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The Political Correctness Of “Merry Christmas” Has Dangerous Consequences

“This is the way the world ends …Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Does that famous quote aptly describe America’s future? Time will tell, but indications are that this nation, the most powerful, benevolent and fair in the world, is crumbling before our very eyes. Like Rome, it isn’t falling from outside invasion, but within. 

 And one of the biggest culprits is political correctness.

It’s all around us, but especially this time of year, as the assault on “Merry Christmas” accelerates.

It used to be a standard greeting, and people would reciprocate with a smile. Your religious denomination didn’t matter, or whether you even had one.  It was simply a friendly expression in a nation where the vast majority celebrated Christmas. And for those who didn’t, most returned the sentiment anyway because it was just a nice thing to do during the jovial season.

But all that changed as Americans’ sense of entitlement exploded. And yes, that included being entitled not to feel “offended” because something may not be to your exact liking.

“Merry Christmas? Well, I celebrate Hannukah or Kwanza or am an atheist, so how dare you presume to wish me your holiday? How offensive and rude!”

But it doesn’t stop there.  Hypocritical retail stores woo Christmas shoppers — you know, the 95 percent who do celebrate Christmas and spend a half-trillion dollars doing so  — but won’t put the word “Christmas” in their ads or on their displays.

It’s the Nativity scenes that are increasingly barred from public places. It’s residents who call the ACLU because a development hangs simple white lights on its trees. It’s office Christmas parties becoming a relic, replaced by generic “holiday” events. And yes, it’s Mayors like Michael Nutter who last year deliberately removed the word “Christmas” from the holiday retail complex near City Hall (but subsequently was forced to replace it).

All of it a brazen attempt to make America a more secular society through political correctness, and those who dare question it are labeled “bigots.” 

Several important points need to be addressed:

1) The push to make all things politically correct has been successful, as it is now entrenched in all aspects of society. Everyone gets a trophy in most youth sports leagues, we don’t keep accurate score when one team is winning over another, and all things must be racially, culturally and ethnically homogenous.

The problem is that’s not how the real world works. And it’s the basic principle that the Occupy movement doesn’t understand. You have to work hard and fight for things you want, but when they are bestowed upon us — without merit — from those who worship at the altar of political correctness, things go downhill fast.  Need proof? Just look at those who engage in PC the most —Europe and the United States. Enough said.

2) This is a not call for “Thought Police” to mandate that everyone say “Merry Christmas.”  Quite the opposite. It’s a call for the silent majority to wake up and shove it right back at the small but extremely loud minority who shout “I’m offended” at every single thing. Saying Merry Christmas behind closed doors doesn’t take guts.  Saying it because you truly believe it and not worrying that such an innocuous greeting will offend does — insane as that is.

3) Most important, Americans need to remember that actions have consequences. And until we connect the dots and see the error of being so PC, those consequences can, and will, have devastating results.

When good folks start looking over their shoulders before saying Merry Christmas for fear of “offending,” it all begins to unravel. 
 
Think the PC stops at that?  Well, think about the fact that the next time you step foot on an airplane, it may be your last day on Earth because your government — we the people — absolutely refuse to non-invasively profile the very folks who openly state their intentions to blow up said aircraft.  And it gets better, as the Transportation Security Administration just announced that children under 12 don’t have to take off their shoes for screening, and will not be subject to routine pat-downs like everyone else

Here’s the $64,000 question. What do we think al-Qaeda will do now? Here’s a wild guess. Start flying a lot more with children? What’s next? Not screening foreign children at all?
  
So when your wife gets incinerated two minutes after takeoff, and the wreckage of a jumbo jet falls on your child’s school because a terrorist put the bomb in his 11 year old’s shoe, courtesy of the red carpet we provided, perhaps we shouldn’t wonder why it happened. 

Or when your son gets his skull sliced in half by a bullet that emanates from a Mosque in Afghanistan which is “off limits” for retaliation for fear of offending the very people who don’t like us anyway, maybe we should think about where it all started coming apart.
Did it start from the reluctance to say Merry Christmas or the refusal to put a Christmas tree on a courthouse plaza? Did it originate from the refusal to acknowledge Christmas on a public school calendar while other religions’ holidays are clearly labeled as such?  It’s impossible to pinpoint, but it really doesn’t matter.  That mentality is here, and has in large part led to the Great Decline.
 
