The trend to discourage the construction of mosques and Islamic centers remains real. The public's understanding of Islam is riddled with misperceptions that endanger our ideals. We're better than this.
Conservatives can do without a god, but they can't get through the day without a devil. Their entire model of reality revolves around the existence of an existential enemy who's out to annihilate them.
In the Oct. 2010 issue of Smithsonian, I delve into the real history of America's attitudes about religion, and it is a far different picture from the tidy tableau and storybook version of tolerance that we tell our children.
The dispute over the mosque is a lot like a hypothetical German-American march. Just as it would be wrong to treat all German-Americans as if they are Nazis, so too is it wrong to treat all Muslims as if they support terrorism.
What ails me to the bone and marrow is that most of my fellow citizens would wear a Jesus cross proudly beneath their flag lapel pin. They boisterously call for our return to being a "Christian nation."
All this talk about how the Cordoba project will be funded begs a bigger question: shouldn't we be trying to find an energy alternative to oil so that we don't have to continue to send our dollars to hostile nations and entities?
I'd say in Iraq that we're getting while the getting's good, before civil war and all hell breaks loose between Sunnis and Shiites and we're hightailing it home because 65% of Americans have had it with this war.
Now that the mosque controversy has ballooned into an international issue, it is worth taking a look to see whether the Republicans were correct in attempting to turn the fight into a November talking point.