Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Religious Freedom, Mormon Temples, and the Ground Zero Mosque

The Mayan Calendar prediction of the End of the World in 2012 was off by just a few months, since the real End of the World will be Sept. 11, 2011, if I properly interpret the signals I'm getting from talk radio. That's when a Muslim mosque (the "victory mosque") will be opened near the site of the 9/11 tragedy.

Yes, I understand the arguments that building this mosque seems insensitive to the victims of 9/11 and that it might look like a stick in the eye of America rather an effort to reach out to America. Initially I nodded my head to some of those arguments. But this is an issue for New York to settle, not us, and if the mosque supporters have the proper approvals then I think American energy or outrage could better be focused elsewhere. In fact, I'm quite concerned about the outrage part. Why is this such a big deal to so many shouters? And why the anger towards an entire religion? I've heard way too much talk linking Islam per se to terrorism and violence. Yes, I'm aware that there are Muslim terrorists and rogue governments, and that the Koran has some troubling passages that can be interpreted to support violence and religious intolerance--just like the Old Testament. But Islam itself is not the problem. I've taken some heat for sharing the thought that Islam is a religion of peace and deserves respect, in spite of some very violent practitioners. But the vast majority of Muslims I know (OK, these are generally college-educated people living in the States) are men and women of peace, compassion, and tolerance, and good family-oriented people who share many basic values with conservative Christians. Even if you think it's a terrible religion, it deserves the freedom of religion that our Constitution affords.

The very positive thing from this Ground Zero Mosque controversy is that some forces who, in my opinion, were once enemies of religion and seemed only interested in eradicating the influence of religion from this country have now become ardent supporters or religious liberty. This is great news. I hope all those who are now speaking of freedom, diversity, and tolerance will be equally supportive of us Mormons next time extremists want to shut down a Mormon temple or belittle a prominent Mormon figure for his religious beliefs. Let's welcome this new era of religious tolerance! And may we actually have more tolerance for each other, including tolerance for our many Muslim friends (any actual enemies we don't need to tolerate as much).

9/11/2011 will probably not be the end of the world, even for many who feel troubled and insulted by the new mosque. The real end of the world won't occur at least until the next housing market report from the government, or perhaps the November elections. But 9/11 could be the start of more respectful religious dialog, and perhaps an era where we can build more LDS temples and have the suddenly-more-tolerant media go all out to encourage encourage respect for a religion that, like Islam, is still highly misunderstood.

49 comments:

Cory said...

Your lips to God's ears Mr Lindsay. Would that I could hope for as much from those who "were once enemies of religion." Alas, much like the most obnoxious of the "Ground Zero Mosque" opponents, I expect this sudden seeming change of heart is only in as much as they are able to oppose their political enemies. Cynical? Perhaps, but it's cynicism rooted in experience.

Dan said...

Jeff,

I disagree with you on many things but it heartens me when I see you write this. Thank you for your good thoughts here.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for sometime now, I am a Muslim, and a year or two ago found myself interested in the Mormon religion - have read parts of the book of mormon. I agree with you in principle in the hope that people will in fact begin to respect misunderstood religions. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Cory, that much of the new founded "tolerance" amongst usually rabid anti-religion people is a matter of politics. I'm sure that the same people would be up in arms over many of the same issues that people have mistrust of Mormons. BUT I have to say, while people put down Mormons all of the time, I've found some of the more tolerant and accepting individuals, when it comes to Muslims, and Islam to be Mormons. ( Not to say, of-course, that we don't have our differences :-))

iamse7en said...

Very few politicians have been straightforward and honest about this issue. It really shouldn't even be an issue. It's a simple issue of property rights. Why is it the government’s business if someone wants to build a religious building on their own land? There have been many terrorist attacks by self-proclaimed Christians – should we prevent any Christian buildings being built within blocks of those spots? This is an issue of freedom of religion, but it’s also just a simple property rights issue. It doesn’t matter what the Imam believes or says, the government has absolutely NO business refusing someone to build a building on their own land. Those who claim, use, and defend government's big hand to prohibit someone from building a building on his own property make a mockery of the Constitution.