So when the inevitable tragedy happens again — one that could have been prevented — and dumbfounded Americans stand around asking “How and why did this happen?”, well, you’ll know why.  The 40′s and 50′s were certainly not perfect, but people spoke their minds, were respectful, and America was a powerhouse. That attitude put a man on the moon a mere 60 years after the Wright brothers took flight but is now a fleeting memory.  Which is what happens when you bow to the wrong principles.
 
When Rome was at its zenith, it adhered to the simple principle that the well-being of its citizens was paramount. All of them.  In fact, so fervent was that belief that the Romans would literally go to the ends of the Earth to hunt down any thug that violated the rights of just a single Roman. They didn’t let political correctness rule the day, and the Republic thrived.  But when it abandoned that principle, it all came crashing down.
 
They said Rome would never fall, but it did.  Many say the same about America.   Yet the whimper is at our door.

So if we are to ever return to our former glory, perhaps that path could begin by good folks jettisoning political correctness and saying two small but incredibly joyous words without reservation:

Merry Christmas!
 

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com  His self-syndicated model has earned him the largest cumulative media voice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

 

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December 23, 2011 at 11:29 am Comments (2)

Bin Laden’s Death And Waterboarding: Hand In Hand

 To say the killing of Osama bin Laden created a patriotic euphoria in the United States  would be a gross understatement, as the sense that justice had been served was downright palpable.  Spontaneous celebrations broke out across the nation, and the image of thousands chanting “U-S-A” from Ground Zero was simply awe-inspiring.  It was a great day for America.

Having said that, it is clear that U.S. still is not wholly committed to winning the War on Terror. The very fact that we are still debating whether waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” should be used on terrorists hell-bent on destroying us projects weakness.

There are now conflicting reports as to whether the waterboarding of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided information about an al-Queda courier, who ultimately led the U.S. to bin Laden’s Pakistani hideout.

One question: who cares?  Common sense tells us that waterboarding works, and has no doubt saved lives by obtaining intelligence that would have otherwise not been uncovered.  Whether that method was responsible for extracting the courier information will probably never be known, but debating that point misses the big picture entirely.

We are at war.  And when at war, you pull out all stops until victory is achieved — Vietnam was supposed to teach us that. When you fight not to lose, the enemy becomes emboldened. 

Where we are right now is a perfect example of the adage “we have met the enemy, and it is us.” We have allowed our security to be unnecessarily compromised, and, despite bin Laden’s death, the threat against the Western world remains high.

And it’s all done in the name of political correctness.

The blame cannot be directed just at President Obama, who officially discontinued waterboarding in 2009.  Under the Bush Administration, both the CIA and the military had effectively ended the practice years earlier.  And it was Republican John McCain who offered an Amendment prohibiting the U.S. from engaging in humiliating or degrading treatment of captured terrorists.

By way of explanation, waterboarding is when water is poured over the face of an enemy combatant, simulating the feeling of drowning.  If you’re waiting for the rest of the description, you’ll be sorely disappointed, because that’s it.  Don’t misunderstand—it’s very effective, but derives its success due to psychological stress rather than physical harm.  No one gets hurt, and no one dies. 

But somehow that’s degrading, so much of a no-no that we stopped it outright. So maybe if we just politely ask our detainees for sensitive information, like their financial network, comrades’ whereabouts, and the battle-plans to kill Americans, they will just tell us.

If the goal is to ensure that terrorists feel comfortable, then we were right to ban waterboarding.  However, if we want to be seriously engaged in a global war against those who aggressively advocate our destruction, maybe we should reconsider how we handle detainees, since Al-Queda prisoners are also afforded fantastic medical care, food reflective of their ethnicity, and prayer time.

Maybe we should ask the survivors and victims’ families of the 9/11 massacre, the Madrid train attacks, the London subway bombings, and a host of other atrocities if they care whether a prisoner, with possible knowledge of an impending attack (potentially nuclear, chemical or biological), has some water poured on his face, or feels humiliated.

Cutting through the PC, does the average American, or European for that matter, really believe such interrogation methods should be banned, putting the prisoner’s well-being ahead of their own?  Are they really willing to jeopardize their children’s future because a combatant’s “dignity” is affected?

When Americans are captured, the enemy doesn’t feel compelled to reciprocate that dignity. Need a quick refresher?  Just look at the videos of Americans — civilians and military — being decapitated, dragged through the streets, burned, dismembered and hung from bridges.

