Where Were You?

Sunday, September 11, AD 2011

I doubt if most Americans will forget where they were and what they were doing when they heard of the attacks on 9/11.  Our commenter T. Shaw was in New York City during the attacks on the Twin Towers. Here are his recollections that he wrote down three days later:

I need to confess that this thing has me nearly unmanned.  Late last night, the TV news had a segment wherein the wives and children made emotional appeals for info on their husbands and fathers who are missing.  I lost it, then. I have tears in my eyes as I “hunt and peck” this. That is not me.

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19 Responses to Where Were You?

  • I was interning at the House Ways and Means Committee. I had moved from NYC just a month earlier to start grad school and to intern on the Hill. When I got to work the television set was showing the Fox New Network (I worked in the Majority office) and it showed that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. We all assumed some commuter plane had accidentally hit. I then saw what looked like an explosion come from the other Tower, and we all soon realized we had been attacked.

    We actually attempted to go on with our day. I even went to my scheduled computer training session, but we got the call to evacuate – probably in response to attack on the Pentagon.

    I walked back to my apartment 20 minutes away in southwest, and that was the longest walk of my life. There were all sorts of ridiculous reports on the radio, including one that stated that the Mall was on fire. I finally got back to my place where my roommate – also a native New Yorker – and I just sat transfixed by all that transpired. At some point I had to leave and I walked down to the corner. I saw the smoke coming from the Pentagon, and a mixture of anger and sadness overwhelmed me, as it did for a while.

    As horrible as all the images on tv were, it didn’t hit home until I went back to New York about ten days later for my brother’s wedding. I went to the city on that Saturday, and the first eerie sign was the fact that Chinatown was empty. You usually are rubbing elbows on a Saturday morning down there, but it was a ghost town. Then I walked south to Ground Zero, and a good mile or so from the WTC the buildings were still covered with ash. Then I saw the missing person’s posters. Of all the images – and I’d soon be at Ground Zero – it was the posters that for stuck with me for the longest. That’s when it became very real to me.

  • “Patriotism is a form of piety and there are three principle forms of piety, love of God, love of neighbor, and love of country. All three are grounded in justice.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen – taken from facebook site…

    I was a lapse catholic living in New Hampshire. I was asleep as I worked nights at the Pease AIrport as a Weather Observer. I just interviewed for a position with the FAA as a Saftey Inspector in Detroit. I was also a memeber of the 202nd Weather Flight our of Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod. I worked the next day in tears and I still reflect that there were no contrails – sureal.

    I accepted the position on the 12 with the caveat that I was going to be delayed as a result of being called up for Operation Nobel Eagle. I reloceated to Michigan and since 2001 was activated twice to Iraq. In 2003 for the push and again in 2005. I mention this beacuse it was in Iraq that I first realised how much the Church meant to me (2003). In 2004 I went through RCIA. In 2005 I was in Iraq and looked at the wonderful sky at night and thought – this is where Christ came to be tempted. Since that moment I have been discerning a vocation. I am not all there yet as many things have happened. But my Love for God and Country has increased and I filled with Joy as a result. While I am saddened by what has transpired in 2001, I am grateful for the catalyst of its affect in my life.

  • I live in Cincinnati. I had dropped my youngest off at his half-day preschool and stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things on my way home. I was in line at the cash register when one of the clerks strode up to my clerk and said, “Two planes hit the World Trade Center. It wasn’t an accident.” I had never heard anyone use that tone of voice before. She was so serious and direct, like a soldier giving orders. We all stared at each other. I remember thinking how weird it was that the grocery store was playing canned music — shouldn’t they turn on the news? I got my groceries and drove the few blocks to my house, and turned on the television — Tom Brokaw, I think. I just sat in the living room and stared at it until it was time to pick up my son. Then I brought him home and, though I knew I probably should have put on something for him, just kept watching. The television was on all day, and I either watched TV or listened to the radio for days. That morning, my son (who was four) built towers out of blocks and used another block as a “plane” to knock them down, as he was seeing on television. I felt numb with shock and grief for what I assumed were at least 10,000 dead people and for my children, who would grow up in a world where what I found unthinkable had happened.

    A neighbor told me that none of it seemed real, it was just like watching a movie. But I felt the opposite — to me, it was not at all like a movie, but horribly and unmistakably real. Over the next few days everyone heard stories of a relative or friend who had lived through the attack, or who had died in it. My next-door-neighbor’s son was working in NYC, and he and his whole office just slept their office overnight because they couldn’t get home. Everyone knew people who had been stranded in different cities by the planes being grounded — they don’t talk much about that part today, but the planes weren’t allowed to fly again for weeks and all those people had to get home by bus or car. Someone we knew actually bought a car to get home in, because there were no rentals left. I didn’t know anyone in the towers, but I think I went a little crazy. For months I would just start crying out of nowhere as I suddenly thought of all those people. I had to get a prescription for a very mild tranquilizer, because a teenage malady (severe stomach cramps when I got anxious) had returned. I listened to Glenn Beck every day — he wasn’t a political guy then, and those who have never listened or have only seen him recently may be surprised to know that he was the most level-headed guy out there then. He talked about the attack all the time, but without being at all polemical or sensational, constantly cautioning listeners to stick with the facts and not go off on theories or rumors or conspiracies. He was the most calming voice. I remember how strange it was when the planes started flying again. For months, I would tense up any time a plane seemed too low (we live under a route to the airport, and some of the planes come in much lower than others).

    Last year I had an episode of what I guess is post-traumatic stress syndrome, or at least something like it. I was listening to Glenn Beck’s radio program (I don’ t listen every day anymore, and he veers between being hilarious, being sensible, and going off the “crazy train”) and he played a short clip of recordings that his show compiled at the time — news people, people calling in to dispatchers, his own show, etc. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before or since, but it was like something clicked in my head and I was in the middle of it all over again. I couldn’t stand up. I doubled over, and then I had to fall on my knees sobbing. I felt overwhelmed with grief, exactly as I had at the time. I now know what it must be like for people with PTSS and why they are paralyzed by it. It lasted about 10 minutes.

    That’s my 9-1-1 story.

  • I was attending classes at Franciscan University while living in Pittsburgh and just happened to be driving to Steubenville for a class when I heard something about a plane crash and then I heard something about another plane crash. It was so surreal. I actually thought it was some work of fiction that I was hearing over the radio. As I changed the radio from one channel to another and heard the words “news”, “airplane crashed” and “tragedy” I knew what I had been listening to was tragically a reality. At the beginning of class we said a prayer for all the victims and their families. Then we debated whether we should cancel class or continue with class. The nun professor decided to go on with class. I think that was a good call on her part, to preserve as normalcy as possible in our lives that day.

    God Bless our heroes! God Bless America!

  • I was working for The Catholic Post in Peoria, Ill. I had arrived at work early that day, and was the first person there, since Tuesdays were always busy, but I did not have a radio or TV on at first. I was sitting at my desk wearing a peach and white dress and light gray shoes (I even remember what I was wearing that day).

    Just after 8 a.m. (Central Time) my phone rang. Our editor was on the other end of the line. He said “Turn on the TV downstairs, TWO planes just hit the World Trade Center.” (We had a small black and white TV with rabbit ears in the office for the purpose of watching breaking news events when necessary… the last times it had been turned on prior to that were for Oklahoma City and the O.J. Simpson verdict.) I said “Did you say, TWO planes?” “Yes.” It was immediately obvious that it wasn’t an accident.

    No sooner had I gone downstairs than other staffers began to arrive. We flipped on the TV and of course saw the smoking towers. I watched this for a few minutes and then went back upstairs to call my husband (who was home at the time and did not usually watch the news). Of course, being reporters we had to start thinking about how we were going to cover this.

    Some time after I had gone back upstairs, one of my co-workers who was watching the TV came on the intercom system we had at the time, and said “The Pentagon just got hit!” And I screamed — literally screamed — “WHAAAT! NOOOO WAY!”

    At that point, my husband freaked out and drove to the school our daughter (then 5) was attending at the time to pick her up. He figured World War III was starting. The two of them then spent the day with his mother, who lived nearby, watching the news in total disbelief. I believe my daughter remembers this event, albeit kind of vaguely.

    Meanwhile we at the Post followed this story on TV and online as much as possible throughout the day. As far as our news coverage went, we divided it up among ourselves. I called Catholic schools all over the Peoria Diocese to ask how they were handling the event, if they were telling the students about it or holding prayer services, etc. Others called parishes to see what they were doing in the way of prayer services. I also phoned someone to do a previously scheduled unrelated interview, but needless to say, it was hard to concentrate on the originally scheduled topic since both of us were glued to the TV/computer.

    At that time Peoria Bishop John J. Myers, had recently been appointed to the Archdiocese of Newark and was scheduled to leave in about a month. That meant he would be heading to a See that was being directly affected by these attacks. I could not imagine the additional burden he was about to assume.

    All day long we were in news coverage mode as I am sure many, many other journalists both secular and religious were. Our deadline day for the weekly issue was Wednesday so we were quite busy. About 5:15 p.m. or so I left work, and stopped at a grocery store to pick up some items. I remember looking up in the parking lot and seeing a lone jet trail overhead in the empty skies, which I later found out was from Air Force One.

    I spent many hours over the next couple of weeks glued to the TV — I got kind of hooked on watching Brian Williams and Lester Holt’s coverage on MSNBC during this period — and sometimes, late at night, staring at the video of that smoking hole in lower Manhattan and crying, wondering how so many people could be vaporized just like that.

    One other note. My brother had gotten married on Sept. 8, 2001, and I was a bridesmaid in his wedding. He and his wife were going to travel across the Canadian Rockies by train for their honeymoon. They flew to Seattle on the 10th, and were preparing to leave for Vancouver (also by train) the next morning when they saw the news (around 6 a.m. Pacific Time). They did make it over the border, but only after a delay of 4-5 hours while their train and everyone’s bags were searched repeatedly. All this seems like a million years ago now.

  • There is an historical footnote to 9/11 involving my current job. In “Dreams of My Father” Barack Obama, then an Illinois State Senator, recalls that he was on his way to “a legislative committee meeting in Chicago” when he first heard the news of the attack. The committee in question is the body I work for today. My current supervisors remember all the State offices in Chicago and in Springfield being shut down and everyone sent home after the Pentagon attack, since no one knew how extensive these attacks were going to be or what cities would be targeted next.

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) I brought my 3 kids to school and was going back to the car to head home, when our autistic son’s special ed teacher ran into me and asked: “Have you been listening to the news? A plane just flew into the World Trade Center!” I turned on the TV as soon as I got home, and was just in time to see the second plane hit the WTC. I wasn’t volunteering at the grade school library that day, so the TV stayed tuned to the news all day while I did household chores.

  • My sharpest memories were of the minutes before — just how beautiful a day it was — nice wind, blue sky, the crisp air of a fall day — a good morning — stepping out of the subway on 34th street Manhattan and going to work. Going up the elevator I hear somebody mention that a plane had struck the WTC. I remember checking the computer for news (no television in our office) — and the surprise and horror when we heard ANOTHER plane had struck, and the reports of the towers falling. The realization that this was something other than a horrible accident. I called my mother-in-law in NJ, my wife (then still at home), parents. Everybody milling about on the streets, a surge of human traffic from uptown. I believe they had closed down all subways by that time — our office joined thousands of others for the long walk across the 59th street bridge back to Queens. Crossing over, looking south I remember the sight of downtown NYC shrouded in smoke/dust, the marked absence of the towers in the skyline. It was a long walk home to Kew Gardens, around 9 miles — mostly in silence and shock.

  • “I accepted the position on the 12 with the caveat that I was going to be delayed as a result of being called up for Operation Nobel Eagle. I reloceated to Michigan and since 2001 was activated twice to Iraq.”

    Thank you for your service Robert. If you do decide to become a priest, I think you would likely make a first rate chaplain!

  • I remember the beautiful day also. I was in Boston. Had just started a new job the week before. A social worker came in and said that the Twin Towers had been hit. Listened on the radio as there was no TV in the clinic. Then the disaster plan was activated as everyone got ready for a possible attack in Boston. Many workers downtown started to leave town by 11 am. By 3 pm it was clear nothing was going to happen and we were allowed to head home ourselves. As I left the hospital, two F-15’s passed overhead. People ducked thinking it was another attack.

    Walked through mostly empty streets and got on a nearly empty commuter train as most people had left town already. Took money out to pay the conductor. Said this day it was free. They were making it free so people could get out of town quickly.

  • Halfway through bootcamp; one of the girls came back from medical and told us what she’d seen on the TVs there. We weren’t sure if they were screwing with our heads. (If you knew SK1, the guy in charge of our division, it’d make sense– he’d seen way too many bad movies.) AT2 smuggled in a “week in review” tape for us, made me proud to be headed for the same rate.
    We all cried –even BM1, who fancied himself a hard-a**– about a month later, after our final test– running around the base all night, called “Battle Stations.” They played “Proud to be an American” when we got our Navy caps, instead of the Recruit ones. Then we went on weekend liberty, and found that the world outside was incredibly different than the one we’d left– more American flags outside the base than inside.

    Our Catholic Religious Petty Officer’s dad is an Army Lutheran chaplain– he was at the pentagon for a meeting that morning, and he’d told her about it. (He twisted an ankle helping the secretary out, but it took a few days for her to get word.)

    A guy across the hall lost everyone on his mother’s side of the family except for his mom– they had a family restaurant in one of the towers. She happened to not be there that morning, for some reason. (When offered an automatic out– his family had already lost so much, they were going to let him keep his signing bonus and education benefits– he asked if it was possible to graduate with his unit, or if he’d have to skip the funerals to do that and get those *blankers*. He graduated with his unit, and didn’t miss the funerals.)

    My future husband was in the middle of doing the paperwork to join the Navy, at home, washing dishes with the news on. He signed the final paperwork not too long after.

    My dad came in from bailing and saw the news; went out to my mom, who was inverting, and told her we were under attack. My sister and brother were at school, where they pushed the TVs to the front of the room at watched them. I’m not sure when they got permission to drive themselves home.

    The AO roommate I had in Pensacola (aviation bomb technician) was a 31 year old sculptor with a 40 year old doctor husband, who had a beautiful studio with a huge window…that had a lovely view of the twin towers. The most perfect example of the steriotypical New York Artist I have ever seen, tall and lean with one of those not-pretty-but-sharp-and-stunning faces, and a pixie haircut.
    (In November of ’01, she was demanding of me why we didn’t go into Iraq and help them, since the New Yorker magazine told her about the gassing of the Kurds and it was well known that Saddam supported attacking the US. I sometimes wonder what happened to her– one of those folks who just burns.)

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  • Was at a client site and I got a call from another client, late morning. I said, “Do you know what just happened? Terrorists attacked the WTC in New York!” He said, “Oh great–it’s my 50th birthday.” I said “It’s these f-ing muslims.” And it turned out I was right.

  • Tuesday morning ten years ago started off well. I called our office in Flint Michigan to help the manager fix what was a non-problem on his computer. As we were talking he was handed a note that a Boeing 737 had hit the World Trade Center. A few seconds later the TV’s came on with CNN and a few seconds later CNN interrupted programming for breaking news. The day got worse quickly

    Three more air planes taken , two of them hitting occupied buildings. The third crashing as the passengers try to take it back. Over 4000 dead. I never thought I would see the day when the Day Care Center would be moved out of the building because we do just enough business with the Defense Department to be military target. The news later reported a shoot down order was issued but the fighters could not take off and get in place fast enough.

