Thursday, July 29, 2010

More of the bigotry of Wayne Allan Root.

The con man Wayne Allen Root is at it again, besmirching the libertarian label with conservative verbal vomit. The man is a fraud and if the Libertarian Party had an ounce of decency they would boot him out on his fat ass.

Root has a piece that is anti-private property and collectivistic to the core. And he does it while labeling himself as “one of America’s leading Libertarian thinkers.” For the record, I doubt even Root is so stupid as to think he is one of America’s leading libertarian thinkers. Actually he probably knows he not even a libertarian.

Some Muslims are building a center, which includes a mosque, in New York. It will be a couple of blocks away from the site of the Twin Towers. Root is against the idea because: “there are also rights and sensibilities of others to consider in a free society.” Of course, the rights of others are to be respected. But building a mosque doesn’t violate anyone’s rights, no matter how much it offends Mr. Root. No rights are being violated. As for violating sensibilities: what does that mean? Some people, especially the bigoted, are easily offended. Tough shit: in a free society you don’t have a right to go unoffended. And if you are a conservative, like Root, you are usually easily offended. Deal with it.

Root condemns the building of the mosque because it “does nothing to increase religious freedom. “ No it doesn’t and it isn’t obliged to. He says that a mosque instead “inspires hatred, divides our cultures and increases the odds of violence and hate crimes.” Hell, build a Baptist church and the same damn thing happens. But private property is private property and the state has no right to prevent a church, or a mosque, from being built—nor should it.

Root offers lots of bullshit, but then bullshit is his specialty. He says that building it is a sign of disrespect and means to “belittle us.” Who is “us?” I don’t feel belittled or disrespected. And like offense, you have no inherent right to respect. People are free to disrespect you if they wish; they just aren’t free to violate your life, liberty or property.

Root says this center “is to show Muslim contempt for Americans by building a monument to Islam in the shadow of their greatest triumph over America.” Give that some thought for a second. Yes, fanatical Muslims did a horrific thing in the name of their religion. But is there a universal guilt for all Muslims? To call that terrorist attack “their greatest triumph,” and to mean Muslims, is pure, raw, bigoted collectivism.

Mr. Root is a Jew. The Israeli military attacked the USS Liberty in what can only be described as a terrorist attack. Does that action by Israel, mean all Jews are somehow guilty? Obviously not. All Germans aren’t responsible for the atrocities of the Nazis. All whites are not guilty for the attacks of the Klan or Jim Crow laws. All Afrikaners are not responsible for apartheid.

There is no such thing as collective guilt. Hitler preached an anti-Semitic message that was built on the concept of collective guilt for all members of a specific religious minority. Mr. Root, by claiming that the attack of some terrorists was a triumph for Islam, is engaging in the same disgusting form of bigotry as Julius Streicher and his fellow Nazi propagandists.

I have no sympathy for Islam. Nor for that matter do I care about Judaism or Christianity, or any of the inherently intolerant sects of monotheism. It is just wrong, however, to paint all Christians with one brush, or all Jews, or all Muslims. It is a crude form of collectivism and it is irrational.

I dislike Christian theology because I think it is wrong, stupid, and potentially dangerous. I say the same for Judaism and the same for Islam. But I would never say that all Christians are dangerous; all Jews are a threat, or all Muslims are out to get us.

I do think fundamentalism, in all three sects is particularly dangerous. But most Christians are not fundamentalists. Most Muslims were not responsible for 9/11. Most Jews are not responsible for the USS Liberty attack, not even most Israelis are responsible.

As usual the big mouth, self-absorbed con man from Vegas doesn’t even bother to check out the facts. The center being built is called Cordoba House and does house a mosque along with many other things. It is the work of a Muslim cleric who wanted a community center where Muslims and people of other faiths can meet together. The name Cordoba was picked after the Spanish city where Christians, Jews and Muslims once lived together in peace. It is a repudiation of the sort of fanaticism that we saw on 9/11, and the sort of knee-jerk reactionary thinking of Right-wing bigots like Root.

Cordoba House promotes itself as place for interfaith cooperation and social interaction to help promote tolerance and friendship. It is moderate Islam at work. The intolerant fanatics are two-bit charlatans like Root.

Conservatives have been demanding that tolerant Muslims step forward and work in opposition to the fundamentalists—something conservatives themselves refuse to do when it comes to Christian intolerance. Now that such Muslims have done precisely this the Right wing, including faux libertarians like Root, are up in arms over it. Just as decent Muslims need to disassociate themselves from intolerant fanatics, as Cordoba House is doing, so too must decent libertarians repudiate the immature thinking of fake libertarians like Root.

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