Even our Mormon friend, Mr. Romney (via his spokesperson) said:

... [Romney's] spokesman finally came forward to say the former governor opposes the mosque on the grounds that it could be used as a recruitment tool for radicals (thereby pandering to all the falsehoods about the mosque being somehow related to 9/11) and that its presence offends some relatives of 9/11 victims.


If Romney is worried about recruitment tools for radicals, perhaps he should condemn the President’s power to assassinate anyone he suspects is a terrorist, or the power to indefinitely detain a suspect without bail or trial, or he should condemn our bi-polar, interventionist foreign policy which has been funding and attacking both sides of Middle East conflict and unconstitutionally occupying holy land for the last several decades. Not only are these recruitment tools, but they are unconstitutional, and our Founding Fathers would be ashamed.

Thank heavens for a voice like Ron Paul's on this issue.

Heather said...

If I recall correctly, the smoke & ashes from the World Trade Center flew with the trade winds over Brooklyn. That's it, Brooklyn must become Mosque free. Now, get them moving.

Dan said...

iamse7en,

"Thank heavens for a voice like Ron Paul's on this issue."

As opposed to Rand Paul...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/17/rand-paul-opposes-ground-_n_684578.html

Bookslinger said...

Jeff, everybody else gets asked to be tolerant and sensitive.

So why can't the Muslims trying to build this mosque be asked to be sensitive towards New Yorkers and 9/11 survivors and families in particular and Americans in general in regards to Ground Zero ?

Sensitivity and tolerance goes both ways. Or at least it should.

Those who are demanding tolerance on the part of New Yorkers and other Americans, but not on the part of Rauf and his mosque backers are the real hypocrits in this.

Ammon said...

Just because you can do something does not mean you should.

I think that the NYC Muslims have every right to build a mosque wherever they choose. However, IMHO, it does seem poor judgment on their part to build so close to the 9/11 epicenter.

Dan said...

bookslinger,

"
So why can't the Muslims trying to build this mosque be asked to be sensitive towards New Yorkers and 9/11 survivors and families in particular and Americans in general in regards to Ground Zero ?"

Exactly what is insensitive about a mosque? Why is the current mosque a mere four blocks away NOT insensitive? What is behind this newfound concern over "sensitivity" from right wingers? Last I remember, they really disliked sensitivity and feelings.

"Those who are demanding tolerance on the part of New Yorkers and other Americans, but not on the part of Rauf and his mosque backers are the real hypocrits in this."

Um, who is not demanding tolerance from Imam Rauf? I demand that he not act or speak like Wahhabi imams, and look, he doesn't act like them. Exactly what is Imam Rauf supposed to tolerate? The desecration of his religion at the hands of an angry mob? Having a Christian religious leader lead his congregation in a Qur'an burning session? I think this guy tolerates plenty. And seeing that he and his group of Muslims have resided in lower Manhattan for nearly 3 decades, they certainly have a right to retain a cultural center/mosque/whatever they want in the community in which they live: lower Manhattan.

LuckyMatt said...

Boy am I glad that the people (often a local majority) who oppose building temples of the latter-day church of Jesus Christ in their cities are so often frustrated in their attempts to thwart the free exercise of my religion.

I think we ought to respect the rights of other religions too, regardless of whether we oppose their beliefs. In this light, it ought to be Harry Reid and Mitt Romney enjoying a rare intersection of opinion on the *other* side of the issue than the one they have chosen. Politics muddy everything.

Papa D said...

Amen, Jeff.

We of all people should be sensitive to the Muslim side of this situation - especially to the arguments using stereotypes of all Islam and Muslims.

Anonymous said...

How would everyone feel if we (LDS) built a temple at the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre or if the Japanese built a Japanese cultural center at Pearl Harbor?

Anonymous said...

I heard that there is a large church (25 stories tall) being built across the street from the Nauvoo Temple in memory of Governor Boggs from Missouri.

You know you would be outraged Jeff.

A Catholic group of nuns were planning to build near Auswitch. They were going to pray for the murdered Jews. The Pope asked them to move a few miles away.

Jeff you mentioned that most the Muslims you know have college educations. Does that make a difference? Some of the 911 guys had taken flying lessons!

Mark said...

It's not a matter of sensitivity, it's a matter of allowing the enemy to establish a victory monument at the site of their murder.

Short version: a substantial portion of Muslims do not believe that Islam is a religion of peace, and the people behind the GZ mosque are almost certainly in that portion of Islam.