Because we coddle prisoners, refuse to profile, won’t construct a border wall and tie our troops’ hands behind their backs because of PC politics, we have become a paper tiger.  And the sigh of despair you hear?  That’s the silent majority of Europeans who live on the front lines, too scared to publicly support anti-PC measures because their cultures have become the embodiment of appeasement.  They used to nod in admiration that at least one country still had the guts to take it to the enemy. Sadly, that is no longer the case.

The President should use every means necessary to extract information that could save lives, and waterboarding is clearly one of them.  Just as Americans call for domestic drilling only after gas hits $4 per gallon, there will undoubtedly be loud calls to bring back enhanced interrogation techniques — after the next attack.

But by then, it will be too late.

 

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind, whose column appears regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio and state/national television, most notably on FOX Philadelphia.  He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

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May 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm Comment (1)

Profile In Courage: Mel Gibson

My “Freindly Fire” column, never mistaken for being fluffy or politically correct, routinely hammers hypocrites, frauds, and otherwise unsavory characters in politics, business, entertainment, and yes — the media. So when a reader recently inquired whom I respect, I gave it some thought. 

Since it was Easter week, I didn’t have to think too much, for a person came to mind whose courage is legendary and who has literally changed the world like no other.

While profiled extensively, it is not his brave heart that is the usual subject matter, but vitriolic attacks waged by those jealous of his professional success and threatened by his personal and religious convictions.

There is a saying that one’s worth can be judged by his enemies.  And given that Mel Gibson rankled the Hollywood elite like no other in history, beating them at their own game, he is definitely a man of high worth.

Gibson’s award-winning career has been a storied one.  He has reprised many roles defending persecuted people incapable of fighting for themselves, from Braveheart to The Patriot, where freedom was a central theme.  Freedom from tyranny and oppression, freedom from crime, freedom from fear. 

But most significantly, the message of Gibson’s premier work was freedom from eternal damnation.

The Passion of the Christ was one of the most successful movies in history, and the highest grossing non-English language film of all time. Yet if Hollywood had its way, it would have never been produced.

Despite the over two billion Christians in the world, which would seem like a pretty good target market for a movie that follows Jesus during his agonizing last hours, nobody in Tinsel Town wanted to touch Gibson’s idea. Not a whole lot in Hollywood makes sense, but that one takes the cake.

Walk away from a movie that any third-grader could have told you would make hundreds of millions right out of the gate?  If Hollywood is about one thing, it’s money.  While The Passion’s religious message is anathema to much of that town’s culture, one would have thought The Almighty Dollar would have been all the religion Hollywood would have needed.

But rather that quit, Gibson spent his own money —almost $50 million — to produce and market the film, and ended up distributing it himself along with a small company, since no major distributor wanted anything to do with film.

Can we say cowardice and religious bigotry?

But that was just the beginning. Gibson faced an onslaught of criticism from a small number of loud-mouthed whiners who wanted to see their names in the papers.  So, incredibly, they attacked Mel for not rewriting history to their liking, cavalierly throwing out charges of bigotry.  

Fact is, The Passion is an historically accurate masterpiece with absolutely no elements of bigotry, but once those types of charges are leveled, it’s difficult to forge ahead.

Gibson could have chosen the easy way out: he could have canceled the whole project, choosing to not place his money at risk.  He could have produced a politically correct movie by ignoring historical fact, thereby averting the disparaging attacks on him and his family (as his father, a dedicated family man who led an exemplary life, was also ruthlessly attacked without basis). He could have downplayed his conservative Catholicism and avoided the numerous questions about his personal beliefs.

He could have settled.  But he didn’t.

He didn’t make the film for money, since he already had plenty of it.  Nor did he do it for fame, since he was routinely listed as one of the world’s biggest superstars.

But rather than sell his soul like most in Hollywood, Gibson persevered.  And because of that, the greatest story of all time was re-told in the most realistic way anyone had ever seen. The sacrifice, the passion, the very idea of faith itself — all brought home to billions the world over. 

And certainly not just Christians benefitted from The Passion, since people of all religious faiths flocked to take heart in the film’s universal messages of redemption, forgiveness and hope. (So powerful was the film that it was censored in some countries and not distributed in others.  Makes one wonder what made those leaders fear so much).