    Being sent home for two days as non-essential in an emergency does nothing for ones ego. I left work while two of the planes and maybe more were still in the air the radio in the car broadcasting rumors of car bombs, and went to church to pray them home. When I saw the President on TV that night I knew we would be called back the next morning. Looking at the TV I thought “That boy is going to lead us?” All thing considered he could have done much worse.

    ——————————————————————-

    When Flight 11 turned off it’s transponder, did not answer the radio, and turned towards New York, the air traffic controllers at New York Center assumed it was a mechanical problem and the crew was trying to get Kennedy International with the best recovery resources. They moved every thing out of the way so the there would be a clear path to New York. Doing the job right, and it was so wrong.

    Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

  • Like many Americans, I was at work and like many Americans, I ended up doing very little work that day. I was at a meeting and a physician who came in late casually announced as the meeting was wrapping up that “BTW, when I was driving over here I heard on the radio that a plane hit the World Trade Center.” I assumed it was a freak accident involving a small commuter or private plane. Then I caught sight of the images on the TV in the physicians’ lounge adjacent to our office – by the time I got there, the second plane had hit. I spent most of the rest of the day in the lounge watching TV. When I became overwhelmed by the horrible sights, I went back to my office and sat at my desk and stared at the wall,shuffled papers for a while. Sometimes I read emails – including ones falsely reporting attacks on Fort Knox and the Sears Tower- and then went back to the TV.

    The reports were that there were 50,000 people working in those Towers so when they fell I thought I had just seen 50,000 people die. (The actual numbers were quite bad enough.) A physician sitting by me (normally a loud, brash, profane fellow) made the sign of the cross. Someone began to read a prayer over the hospital intercom (it’s a Catholic hospital). Then I heard my phone ring and went, in a complete daze, to answer it. One of our worst physician prima donnas, who apparently was the only person in the US who hadn’t yet heard the news, was on the line and he chewed me out about – I have no idea. I had no idea at the time. I said “Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh” and hung up and went back to the TV.

    One bit of news coverage really sticks in my mind: one of the NY ER doctors waiting outside for casualities that never arrived sobbed and said “Cherish life.”

    Over the next few days, I called all the people I loved to tell them that, because I kept thinking of those who went off to work on a Tuesday morning and met death and would never again be able to tell their families and friends they loved them – not in this world anyway.

    I was not a practicing Catholic a decade ago. But on the night of 9/11/11 I did something I hadn’t done in years – knelt down and prayed with all my might for my country, my president, and the people of NYC, DC and United Flight 93.

    Robert and foxfier: Thank you so much for your service.

  • I walked in to work at 8:00 AM Pacific Time on September 11th, 2001. Normally I listened to news on the way in, but that morning I hadn’t felt like news and so I’d been listening to a CD on the way in.

    “I’ll bet you’ll always remember where you were this morning,” my boss said, as I entered.

    “Why?” I asked.

    “Haven’t you heard?”

    I shook my head.

    “We’re at war,” he said. “They’ve blown up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and who knows what’s next. We’re at war, but we don’t know who with.”

    I wandered over to my desk, logged onto my computer, and pulled up CNN.com Both towers were already down by 8AM Pacific, but in the chaos of the morning news wasn’t always posted on the internet in order or as it happened, and we didn’t have access to TV in the office.

    Between being three hours off from the events, and not seeing any TV coverage until much later, I found myself feeling a strange distance from all that was going on — as if it were in some other world. My co-workers wandered around and talked in small clumps. People talked about how their worlds had been turned upside down and life would never be the same — the customer service pool debated whether the country should bomb Mecca or Bagdad first.

    The news that had changed my world forever was when my wife had called me up the previous afternoon (September 10th) and told me that we were expecting our first child. The 11th was my parent’s 25th anniversary, and we were scheduled to go out to dinner with them. We’d decided we’d tell them the news over dinner.

    When evening came Los Angeles remained jumpy — that we should somehow not be attacked as well seemed out of keeping with the West Coast mind. Lots of things were closed, and in keeping with the day we decided to have a quiet dinner at my parents house rather than trying to find a restaurant that was open.

    Seven years later, our forth child and only boy was born on September 11th, 2008.

  • I was in bed asleep when the phone rang. It was 6.10 am. – down here we are about 15 hrs ahead of NY – It was my daughter. She said, “Go and turn the TV on, quick.!” I jumped out of bed and with the phone in hand, asked, “What’s up?” and as the picture came on, it showed what I found out a little later on, was the second plane hitting the WTC.
    I said in an annoyed tone, ” What’d you wake me up to watch a movie for?”
    She said,” It’s not a movie – it’s real ! Some freaks have flown planes into the WTC and the Pentagon.”
    By this time it would have been mid-late afternoon in NY – but it seemed quite sureal that this had happened – to me, was happening right then. Sandy, my wife, came out to watch, and we both stood spellbound for several minutes, watching. Then they started showing people jumping out of the windows – to their deaths. Sandy started sobbing, and I must say I got a bit choked as well. We watched in silence for the next hour or so while we had breakfast, then the phone rang again. It was my partner – the salesman for a house building business I had started the previous year. We chatted briefly, and at around 10 am. went in to the office to meet him, and talked about what might happen next; how would the US react? was there more to come? How would this affect our lives?

    NY is a US city, but it is also a global city – dozens of nationalities are there. There were 2 NZ ers killed in the WTC that day – and , I stand to be corrected, but I think there was a kiwi on board Flight 93 as well.

    Within months there were literally tens of thousands of ex-pat kiwis returning home – from the US, Canada, UK and Europe, the logic being, that we’re pretty safe and away from the action down here in the bottom of the South Pacific. Overseas travel changed forever .

    In Sept,2002 Sandy & I and a couple of friends went to Hawaii for a holiday for five days on our way to Bellingham, WA for a yachting regatta. Sandy is 5’2″ and 100 lbs ringing wet. At all but one of our stop-offs, she was the one randomly selected for full search – we found that quite funny really.
    We went to Vancouver to meet the rest of our team, and the next day went by bus down to Bellingham. The border control check was rigorous, and when a busload of Aussies – whom most of us knew – pulled up just after we had gone through the checks, but they hadn’t come through customs, in our casual kiwi/Aussie way we walked over to eachother in greeting – the border guards were not amused – one even pulled out his sidearm. We then of course, realised that US border guards had understandably lost their sense of humour barely 12 months before.

    We stayed with a young family in Bellingham. I was hugely impressed by the patriotism demonstrated on the 11th – parades in memorial, Stars & Stripes everywhere – most people very sombre. We sat up till 11 pm. that night, watching the TV coverage of that fateful day one year before.
    Certainly a world changing event.

  • I was asleep when it happened. I’d been missing a lot of work back then due to a sleep disorder and crippling depression. I work in DC. I got on the phone with friends and family and assured them that I was nowhere near it.

    The next few days – troops directing traffic, the anthrax scare – I felt like, this is something I can do. I know how to function while my brain is screaming. We were all just going through the motions.

    A year later, there was a sniper on the loose.

    Eventually, the right doctors and the right meds got me back to health. If there’s a “where were you” moment for me during the last 10 years, it was a couple of weeks ago. I was in a meeting about four blocks from the White House when the ground shook. We all ran to the window which looks out in that direction and waited. Secondary explosions? Dust cloud? Mushroom cloud? DC doesn’t get earthquakes. But fortunately, that’s all it was.

Unforgettable Flight 93

Sunday, September 11, AD 2011

When they got up that morning ten years ago the very last thing that the 33 passengers and the seven crew of United Flight 93 expected was to be engaged in a life and death struggle to retake an airliner that was headed to Washington DC as a terrorist missile.    All they expected the day to bring was a hum drum flight from Newark to San Francisco.  Just ordinary people living their lives.  Their occupations included pilot, first officer, flight attendant, an environmental lawyer, the owner of a public relations firm,  university students, a senior vice president of a medical development company, a sales representative for Good Housekeeping magazine, a manager of a US Wildlife animal refuge, an arborist, an account manager for a corporation, an ironworker, retirees, a computer programmer, a computer engineer, a lobbyist for the disabled, a real estate agent,  an executive vice president of a corporation and a free lance medical writer.  They were wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, all with unique histories and lives, with little in common except that they happened to be on board Flight 93 when the world changed.

The plane took off at 8:42 AM Eastern Time.  Four terrorists had boarded amidst the other 33 passengers.  The terrorists began to hijack the plane at 9:28 AM, soon after both the hijacked airliners had struck the Twin Towers in New York City, and just brief minutes before a fourth airliner was hijacked in Washington and slammed into the Pentagon.  At 9:28:17 AM a member of the cockpit crew shouted “Mayday! Mayday!” over the radio, with sounds of violence in the background.  35 seconds later someone in the cockpit shouted over the radio, “Mayday!  Get out of here!  Get out of here!”

By 9:31 AM the terrorists were in control of the cockpit.  They informed the passengers that they were in control of the plane and falsely told them they had a bomb.  Now began the final 30 minutes of Flight 93.

Passengers and crew during these final 30 minutes made 35 airphone calls and two cell phone calls.  They quickly learned of the other hijacked planes that had been flown into the Twin Towers.

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25 Responses to Unforgettable Flight 93

  • Good morning,

    I have been to Shanksville once, back in 2002. It is about 75 miles from where I live. The crash site was fenced off and there were impromptu memorials, a sheet of plywood erected with photos and many flags.

    A few years ago, I used to post at an unofficial Pittsburgh Steelers message board. It had a large section for discussing other events and affairs. I remember one board member who was feeling depressed because his birthday is 9/11, and he felt it inappropriate to celebrate anything, let alone his birthday, on 9/11. As an aside, I left that message board because of the increasingly crude behavior of far too many of its members.

    I pointed out to him that I thought we should consider the members and crew of Flight 93 as heroes. They had the ability to figure out what was going on and what their fate was – and the fate of other innocent people – if they did not stop the terrorists.

    They did stop the terrorists. These people are heroes to me.

    Mr.. McClarey, it would be interesting if you would post a piece asking how our parish pastors reflected on September 11 during Mass – if they did at all.

    Our parish priest is a retired Navy chaplain. He is a most pleasant fellow, who usually doesn’t follow the rubrics to the letter and interjects a few of his own words into the Mass. I pray for him. Our priest talked about how shaken he was and he wondered how anyone could do such a thing. He stressed the importance of forgiveness, as evidenced in the Gospel passage for Mass (St. Matthew 16:18, I think without checking it).

    I preferred Fr. Corapi’s interpretation of 9/11. It was a wakeup call.

    For a short time, we answered the wakeup call in this country. Now it has been forgotten.

    The secular media and its atheist friends took out their fury on religion less than a year later with the abuse scandal that was epicentered in Boston. They took it all out on the Catholic Church for two reasons. One reason is that the Catholic Church, through the actions and inactions of its clergy and members, often gives others the club to beat it over the head with. The other reason is that Catholics don’t call for jihad and threaten those who insult her.

    I remember that morning of 9/11 well. I was at work. We heard that a plane crashed into the WTC and thought it was someone flying a Cessna. When we heard of the second crash, I made a very uncharitable remark about Muslims and said to my supervisor that it was they who were behind this. We were told to get out of the office and go home shortly after.

    Others cried. I burned with anger and when I think about it, I still do. Does anyone remember the ABC made for TV movie about the events leading up to 9/11? The bombings of the US Embassies in Africa? The USS Cole? Al Qaeda was active for a long time before 9/11.

    This week, there are several important feast days on the Latin Catholic calendar. Tuesday, September 13, is the Feast Day of St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church. Wednesday, September 14 is the Exhaltation of the Holy Cross. Thursday, September 15 is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Sorrows. All of these were mentioned in the parish bulletin.

    September 12 is the Feast Day of the Most Holy Name of May, in honor of King John Sobieski’s entrusting of himself and his army in battle against the Ottoman Turks who were trying to conquer Vienna. Sobieski and his Polish Hussar cavalry smashed the Ottomans and sent them into retreat. Sobieski said, “Veniums, vidimus, Deus vincit.”
    In a letter to his wife, Sobieski wrote, “Thanks be to Heaven, now the Half-Moon Triumphs no longer o’re the Cross, And ’twas thrown down from St. Stephen’s Steeple in Vienna (whom it had o’retopt so long) immediately on the Defeat: Neither have the Turks any occasion to upbraid us with their Blasphemous Mahometan Proverb. Ye Christians where is Your God?”

    September 12 has no feast day mentioned on it in our bulletin. The feast day was removed in 1969, but Pope John Paul II put it back in 2002.

    Sorry for rambling.

  • Here’s another story about that day: Heather “Lucky” Penny. She was the pilot who was going to have to take out the flight – in a suicide mission – had the passengers not done it.

    The movie “United 93” is the one of the most spectacular movies I have ever seen, and I’ve never cried as much through a movie as I have that one.

  • “Mr.. McClarey, it would be interesting if you would post a piece asking how our parish pastors reflected on September 11 during Mass – if they did at all.

    Our parish priest is a retired Navy chaplain. He is a most pleasant fellow, who usually doesn’t follow the rubrics to the letter and interjects a few of his own words into the Mass. I pray for him. Our priest talked about how shaken he was and he wondered how anyone could do such a thing. He stressed the importance of forgiveness, as evidenced in the Gospel passage for Mass (St. Matthew 16:18, I think without checking it).”

    My parish priest sounded a similar theme but he also noted that these people had to be stopped which I think gets it about right. In our age we emphasize God’s mercy rather than His justice, and we tend to forget that He has both attributes to the full.

  • I wish I could find this somewhere, but sometime before 9/11, I had read an essay by some Catholic writer about how the Christian idea of a “good death” means NOT necessarily a death free of suffering or fear, but one transformed from a merely passive thing that happens TO you, into a sacrificial action.

    What took place on Flight 93 is, in my mind, a quintessential example of that… instead of simply sitting back and being victims, those heroic passengers took ACTION that saved hundreds, perhaps thousands, of others.

    I believe they also set an example that others have followed in the intervening years. You may recall that the “shoe bomber” and the “underwear bomber” were both successfully subdued by other passengers aboard those flights. Untold hundreds or thousands of other lives have been saved as a result.

  • Excellent points Elaine! I have long thought that the best security development since 9/11 is the example of Flight 93 and which has been followed by passengers and crews since then.

  • Interestingly, the celebration of the Holy Name of Mary in the Ambrosian Rite is on 9/11

  • Another interesting fact is that in 1684, to celebrate the victory of the Battle of Vienna the year before, Pope Innocent XI inserted the feast of the Holy Name of Mary in the General Roman Calendar, assigning to it the SUNDAY within the octave of the Nativity of Mary (8-15 September). There are no coincidences. And today’s Mass readings center around forgiveness.

  • “Mr.. McClarey, it would be interesting if you would post a piece asking how our parish pastors reflected on September 11 during Mass – if they did at all.”

    One of our deacons gave the homily. Talked about forgiveness. Mentioned how we could not be pro-life if we were pro-death penalty. Said we needed to abolish the death penalty.

  • Is he always a jerk Phillip, or does he merely reserve it for his Deacon duties?