Long version here.

Dan said...

Mark,

"It's not a matter of sensitivity, it's a matter of allowing the enemy to establish a victory monument at the site of their murder."

It's a good thing then that we're not allowing Al-Qaeda to establish a victory monument at the site of their murder.

"Short version: a substantial portion of Muslims do not believe that Islam is a religion of peace, and the people behind the GZ mosque are almost certainly in that portion of Islam."

So? what does that have to do with whether or not they are enemies?

Anonymous said...

This wasn't an issue until the right-wing hate machine got cranked up. Even Dr. Laura thought it was a good idea. There is already a mosque near the WTC site and no one is complaining about it. This structure will be a community center with a prayer room inside. Does that make it a mosque? Besides, as some wag pointed out, this structure, if it is built, will be the most spied upon building in the world. I appreciate your views on this.

Bookslinger said...

anonymous: pick a handle and stick with it. Otherwise, you get ignored along with all the other whining mosquitos.

Shawnie said...

Actually, I can understand why people are offended by the idea, relatives especially. It does come across as insensitive given the local history. However, it doesn't give the opposition carte blanche in how they oppose, they are responsible for their actions too.

Papa D said...

My very existence as a Mormon is offensive and insensitive to a large percent of the people I knew when I lived in the Deep South. The building of every Mormon temple anywhere, and a large number of our meetinghouses, is offensive to a good-sized chunk of the residents of those areas - and people come up with all kinds of silly reasons to oppose the construction (or, at the very least, to insist that the buildings match their own limitations, not what we would like to build).

Sometimes, being "nice" is as bad as being "insensitive".

Bookslinger said...

Papa D,

I can't tell from your last comment which side of this issue you're on.

But putting this mosque 2 blocks from ground zero, overlooking the hole, and in the future still overlooking the propery, would be like the church putting a temple next to the Mountain Meadows Massacre memorial. Which the church wouldn't do.

Putting a mosque next to ground zero would be like the Japanese putting a Buddhist or Shinto shrine next to the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor.

Also, I find it ironic that the most vociferous defenders of Islamic mosques in all this (the left wingers) who are clamoring the loudest for "sensitivity" towards Rauf and his congreation are the very people who normally give little to no respect or sensitivity at all to CHRISTIANITY.

It's kind of ironic that the progressive left-wing wants sensitivity to a religion that stones homosexuals and adulterers, yet for as long as I've been paying attention, the progressive left-wing has been most hateful and disrespectful towards Christians.

Oh, and to one of the anonymous mosquitos, the 2 other mosques that are somewhat close to ground zero are not mosque buildings, they are 2 mosque ROOMS, in two different buildings. Each is a single room located in a larger building that was built for other purposes. So trying to compare the two is like apples and oranges.

BTW, Jeff, I'm still kind of surprised at you in all this. I thought you'd be consistent enough to request Muslims and the Ground-Zero-mosque-backers to have an equal level of sensitivity towards others as you expect LDS and other Christians to have towards them.

In fact, I think the vast majority of Muslims in the United States _are_ sensitive and kind folk. At least the ones I've met. The problem is that Rauf and his coterie do not represent the vast majority of peaceful Muslims.

Kaysville Al said...

"But putting this mosque 2 blocks from ground zero, overlooking the hole, and in the future still overlooking the propery, would be like the church putting a temple next to the Mountain Meadows Massacre memorial. Which the church wouldn't do."

There actually appear to be 4 chapels within 5 miles of the mountain meadows site. Given the population density of Manhattan, compared to the population density around lower manhattan, I'd say 5 miles is pretty close.

"Putting a mosque next to ground zero would be like the Japanese putting a Buddhist or Shinto shrine next to the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor."

Are you aware there is a Shinto shrine a mere 6 miles from the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor?

"Oh, and to one of the anonymous mosquitos, the 2 other mosques that are somewhat close to ground zero are not mosque buildings, they are 2 mosque ROOMS, in two different buildings. Each is a single room located in a larger building that was built for other purposes. So trying to compare the two is like apples and oranges."

You realize that this is a community center that happens to include a prayer room right? The purpose of the building is a community center. It has a prayer room because devout muslims have to pray 5 times a day.

