While there are many who will get up in arms about the implications of building a mosque so close to Ground Zero in New York City, and believe me I think it is, at a minimum, poor taste, the President is right about the principle.
The freedom to believe and practice a religion is an important value regardless of the religion involved, even ones who seem to be trying to make a statement that touches a raw nerve in the public. Westboro Baptist Church, the infamous hive of protesters with the “God hates fags” signs at funerals still has a right to exist even though I find their beliefs and practices repugnant. A mosque in Manhattan has a right to exist even if its presence is offensive as well.
Of course the politicians out to prove their politically correct bonafides by slobbering all over this soon to be built mosque bother me as well. For them this may not be so much about lofty principles of constitutional law as it is being trendy at cocktail parties and their insensitivity to the feelings of people is a sign of the times. But that’s politics. Did you expect better?
That being said I think we as Christians should be careful about asking the government to be too involved in who can worship and where they can worship. Freedom works both ways and inviting the government to curb one religious group’s functions can set a principle that could one day be used against us.
Of course if you’re really upset about the way things are in the world you could always get to church, learn and share your faith, and live a holy life in the world. That’s takes more work than simply complaining but what good is a big mosque, or bar, or strip club, or Planned Parenthood clinic if the customers are gone, saved by the grace of God?