  • And speaking of jerks, one can always count on Paul Krugman to be very big one indeed:

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/the-years-of-shame/?pagemode=print

  • The homily I heard (by a parish pastor) talked about how forgiveness seems impossible when faced with such atrocities, and how it IS impossible to reconcile with the need for some kind of justice or for someone to “pay the price” — until we realize that Christ Himself already paid that price. No polemics against military action, self defense or the death penalty but mostly an acknowledgement that Christ’s words are indeed very difficult to follow.

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  • Speaking of John Sobieski, check out this link to see a picture of him thanking God for his victory in the 9/11/1683 battle of Vienna, as portrayed in the windows of Springfield’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (scroll down about 2/3 of the way to see it):

    http://www.romeofthewest.com/2007/09/photos-of-cathedral-of-immaculate.html

  • “Brave and Valiant Gentlemen of Poland, it is not here
    only requisite to make good the Glory which your
    Ancestors Valor have aquir’d, in making us consider’d
    as the Bulwark of Christianity against the Arms of the
    Ottomans: It is not only sufficient at this present to defend
    your Country, which the loss of Vienna would expose by a
    necessary consequence to the Invasion of those Infidels, with
    whom we are to fight. Here it is necessary to defend the
    Cause of God, and to preserve the Western Empire, which
    hath done us the Honor to have recourse to our Alliance;
    an Honor which our Ancestors dust never aspire unto, and
    was reserved for your Valor. Entertain therefore no other
    thoughts at present, but either to Conquer, or Nobly to end
    your lives in this Just Cause, to which the Glory of our common
    Master is annexed: Think now that you are to Fight in the fight
    of so many Brave Commanders who are engaged in the same
    Cause and Peril; reflect also that your King Fights at the Head
    of you, whereby to have a share both in your Glory and Danger;
    and withal be confident that the God of Battles whose Cause we
    defend will undoubtedly Fight for us.”

    John Sobieski’s speech to his men before the battle of Vienna. After the battle he sent one of the captured green flags of the Sultan to the Pope with this message:

    “Veni, vidi, Deus vicit.”

    I came, I saw, God conquered.

  • A very modern problem: mercy and justice– the shortest solution I know is that you can’t give mercy to someone who won’t take it. All you can do is the right thing, and hope they eventually accept it. Kinda what Jesus is doing since He died for us, no?

  • Another facet to Flight 93 is that it involved “ordinary” people who were not (as far as I know) active duty or reserve military, police, firefighters or otherwise trained to be first responders.

    Of course the heroism of the professionals as displayed at the WTC and Pentagon is and should be commemorated every Sept. 11. Still, in some ways I am more impressed with the fact that a random, thrown-together group of about 3 dozen civilians who did not know one another, suddenly confronted with an unprecedented horror and with little time to spare, literally “winged it” and may very well have stopped the attacks from turning into a de facto coup d’etat (assuming that the intended target was either the Capitol or the White House).

  • Quite right Elaine. Hard enough for a group of unarmed specially trained soldiers or Marines to take down a group of terrorists who claim (falsely) that they have a bomb. A group of random civilians, who have just met each other under the worst circumstances imaginable, to take on such terrorists takes heroism and daring of a high order indeed.

    The cops and firefighters who went into the Twin Towers to save lives, knowing that it was entirely possible that it could, as it did, collapse at any moment, is an example of the type of “professional courage” that indicates why certain occupations, where risking one’s life is a part of the job, are held high in public esteem, while others, why did the word “lawyer” just flash through my mind ?, are not. The priests who ran to give the Last Rites to the dying at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, along with the Protestant clergy and Jewish rabbis, also distinguished themselves that dark day.

  • I agree with Paul Z about the film “United 93.” I think it is the best movie that has been made or ever will be made about 9/11.

    When I feel pessimistic about the future of our nation and our pathetic ruling elites, I try to remember the heroism shown by the ordinary folks on United 93 and think to myself that if America is still producing citizens like Todd Beamer and co, we are not quite finished yet.

  • I read an article on a blog some years ago about one of the guys on Flight 93. He had had dream – or premonition – that he was to be involved in some defining type event, which possibly involved the US president. He was a devout Catholic, and had a devotion to Our Lady – I think Our Lady of the Rosary (of Victories – Battle of Vienna, 9/11/1683)

    When he found himself in this predicament, he realised that this may be the event. He rang his wife and told her what he and the others had to do. The rest is history.

  • Don, I think the man you are referring to was Thomas E. Burnett Jr. I seem to recall several stories about him in the Catholic press after 9/11, and I believe he attended daily Mass, though this is the first I have ever heard about his premonition.

  • About Mr. Burnett:

    “Mr. Burnett phoned his wife Deena four times. In the first call he told her about the situation on the plane and asked her to call authorities. The second time he phoned, he told her that he believed their captors were going to fly the plane into the ground. “The next time he called,” Mrs. Burnett said, “I could tell they were formulating a plan.” In the last call, he reportedly said, “I know we’re going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it.””

    http://www.unitedheroes.com/Thomas-Burnett.html

  • The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, also known as Our Lady of Victory (7 Oct.) was established to commemorate the naval battle of Lepanto, 1571, when a combined Christian fleet routed the Turks (and anyone who doesn’t know Chesterton’s bravura poem should look it up without delay). The Christian commander, Don John of Austria, an illegitimate son of the emperor Charles V, was born in Regensburg, that beautiful city on the Danube with which the present Holy Father has such close links.

    Ten years ago the traditional festivities of the Last Night of the Proms were replaced by an evening of solemn music, including Barber’s moving Adagio, and at the Changing of the Guard ceremony the band of the Grenadier Guards played the Star Spangled Banner in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Many of the spectators wept. No mention of the anniversary at Mass yesterday morning; instead we were reminded it was ‘racial justice Sunday’ and invited to pray for ‘all victims of discrimination’. I prayed for the Christians routinely persecuted in Moslem countries and for the innocent victims of 9/11.

  • According to his wife, Thomas Burnett did have premonitions:

    “In 1998, when Deena learned that Tom was going to daily Mass she said “I was a little bit surprised, but I didn’t say anything,” she said. “He said, ‘I feel like God is calling me to do something, and I don’t know what it is. But I know it’s going to have a great impact on a lot of people.’ He said, ‘The reason I’ve been going to daily Mass is because I feel like if I can be closer to God, then I’ll know what his plan is for me.'””

    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/5/2/180833.shtml

  • Hi John Nolan.

    Yes – I got mixed up between Lepanto and the Battle of Vienna.
    Quite familiar with Chesterton’s poem – In fact Don McC. posted on it a little while back.

    Good to see I’m not the only ‘demmed furriner’ commenting here on an American blog 😉

    Thanks Don, for the confirmation – I thought I had it right.

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The Imam and the Truther

Tuesday, September 14, AD 2010

Hattip to Andy McCarthy at National Review Online. A very close associate of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the guiding force behind the Ground Zero Mosque and who I have designated the Flim Flam Imam, is a 911 Truther according to Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism:

Faiz Khan, a physician who claims to have been a first responder after the September 11 attacks, is a founding member of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth and is on the advisory board of the Muslims for 9/11 Truth. In an essay on the Alliance’s website, he argued that “the prime factor for the success of the criminal mission known as 9/11 did not come from the quarter known as ‘militant Islam’ although the phenomenon known as ‘militant Islamic networks’ may have played a partial role, or even a less than partial role – perhaps the role of patsy and scapegoat.”…

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5 Responses to The Imam and the Truther

  • A great deal of mental energy (but not a lot of sense) is devoted by these characters to shifting responsibility from perpetrators to the United States Government. Because they feel an affinity for the perpetrators.

  • Well, he’s not completely off-base about the sleazeballs that occupy the Saudi and American positions of power.

    That the US government is behind 9/11 is nuts. That certain elements within our govenrment took advantage of the situation to push their agenda, well, that’s politics.

  • Once you believe in the lie that is Islam, it’s a very short journey to believe in Trutherism. Is there any doubt that Dr. Khan doubts the Holocaust? The picture of Khan at the podium implies there are people willing to give this man a forum. This is the true tragedy.

  • Dr. Khan is a nutcase and should be ignored.

  • Dr. Khan is a nutcase and should be exposed. So should his connections, esp. to this Flim Flam Imam who claims to be oh-so-sensible.

Res et Explicatio for AD 9-13-2010

Monday, September 13, AD 2010

[UpdateRealCatholicTV is back online!]

Salvete TAC readers!

Here are my observations and opinions on the Catholic Church in the Internet:

1. A RealCatholicTV (RCTV) representative is reporting that they have been experiencing technical difficulties and should be up and running by Tuesday evening at the latest.

The RCTV Facebook page reports that they could be up as early as this evening!

2. Last nights Sunday Night Live on EWTN had Father Benedict Groeschel interviewing Archbishop Timothy Dolan and I have to say that the good archbishop is very impressive.

He has a strong presence and speaks well with authority.  Outside of dodging a question on female altar servers, he looks to be the leading archbishop and the unofficial primate of the United States of America for the foreseeable future.

His Excellency posited that the severe drop in receiving the Sacrament of Penance may have contributed to the vocational crisis since 1968.  Most of the interview though was on the recent increase in vocations though.

Another theory that His Excellency suggested was the loss of grandmothers within the home.  He truly believes that grandmothers have a significant impact in passing on the faith which leads to vocations to the priesthood.  But with more and more families sending their dear grandmothers to retirement “homes”, the family is losing a great advocate for vocations to the priesthood.

Cardinal’s hat within five years or less.

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16 Responses to Res et Explicatio for AD 9-13-2010

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  • Tito:

    You and I have disagreed on this before, but I think Fr. Longenecker’s point is that modernism is concerned with choosing between products, whereas our response to the Mass ought to be receptivity (not judgment). I’ve blogged on this topic before:http://the-american-catholic.com/2010/06/21/parish-shopping/

    There’s a fine line between parish-shopping and seeking out Masses that are truly reverent, one that Orthodox Catholics frustrated with liturgical abuses (and I include myself in this category) have trouble dealing with. In the end, it reinforces the need for a truly “catholic” church-one where the liturgy is universal and the laity ought not be put between their home parish and a reverent parish.

  • Sunday Night Live last night was a rerun from earlier this summer. Personally, I couldn’t bear to watch it again. I have a different opinion about “His Excellency.” You will recall that he asked the sod parish in N.Y. not to march in the sod parade under the parish banner. They ignored him and once again advertised their perversions under the name of the parish. “His Excellency” shows up at the parish to celebrate some sort of milestone, and as the various sod groups are presented to him, none of which are COURAGE, “His Excellency” nods and smiles in his good ole boy routine. Not a word about not participating in the parade. That wouldn’t be PC. “His Excellency” has no backbone. I would love to see what Jesus would have said in the same circumstance. And in the same program, the archbishop dares to laugh at those who call for authentic Catholicism rather than the watered-down, spineless version that’s currently being fed in far too many parishes.

  • Yeah, but what about those “Idaho Vandals” I so recently heard about? 🙂

  • Dale,

    They’re licking their wounds.

    🙂

    Michael,

    I have not met any serious Catholics that were “parish shopping”, but were looking for a reverent Mass in addition to actually being a Catholic parish and not a worldly “community”.

  • Cory,

    I’ve heard some other stories, but I’m praying he becomes more like Cardinal Spellman than another Cardinal “please like me” O’Malley.

  • “Cardinal’s hat within five years or less.”

    As much as it appears the Archbishop is such a well educated, bright and humble servant of his flock regardless of what he may be wearing over the next five years underneath it all I suspect he will still have on his “politically correct” T-shirt.

  • The more I learn about about Archbishop Dolan, the more tarnished he seems to be.

    He’ll get the red hat, but because it’s New York City, not because of his spine.

  • Parish-shopping too often betrays a consumerist mentality: “what can you do for me?” I wish my fellow orthodox would think more about the potential they have to make a positive impact, by their suffering through a mediocre liturgy if nothing else.

    Re: Dolan, I still don’t see what good blog comments criticizing bishops accomplishes. As I’ve said before, spend the time & energy in prayer for them instead.

  • Chris Burgwald,

    We need to take care of our soul first before we can take care of others.

    That’s why I advocate switching from a liturgical-dancing parish (after all efforts have been shot down) to a real parish.

    I’m all for cutting off the oxygen to a body that refuses to practice the faith.

    They shall be known for their fruits!

  • Tito,

    I’m certainly sympathetic to the desire to bail on liturgical-dancing… our liturgical abuses up here are certainly insignificant next to them.

    But, just to devil’s advocate… how is your soul imperiled by liturgical dance? If the sacraments are valid and there’s no actual heresy, why not gut it out for the sake of the clueless guy next to you who might need your example? Why not be the leaven in the bread? You might be it for those people, after all.

  • You make a good point.

    But what if you have children. You do your best to educate them and don’t want poor influences, especially when it comes in the form of a disobedient/dissident priest who should be a role model and not someone to avoid because he is just plain bad.

    Another thing to consider is if the priest refuses to improve and the bishop refuses to do anything about it, what do you do?

    I decided, because of my character and personality, to switch.

    Rather than soldier on and begin a blogging campaign I switched.

    My soul has reaped the benefits of reverent Mass, an enriching parish life, and many graces that I am still unaware of.

    I’m sure many, many other switchers understand me better than those that haven’t had to deal with a bad parish.

    I highly recommend it.

    Let that parish whither on the vine, especially if that parish priest (and bishop) refuse to do anything about it.

    I want to get into Heaven at the highest possible level. Why endanger it with dissident priests and parishioners who could care less (or even acknowledge) the existence of Heaven.

    I recently attended a seminar on penance at my old parish and this priest who is suppose to be a future star of the Church (he’s on his way to being a bishop) was advocating that penance isn’t that important and getting it twice a year was sufficient. He even pooh-poohed my comments of going almost weekly.

    As soon as I started explaining the many benefits of penance he did his best tap-dancing routine in backtracking on his comments.

    I was disappointed, but relieved knowing that I won’t have to worry about this at my parish once my children (if I’m blessed with them) start getting active in parish life.

    Yes the sacraments are still valid and your soul is better for it for suffering.

    But God does want us to avoid suffering if possible. And if not, embrace the suffering.

    Why put yourself in this position in the first place?

    Believe me, if I didn’t have a choice, I would have raised HELL at my parish and my name would be a curse word around the chancery by now.

    Do I want that?

    No.

    //On a side note I made a promise to myself that if I ever attended a Mass where there was liturgical dancing, I would strip down to my underwear and dance along with them just to show how much of a mockery they were making the Mass out to be.

  • I hope you post that video on YouTube. 🙂

    It’s certainly a matter of prudence, Tito. My point is to emphasize that sometimes we are placed in difficult situations because of what we have to offer, i.e. because *we* can bear fruit for others instead of focusing exclusively on the fruit we want to harvest.

  • Chris B.,

    Yes, if I were put in that position, I would do my best to be charitable.

    I would get involved, form an orthodox group of families, and begin transforming the parish with the priest (and/or bishop) kicking screaming.

    As for the YouTube video, I would post it! Only to prove that these shenanigans must stop.

    🙂

  • I also do not have a great opinon of NY Archbishop Dolan. He kept interrupting Fr. Groeshel in mid-sentence;
    never answered significant questions straight forward;
    and has no business being involved in NY zoning and politics that do not involve the Catholic Church – – since the Cordoba zoning does not involve Saving Souls and Fundamental rights of Man in accordance with the Gospel. (CCC 2245-2246)

    The Archbishop does not understand the Muslim culture, and the symbolic meaning of Cordoba. This is not his area of competance.