"At least the ones I've met. The problem is that Rauf and his coterie do not represent the vast majority of peaceful Muslims."

Love to see your links on how Rauf doesn't represent peaceful Muslims.

Mark said...

>It's a good thing then that we're not allowing
>Al-Qaeda to establish a victory monument at
>the site of their murder.

Except it's not Al-Qaeda that sees it as their victory, it's all sympathetic radical Muslims. And it is the site of their murder, as I note in my longer explanation, as the landing gear from one of the planes ripped through the building that the mosque is proposed to replace.

>>Short version: a substantial portion of Muslims
>>do not believe that Islam is a religion of peace,
>>and the people behind the GZ mosque are almost
>>certainly in that portion of Islam.

>So? what does that have to do with whether
>or not they are enemies?

I guess I was being too subtle. Rauf is sympathetic to Hamas. He claims that the US has committed more terrorism than AQ. He's clearly part of the radical Islam that is our enemy. Again, my full argument is easy to read.

Dan said...

bookslinger,

"Putting a mosque next to ground zero would be like the Japanese putting a Buddhist or Shinto shrine next to the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor."

nothing at all wrong with that, because it wasn't Shintoism that attacked us at Pearl Harbor, just like it wasn't Islam that attacked us on 9/11.

Dan said...

Mark,

"Except it's not Al-Qaeda that sees it as their victory, it's all sympathetic radical Muslims."

Who sees what as a victory? Did Al-Qaeda defeat America on 9/11? What does "radical Muslims" mean? Who do you put in that category? How are you defining a "radical?"

"I guess I was being too subtle. Rauf is sympathetic to Hamas. He claims that the US has committed more terrorism than AQ. He's clearly part of the radical Islam that is our enemy. Again, my full argument is easy to read."

Nothing wrong with being sympathetic with Hamas. Hamas is not OUR enemy, unless we're the United States of Israel. Even if Hamas was our enemy, having sympathy for their plight does not affect our ability to build a place of worship on private property where we please, according to the laws and regulations. As for American terrorism, on that point, he's actually right. By simple numbers, we've committed far more terrorism around the world than Al-Qaeda. We won't admit our actions are terrorist in nature, but they certainly appear that way to the families of the victims of American sanctioned crimes. Dropping bombs on innocent civilians is terrorism in the eyes of the relatives of those who died. Would YOU not consider it a terrorist action if a foreign entity dropped a bomb and killed most of your relatives? Hell yes you would! I know I would definitely. And I would also DEFINITELY pull out my gun and start fighting back against that foreign entity regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the cause in which that foreign entity is on. He's not a radical. And radical Islam is not the enemy. Our enemies are cave dwelling terrorists who continue to outwit us and still live.

But all that is neither here nor there to whether or not Muslims who live in New York City get to build their cultural center where they please, according to the First Amendment rights we demand for our own faiths all the time.

Bookslinger said...

Get a grip. 2 blocks is a lot closer than 5 or 6 miles! Sheesh.

Kaysville, if you're not outraged at the ground zero mosque, you haven't been paying attention. No amount of links or reference material is going to sway you. You've ignored too much already.

Have a happy day.

Kaysville Al said...

"Also, I find it ironic that the most vociferous defenders of Islamic mosques in all this (the left wingers) who are clamoring the loudest for "sensitivity" towards Rauf and his congreation are the very people who normally give little to no respect or sensitivity at all to CHRISTIANITY."

I'm pretty sure it was the ACLU who sued on behalf of the Westboro Baptist Church.

So 5 miles over open space is much further than 2 blocks in lower manhattan. You are probably right. Let me ask a question. How far away does it need to be. From the arguments that I've read / heard, opponents of the community center view it as an Al Qaida victory mosque for extremist Muslims. Does that mean that they would be support building an "Al Qaida victory mosque" elsewhere in lower manhattan or anywhere in New York city?

Dan said...

bookslinger,

why does distance matter? Why don't we just say, "no mosques in America because America was attacked that day, not just New York." That's how utterly ridiculous the position is which you take. Do you not even know there is already a mosque four blocks from ground zero? Do you not know that Muslims can worship in the Pentagon? The sacrilege!!!

Bookslinger said...

