Is the Islamic community within its rights to build a mosque near Ground Zero? Probably so.
But is justice served when we focus on rights?
Consider the story of King Solomon in 1 Kings Chapter 3. The wise king was confronted with the case of two mothers; when the baby of one mother was accidentally smothered during the night, that mother switched babies. From Solomon's perspective, both mothers had equal legal claim to the living child:
24 Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."
26 The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!"
But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"
27 Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."
So how might Solomon answer this current request? I take a stab at the answer below the fold.
"Sure. Build your mosque. But it's important that it be done right.
"So we need a model.
"Pick the Middle Eastern capital of your choice: Amman, Damascus, Cairo, Riyadh, Teheran, ... it makes little difference. Build your model mosque there, and dedicate it to the memory of the 3,000 innocents.
"Dedicate it to the 343 firefighters and paramedics of the NYFD, to the 60 NYPD and Port Authority officers who selflessly gave their lives out of love and service to their fellow man. Make it a tribute to the heroes of United Flight 93. Yes, make it a tribute to the two dozen or so innocent Muslim victims of the unholy, misguided demons who committed this evil atrocity on the American people.
"We'll judge your application based on the peace and healing that flows from your model mosque. Given the sincerity of your mission, we're sure it will be a great success."
Such a lesson was probably not covered during Mr. Obama's 22 years in the Rev. Wright's pews, conflicting as it does without the values of Liberation Theology. Naturally, as a lawyer, Mr. Obama focuses first on rights, but as the story shows, rights and justice are often at odds.