    Newt Gingrich wrote:
    “The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over,” Gingrich wrote. “The proposed ‘Cordoba House’ overlooking the World Trade Center site – where a group of jihadists killed over 3,000 Americans and destroyed one of our most famous landmarks – is a test of the timidity, passivity and historic ignorance of American elites.”

    The Archbishop needs to clean up his own NY Diocese including Xavior Parish which still has gay information on its web site not in accord with the Church.

  • I should have added that the Archbishop likes to hear himself talk, and be seen about town.

    He needs to be exposed in the public for his public actions, so that he will NOT become a Cardinal in line to become a Pope.

9-11 Conspiracy Theories Are Ludicrous

Friday, September 10, AD 2010

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  The true humor of course is that a cottage industry has arisen claiming that 9-11 was an inside job.  No belief, no matter how farcical, will fail to have fools and knaves to rally about it.  A useful resource to answer some of the whacked out contentions of the 9-11 Truther Movement is the Debunking the 9-11 Myths at Popular Mechanics.  Another first rate source is the Journal of Debunking 9-11 Conspiracy Theories.

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25 Responses to 9-11 Conspiracy Theories Are Ludicrous

  • I volunteer to give a gratis kickboxing lesson to anyone that ascribes to such lunacy.

    The truth is the mortal remains of 1,100 persons that tragically expired that inauspicious day were never found or returned for burial to the widows and orphans.

  • My opinions of the “truthers” are best left unsaid on a Catholic website.

  • I did find that Popular Mechanics book extremely helpful both for understanding the claims by the truthers as well as the mistakes they’re making.

    Considering the outrage by the left that people think Obama is a Muslim or doesn’t have a birth certificate, it’s amazing that this kind of nonsense it tolerated, as I’d rather Americans think the President was lying about his religion rather than the President has coordinated an attack on his own people.

  • The fact that Popular Mechanics is a co-conspirator in supressing the truth is hardly surprising given that it is owned by privately held and therefore notoriously secretive Hearst Communications. But for The Onion to betray its normally exceptional journalistic principles by promoting this transparent parody is very disappointing. It seems that no one outside of Hollywood has the courage to speak truth to power anymore.

  • Since you can’t really argue with crazy people, the best defense may be humor. When he hears people voice these types of bizarre theories, a friend of mine in a very serious tone chimes in, “Yeah you know Fort Sumter was in an inside job as well.” Sometimes people actually go along with his charade and then they really feel stupid when he tells them the truth.

    I told him the next time to add some more historical events to his routine. For example tell them that the the Archduke was never shot and WWI never really happened. Perhaps tell them that the Archduke lives on an island where he has since married Ameila Earhart and is entertained nightly by the sounds of Elvis and Jim Morrison performing in the hotel’s lounge.

  • We know that 9-11 was a conspiracy. Al Qa’eeda conspired to destroy, what they consider the symbol of Western imperialism – money, wealth and trade, as in the World Trade Center. Of course, that is only the secondary target, the primary target has and always will be the heart of Christendom, Our Holy Church.

    Were elements in our government and other power centers involved? I don’t know, but I suspect that it is probably likely. To be clear, the truthers miss the point when they decide to attack Bush and the ‘Right’ in general, because that makes a mockery of the likely collusion. It is neither part of the false Left-Right paradigm, nor American and it isn’t even part of our governing structure. What is far more likely is the embedding of moles, spies, collaborators and other hidden elements that seek to destroy what is left of Western Civilization.

    Look at the Ft. Hood shooter, he was an officer in our Army and yet, he is a Moslem terrorist. We are all concerned about Mexican anchor babies used to facilitate illegal immigrants getting work and welfare here, yet what goes relatively unnoticed is Moselm anchor babies that can blend in to our American culture and yet harbor ill will and are likely to strike in the future.

    Communists, who now subvert us by openly ‘serving’ in our government have been there all along, only they were hiding. Conspiracies are real, beginning in the Garden and resulting in the Fall. To ignore that is to be out of touch with reality. Of course, the secret nature of conspiracies is that facts are hard to find and even when known the context is difficult to discern.

    Did the Al Qu’eeda terrorists receive support from elements in our country and from elements within our government? Probably. Does that mean that this is part of some government conspiracy? I doubt it. But we have to recall that some will use government power for their own ends, others for ideological ends and yet others will infiltrate in order to destroy because they work with our enemies. It is quite possible. Was George Bush the mastermind? Of course not. It is unlikely that conspirators can achieve that high and public an office. Unlikely, but it may have been achieved in 2008. Nevertheless, Obama is a pawn of his own ideology and the behind the scene machinations of those with evil intentions.

    There is no question that we have been weakened in the eyes of Moselm terrorists and the Islamic heresy, the Communists and just about every enemy, foreign and domestic, since this man has taken office.

    We have to remember that poor leadership and even foreign attack, especially Moslem and Communist, is punishment for sin. Unless you are deluded into thinking our culture is heading in the right moral direction, then you cannot ignore the fact that these things happen because we are unfaithful.

  • I have long suspected Mike that Popular Mechanics is in league with the Illuminati, although the Onion did surprise me. I assumed that the Onion was owned by the cattle mutilating subsection of the Elvis-was-an-alien-cult and they are strong believers that 9-11 was an inside job.

  • I was speaking (no, really!) with a liberal who believes in UFO’s and Big Foots, not in God.

    I told him if while deer hunting in the Adirondacks, I saw a Big Foot, I’d shoot the son-of-a-gun.

    He begged me not to. He said, “That would (tick) off the aliens.”

    Truth.

  • I hear that the world is actually controlled by someone in a bunker in rural Illinois, a Catholic (who else?) who occasionally communicates with his minions via coded essays about Abraham Lincoln.

  • My problem with both conspiracy theories and accepted “our government is great” jingoism is the same, and partially put into words for me by someone on Facebook the other day:
    1. Original Sin
    2. Most people are too lazy or incompetent for conspiracies (or government) to work properly.

    That said, I don’t believe it was an “inside job” in the sense of the “Truthers”, but I *do* believe that our government has a long history of allowing events to happen when it wants to go to war to justify being the “heroes”: Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, and Tonkin Bay all were to some degree known about, and the 9/11 Commission found that the government did have information that could have helped prevent 9/11.

    As for whom the terrorists were attacking, they didn’t attack the US for being the “heart of Christianity” or for being Catholic. They attacked the US for being imperialistic and for spreading filth around the world through Hollywood.

  • “They attacked the US for being imperialistic and for spreading filth around the world through Hollywood.”

    Complete and total rubbish. Some of the 9-11 perps slept with prostitutes in the days leading up to them murdering 3000 innocent Americans. Pornography of a particulary perverse nature has been a part of Arab culture for centuries as well as wide spread pederasty. As for imperialism, if that means that we will not allow them to annihilate Israel or murder every Christian and Westerner in the Middle East, guilty as charged.

    The Jihadists actually murdered 3000 innocent Americans for the same reason they have murdered Spanish, English, French, etc and countless Muslims: Power. The Jihadists are involved in a long term war to seize power throughout the Islamic world. Attacking the US placed Bin Laden and his gang of merry cut throats at the top of this movement. Attacking all nations in the West helps give the jihadis street creds among the inhabitants of the Islamic world who wish to see their countries ruled by these thugs.

  • “I hear that the world is actually controlled by someone in a bunker in rural Illinois, a Catholic (who else?) who occasionally communicates with his minions via coded essays about Abraham Lincoln.”

    Please J. Christian, I do not want to have to send my squad of papal albino squirrel assassins to silence you!

  • talking to you is like talking to a goat.

    THAT was funny.

    I was almost expecting him to say:

    talking to you is like talking to a dining room table.

  • Very good, “they are den of jackals…” lol. Here’s my latest amateur Onionesque offering.

  • He said, “That would (tick) off the aliens.”

    Your friend is protecting you. He knows they gave ray-guns to the bigfoots, err, bigfeet.

  • I hear that the world is actually controlled by someone in a bunker in rural Illinois, a Catholic (who else?) who occasionally communicates with his minions via coded essays about Abraham Lincoln.

    Hey, if you broke the code, you would know that that last essay about secession actually revealed who was really on the grassy knoll in Dallas. I never would have guessed it -not in a zillion years.

    And now I know, but I’m not telling. 😉

  • Ah, but who is pulling the strings of this world controller? (“Yes, dear, I’ll get off the computer soon and do the dishes and take out the trash.”) 😉

  • Fools, it’s Dick Cheney. He’s the one pulling the strings.

    Who is the one that created Hurricane Katrina and made it hit New Orleans?

    Dick Cheney that’s who.

  • “”Look, there’s Joel,” visitor Lance Mattson told reporters, pointing to a wall listing the names of the several thousand Jews who received advanced warning not to go into work on 9/11. “It’s just so moving to think—hey, why are you asking so many questions, anyway? Who sent you here?”

    “Oh my God, this is all part of it, isn’t it?” Mattson added. “I should have known! This whole place is just another conspiracy to placate those brave enough to speak the truth.”

    Mattson then excused himself and rushed past a series of bronze bas-reliefs charting the connections between the Carlyle Group, Donald Rumsfeld, and the bin Laden family.

    At press time, no members of the Trilateral Commission, New World Order, or the committee in charge of constructing the 9/11 memorial at the Ground Zero site in Lower Manhattan were available for comment.”

    The Onion outdid itself on that one Paul!

  • I’m a traditionalist, so of course I believe the Stonecutters are the ultimate source of Earthly power and evil.

  • The hypocrisy of Christians has been the basic complaint of Muslims from day 1, when Mohammed infamously challenged the Christian priests to walk through fire to prove their faith–a challenge which St. Francis offered to accept, winning him the Sultan’s personal medal and an escort for his pilgrimage through the Holy Land.

  • “The hypocrisy of Christians has been the basic complaint of Muslims from day”

    No, the main complaint of Muslims against Christians from day one is that we are polytheists because of our belief in the trinity and because we worship Christ as God.

    Sura 4.171 “O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.”

  • The main thing I notice about these theories is that they seem so unnecessary, and distract people from the real problems. Things we know, with no conspiracies necessary: our government gave and continues to give large amounts of money and influence to Saudi Arabia, which fosters these terrorist groups and from which most of the 9/11 terrorists came; our government’s immigration policies allowed people who all but had ‘terrorist’ written on their foreheads to infiltrate the country using sneaky tactics like writing ‘Hotel’ on their Visa application; and our government’s main reaction to the attack was to start body-searching Irish grandmas and telling people they couldn’t take shampoo on airplanes.

    Isn’t that condemnation enough? Do we really have to come up with elaborate “Bush planned it” theories to be convinced that the powers that be are corrupt and too caught up in political correctness and their own quest for power, and that they should all be run out of town? I sure don’t.

  • “Things don’t happen; things are made to happen.” –JFK

Cynical Brilliance

Sunday, August 22, AD 2010

My favorite living historian, Victor Davis Hanson, hails the brilliance of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the “Cordoba Initiative”, the group seeking to build the Ground Zero Mosque.

1.  First the name of the group takes advantage of the historical illiteracy among the chattering class elites of our society:

Start with the notion of a “Cordoba Initiative.” In the elite modern Western mind, Cordoba has been transmogrified into a mythical Lala Land of interfaith tolerance. To invoke the city is to prove one’s ecumenical credentials. Just ask our president, who, in his June 2009 Cairo speech, fantastically claimed that the Muslim city taught us tolerance while Christians were launching the Inquisition (1478) — quite a feat two and a half centuries after most of the Muslims of Cordoba had fled, converted, or been cleansed during the city’s fall (1236) to the Christian forces of the Reconquista. But no matter, we got the president’s drift about who was supposedly tolerant and who was not.

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4 Responses to Cynical Brilliance

On Media and Mosques at Ground Zero

Saturday, August 14, AD 2010

One of the interesting (by which I mean dull, predictable and repetitive) aspects of the 24 hour news cycle is that all forms of media have incentives to magnify and actively seek out controversy. Not only does this increase ratings/page views/newspaper sales, it provides media outlets with something – anything in a slow news month – to talk about. I can’t help but feel that the recent outburst of commentary about the construction of a mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks is the type of story designed to increase media consumption and accomplish little else. The First Amendment is not in dispute here; freedom of religion is well established and protected by settled case law. Furthermore, the proposed mosque is to be constructed on private property, and there is no legal reason to challenge its construction. And so most of the discussion revolves (and frequently devolves) around taste and symbolism.

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44 Responses to On Media and Mosques at Ground Zero

  • I take your point about media generated controversies, but I’m not sure I’d place the mosque controversies at least entirely in that category. I find the following aspects of this controversy to be very remarkable and worthy of reflection:

    1. The legal right of Muslims to build houses of worship has been called into question.

    2. Islamic terrorists are being conflated with all Muslims.

    3. It’s being proposed that Islam really isn’t a religion.

    I really see our country at a crossroads right now. The increased presence of Muslims challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation) and the extent to which we value are willing to extend religious liberty. This controversy is forcing us to ask ourselves who we are, and that question is as serious as anything.

  • I suppose, in turn, I take your point Kyle. There are important issues connected to the controversy (although points 1 and 3 strike me as rather fringish, self-marginalizing ideas). I think it is a matter for serious concern that so many voices on the right have picked this particular battle. At the same time, I do not see why it is a national, rather than a local, issue. There is no legal basis for challenging the mosque’s construction, and there is virtually no chance of that changing in the near future (barring a cataclysmic series of events). I am glad that liberals have stated these truths and criticized the over-heated rhetoric from the right, but I still see this more as a controversy-of-the-day, rather than a matter of significant national import.

  • John Henry,

    There are a lot of things I can say about your perspective, and few of them would be very flattering. I’ll limit myself to this: as a Catholic, you ought to have a better understanding and appreciation of the symbolic. To dismiss the importance of symbolism in the manner you have seems rather crudely materialistic to me. Symbols are generally representations of real things.

    “there is little reason for anyone else aside from the families of the victims of 9/11 or residents of that area of New York to comment”

    And yet here we are, in a free society, in which people don’t need reasons deemed acceptable by others to engage in public discourse. Don’t let it burn you up too much 🙂

    Kyle,

    “1. The legal right of Muslims to build houses of worship has been called into question.”

    It has not. And someone ought to question the wisdom of the builders.

    Moreover, people have a right to make legal challenges if they like. It doesn’t mean they will succeed, and they may even be charged with the court cost if their case turns out to be frivolous.

    Finally, some suspect that the mosque is funded by a man with ties to terrorism.

    “2. Islamic terrorists are being conflated with all Muslims.”

    No, I think it is more accurate to say that Islamic terrorists are being portrayed as consistent Muslims, while the “moderate” Muslim is being portrayed as inconsistent, given the clear teachings of the Koran on the relations between Muslims and infidels. You won’t find anything like that in the New Testament.

    “3. It’s being proposed that Islam really isn’t a religion.”

    Yes, I don’t see the point in that. It isn’t a religion like others, to be sure, but in the West we tend to think of religion as something different (though not entirely unrelated) from politics, and from science, a legacy we can thank the Church for. These distinctions are what enabled Western society to advance far beyond others, I believe.

    Then again, I believe communism is a religion, just a secular one. Environmentalism is also fast becoming a religion, neo-pagan for some, secular for others.

