Allowing a mosque at Ground Zero shows that we always do what is right and we believe what we say we believe. We allow true freedom because we aren't scared of words and we believe that everyone is equal under the law -- even if their beliefs offend us. Our allowing them to build a mosque there shows that not only are we not timid or passive, but we are actively and courageously pursuing freedom for all Americans.
This may be the best column I never wrote.
I almost wrote this column several times this week, but I kept convincing myself to let it go. I might regret it, but I can't keep quiet any longer.
Every time I write about Sarah Palin in a column I make an internal promise to myself that this will be the last time I ever mention her. It's like therapy. It never works. But it helps me to think that she might never be in the news again.
This time, she is making news, but the emphasis is all wrong.
Of course, Sarah Palin reminds us of Shakespeare. She told Katie Couric she reads all newspapers and magazines. Palin is nothing if not a literary scholar.
If anyone has the right to mangle the words refute and repudiate into a new addition to the American lexicon, it should be her -- you betcha. But the substance of her tweet that inspired a thousand comments was far more ignorant than the confused language she used to express it.
Now Newt Gingrich has joined as a baritone in the conservative duet.
Palin asked peaceful Muslims to "refudiate" the construction of a mosque near the site of Ground Zero in New York City.
It is cute that she thinks she has any Muslim followers on her Twitter and Facebook accounts. But beyond that, she merely made a request.
But Gingrich was not content to have the Mama Grizzly conducting the conservative Crazy Train. He wants to forbid the location of a mosque at Ground Zero until there are churches and temples allowed in Saudi Arabia.
What happened to the Constitution -- or at least the Bill of Rights? We don't use Saudi Arabia as an example, even if the example is tongue in cheek. I didn't think we established religions or prevented the free exercise thereof in this country. If President Barack Obama is going to destroy the Constitution, he may have to win a race to accomplish it.
Gingrich is a student of history and a pretty darn smart guy. His comments on the Ground Zero mosque had to come from his heart and not his head.
If a Muslim group owns that land and wants to build a mosque there, they should. I understand how uncomfortable it might be. I lived in Oklahoma when the Murrah Building was bombed by two rednecks exacting revenge against the government for the Branch Davidian Compound and Ruby Ridge incidents.
I know it would have been uncomfortable to have a militia group set up a competing museum across the street from the memorial there so they could tell their side of the story.
That would have been tough to handle. But they have the same rights to free speech as anyone else. And the Muslim groups have a right to worship anywhere New York City ordinances allow.
Gingrich sees the location of a mosque there as America being timid, passive and historically ignorant. He thinks building the mosque there and naming it after a similar mosque in Cordoba, Spain, where Muslims conquered Spanish Christians is a symbol of them conquering us.
He might have a point if they had conquered us. Landing one punch doesn't win a fight.
Gingrich may be on the money when it comes to the motives of the Muslims. But he is wrong about what it means.
Allowing the mosque there shows that we always do what is right and we believe what we say we believe. We allow true freedom because we aren't scared of words and we believe that everyone is equal under the law -- even if their beliefs offend us.
Our allowing them to build a mosque there shows that not only are we not timid or passive, but we are actively and courageously pursuing freedom for all Americans.
Radical Muslims may have attacked our country, but we can not let them separate us from our core beliefs.
Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta Gazette in Augusta, Kan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.