Here's the thing. I'm not too concerned about what people think of me based upon the words I post on a blog are, or those posted about me. I also haven't identified with any "political anti-mosque forces," whatever they may be. I've voiced my view, nothing more, nothing less. As for nativism -- this is off-base. I tend to be more liberal on immigration.

You are right in the point you make about collective guilt, and the wrongness of that position (specifically, how it "denies Muslims equal participation in our collective community"). My rejoinder is that being treated as an equal participant in the collective community must include being aware of, and considering, the concerns of other members of the community. I don't feel that has happened in this case.

However, I'm comfortable with the position I've taken on this blog. I truly believe I am not identifying with an un-American movement. While I applaud your passion on this issue (as I've said, I respect your viewpoint, and have for some time), I'd submit that voicing dissenting views, with mutual respect, is indicative of American values.

It's funny, though. While I disagree with your position, I have never labeled it un-American. I'm not understanding why I shouldn't take it personally when my position is labeled as such.

I'm not saying that Muslims shouldn't be able to practice their faith, or that the government should have intervened to block the mosque. As such, there is no free exercise issue here. It is asking (not forcing) the builders of the mosque, in light of the sensitivity of the proximity to Ground Zero, to think about an alternative location for the mosque. What I fail to see is why that is so terrible.

CKM, I was away for a few days, but came back to read the posts you authored on this topic, including the one that was in response to my question. You may have seen this opinion already, but I thought it was worth linking to:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704271804575405330350430368.html?KEYWORDS=carmelite

I thought this opinion piece made a good point when it states, "having the right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do." Legally, the builders of this mosque have the right to build where they wish. However, in light of the intense reaction that has ensued, should they do so?