    “challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation)”

    We are a Christian nation, if for no other reason than that the majority of Americans are Christians. If you mean in the substance of our policies, well they rest upon a Christian legacy anyway.

    In Lebanon, Islam “challenged the national narrative” of a Christian nation by repeatedly attempting to slaughter all of the Christians. Only God and the impenetrability of the mountains of Northern Lebanon saved them from that fate.

    Now I’m not saying that the Muslims who live here now either desire such a thing for the United States, or that they could do it if they did. I do wonder however how the picture will change if/when they become 20% of the population or more. This isn’t an observation limited to Islam either: ANY group with ANY ideas will seek to impose them more and more as their numbers grow. That’s just rational human political behavior, it is universal.

    Perhaps looking at Europe’s experience we would be wise to take certain precautions sooner, rather than later.

  • To dismiss the importance of symbolism in the manner you have seems rather crudely materialistic to me. Symbols are generally representations of real things.

    Symbols can be important, but they can also be ambiguous or frivolous. I wasn’t categorically rejecting arguments about symbolism; just saying that this particular one wasn’t particularly fruitful given that there are very few repercussions for public policy.

    And yet here we are, in a free society, in which people don’t need reasons deemed acceptable by others to engage in public discourse. Don’t let it burn you up too much

    This is silly, Joe. Saying that I don’t think a particular controversy is very valuable is hardly the same as saying I am upset that people are free to have it. I’m consistently on the side of freedom here – whether it be of religion or speech.

  • A commenter on a friend’s facebook page remarks that Muslims have the right to practice their religion in their own countries, but not in ours. I’d say that qualifies as denying the religious freedom of Muslims in the U.S. Teresamerica asserts that the sensitivity of the 9/11 families is grounds to refuse the building of the “ground zero” mosque. She’s not just questioning the wisdom of the building planners, but their legal right to build in that location. I can also point to the opposition the president has received in response to his statement that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as we all have. As for lawsuits: Exhibit A.

  • Cordova House: Why don’t we start a $100,000,000 fund to build a cathedral dedicated to St. Perfecto, a Spanish martyr murdered for the faith in Cordova during the 700 years the mass murderers held Spain?

    You geniuses will see how this plays out in November.

    Meanwhile, you will see a representative sample of 80% of US at 2PM on 11 September.

    You insensitive America-hating geniuses . . .

    Practicing their religion . . . flying large airplanes into tall buildings.

  • Regarding jihad, Adams states in his essay series,

    “…he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.”

    Confirming Adams’ assessment, the late Muslim scholar, Professor Majid Khadduri, wrote the following in his authoritative 1955 treatise on jihad, War and Peace in the Law of Islam :

    “Thus the jihad may be regarded as Islam’s instrument for carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muhammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief of God. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared ‘some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ’. Until that moment is reached the jihad, in one form or another will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dar al-Islam permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-harb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community accepting certain disabilities- must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dar al-Islam or be bound as clients to the Muslim community. The universality of Islam, in its all embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.”3

  • Kyle,

    Well, frankly, the cited examples all strike me as fairly marginal views. Your Facebook friend isn’t in favor of the First Amendment (and likely hasn’t really thought much about the history of Catholics in the United States); Teresaamerica is proposing manipulation of a city zoning requirement protecting landmarks to prevent the construction of the mosque, which is a rather startling example of using a facially neutral requirement for discriminatory purposes. As to lawsuits, they are unlikely to make it past summary judgment, if they even make it that far. As I said, there are important questions connected with this controversy, but for the most part these conversations involve issues more significant than – and distinct from – whether or not New York has another mosque.

    I should add, though, that I appreciate you taking the time to provide examples. It may be that I’m wrong about the significance of this particular controversy, or have chosen a poor example to illustrate the point I was trying to make.

  • T. Shaw – the purpose of this thread is not to debate the place of jihad within Islam; please try to provide comments that relate more directly to the topic of the post.

  • Right.

    “Taste”: I would use “sensitivity” or “sensibilities.” I know where your “head” is on this.

    Of course, the media actively magnified the immaterial, tragic events of 11 September 2001 (the boring History Channel mini-series they air each September need to cease and desist, too), so widows and other survivors have their evil bowels in an uproar over the religion of peace building a pacifist training camp two blocks away from where their little eichmann’s got it for liberating Kuwait from Saudi Arabian bases and supporting Israel.

  • “Muslims have the right to practice their religion in their own countries, but not in ours. I’d say that qualifies as denying the religious freedom of Muslims in the U.S.”

    This is one of the most laughable statements posted here in quite some time.

    All over the Muslim world, Muslims are denied the right to practice as they see fit. No whirling Dervishes if you are in Saudi Arabia. Want to wear a burqa in Turkey? Have fun in jail. Surely the hundreds of thousands of Muslims arrested each year on charges of “crimes against Islam” reveal the claim as absurd?

    And, with regards to Muslims not being able to practice in the US, what could your Facebook friend POSSIBLY mean by THAT allegation? Is she suggesting that opposing the building of a mosque at Ground Zero represents an absolute bar to the practicing of Islam in New York City or the United States as a whole? If so, she has lost her furry little mind.

    Whether one agrees or disagrees with opposing the building of Cordoba House at Ground Zero, we shouldn’t jump on the victimized bandwagon just yet. Lets face it, Cordoba House isn’t the first mosque to be built to praise Allah for a great victory… The Blue Mosque in Constantinople is.

  • John,

    “I wasn’t categorically rejecting arguments about symbolism”

    That wasn’t very clear originally. I thank you for the clarification.

    Kyle,

    Your link is just a link to people who want to stop the construction of one mosque. That is a far cry from arguing that “Muslims don’t have a right to practice their religion.”

    You know, we deny a lot of different religious groups the right to certain practices. We prosecute Christian “scientists” who refuse to give their children medicine when they are sick, for instance. So this idea of absolute religious freedom is as detached from history and reality as those who proclaim an absolute right to free speech. I don’t claim that there are grounds at the moment to deny certain aspects of Islam, but they could well arise at some point.

    My compromise would be this: today, right now, before 10% of our population is Muslim, we pass state or even federal constitutional amendments forever barring the implementation of Sharia law at any level. We make resolutions to avoid what has happened in Europe and some of the commonwealth countries, in which “culture” or “religion” has been used in courts of law to defend honor killers and rapists. We subject Islam to the same scrutiny that Christianity is subjected to in the public school system, and we stop these ridiculous charades in which children are forced to act like Muslims for a week as part of “cultural awareness.” It’s absurd.

  • G-Veg, I think your comment reflects a misunderstanding. Kyle’s FB friend was expressing their view of what should be rather than what is. Obviously, there are a lot of problems with his friend’s desired state of affairs and that (fortunately) is not currently the state of things in the U.S.

  • The constant invocation of Cordoba itself reeks of mealy-mouting of Catholics and the Christian faith in general. The legends of Al-Andalus and the alleged tolerance of Muslims for other religions have been amplified beyond caricature by Jews who couldn’t forgive Catholics for the expulsions and fabulists such as Borges and Fuentas who projected their fantasies onto a mideaval past. The strange thing is, Muslims themselves never cared for the comity of Cordoba, one can hardly find references to that aspect in their earlier writings; bin Laden wasn’t rueing for the Cordoba of fantastic memory. The remaking of Cordoba into some kind of wonderland was the work of (a few) Jews, thus it is no surprise that Bloomberg is taken in. I look forward to the day when the very same boosters, complain when some Sheikh or other compares Jews to monkeys at Cordoba House.

  • Pauli’s link makes my point in an indirect way. What was the need for that anti-Catholic bigot Foxman to invoke the Auschwitz nuns to frighten off CAIR, when the salient comparison to the destruction of the WTC is in fact Pearl Harbour? It seems as though he wants us to forget that Catholic Poles in their hundreds of thousands perished in that camp. Is McGurn a Catholic? If so, he needs to stop drinking the ADL Kool-Aid.

  • I agree that symbolism is important. That’s why I think the efforts to stop the building project are so awful.

  • I wouldn’t try to stop them through the courts, but I would impress upon them how much they will rightfully be resented for failing to respect the wishes of the people. To do something simply because one can is hardly a persuasive argument.

    There are a thousand and one good ways to foster better relations between Muslims who wish to disavow the violent teachings of the Koran, and Christians in the United States. This is not one of them.

  • Pingback: Religious Freedom vs. Theocratic Dictatorships « Vox Nova
  • I would impress upon them how much they will rightfully be resented for failing to respect the wishes of the people. To do something simply because one can is hardly a persuasive argument.

    I agree. Muslims don’t “do” persuasive argument. Never have. Why should they? They like their methods better. From passive aggressiveness all the way up to not-so-passive, that’s where they excel.

    In many ways I’m glad they are building this at ground zero to show their absolute smugness and insensitivity. It will further expose their nature.

  • Pauli,

    I think such generalizations are unfair, dangerous, and inaccurate when applied to a group of 1 billion people. A disturbing pattern is found in many long-running feuds/persecutions: 1) a group of individuals is lumped together on the basis of a distinguishing feature (whether it be race/religion/nationality/etc.) and identified as ‘the other’; 2) that group is then accused of having various negative characteristics to an unusual degree (e.g. greed, stupidity, or guilt for certain crimes); 3) these negative characteristics are then used as a pretext for denying rights to this group that other citizens enjoy. I am concerned about the implications of your comments.

  • I should have written “Muslim leaders” rather than merely “Muslims”. That’s my point. Islam doesn’t have one billion leaders. One billion people are not building a mosque. I can “generalize” about these leaders based on their past and present behavior. They don’t show the kind of sensitivity of the Holy Father in the link I posted.

    John Henry was wise to delete his former comment where he compared me to a Klan member and a jihadist.

  • John Henry was wise to delete his former comment where he compared me to a Klan member and a jihadist.

    My point was about language and the structure of your argument; to say language is similar is not to say the people are similar. Substitute Catholics/blacks/Israelis for Muslims in your comment above, and the similarities in language are quite striking. Btw, I frequently re-write my comments multiple times to try and make them clearer within the first few minutes after they post.

  • I frequently re-write my comments multiple times to try and make them clearer within the first few minutes after they post.

    Mmmmm, I see. That also provides a benefit that those subscribed to the comment thread get to see what you really think before your discretion kicks in and you self-censor. Maybe you should just write your comments down on scratch paper first and read them out loud to yourself. That’s what I do.

    Let me clarify my views further WRT the smugness and insensitivity of the Muslim leaders behind the building of the ground zero Mosque. I don’t think I would say the same about black leaders in general, Israeli leaders in general or Catholic leaders in general, and my proof for the third is in the link I provided earlier. This rules me out as a Klansman if there was any further question.

  • Pauli – you seem to be missing the point. I wasn’t saying that you feel similarly about Catholics/blacks/Israelis, etc. I was observing that your comment above about Muslims is very similar to the type of statements that the Klansmen of yore made about Catholics and Blacks, and radical Muslim groups today make about Israelis. You’ve said now that you were only speaking about ‘Muslim leaders,’ but I think, again, your statement still reflects a disturbing prejudice.

  • John Henry, here’s a question. Can you think of other comparable situations involving different religions other than Islam? Keep in mind that this project will be large costing millions of dollars. If I am prejudiced against Islam, then I have overlooked all the other times a different religion has done something comparable.

    Prejudice means to prejudge, to judge someone before you see any of there actions. For example, I see a black person and I think, “That person is probably a lazy bum, because blacks are lazy.” If I think this, then I am prejudiced. But what if I am able to observe a black person for several months and note many instances of laziness? Then I can state “He is lazy” without prejudice, can I not? This would only appear to be prejudice to a third person who didn’t know that I had many occasions to observe the laziness and who then made an assumption that the reason for my judgment was my own prejudice against blacks. This third person would himself be guilty of prejudging me.

    So give me some comparable situations throughout history to the ground zero mosque. Otherwise this word substitution exercise you are proposing smells like a red herring.

  • I really see our country at a crossroads right now. The increased presence of Muslims challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation) and the extent to which we value are willing to extend religious liberty. This controversy is forcing us to ask ourselves who we are, and that question is as serious as anything.

    There are some disputes about the proportion of the population which is Muslim. (Robert Spencer offers that the most valid estimates appear to place that population at 3,000,000, or 1% of the whole). I do not think a minority that size ‘challenges national narratives’. (The appellate judiciary and the public interest bar have insisted on the adoption of enforced secularization, because that is the preferred policy in the social circles in which they run).

    Both you and John Henry might consider the possibility that past is not prologue, and that a muslim minority might eventually prove tragically incompatible with the general population, and that such an outcome is more likely if elite policy rewards rather than ignores (or penalizes) aggressive postures on the part of novel minorities.

  • The remaking of Cordoba into some kind of wonderland was the work of (a few) Jews

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04359b.htm

    “Owing to the peace which the Christians of Cordova then enjoyed, some knowledge of their condition has been preserved, among other things the name of their bishop, Joannes, also the fact that, at that period, the citizens of Cordova, Arabs, Christians, and Jews, enjoyed so high a degree of literary culture that the city was known as the New Athens. From all quarters came students eager to drink at its founts of knowledge. Among the men afterwards famous who studied at Cordova were the scholarly monk Gerbert, destined to sit on the Chair of Peter as Sylvester II (999-1003)”

    I suppose it’s possible Jews infiltrated the Catholic Encyclopedia’s editorial board.

  • Yeah, those silly martyrs didn’t know when they had it good!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

  • restrainedcatholic, the article you linked to in its entirety, shows that Catholic scholars were not among those going gaga over Cordoba. The quote does not accurately convey the thrust of the article. By the sheer dance of things, there is bound to be a period when Christians and Jews enjoyed a measure of peace living among Muslims. This by itself is not sufficient to inspire the paens to Cordoba. Where for example is the equivalent Christian city? We know that there were Christian monarchs in the Iberian peninsula who were tolerant by the standards of that era. Yet no one is concerned to inflict their saga on us.

  • sorry I should have addressed the above to restrainedradical..

  • Donald, you should substitute the phrase “female African slaves” for “martyrs” in your sarcastic remark. How’s it sound then? Answer: very disturbing.

  • Let us assume that those financing Cordoba House are sincere in their desire to present the most tolerant face of Islam possible and that harkening back to an enlightened period of the Cordoban princes is meant to be a signal of the kind of tolerance they seek in America. Let us further accept the claim that the proximity to Ground Zero is meant to give voice to moderate and modern Islam – as an answer to the kind of religious extremism that brought the towers down and the world’s economic Goliath to his knees.

    It was surely possible to be a practicing Christian or Jew in Cordoba at various points. We have fairly modern examples to suggest that a calm, judicious application of the Koran and the Hadith to the interactions between religions leads to some degree of stability and freedom of worship. However, at its very best, this isn’t anything approximating Freedom of Religion. This is because Sharia law absolutely requires Theocracy. It presumes that Islam is right on a host of human interactions that allow for no deviation. However “tolerant” of other religious teachings an Islamic state seeks to be it cannot permit deviation on critical issues such as the nature of God, the duty of man to his family and to the community, and how work is organized. In even the most tolerant of Islamic states (indeed, I would argue that this is true of ALL theocratic states and that we are concentrating on Islamic states because they are the last of this old order), no Christian can be allowed to evangelize because, at its core, tolerant Islam nonetheless requires absolute adherence to basic Koranic doctrine as expressed through the Hadith. This is to say that the Spanish Caliphates may have been “tolerant” but only so long as the other faiths knew and stayed in their place. (This shouldn’t be surprising. There was a reason for the brutality and vindictiveness of the Spanish Inquisition and I doubt it was “payback” for six centuries of Islamic FAIR treatment.)

