Eugene Robinson offers up some blunt talk:
Lies, distortions, jingoism, xenophobia — another day, another campaign issue that Republicans can use to bash President Obama and the Democrats. First it was illegal immigration. Now it’s the so-called Ground Zero mosque, which is not at all what its opponents claim.
First, it’s not at Ground Zero. The site in question is two blocks north of the former World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan; an existing mosque is just a few hundred feet more distant from the site of the collapsed towers. Second, while the planned building would indeed house a place of worship, it is designed to be more of a community center along the lines of a YMCA. Plans include a fitness center, swimming pool, basketball court, bookstore, performing arts center and food court. Kebabs do not threaten our way of life.
As a commenter pithily noted the other day, calling this a mosque is like calling a casino in Las Vegas a cathedral because it has a wedding chapel.