One 9/11 Victim Speaks

Ted Olson lost his wife Barbara in the airplane that struck the Pentagon.

This week he said, in regards to the park51/Cordoba House project:

"Well, it may not make me popular with some people, but I think probably the President was right about this," Olson said. "I do believe that people of all religions have a right to build edifices, or structures, or places of religious worship or study, where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing . . . we don’t want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith."

I am not big fan of the notion that policy and actions ought to be driven by “9/11 families” but it just struck me as a noteworthy statement, given that so many seem to give special moral authority to direct victims of 9/11.

Of course, I suspect someone will assert that because Olson’s wife died in DC and not NYC that that discounts the validity of the example.

Video at the link above.

FILED UNDER: Religion, US Politics, , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Speaking of Olson, did you see the NY Times article on the influence his “vivacious, lifelong registered Democrat” and “20 years his junior” new wife may be having on him? “Some friends hypothesize that Lady Olson just might have softened some of her husband’s views.” Some of my friends who know say he’s now an “ex-conservative.