    Bringing my point back to Cordoba House: even IF those financing the project intend to signal the kind of “tolerance” that was supposedly exhibited under Muslim rule in Cordoba, that kind of “tolerance” is nothing akin to Freedom of Religion. Further, it “feels like” building a mosque so close to the place where the American economic model of a hundred years was destroyed is a sort of “victory dance” or, at least, a shrine to thank Allah for victory. My guess is that our ancestors felt the same way about the conversion of the Basilica at Constantinople into the Blue Mosque.

    If this is not what is intended… if the Cordoba House builders are honest in their desire to forge bonds and further understanding, they have picked a damn awful way to do it. Appearances DO matter.

    One final note: please do not interpret my writing to suggest that I believe that the engines of law ought to be brought to bear to prevent the building of the mosque. Indeed, even if it were called the “Usama Bin Laden Victory Mosque” and have individual shrines to the 911 “martyrs,” I would not want the state to act in an unconstitutional way. However, I take great exception to those who suggest that protesting the building of the mosque is un-American. Nothing is more democratic than to stand up for one’s views and to speak for oneself – not expecting the government to intervene

  • G-Veg: If this is not what is intended… if the Cordoba House builders are honest in their desire to forge bonds and further understanding, they have picked a damn awful way to do it. Appearances DO matter.

    Yeah, this is pretty much how Michael Medved phrased it today on his show. Either it’s a victory dance which means it’s horrible, or it’s an extremely poor and insensitive attempt at reconciliation.

  • Should you be glad that it’s named after a place that became exclusively Catholic?

  • Wow, why didn’t I think of that? Cordoba as a backhand compliment to Ferdinand and Isabelle; tell the hardhats its alright, they must get to work. Expedite the construction.

  • Good Morning restrainedradical,

    I’m not sure I follow you because I didn’t think we were talking about what I would do if I were going to sponsor a religious community in a place that would deeply offend. For this conversation, it is enough to articulate why I am offended and how the decision to build this mosque in a place where it appears to glory in misery is inappropriate.

    I’ll range farther though to say that I understand the impulse of the victor to raise monuments – to celebrate victory in a way that visits new injury on the defeated every time they are forced to accept and contemplate their impotency. It is a basic and base impulse. I mentioned the Blue Mosque as an example but there are many others such as the obelisk at the Vatican (doubly so if Wiki is right in noting that the obelisk was the center-point of the Circus Maximus).

    Monuments are built to channel human vision such as the Smithsonian and to inspire the way the Statue of Liberty does. They are built to control the divine (Stonehenge) or to refocus culture such as St. Petersburg. Sometimes they are merely the extension of man’s feeble attempt to control what happens after death (Pyramids at Giza). Often they are build to “immortalize” conquest such as Trafalgar Square and to put a face on a particular victory such as Admiral Nelson’s monument at Trafalgar. There are a lot of reasons to put mortar to stone and not all of them are base and mean.

    It is a fair question as to why those who seek to build Cordoba House at Ground Zero choose that location. The explanation given – that they seek to put a moderate face on Islam and to answer the extremism of September 11th with the understanding and tolerance of a thoroughly modern and moderate Islam – is difficult for many people to accept. I am one of them.

    I look at the speeches of its lead spokesman, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and wonder how a man who believes that America invited the 911 attacks through its policies over the previous century can simultaneously believe that the building of a mosque on the site of those attacks would be perceived as other than a victory monument by extremists. The questions about funding further alarm me since our culture is accustomed to look with skepticism upon projects whose funding is hidden. I admit to looking with jaded eye on attempts to present the Koran and Hadith as purely religious – i.e. having no pre-requisite political, legal, and economic structure – strictures.

    Cast against this backdrop, calling the project “Cordoba House” and then withdrawing that name when confronted about its implications appears to me to be revealing. It suggests that the name choice was more illuminating about the hidden agenda of those building the center than they wished it to be.

    In many ways, the rise of Islam in the Americas presents a unique challenge to both Muslims and the broader society. Primary in the challenges is recasting the political, social, and economic structures inherent in the Koran and, particularly, in the Hadith as idealized analogies rather than divine order. Stated more simply, the Koran and the Hadith are incredibly specific as to how society as a whole, family life in particular, and the daily lives of individuals are to be organized. While it is true that the burqa and other such trappings of modern Islam are not ordained in the written word, it is fair to note that the vast majority of religious, economic, and political obligations are spelled out.

    In a modern, constitutionalist state such as the United States, there is an assumption that the duties of man to man and man to the broader society are limited by law maintained by virtually universal suffrage. The framework is set by the democratic institutions. The individual actions inside of that framework are set by our personal codes. Religion, in one sense, must accept the overall legal framework in order to be practiced freely. Stated differently, lest I be misunderstood to be saying that religion is subordinate to the State, the modern, diverse culture, the State guarantees a field of contest on which the worldviews can compete without being oppressed by organs of government. So long as those worldviews accept the framework, virtually any can operate freely (Scientology for example) without damaging the State.

    It remains to be seen whether Islam can exist within a constitutional state.

  • G-Veg, similar things can be said of Judaism yet they developed doctrines that allow them to integrate into a pluralistic society. Christianity went through a similar transformation. Even if the Bible doesn’t command certain public policies, it became conventional wisdom that, for example, heresy should be a capital offense. Freedom of conscience didn’t hold as high a place as it does today.

    I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibilities that Islam can develop doctrines that can allow them to deemphasize teachings that prevent them from integrating. There will still be fundamentalists but they may become a tiny fringe minority with no mainstream support.

    We can aid in this process by supporting the moderates within Islam who are willing to abandon the more radical teachings.

  • It remains to be seen whether Islam can exist within a constitutional state.

    Constitutional monarchy has functioned in Morocco for most the the last 50-odd years. Malaysia has always been a parliamentary state, if an illiberal one. There are several West African countries which have had elected governments for the last 20 to 35 years. The Arab world is peculiarly resistant to electoral and deliberative institutions; outside of that, it is doubtful that muslim societies are more prone to tyranny than other societies at similar levels of economic development.

    A better statement of the question is whether a muslim minority can be amicably incorporated in a society where the judiciary, the social services apparat, the educational apparat, and much of the political class considers the vernacular society of the natives something which needs to be contained and leavened, and makes use of (often rude) immigrant populations in its battles with that vernacular society.

  • Bernard Lewis in his book The Jews in Islam writes,

    “The claim to tolerance, now much heard from Muslim apologists and more especially from apologists for Islam, is also new and of alien origin. It is only very recently that some defenders of Islam have begun to assert that their society in the past accorded equal status to non-Muslims. No such claim is made by spokesmen for resurgent Islam, and historically there is no doubt that they are right. Traditional Islamic societies neither accorded such equality nor pretended that they were so doing. Indeed, in the old order, this would have been regarded not as a merit but as a dereliction of duty. How could one accord the same treatment to those who follow the true faith and those who willfully reject it? This would be a theological as well as a logical absurdity.”

  • Art Deco,

    The Arab world is peculiarly resistant to electoral and deliberative institutions.

    Isn’t there a whole history of colonial (mis)administration here that is being calmly passed over–as though we can leap from the time of the caliphate to contemporary world politics without addressing the serious harms imposed upon the middle east and northern africa by various european powers.

    Even the case of Iran (not Arab, but Muslim country) complicates the situation. We did depose their legitimately elected government and instituted a dictator in his place, as we’ve done several other times in various places.

    My point is that an awful lot of this analysis passes over modern history as though it didn’t have any effect on how Islam first encountered representative systems of government.

  • Most of the Arab world was under colonial rule by Europe for a very brief period from shortly after World War I to shortly after World War II. The pathologies that afflict the Arab world are homegrown. It is representative institutions and the Western concept of human rights which are the legacy from Europe.

    In regard to Iran it is more accurate to say that we deposed a dictator, Mossadegh, and restored the Shah. The Shah was a squalid tyrant, but he gleams as positively enlightened compared to the rulers thrown up by the Shia Revolution.

  • Isn’t there a whole history of colonial (mis)administration here that is being calmly passed over–as though we can leap from the time of the caliphate to contemporary world politics without addressing the serious harms imposed upon the middle east and northern africa by various european powers.

    Even the case of Iran (not Arab, but Muslim country) complicates the situation. We did depose their legitimately elected government and instituted a dictator in his place, as we’ve done several other times in various places.

    I keep having this argument with Maclin Horton’s troublesome blogging partner. I offer you the following inventory.

    European colonization in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia was limited to the Maghreb and to a small knock of Levantine territory (the Valley of Jezreel and a portion of the coastal plain running between Gaza and Haifa) difficult to see in an atlas of ordinary scale. In Morocco (and I believe in Tunisia as well), the French agricultural colonies were small (the total number of households being under 10,000), although a good deal of common land was enclosed and delivered to them. Demographically obtrusive colonization was found in Algeria (state supported and enforced) and in the Levant (as private and voluntary immigration financed by the Jewish National Fund, etc). I have seen some figures I do not quite trust that there was quite a bit of settlement in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica as well.

    Egypt, the Sudan, Aden, the south Arabian sheikhdoms, the Trucial sheikhdoms, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Transjordan, and Iraq were all dependencies of Britain or France for periods ranging from 14 years to 72 years. Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Syria were dependencies of France for periods ranging from 26 years to 75 years. You had a rotating population of civil servants and soldiers and a foreign resident population there for business or missionary work (e.g. the founders of the American University of Beirut). There were, however, no colonists other than the aforementioned population of farmers. Morocco’s agricultural colonies were founded around 1928 and fully liquidated by about 1971.

    You may have noticed that Indonesia has had an elected government for the last 11 years, that elected administration has been modal in South Asia since 1947, and that elected governments are (at this point in time) rather more prevalent in Tropical and Southern Africa than they have been in the Arab world at any time in the last 50 years. The encounter between Europeans and natives was a good deal more durable, intrusive, and coercive in these loci than it ever was with regard to the Arab world.

    You may have noticed the United States had scant involvement in this enterprise of collecting overseas dependencies, and none at all in the Muslim world.

    You may also have noticed that the 9/11 crew were recruited not from Algeria (which did feel the French boot rather severely), but from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Egypt was a dependency of Britain in a juridically odd arrangement from 1881 to 1922; any complaints about this are not exactly topical. Neither the Hijaz nor the Nejd (united now as ‘Saudi Arabia’) was ever a dependency of any European power. Britain and Russia established some concessionary arrangements with Persia for a period of time (1907-25) in the early 20th century, but it was never a dependency of any European power.

    The four Arab countries which have had the most extensive experience with constitutional government (Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, and Kuwait) are all over the map as regards the duration and features of their encounter with Europe.

    As for the ‘legitimately elected government’ of Iran, parliamentary executives are generally dependent on the pleasure of the head of state, most especially when they have arbitrarily prorogued the country’s legislature (as Iran’s had been in 1953). Mohammed Mossadegh was no more entitled to rule by decree and disestablish the Persian monarchy (his ambitions) than was the Shah to run a royal dictatorship, but you win some and you lose some. Now, run down the list of states in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia which were sovereign for some time during the period running from 1953 to 1978 and identify those which had some measure of competitive electoral politics and public deliberation more often than not. That is a low bar that about 2/3 of the Latin American states could have met. The list will read as follows: Morocco, Kuwait, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey, Pakistan, Libya (perhaps), and Jordan (perhaps). That would be 6 or 8 of the 25 states of the region. It is just not fertile ground for parliamentary government, and a multi-ethnic state with a literacy rate of 8% is not promising material for a durable constitutional order in any case.

    I do not care what bilge Noam Chomsky or John Prados are pushing. The machinations of the CIA are not the reason competitive electoral politics has often been a transient state of affairs here there and the next place in this world (as it was prior to the CIA’s formation in 1947). The only good example of something resembling a democratic political order iced by the CIA would be Jacobo Arbenz’ government in Guatemala in 1954. Personally, I think Arbenz bears more resemblance to Juan Domingo Peron and Salvador Allende than he does to Latin America’s authentic constitutionalists, but it is difficult to find trustworthy histories of his life and times.

  • Muslims don’t “do” persuasive argument. Never have.

    Clarification. I would like to take my second phrase back: “Never have,” which I wrote in ignorance. (Never say never, right?) It turns out that for a time, Muslim thinkers were at one time more reasonable and more at home with the use of reason. I learned that from this excellent piece interviewing Robert Reilly on his new book, the title of which is “Closing of the Muslim Mind”. It’s particularly germane to this discussion and sheds quite a bit of light on the B16/Regensberg thing as well.

    I believe my larger point stands, i.e., currently Muslims do not so much engage in apologetics as they do in a certain type of assertiveness about their beliefs, which is possibly a more useful word than aggressiveness for describing the particular tendency I wish to describe for purposes of this discussion.

63 Responses to The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy

  • My understanding is that the mosque wouldn’t be built on Ground Zero but several blocks away. Why they shouldn’t be allowed to do so is not quite clear to me.

  • Legally, they have every right to do so (build a mosque).

    As to the distance from Ground Zero, my impression was that it was only a block away if that.

    Not really sure to the distance.

  • Why we fight: We need to see that video every day until the war is won.

    BA: Clearly, you do not know the gang behind this travesty is called “The Cordova Initiative.”

    Where do you suppose they are going to get the $100,000,000 to build the blasphemy?

    Do you know what Cordova means to the jihadi?

    It recalls the Mohammedan conquest and rape of Spain for seven centuries from circa 700 to 1492.

    They don’t have a right to rub their murderous paganism in our faces. I was there both in 1993 qnd 2001. And, I knew men and women who were massacred.

    It must be nice to view 9/11 as a boring History Channel mini-series they re-run once a year in September.

    It must be to be at peace.

  • I don’t see that this is necessarily a problem — and more to the point, while I would agree with the Muslims quoted in the article Don links to that this is probably a bad idea, it would strike me as intensely un-American to deny a specific religious group permission to build a place of worship on a piece of land that they’ve bought simply because we feel sensitive about the locale.

    Also, while I think it’s important that we not deceive ourselves about the extent to which military jihad and theocracy are native to Islam, it would also be a serious mistake to consider the US to be at war with Islam as a whole or with all Muslims. To the extent to which Muslims are prepared to exist peacefully with or in the US (and most are), we should welcome that.

  • Clearly, you do not know the gang behind this travesty is called “The Cordova Initiative.”

    I’ve never heard of the Cordova Initiative. Were they somehow involved in the 9/11 attacks? Cause the video says that “they” attacked us on 9/11, and now “they” want to “celebrate” by building the mosque.

    Do you think (can any reasonable person think) that the purpose of building this mosque is to celebrate 9/11?

  • “I don’t see that this is necessarily a problem — and more to the point, while I would agree with the Muslims quoted in the article Don links to that this is probably a bad idea, it would strike me as intensely un-American to deny a specific religious group permission to build a place of worship on a piece of land that they’ve bought simply because we feel sensitive about the locale.”

    A very reasonable point, DC. Thank you!