The same attention-seekers who attacked Mel Gibson (and some continue to do so) will no doubt level charges that this column is defending a man who, years after the film, allegedly made anti-semetic and bigoted remarks. And they would be right. I am defending Mel Gibson the man, not his remarks.

Gibson spent a career defending principles that are incessantly under attack, and his most brilliant work rekindled the faith of billions in a way no church, no preacher, not even the Bible itself could duplicate.  Our world becomes more visual by the day, so The Passion, with portrayals that make the true passion story come to life more realistically than any other medium, takes its place in history as the movie that changed the world more than any other.

Has Gibson made mistakes?  Sure, and has admitted so and taken responsibility for them.  “I’ve never treated anyone badly or in a discriminatory way based on their gender, race, religion or sexuality — period,” he recently told Deadline Hollywood.  Referring to comments made to an ex-girlfriend that were deliberately blown out of proportion by those wishing to bring down Gibson, he said they didn’t  “represent what I truly believe or how I’ve treated people my entire life.”

Should he be believed?  Given his history of character and conviction — rare in the world and virtually nonexistent in Hollywood — and the fact that many other celebrities are “forgiven” by the public for things a whole lot worse after making disingenuous apologies, absolutely.

The ultimate message of The Passion is redemption, and because of Mel Gibson’s courage, that message continues to resonate around the world. 

Gibson himself deserves nothing less.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com

 Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

 Freind, whose column appears regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio and state/national television, most notably on FOX Philadelphia.  He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

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April 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm Comments (0)

Killing Pirates On The Spot Is Long Overdue!

Water is wet.  The sky is blue.  Europe is cowardly.

While all three are indisputable, only the last can change.  But it will take sheer will and an enormous amount of courage to turn around a continent falling apart, not from outside invasion, but from within.  Their death spiral is a direct result of leaders who prostrate themselves before the altar of political correctness — and a people too reluctant or scared to challenge them.

A perfect example of is playing out right now.  Despite brutal acts of piracy occurring off Eastern Africa on a daily basis — affecting European ships, and by extension, Europeans themselves — political and media elites have been demonizing 79-year old Norwegian shipping magnate Jacob Stolt-Nielsen. Why?  Because in an op-ed, he had the guts to advocate the only realistic way to deal with these terrorists on the high seas: sink their ships with the pirates in them, or execute them on the spot.

So what’s the problem with that? 

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“You wanna know how to get Capone?”, Sean Connery’s character asks Elliot Ness in The Untouchables.  “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way! And that’s how you get Capone.”

And you know what? They got Capone. 

It’s expected that Europe doesn’t have the courage to do things The Chicago Way.  That’s why they need America to bail them out time and again.

Unfortunately, that immutable lesson has now also been lost on America’s leaders, replaced by softness, complacency and the desire not to offend.

And our enemies have exploited that weakness, as al-Queda can proudly attest.

It’s also why we are routinely losing to pirates operating from the rogue nation of Somalia.  Not content with the hundreds of millions they’ve already extorted, they violently hijack about one ship per day, and are currently holding 700 hostages and 30 ships for ransom.

And we’re not talking about just pleasure craft or fishing vessels, but huge ships supplying the world with cargo, food, oil — and weapons.  Two years ago, a supertanker larger than an aircraft carrier was hijacked as it was transporting more than $100 million worth of crude oil.  When that happens, we all pay for it at the pump.

And given the pirates’ cozy relationship with Islamic fundamentalists, some of that ransom money is making its way right into the hands of terrorists hell bent on destroying the West.

These barbarians turned it up a notch this week, killing four Americans after hijacking their private vessel. But here’s the most disturbing part: despite being closely monitored by four U.S. Navy warships, they executed the hostages anyway. That level of arrogance tells all we need to know: they don’t fear us.

And no wonder.  Our “tough” response will be to haul the captured pirates into U.S. courts on the other side of the world, where they will receive first-class taxpayer-funded defense lawyers and free health care.  How nice.

And that’s supposed to deter more attacks? 

Manhattan prosecutors don’t make Somali-based pirates tremble, a fact not lost on Stolt-Nielsen.   As one of the few who lives in the real world, he stated how to end the unchecked piracy:

“When (piracy) implies a great risk of being caught and hanged, and the cost of losing ships and weapons becomes too big, it will decrease and eventually disappear.”

