Yes, ground zero is a sacred place; my wife’s ashes are in that ground. But to deny the opportunity to worship lawfully near there is denying what is most sacred for all Americans: freedom.William Nelson
West Lebanon, N.H., Sept. 6, 2010
New York Times, Letters, Sept. 13, 2010
This beautiful letter compresses Leon Wieseltier's incandescent core argument regarding Park51:
Nationalism has always arrogated to itself a hallowing power, and the sanctification of Ground Zero is the natural expression of the memory of a nation. But this is a secular sanctity. I see no justification for establishing a mosque, a church, or a synagogue at Ground Zero, even though Muslims, Christians, and Jews died there. (Irreligious people also died there.) Yet nobody is proposing to establish a mosque at Ground Zero. Sacralization is an act of demarcation: its force is owed to its precision. Outside the line is outside the line. Park Place is outside the line, in the “profane” realm.