  • Blackadder,

    No reasonable person would think this is to celebrate the 9/11 attacks. The problem is that committed Muslims aren’t reasonable, so, yes, they are erecting this to celebrate their greatest salvo in the war against the West. Religious freedom in the United State of America, is freedom to practice religions that are compatible with Judeo-Christian tradition, not necessarily of the same theology, but the same cultural principles – Islam is not.

    Darwin,

    Islam lives peacefully with Dar-Al-Harb, the House of War (the West, us) only to the extent that it is pragmatically necessary in order to gain the upper hand. When they think they can conquer, they will. It is pillar of the ‘faith’. We are commanded to go and baptize all nations in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost – we conquer with Love. They are commanded to conquer by the sword and slay all enemies, although Jews and Christians may be allowed to live as slaves.

    How do you suggest we peacefully exist with that mentality?

  • AK is correct about Dar-al-Harb.

    Muslims are instructed to lie and live among infidels until they become the majority.

    That’s at least according to Bernard Lewis and Robert Spencer, both experts on Islam and the Middle East.

  • No reasonable person would think this is to celebrate the 9/11 attacks. The problem is that committed Muslims aren’t reasonable, so, yes, they are erecting this to celebrate their greatest salvo in the war against the West.

    The guy in charge of the proposed community center is named Feisal Abdul Rauf. Here is an article by Mr. Rauf from last year arguing against prohibiting alcohol based on Sharia. Sounds like a real extremist.

  • Blackadder,

    You are employing reason as we understand it from a Christian perspective. That is not how the Muslim mind thinks.

    Muslims are commanded to employ taqiy’ya, loosely translated as concealing or guarding. Practically it means employing deceit to conquer your enemy. ‘Moderate’ Muslims are living pleasantly amongst us simply to be inside the gates to open them for the inevitable attack. Any other view is asking for our destruction.

    The only solution to the problem of Islam is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Catholics, we cannot sit back and watch as over a billion of God’s children are led into hell. We are obligated to witness to the Truth of Christ to them so that He has an opportunity to save them. Confirming them in their error is akin to desiring their eternal damnation.

  • T. Shaw,

    You should be very careful referring to all Muslims as ‘filthy animals’ – that is an error, it is rude and is probably a sin. Our problem cannot be with Muslims, they are made in the image of God also and we have to look for Christ in them. Our problem is with Islam, which is as much the enemy of the poor, enslaved Muslims as it is ours.

    Tone down the rhetoric. Our Lady loves the Muslims. Muslims also revere Our Lady. She is given the highest honor above all other women, including Mohammad’s daughter, Fatima. We pray, “Blessed art thou amongst women” in the Ave Maria. Muslims actually share that sentiment. Our Lady appeared at Fatima, which is the name of Mohammad’s daughter. She also appeared at Guadalupe from the Sparabic (that is Spanish and Arabic hybrid) Wadi Lupe, Wolf River. She also appeared to a mostly Muslim crowd in Zeitoun, Egypt (Zeitoun is the Arabic for olives, as in the Mount of). She has her eye on Muslims, she will crush Islam and bring the Muslims to her Son.

    When she appears, clothed with the Son, with a crown of twelve stars on her head, what is under her feet?

    A crescent moon. Think about that.

  • It would mean much more to the world, I believe, if Muslims would invest the one hundred million dollars in support of the global war on terrorism as a religious statement that Islam really is about peace; and as an incentive for the Arab nations of the world to do the same.

    Going to prayer isn’t proof of anything.

    The proving of prayer is in the way we live.

  • If someone feels compelled to call all muslims “filthy animals” they will do so at some other blog than American Catholic. T.Shaw, I have unapproved your comment, and for the time being you are on moderation.

  • The mosque would be 2.5 blocks from Ground Zero. It would be in the middle of the block surrounded by buildings so I doubt Ground Zero would be visible from that location.

    [I]magine being Baraheen Ashrafi, nine months pregnant with her second child. Her husband, Mohammad Chowdhury, was a waiter at Windows of the World restaurant, on the top floors of Tower One. The morning of September 11, they prayed salaat-l-fajr (the pre-dawn prayer) together, and he went off to work. She never saw him again. Their son, Farqad, was born 48 hours after the attacks — one of the first 9/11 orphans to be born.

    http://islam.about.com/blvictims.htm

    Anyone opposed to the building of the mosque should be able to tell Baraheen Ashrafi that she should not be allowed to worship so close to Ground Zero.

  • And anyone in favor of building the mosque so close to ground zero should explain to Debra Burlingame why this is a good idea:

    “Outraged family members and community groups are accusing a Muslim group of trying to rewrite history with its plans to build a 13-story mosque and cultural center just two blocks from Ground Zero, where Islamic extremists flew two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

    “This is a place which is 600 feet from where almost 3,000 people were torn to pieces by Islamic extremists,” said Debra Burlingame, whose brother died in the attack on the Pentagon that day.

    “I think that it is incredibly insensitive and audacious really for them to build a mosque, not only on that site, but to do it specifically so that they could be in proximity to where that atrocity happened,” said Burlingame, who is co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/14/plan-build-mosque-near-ground-zero-riles-families-victims/

    This is America, so assuming the building permits are issued, the mosque will be built, and the promoters of this project have every constitutional right to do so. However, that is not the end of this inquiry. To overlook the role that Islam played in the attacks on 9-11 is to be historically blind. Are all Muslims to blame for the attack? Of course not. Does Islam have a very long history of justifying such actions as part of conflicts with non-Muslims? Of course. This pours salt on a very raw wound, and the backers of this project are playing with fire. Having a right to do something does not make that action smart, moral or proper.

  • Until I am no longer considered dirt by Islam – ie, until I can travel freely and worship freely in Mecca as a Catholic – then Moslems can go jump in a lake as far as I’m concerned in such matters. They get to build their Mosque at Ground Zero when we can build a Church in Mecca.

  • I’ve been told that we can built a church in Mecca when they can build a mosque in Vatican City.

    Don, we should be required to prove that our chosen location for a church is a “good idea”? The burden is on the opponents to show that it’s a bad idea. Why is it insensitive to build a mosque near Ground Zero? That might make sense if the mosque was to preach that 9/11 was good but there is no indication that that’s the case.

    There’s nothing immoral about it. Saying it’s not smart or proper sounds an awful lot like the criticisms leveled against the Holy Father when he spoke about Islam. “It wasn’t wrong but it was unwise and improper.” Maybe the criticism should be directed at the irrationally oversensitive.

  • To the extent to which Muslims are prepared to exist peacefully with or in the US, we should welcome that.

  • MAGISTERIUM SAYS EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE A VISIBLE MEMBER OF THE CHURCH FOR SALVATION, EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

    Catholic blogs and websites are still not willing to discuss extra ecclesiam nulla salus and they just accept a secular media interpretation of a Catholic ex cathedr dogma. This has an important bearing on our understanding and relationship with Islam.

    The following is from the blog eucharistandmission
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2010/07/apologist-simon-rafe-in-real-catholic.html#links
    ____________________________________________________

    July 15,2010
    APOLOGIST SIMON RAFE IN REAL CATHOLIC DIFFICULTY : MAGISTERIUM SAYS EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE A VISIBLE MEMBER OF THE CHURCH FOR SALVATION, EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

    Apologist Simon Rafe says :

    The teaching of the Church is that a person CAN be saved if they are not a visible member of the Church.
    Lionel: Yes. True. This is not being denied.

    To deny this is to cease to give full acceptance to the Church.
    Lionel: It is not being denied.

    Non-Catholics can be saved, DESPITE their failure to be a visible member of the Church. This is the teaching of the Church.
    Lionel: This is not the official teaching of the Church. This is a popular interpretation.

    I would say everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to be saved and there are no known exceptions. If a person was saved without being a visible member of the Catholic Church it would be known to God only, we cannot know any such case.

    It’s a real Catholic difficulty these days, with the new doctrine, which goes like this: everybody needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation except for those in invincible ignorance, the baptism of desire or a good conscience.

    When people say that everybody needs to enter the Catholic Church except for those in invincible ignorance, with the baptism of desire and a good conscience it could be right or wrong depending on the interpretation.

    1. It is WRONG if they mean that every one does not need to become a visible member of the church. Then this is a new doctrine and contrary to the Deposit of the Faith.

    2. It is RIGHT if they mean every one does have to become a visible member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell and if there is anyone with the Baptism of Desire, genuine invincible ignorance and a good conscience it will be known only to God.

    (Note: Above I affirm the Baptism of Desire, invincible ignorance and a good conscience and I also affirm the dogma that everybody needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell.)

    The dogma says everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church.

    ‘…it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 302.). Ex Cathedra

    ‘…none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation…

    No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” – (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex Cathedra
    The dogma does not contradict other Church Documents regarding the Baptism of Desire.

    Simon Rafe’s problem is one being faced by many Catholics, including those who have orthodox Catholic beliefs.Some Catholics are describing the situation as ‘a mystery’.So Rafe is only repeating the problem as other Catholics face it i.e everyone needs to be a visible member of the church and everyone does not need to be a visible member of the Church.

    Catholics in erroe interpret the Catechism and the Vatican Council II according to the Jewish Left media and believe there is no other interpretation. Simon Rafe and others needs to interpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church,Vatican Council II and the Letter of the Holy Office 1949, in line with the ex cathedra dogma which says everyone needs to be a visible member of the catholic Church and there are no exceptions. Simon agrees everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church for salvation but when I ask him of Lumen Gentium 16 contradicts this teaching of the dogma he does not answer.

    The Magisterium of the Church cannot reject an ex cathedra dogma.
    So interpret all Church documents according to extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Catholic Church documents say everyone needs to be a visible member of the Church to avoid Hell and there is no Church document issued to refute it.

    1. For instance we can misinterpret the Letter of the Holy Office 1949.

    In order for someone to be saved, it explained, “it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church as an actual member, but it is necessary at least to be united to her by desire and longing.”-Letter of the Holy Office 1949. The same message is there in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    True however this (not receiving the Baptism of water as an adult and being saved) is only known to God. It is not as real as the Baptism of Water. So it was wrong to suggest that everyone does not have to be a visible member of the Church, as if the Baptism of Desire is explicit and visible by nature. So this is a distorted interpretation of the Letter of the Holy Office using the Cushing Doctrine. It is heresy. It is clear ‘double speak’. Discerning Catholics consider this new doctrine a hoax, the equivalent of the fabled Emperors New Clothes. Liberals call it a developed doctrine.

    Through his books Fr. Hans Kung uses the Cushing Doctrine, suggesting Lumen Gentium 16 refers to explicit and not implicit salvation, to question the infallibility of the pope ex cathedra. He maintains the Kung Deception that the Church has retracted extra ecclesiam nulla salus after Vatican Council II.

    Without the Cushing Doctrine, one could say: For salvation everyone needs to be a visible (explicit) member of the Catholic Church with no exception and if there is anyone with the Baptism of Desire or who is in invincible ignorance it will be known to God only.

    If this point in the Letter is ministerpreted one could also misinterpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the Church alone saves from the flood like Noah’s Ark and so everyone needs to enter the Ark to be saved. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    N.845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.-Catechism of the Catholic Church n.845
    Here we have an interpretation of the Catechism affirming the dogma.

    3.”Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.-Catechism of the Catholic Church 846
    CCC 846,847 like Lumen Gentium 16 refer to implicit salvation, those saved ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).They are known to God only.

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.-Catechism of the Catholic Church,N.847

    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church,N.848
    Those saved implicitly (CCC 847,848) for us, they are just a concept, something hypothetical, a possibility. It is not explicit. Since it is not explicit it does not contradict CCC845, 836.It does not contradict Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14 and the infallible teaching outside the church there is no salvation.

    CCC836 which says all people need to enter the Catholic Church include all Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church, Jesus’ Mystical Body.
    If CCC 846,847(invincible ignorance etc) referred to explicit salvation, it would be irrational. Since we cannot judge who has a baptism of desire or is in genuine invincible ignorance.It would also mean that the Catechism, which is the ordinary Magisterium of the Church, is correcting and contradicting an ex cathedra teaching. So it would be a rejection of the dogma on the infallibility of the pope.It would mean CCC 846,847 (implicit invincible ignorance etc) is a new Christian doctrine or Christian Revelation.
    Yet this teaching was not mentioned for the first time in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or Vatican Council II (Lumen Gentium16).It was referred to in the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 to the Archbishop of Boston, Richard Cushing. The popes over the centuries always considered those saved by implicit faith as, implicit. Hence the ex cathedra teaching said everyone with no exception needs explicit faith (the baptism of water and Catholic Faith).
    So 846,847 do not refer to explicit salvation. Otherwise it would be irrational, illogical and contrary to the Magisterium of the past and present.
    The Catholic Church is saying everybody needs to be a visible member of the Church to avoid Hell.Those who are aware of Jesus and the Church and yet do not enter are on the way to Hell, definitely.
    CCC is also saying that all non-Catholics in general need to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell. All. If there is anyone among them with the baptism of desire, invincible ignorance etc (implicit faith) it will be known to God only. We cannot judge.
    De facto everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation.
    De jure there could be the probability, known only to God, of someone ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) being saved with implicit faith. God will provide all the helps in the manner known to Him only; it could include explicit faith (the baptism of water).So if someone says the Catechism says that they can be saved who are in invincible ignorance etc, the answer is: ‘Yes, as a concept only. In principle.’ De facto everyone explicitly needs to be a Catholic to go to Heaven is the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.(CCC 845).Simon Rafe needs to clarify this point.

    “For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament” (CCC 1259).
    In other words everyone needs to de facto be a ‘card carrying member’ of the Catholic Church, everyone needs to have his name on a Parish Register. All who are in Heaven, people of different countries, cultures and times, are Catholics, the chosen people of God, the Elect, the people of the New Covenant. I think Simon Rafe and Michael Vorris would agree here. They recently produced a video on ONLY CATHOLICS IN HEAVEN! ( http://www.youtube.com/user/RealCatholicTV#p/a/u/0/2Dcfj0PU_JQ ) . It is highly recommended.( I try not to miss Michael Vorris’ videos)

    4.In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the sub title‘Outside the Church there is no salvation’ has been placed over N.846.It should really be above number 845.

    The ex cathedra dogma says everyone needs to explicitly enter the Church for salvation. It is in agreement with n.845

    N.845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church….(quoted above in full )
    Here is the ex cathedra dogma:

    1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215). Ex cathedra.

    2.“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.).Ex cathedra.

    3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex cathedra
    – from the website Catholicism.org and “No Salvation outside the Church”: Link List, the Three Dogmatic Statements Regarding EENS http://nosalvationoutsideofthecatholicchurch.blogspot.com/
    It says everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.

    So CCC 847,848 must be interpreted as referring to implicit salvation, in ’certain circumstances’ and unknown to us, otherwise it would contradict the infallible teaching.

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.-Catechism of the Catholic Church
    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church
    CCC 847, 848 do not refer to explicit salvation and so do not contradict the dogma. There is no de facto baptism of desire that we can know of. There is no explicit Baptism of desire that we can know of. While implicit Baptism of Desire is only a concept for us. Since it is known only to God.

    So if asked if everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation the answer is YES.

    5. Everyone explicitly needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation and those who have the baptism of desire or are invincible ignorance would be known only to God.

    All men are certainly called to this Catholic unity. The Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ and all mankind belong to or are ordered to Catholic unity.-CCC 836

    Here again we have an affirmation of the ex cathedra dogma and the word all is used as in Ad Gentes 7.

