ACLJ finds on/off switch for 1st Amendment

If you want to know what democracy looks like, check out New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s argument for why a mosque and Islamic community center should be allowed to build near Ground Zero. And if you want to know what hypocrisy looks like, check out today’s fundraising appeal from the American Center for Law & Justice, “Not on Our Watch: No to Islamic Mosque at Ground Zero.” As Right Wing Watch points out, the far-right ACLJ is now leading the fight for and against limits on religious freedom. Apparently ACLJ has also had with it the democratic process. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, whose members are appointed to three-year terms by the elected mayor, voted 9-0 yesterday to let the project go forward. ACLJ writes, “New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has failed the people of New York, our 9/11 heroes, and concerned citizens of America by UNANIMOUSLY denying landmark status to the proposed site.” And then the good part: “Generously support the ACLJ as we file a court challenge to stop this mosque from ever being built on this hallowed site.” The group makes quite an issue over local planning ordinances in general, and especially where they concern conservative Christian groups. ACLJ devotes a section of its website to Land Use & Zoning – the list of recent news there includes updates on the Manhattan mosque proposal as well as stories about displaying the Ten Commandments. “The law is clear: First Amendment freedoms must be protected,” ACLJ writes. Except when it involves a religion you don’t like or an issue you can raise money on.