Kaysville Al:

I bet that when you were young, you stuck your finger 1" from your sibling's nose and said "I'm not touching you."

Same thing. If you're going to offend, keep a respectful distance. "In your face" doesn't have to be defined by a certain number of inches, blocks or miles.

Dan said...

bookslinger,

Who is the offender? Muslims or terrorists? Or can you not differentiate between the two?

Rusty Southwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty Southwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty Southwick said...

Dan said: "As for American terrorism, on that point, he [Rauf] is actually right. By simple numbers, we've committed far more terrorism around the world than Al-Qaeda. We won't admit our actions are terrorist in nature, but they certainly appear that way to the families of the victims of American sanctioned crimes. Dropping bombs on innocent civilians is terrorism in the eyes of the relatives of those who died."

Dan, with all due respect, your comment was inflammatory and utterly irresponsible, and you should be ashamed of equating U.S. actions with the unprovoked killing of 3000 innocent civilians at the WTC and other terrorist actions committed by Al Qaeda. Shame on you for making a political point over the graves of those who died on 9/11.

I find your statement to be disingenuous as well, because you seem to throw the accusation out for shock value, and then you backtrack to say "well, at least it looks that way to the people we've bombed." Sorry, Dan, you can't have it both ways. You can't state definitively that the U.S. has committed more terrorism than Al Qaeda, and then hide behind the perception of other people. Either you think it or you don't. If that's your opinion, then substantiate it on its own terms. Follow the argument logically.

Lastly, where's the respect toward the hundreds of thousands of New York citizens who lost family or friends in the 9/11 attacks? Back in 2001, we were all basically on the same page about this, and if Rauf had asked to build a mosque there back in Nov. 2001, everyone would have been aghast. But now that nine years have past, people somehow think that time heals all wounds. But what changed that wouldn't have applied back in 2001? Is there a statute of limitations on terrorism?

Bookslinger made a great point about how everyone wants to give the Muslims a pass on the application of sensitivity. We're supposed to be sensitive to them, but somehow they don't need to show any sensitivity toward us. Someone please explain why they should get a pass.

Rusty Southwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

Rusty,

So I had this long comment to reply. I hit "Publish your comment" and got a message that the comment was too long, but the comment appeared anyways, so I thought it was there. And now it is not. Maybe Jeff deleted it. Who knows.

In any case, I'm not going to attempt to repeat my comment. Suffice it to say that terrorism is in the eyes of the beholder and America committed far more acts of terrorism in this world than Al-Qaeda could ever dream of. And that's all I will say about that.

RWW said...

Killing in the name of the United States is no more righteous than killing in the name of Islam. They're both just false religions.

Anonymous said...

If the people behind building this mosque are so innocent why did they pick this spot and why decide to open on that day? It doesn't take a genius to see they are purposely trying to agitate people. They push and push and push to see how much you will take.

MarkS said...

I lived in Saudi Arabia for seven years in the 80's. Surprise, I found both good and bad in Islam and its adherents while I was there. I did come away convinced I could have no better neighbor than a devout Muslim, whose goals for his family and community would greatly correspond with my own.

There is one thing though that makes me hesitate fully endorsing the mosque in Manhattan, and that's the one way street Islamic leaders seem to feel with tolerance and conciliation with other religions. At the same time our US Institutes of Religion, like the one at Palomar College in SoCal, were providing a room for Muslim college students to hold prayer, our own LDS expatriate congregations in Saudi Arabia were being investigated and restricted. Tolerance toward Islam was expected worldwide, because it was the true religion and therefore must be accommodated. Tolerance from Islam toward other religions was not as important, as they of course were not the true religion.

So while I fall mostly on the side of letting them build, legally, I'd still like to see more acknowledgement of other groups' concerns. I don't believe it will come naturally.

Jeff Lindsay said...

No, Dan, I've deleted nothing here, not yet, anyway. But am always looking for an excuse ... :)

Appreciate the input - sorry something got lost in comments.

Matthew said...

@ rusty,

"Lastly, where's the respect toward the hundreds of thousands of New York citizens who lost family or friends in the 9/11 attacks? Back in 2001, we were all basically on the same page about this, and if Rauf had asked to build a mosque there back in Nov. 2001, everyone would have been aghast. But now that nine years have past, people somehow think that time heals all wounds. But what changed that wouldn't have applied back in 2001? Is there a statute of limitations on terrorism?"

