see why one can’t address both issues. The mosque issue really sprang up and became a huge issue when Obama endorsed it, before that it wasn’t getting much coverage.

The economy will continue to be the big issue from now throughthe election. It’s not going away. Just because the GOP may oppose the ground zero mosque doesn’t mean they can’t also talk about unemployment, or the deficit, or economic issues. They can and should do both.


50 posted on 08/21/2010 4:43:14 PM PDT by jeltz25
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