To that point, he ridicules the American and European “solution” to dealing with problem.  (We should)  “…not arrest them and say, ‘naughty, naughty, shame on you,’ and release them again, but sink their boats with all hands…the pirates won’t be frightened by being placed before a civilian court.”

It is indisputable that the pirates aren’t frightened, evidenced by the fact that, despite one of their own being sentenced to 33 years in prison just last week, the pirates executed the Americans anyway.

Yet the response from those who bury their head in the sand?  Killing pirates would be “barbaric,” with opponents arguing that, despite documented torture, abuse and murder of their captives, these rogues must be treated with basic human rights.

Kind of like the human rights given to the murdered Americans and tortured sailors?  Of course not, since the real victims are always forsaken by bleeding hearts.

Pirates have those rights before they hijack ships.  Once they cross the line, however, all bets are off.  Ships should carry armed guards, who, upon attack, should exercise no restraint in vaporizing the marauders.  The goal should not be to deter, but to destroy, for three reasons.  First, it is now just as likely pirates will execute the crew once aboard; second, letting them go will only make another ship’s crew their victim; third, it will send a clear, unmistakable message that there is a new Law Of The Sea.  It’s called The Chicago Way.

Let’s be very clear about what will happen.  When 10 pirates go out, only to return as corpses floating up on the beach resorts of Somalia, there will be a paradigm shift in how the remaining pirates will conduct their business.  Translation: they’ll find a different profession.  Immediately.

Stolt-Nielsen said it best when he referenced why piracy declined over the last several hundred years. “Pirates captured in international waters have always been punished by death, often on the spot.”

There’s a direct correlation to the huge spike in piracy, now commonplace in vast swaths of the oceans, with the “basic human rights” that clueless leaders mandate must be afforded them.

Here’s standing with Stolt-Nielsen in dropping the empty threats, picking up the guns, sinking ships and killing the barbarians.  They can have their day in court — in Davy Jones’ locker.

It’s the only language these people understand, so let’s speak it loud and clear, and relegate pirates to those in the Jack Sparrow movies.

 

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative
reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries
and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including
The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick
Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind, whose column appears regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in
Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio and state/national
television, most notably on FOX Philadelphia.  He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

 

 

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February 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm Comments (0)

Time To “De-Cantor” Rep. Eric Cantor From GOP Leadership

The time has come.  We must ban the musical Caberet.

To be consistent, we must also censor Gone With The Wind, The Sound Of Music, Hogan’s Heroes and every other movie about war.

Despite entertaining countless people, these productions must cease in the name of Political Correctness. 

For that, we extend our thanks to Congressman Eric Cantor.

A Republican. 

No, that’s not a misprint.  Cantor is one of the GOP’s national leaders, poised to become Majority Leader should the Republicans win back the House.

There’s a far more appropriate term for Cantor: garden-variety political hack.

And that’s being kind.

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Cantor has helped create a sensationalistic story where there shouldn’t be one. In doing so, he has shown his true colors as a politician seeking power for the sake of power, with no regard for principles or people.

At issue is Ohio GOP congressional candidate Rich Iott, who had a hobby of reenacting historical events.  As part of a tremendously popular activity, Iott has participated in re-enactments of the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

In accurately portraying the Second World War, he donned the garb of a Nazi soldier.

And therein lies the firestorm.

Iott dressed as a German, so therefore must believe in the Nazi ideology.

So goes the insane logic of Cantor.

The Republican whip betrayed his ally on national television, stating that he, “would absolutely repudiate that, and not support an individual to do something like that…. I don’t support anything like that.”

Under that rationale, we should pretend the United States didn’t fight real enemies in any war.

If anyone should be repudiated, it’s Cantor for stripping away the dignity of millions of veterans who actually fought the bad guys.

Re-writing history in order not to “offend” is the greatest injustice that could be heaped on America’s greatest heroes.

Burying your head by pretending there weren’t atrocities committed is ridiculous.  Iott wasn’t glorifying Nazis, but educating on one of the world’s darkest moments. The only way we can prevent history from repeating itself is by understanding what really happened.

And what better way to make history come alive, in a way that students of all ages can easily understand, than historical re-enactments? 

Of course, depicting war requires two sides.  You can’t exactly educate if you’re missing half the pieces.

But that is lost on Cantor.

Bowing to the altar of political correctness is inexcusable behavior from anyone, but for a leader of the Republican Party, who should be held to a higher standard, it’s a disgrace.