It really seems that you're saying that the people of Islamic faith that are building this mosque and the people of Islamic faith that crashed into those buildings must be one and the same. If people want to be that shallow in the way they look at the world then nobody should be needing to tiptoe around their sensitivites. They simply aren't valid. Islam is an incredibly huge and diverse religious stance.

As far as using 9/11 to make a point. That's just unfortunately how it goes. The US is NOT (in the eyes of many of it's victims) a benevolent bringer of truth, right and beauty. We have and often do catch innocent people in the crosshairs and with a witch hunt like 'fighting terrorism' it becomes even sketchier. As Dan stated, Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. I can guarantee that thousands of people in this world view the US with the utmost contempt because they have lost loved ones to it's military campaigns.

As far as shaming him for talking about the americans that lost their lives in order to serve his argument, I call shenanigans. You can't discuss this subject at all without referring to people that have died.

People died and it's tragic and horrible. The people that are building this mosque had NOTHING to do with that though and are breaking no laws. The only reason anyone is getting upset is because several news stations have trumped this up into a "us against them" sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Those who attacked us on 9/11 no more represent Islam than the Westboro Baptist Church represents Christianity. If we want to gut the First Amendment because of the abhorrent actions of a tiny few, then the terrorists are well on their way to victory.

Andrea said...

I can not speak for all faiths but as a devout Mormon I only have to read the 11th article of faith.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jeff.

Matthew said...

http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-already-knows-everything-he-needs-to-know-abou,17990/

This seems hilariously applicable. :)

catholic defender said...

HI All,

I want to open with the caveat that I am not anti-muslim, even if what I am about to say may sound like I am. I wanted to point out to Matthew that yes, the people who ran planes into the twin towers are the same type of muslims who my build a mosque and Islamic Centre at ground zero. Now before you go jumping down my throat, hear me out. In the Koran, we are the infidels...we are the pagans worshiping a false God. We are the ones who should be stamped out. So, while not all muslims are out promoting terrorism and the destruction of our christian faith and american way of life, it would be extremely niave' to ignore what the Koran says about our faith and way of life and how we are to be dealt with.

I would venture to say that most muslims are peace loving, gentle people who just want to be left alone to practise their faith. However, the folks who drove planes into the twin towers did so to promote thier vision of Islam. There is a growing number of those folks out there. Unlike the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbour, these guys did strike out for religious reasons. What transpired in 1945 was more about politics and financial gain, though the Japanese also had imperialistic designs. It was not a religious striking out. If you look at the tenants of Shintoism and Buddism, what you'll find are extremely peaceful philosophies. Buddists monks are all about preserving life, not taking it away. The same holds true for Shintoists. Islam at its core does not hold the same esteem for life as those two faiths, and you can't use the Shinto Shrine in Hawaii to compare to a mosque at ground zero; it isn't the same thing.

That said, I think it is in extremely poor taste for Muslims to suggest that an Islamic Centre should be built at ground zero; it says a great deal about the character of Islam. I also think that none of us should seek to prevent it from happening because of First Amendment implications such action has.

As Mormons, you of all people should understand about religious intolerance. Seems to me a governor of Missouri signed an extermination order against anyone who was LDS back in the 1800's. This country was founded by those seeking religious freedom, how can we deny it to Muslims, without losing it for Christians. You can't. If one says to the Muslim, you can't build your mosque, that Muslim can use the very same argument to tell you LDS's folks you can't build your temple. The very same law that protects Christianity, protects Islam. I for one am unwilling to sacrifice that law to prevent this building. Doing so hands a much bigger victory to the radical islamics seeking to destroy our way of life. If we prevent this Islamic Centre from being built, the folks who drove the planes into the towers on 9/11 win because we will have compromised the very fabric of all that we hold dear in this country. We can't do that.

Sincerely

Catholic Defender

catholic defender said...

Incidently, Pearl Harbour happened in 1941...my hands got ahead of my brain when I wrote that.

Catholic Defender

Matthew said...

@catholic defender,
So because you can justify violence with the Koran it means that the people building the mosque are the same types of people the slammed buildings with planes on 9/11? Have you read the bible? One can use practically any religious text as justification for violence. The god described in the old testament was pretty harsh. would you be offended at someone seeing people from the westboro baptist church (picketing military funerals and being general a-holes at every opportunity) and your faith as being the same?

