Thank You, Glenn Beck…

…for manufacturing your own violation of The Second Niggardly Principle, clarifying what is wrong about the Ground Zero Mosque.

Beck has announced that he will hold a Tea Party rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, which just happens to be the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s iconic “I have a dream” speech, delivered at the same spot.

Does Beck have a right to hold his rally there?


Can he be stopped from having his rally there?

No. The rally is protected by the Constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly and free speech.

Is the Lincoln Memorial, on that date, truly “hallowed ground” for millions of Americans, especially civil rights activists and African-Americans?


Do many of those Americans feel that the presence of Beck, a conservative rabble-rouser often accused of racism, and an avowed political enemy of President Obama, at that spot on that date, constitutes a debasement of King’s speech and the movement he died for?


Is that fair?

Probably not.

Are some of the objections motivated by political intolerance?

Of course not! Liberals are never intolerant. Just kidding! Yes, some of the critics just hate Glenn Beck’s guts, and regard Tea Party members as racist, know-nothing hicks.

Should Beck nonetheless respect the sincere feelings of these offended citizens, and hold his rally somewhere else, or on a different date?

Yes. That would be the ethical course.


The Second Niggardly Principle, naturally:

“When an individual or group can accomplish its legitimate objectives without engaging in speech or conduct that will offend individuals whose basis for the supposed offense is emotional, mistaken or ignorant but is not malicious and is based on well-established impulses of human nature, it is unethical to intentionally engage in such speech or conduct.”

Just like the building the mosque near Ground Zero.

So thank you, Mr. Beck, for providing a useful analogy, particularly since it reverses the ideological sides.

Now stop being a jerk, and pick another day for your rally.

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