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Where does this warped thinking end?

Do we chastise actors who portray Nazis, Japanese — or British Redcoats?  How about a Southern slave owner or even…a Democrat?

Are we to believe that, should one reprise these roles, he has assumed membership in, and adopted the ideology of, that character?

Of course not.  Doing so insults everyone’s intelligence.  Which is why Cantor’s real motivation is so easily discerned.

He wasn’t “offended” at all.  If he was, he has no business serving in Congress, let alone being one of its leaders.

Instead, he made a deliberate decision to throw one of his own under the bus to appease…

Read the rest of FREINDLY FIRE on Newsmax:

http://www.newsmax.com/Freind/Eric-Cantor-Rich-Iott/2010/10/14/id/373735

 

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on Philadelphia-area talk radio shows, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances, most notably on FOX.  He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

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October 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm Comments (0)

Ground Zero Mosque: A Red-Herring –And Irrelevant- Issue

A frequent, and well-founded, criticism of American journalism is that too many reporters focus more on a good story than telling the truth. 

To be fair, though, that label must also be applied to a large segment of the American people.  Perhaps it’s because we’ve evolved into a quick-fix, instant-oatmeal society, or maybe it’s because tackling tough problems can seem hopelessly daunting. 

But maybe the main reason for the proliferation of red herring issues is that so many American politicians shamelessly take advantage of people’s fears, manipulating issues to their political — and financial — gain.

Whatever the reason, it’s no excuse for citizens to willfully ignore the real problems while blindly jumping on the bandwagon of those screaming about irrelevant matters.

The mosque slated for construction near Ground Zero in New York is a prime example.  And with the anniversary of the September 11 attacks later this week, there is no better time to laser in on the issues that truly need addressing.

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Proponents want to build a $100 million Islamic mosque and cultural center with the stated purpose of promoting interfaith dialogue and peace.  The complex is to be constructed several blocks from where the Twin Towers fell on 9/11.

Standing adamantly opposed are those who view the Islamic center,  located so close to hallowed ground, as an in-your-face insult not just to America, but the 3,000 souls who perished that day.

Fair enough, because in all likelihood, it is. 

There are so many other places to build a mosque that to innocently choose that location just doesn’t pass the sniff test.

Americans have a legitimate reason to feel incensed, and are making that view loudly known.  But when calls are made to block the construction through legal means, and when some demand that the owners’ financing be investigated because we don’t happen to like what they stand for, America ceases to be America.

We must be extremely vigilant not to throw our freedoms to the wind just because we find something or someone insulting or offensive.  When cooler heads don’t prevail, the result is almost always catastrophic.

Jailing American citizens in internment camps during World War II comes to mind.

That’s why the Founding Fathers, knowing full-well the dangers of mob mentality, ingeniously created America’s law-making bodies.

The House of Representatives, elected every two years and therefore much more responsive to the people’s whims, is counter-balanced by the staid and deliberative Senate, with its more insulating six-year terms.

And as a final check, the Supreme Court, with its lifetime-appointed Justices free from future job considerations, is designed to provide the ultimate safeguard.

The intensifying mosque debate may be one that tests the system like no other.

Will Congress attempt to pass legislation regulating what can and can’t be built near war memorials? Stranger things have happened.

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One of the most outspoken critics of the mosque has been former House Speaker turned political commentator Newt Gingrich. Like his views or not, Gingrich is universally considered an extremely intelligent analyst with well-thought out positions.

Which makes his pandering on the mosque construction so pathetic.

He’d have been better off just coming clean, saying he’s raising millions on the issue, which could help him prepare for a presidential run.  But while he’s placating the evangelicals, he’s approaching lunatic status with the mainstream.

To say, as Gingrich did, that we shouldn’t build mosques in America until Saudi Arabia has churches and synagogues on its corners is, quite simply, insane.  And Newt knows better.

Since when do we elevate Saudi Arabia — or any other country for that matter — to equal status with the United States of America?

We may despise how Saudi Arabia…..

Read the rest and post a comment at Philadelphia Magazine’s Philly Post:

http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2010/09/07/why-are-we-arguing-about-the-ground-zero-mosque/

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on the Philadelphia-area talk radio show, Political Talk (WCHE 1520), and makes numerous other television and radio appearances, most notably on FOX 29.  He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

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September 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm Comments (0)