So the 9/11 instigators didn't have political motives for what they did? It was entirely a religious thing? Why attack an institution of american power and finance. Why not attack the vatican or any number of religious buildings if that is the issue.

I'm sorry if this feels like me jumping down your throat. I just don't understand how people can come to those sorts of conclusions though.

dovh49 said...

Coming into this a little late.

This is a property rights issue. Nothing more. Do we protect people's property rights or not? I think we should. If people want to make a big hub bub about this they should get after the guy that sold the land to who ever is building the building.

Having said that. If people want complain about insensitivities they need to look at themselves first. Hmmm, examples anyone? I can think of two. Meadows massacre who has the monument built there? That would be us, the Mormons. Isn't that "insensitive"?

Second example. What about that military base built right next to Hiroshima? Oh, that's a US base. The biggest terrorist action at one single time in history. And then we build a base right next to it. It doesn't get more insensitive than that. The cultural center is small beans compared to that.

catholic defender said...

Uh Matthew,

Did you read all of my response, or just the top section? I believe what I said is that we should not be preventing this mosque from being built, because it compromises the integrity of the First Amendment. I stand by that statement.

I believe I also pointed out that you can not say that building this mosque at ground zero, is the same as building a shinto shrine at Pearl Harbour. There is a very clear difference.

What I also said, was that while Islam may be a very peaceful religion, it has some very clear guidance as to how to deal with infidels (us by the way), and that it would be foolish to ignore what that guidance is. Yes, most muslims want to just worship in peace. However, the folks that drove planes into the world trade centre were muslims, following what the Koran says, mind you in a very perverted manner, but following the Koran just the same. Were there political motivations as well, probably, but this was mostly a religious attack on the west.

Is it insensitive for us to build a military base at Hiroshima, absolutely. But, that base was built there shortly after the war in which we dropped the bomb. It was built there to keep the peace after the Japanese defeat. Should we be dismantling that base now that the Japanese are our allies...probably, but I doubt that will happen. Hiroshima was not a terrorist action, it was a means to end a war that had already cost too many human lives. Was it a good idea, probably seemed to be at the time, but given the knowledge that we have now, versus what was known then, probably not.

I have read the bible. I have also seen the bible used to justify hatred of blacks, incestuous relationships, and all manners of behaviour which would be contradicted by the teachings of Christ. This country was founded by Christians who justified exterminating the Native Peoples who were here, simply because they were not Christian. The very fabric of our constitution was ignored to rid this country of the American Indian in the name of God. Never mind the fact that the Indians were living much more Christian lives than the Christian who came here.

The point I was making however, is that what makes this country great, is that we can all worship and express our ideas freely. While I do not like the idea of a mosque being built at ground zero, I would do nothing to take away the rights of those who would build, because doing so compromises everyone's ability to live, pray, and think freely. That is the very fabric of our freedom and we should do nothing to compromise that.

Sincerely

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

All of these good muslims will be the army of the radical muslims. It is in the bible that christains will lose their head for believing in Christ...since we have had pray room at the pentagon for many years now, you can plan on them taking over..March 3, 2011 the big man of the Saria law is going to protest our goverment to accept saria law,(however you spell it). Of course Your president will do everything he can to let this happen. Our congressman and senators are weak and really have no power against the presidential admistrative statements. Once the radicals get hold of our constitution and destroy it, all of you left wing people who have little girls will be very sorry, I only wish I was going to be alive long enough to see what these false prophets will do to your family, no matter how much you supported them....
the elite of the world wants a bloody war amoung the people to get rid of large populations, this is how it will happen.
In the mean time all you communist movie stars, you will lose so much money cause no one will be buying your movies anymore, you'll lose too, but you can blame Bush for this too. I have already quit buying your movies...
I was going to join the Morman church but I think I will just stay in my own world, I believe in God and Jesus as the son of God the lord and I try to live a good life.
All you churches, that are letting these people pray and joining force, well they are laughing at you. We built this wonderful country and you are all guilty of handing everything over to the extremist. They are deceiving you. You bet ya, "the dumbing down of America"
MaAbee