I find it curious that many of the same people who object so strenuously to the Islamic cultural center proposed for Lower Manhattan, many on the grounds that it is inappropriate and disrespectful, are virtually silent on the impropriety and disrespect inherent in Beck’s giving a speech on the anniversary of King’s address.He really doesn't find it curious. He's a smart guy, so he understands it completely. Reverse the polarities in his condemnation of hypocrisy -- challenge the Glenn Beck critics who aren't upset about the cultural center and mosque -- and you take in a category of liberal-minded people like Charles M. Blow and get yet another reminder of the persistent and sometimes exhausting divides over what's sacred in our civic life.
That's why the Constitution comes in so handy, preserving Beck's right to speak and Muslims' to worship where they choose. How upset people get about those freely exercised rights is a different question. I find I'm upset about neither. I'll add that I'm squishy on neither the threat of Muslim fundamentalist terrorism nor the saintly heroism of Dr. King.