    6.

    How do we understand this saying from the Church Fathers? All salvation comes from Christ through his Body, the Church which is necessary for salvation because Christ is present in his Church…-CCC846
    Here the Catechism places de jure and defacto salvation together. It does not conflict with the ex cathedra teaching that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Catholic Church .We cannot personally know any cases of a genuine invincible ignorance, baptism of desire or a good conscience.

    7.

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848
    Those who are in invincible ignorance can be saved -and this does not conflict with the ex cathedra dogma that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church to avoid Hell. It is a conceptual, de jure understanding.

    8. CCC 1257 The Necessity of Baptism

    CCC 1257 affirms the dogma when it says that the Church knows of no means to eternal beatitude other than the baptism of water. This is a reference to explicit salvation for all with no known exceptions.

    CCC 1257 also says that for salvation God is not restricted to the Sacraments. This must not be interpreted as opposing the dogma or the earlier part of CCC 1257. This is a possibility, ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) and we cannot judge any specific cases. Th Baptism of Desire is never explicit for us humans.
    I repeat the Church refers to the ordinary means of salvation (Redemptoris Missio 5. The word ordinary is used in RM 55).

    In Dominus Iesus the words de jure and de facto are used in the Introduction.

    In CCC 1257 we have the baptism of water as the ordinary means of salvation for all people with no exception.

    In CCC 1257 we also have those saved with implicit faith (invincible ignorance,BOD etc) as the extraordinary means of salvation.(‘God is not limited to the Sacraments’).

    VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM

    1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.59 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.60 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.61 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. -Catechism of the Catholic Church 1257

    The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 while affirming the dogma and the need for everyone to be a visible member of the Church to go to Heaven with no exceptions- also says that ‘in certain circumstances’ a person can be saved with implicit faith, if God wills it.

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848

    St.Thomas Aquinas says God will ‘provide the helps necessary for salvation’ by sending a person to baptize the one needing help in this extraordinary situation OR telling the person what he needs to do.

    Here we are in a conceptual area, open to theories since this is the nature of the baptism of desire etc which cannot be explicitly known to us humans.
    St.Thomas Aquinas also said that everyone with no exception needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church for salvation. De facto everyone needs to enter. De jure there could be the man in the forest for St.Thomas Aquinas. He did not have a problem with de facto and de jure.

    On the Saint Benedict Centre website, the community founded by Fr.Leonard Feeney in New Hampshire,USA it is written, that Fr.Leonard Feeney knew that his view on the Baptism of Desire was only an opinion.
    Finally everyone’s view on the Baptism of Desire is ONLY AN OPINION. De jure. This is seen clearly in CCC 1257.
    It reminds one of Jesus’ saying that ‘he who does not collect with me disperses’ and ‘those who are not against us are for us.’

    9.When it is said that only those who know about the Catholic Church need to enter to avoid Hell (Ad Gentes 7) we can mistake this to mean only this category of people are on the way to Hell. Instead we know that all non Catholics are on the way to Hell with no exception ( ex cathedra dogma) and if there is any one among them who is in invincible ignorance etc it will be known only to God.

    Those who are in invincible ignorance can be saved-and this does not conflict with the ex cathedra dogma that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church to avoid Hell. It is a conceptual, de jure understanding.

    So the Catechism is not asking us to reject the notion that one can be saved without the Sacraments according to the ordinary way of salvation. (Redemptoris Missio 55).If one says it does it is a misinterpretation of the Catechism.

    Where it refers to being saved without the Sacraments it is referring to that exceptional case, which in ‘certain circumstances'(Letter of the Holy Office 1949) are known only to God. We do not even know if there has been any case of the Baptism of desire during our lifetime.

    A.Practically speaking everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church to go to Heaven.

    B.Theoretically (de jure, in principle) a person can be saved through implicit faith (if God wills it) even without the Baptism of water.This is the official teaching of the Church.

    B is in accord with the Catechism which mentions the Baptism of water as a concept (it cannot be anything else other than a concept)

    B is in accord with Fr.Leonard Feeney who mentioned the Baptism of Desire (catechumen).It was a concept in his mind (something dejure).

    B is in accord with the website of the Saint Benedict Centre,one of Fr.Leonard Feeney’s communities, which defines the Baptism of Desire. A definition is a concept.

    So when Simon Rafe says in his e-mail to me that ‘Non-Catholics can be saved, DESPITE their failure to be a visible member of the Church. This is the teaching of the Church.’ it is true ( de jure, in principle). However de facto everybody with no exception needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church, Jesus’s Mystical Body to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.

    -Lionel Andrades

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Simon Rafe

    Simon Rafe is a former undergraduate in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at Sheffield University, England. An immigrant to the United States, he is an adult convert to Catholicism, formerly being what he describes as a “militant atheist”. Simon has been heavily involved in the Internet for over a decade, working as a webmaster and performing web design for several companies in the UK. He is well-versed in the ethos of the “New Evangelization”, having both found his wife and come to know Christ and the Catholic Church thanks to the Internet. He is the author of the book “Where Did The Bible Come From?” and consultant-author for the Saint Michael’s Basic Training series.

    ——————————————————————————–

  • [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dcfj0PU_JQ&hl=it_IT&fs=1]

  • How about we celebrate America’s Christian heritage with a church instead?

  • “Don, we should be required to prove that our chosen location for a church is a “good idea”?”

    Well, yes, actually restrainedradical, if a group of Catholic fanactics, to the strains of Ave Maria, had crashed two airliners into the twin towers and then less then a decade later Catholics wanted to build a grand Cathedral two blocks from the site.

    Of course the comparison breaks down in that I find it hard to imagine any priest, let alone a bishop, who would support such a terrorist act by Catholics, no matter the motivation. Plenty of imams, in this country and abroad, have given at least tacit approval to what was done on 9-11.

  • I’ve been told that we can built a church in Mecca when they can build a mosque in Vatican City.

    The Vatican is a 109 acre site occupied by antique buildings with complimentary plazas and gardens. The City of Mecca extends, per some accounts, over an area of 330 sq miles, and, like any city, makes additions to its stock of buildings each year.

  • How about we celebrate America’s Christian heritage with a church instead?

    I believe there already is a church equally close by to Ground Zero.

  • Blackadder,

    You are employing reason as we understand it from a Christian perspective. That is not how the Muslim mind thinks.

    Muslims are commanded to employ taqiy’ya, loosely translated as concealing or guarding. Practically it means employing deceit to conquer your enemy. ‘Moderate’ Muslims are living pleasantly amongst us simply to be inside the gates to open them for the inevitable attack. Any other view is asking for our destruction.

    Well, gee, if that’s the case how do I know that you aren’t secretly a muslim practicing taqiy’ya?

  • “Well, gee, if that’s the case how do I know that you aren’t secretly a muslim practicing taqiy’ya?”

    Or you BA? Paranoia, it’s not just a game! 🙂

  • “I believe there already is a church equally close by to Ground Zero.”

    Is there a synagogue? How about a Hindu shrine?

  • Allowing the building of this or any other Mosque shows our commitment to religious freedom. Not allowing it “to happen” gives the impression that we don’t take freedom of the religion seriously or that we take it seriously for us but not for them.

  • “Allowing the building of this or any other Mosque shows our commitment to religious freedom.”

    To whom? And to what end? Call it a hunch, but I think the Muslims worldwide who think America got what it deserved on 9/11 won’t react to a 13-story mosque at ground zero with heartfelt gratitude and a new appreciation for Western tolerance, but rather as unmistakable (and further) evidence that Western society is a paper tiger, an apple ripe for the plucking.

    I’m all for religious freedom, but we don’t need to symbolically bend over and clutch our ankles to show our commitment to it.

    We’d do better to show our commitment to religious freedom by, say, standing up and fighting for our own religious values such as the rights of the unborn and the integrity of marriage. Simply preventing the construction of a mosque at ground zero isn’t enough to impress upon anyone that we do in fact take our own religious liberties seriously.

  • “Not allowing it “to happen” gives the impression that we don’t take freedom of the religion seriously or that we take it seriously for us but not for them.”

    If the “Cordoba Initiative”, a name that bespeaks gross ignorance of what Muslim Andalus was actually like, obtains the necessary permits they have every right to construct the mosque, just like the wackos of the Westboro Baptist “church” have the right to protest at the funerals of servicemen. Whether a right should be exercised in a particular case is completely separate from whether a legal right exists.

  • I’m happy for you all. You seem to be able to see ‘it’ – September 11/the Pentagon/World Trade Center – as the plot for boring History Channel specials they rerun every September.

    I know: I need to get over it!

    Well, at the least $100 million (from wherever they obtained it) won’t be used to arm, supply, and train mass murderers. Thank God for small mercies.

    I will join the widows, widowers, mothers, fathers, orphans of the 3,000 victims in whatever they deem approriate.

    Anyhow, there appears to be an amount of ignorance around here.

    Pull your heads out of the sand. The religious war that is now raging around you is far bigger than you know.

  • Yes, T. Shaw. We get it. Only you are seriously passionate about the threat of Islamic terrorism. Those of us who think that calling all Muslims filthy animals is beneath contempt must obviously have our heads in the sand.

    The sad thing is that there is a little bit too much naivety about the threat of Islamism – whether it be expressed here or in the wilder world. Yet there are those who seem to think that anything less than 100 percent, undiluted, RAGE AND HATRED ARGHHHHHH!!!!! is unacceptable. Shouting at the skies might be amusing for a while, but at some point it’s time to grow up. Raging at the world isn’t going to solve problems. I’m not saying we should stifle our passions or walk around like robots, but you’ve gotta channel some of that to more constructive purposes.

  • Is there a synagogue? How about a Hindu shrine?

    I have no idea. And, more importantly, who cares?

  • The enemy lies amongst us. They will continue to out breed us until the day they rise up to take control. It’s not too many years away before they’ll be able to vote whom ever they wish to the highest political seats in our nation.

    “America…it was fun while it lasted”!!!

  • Pat and everyone else,

    America is not Europe.

    What is occurring in Europe will not occur in America because we integrate our immigrants into society. We don’t make entire new neighborhoods for them to reside in as Europe does.

    Granted blue states like California and New York will not integrate their immigrants like the rest of the country, but I guess it is a problem they will need to deal with in the future.

  • We let them build it, not because we’ve forgotten 9/11 or because we think it’ll win world support for us. We let them build it because we’re America, and if we stop them then we’re liars.

    The whole point of this blog is to approach issues from an American Catholic perspective. The implication is that it’s possible to be both American and Catholic. The day we ignore the Constitutional protection of religion in the name of our Faith is the day we cease to be American Catholics.

  • They are commanded to conquer by the sword and slay all enemies, although Jews and Christians may be allowed to live as slaves.

    How do you suggest we peacefully exist with that mentality?

    Because not all of them share that mentality. There is nothing wrong with working with the more “Piskyized” versions of Muslims.

  • Tito –

    I’m not talking about immigrants. These will be American born Muslims, that worship Islam. They will/are out breeding everyone around the world. Like I said, they will be able to take control of the House of Reps., the Senate & ultimately the Presidency of the U.S. just based off the sheer numbers they’re producing.

    “America…it was fun while it lasted”!

  • Blackadder,

    If I am concealing my true intentions because I am a Muslim, then it appears that my secret plot is to NOT build the Mosque at Ground Zero and I am promoting the conversion of Muslims to the Catholic Faith through the intercession of the Blessed Mother of God.

    By their fruits ye shall know them. 😉

    Pinky,

    Religious freedom is limited to authentic religious practices. Satanists desire to sacrifice virgins to Lucifer – do you think we should let them kill virgins in the interest of religious tolerance? How about Rastafarians, should we allow the use of an illegal (well at least still somewhat) mind-altering drug in their practices?

    The attack we endured on 9/11 was perpetuated by Muslim terrorists. Not by terrorists who happen to be Muslim; rather it was their ‘religious’ ideology that inspired them to kill and destroy. At best, erecting a Mosque so close to Ground Zero is in bad taste and it is more likely a beachhead for the battle against the unfaithful infidels who must be subjugated or destroyed (in case you are wondering that is everyone who does not subscribe to the Islamist ideology of the particular terrorist group that committed the heinous attacks, and includes Muslims who tolerate the ways of the West).

    Your opinion, kindly civil sentiment as it is, is grossly naive.

  • AK – In what context to you mean “authentic religious practices”, theological or civil? False religions have no rights in themselves, but they have rights accorded them by human freedom. That’s what a theologian would say, I think.

    As a civil matter, religion isn’t an excuse to break the law. If we had reason to believe that this particular mosque was being used to commit or encourage criminal activity, we’d be right to investigate it and arrest those involved. If you’re worried that they’re hiding something, we can keep an eye on them. But we can’t forbid them from building on the grounds that they’re Muslim. At least not under the current interpretation of our Constitution.

  • Tito Edwards, yes New York will pay soon enough for failing to integrate the Irish, Jews, Italians, and Chinese.

    Fact is we’re never had a problem with people retaining foreign cultures as long as they retain or adopt a common set of core values. There is nothing to indicate that the Muslims who will worship at the mosque do not share our values. In fact, their values are probably closer to conservative Southern values than liberal NYC values. If you talk to Muslim cabbies in NYC (who will probably make up a large portion of the mosque’s congregants), they sound like conservative Southerners with the exceptions of their views on immigration and Israel. I even met one who thought Bush would be remembered as one of America’s greatest presidents for taking down Saddam. Another Muslim cabbie expressed his disgust that an Episcopal church we were passing by was converted into a club. These are hardly the people who are subverting our way of life.

  • RR,

    I’m referring to the “multi-cultural” programs that purposely segregate and demonize “whitey” that is taught in the schools in New York and California.

    I am not familiar with the sample pool of NYC cab drivers and their political leanings.

    Though I know Tijuana taxi drivers and they have a pretty good right hook.

  • RR,

    As a Coptic friend of mine once told me, “Your problem is you think like a Westerner.” Her portrait of living under (and I do mean under) Islam is not flattering. Her experience is probably more informative than a few cab rides in NYC.

  • Way too much education wasted here. Our sense of right and wrong, enshrined in our legal system, will guarantee that when the permits clear, Islam will have it’s Al Aqsa Mosque casting a triumphalist shadow over (or very near) the place of execution of thousands of (mostly) infidels.

    That said, there is no way to turn their intent to erect this hellish monument into anything less triumphalist, even malicious, than Catholic-in-good-standing Nancy Pelosi’s provocative march of the Democrats through those gathered in DC to protest against the passage of the ObamabortionCare bill.

    Our sense of right and wrong will cause us to stand by with our hands in our pockets while those who wish us ill lay the legal, financial, and political groundworks from which they will ultimately bring us into dhimmitude.

  • j. christian, I didn’t know we were talking about Islam in Egypt. I had thought we were talking about Muslims in NYC.

  • And I thought we were talking about Islam, not Muslims.

  • This is not about individual opinions, but demographic changes.

    You meet Muslims who are sympathetic to Christianity when it is attacked by secularism – and you meet Muslims who are allied with leftist radicals against all things Western.

    Today, its sensitivity programs and recognition of holidays. That’s where it starts. Tomorrow, towns with significant Muslim populations start wondering why they can’t have sharia courts for family disputes. The flow of Muslim immigration to the US isn’t like what it is in Europe so we may have a while yet before such things occur. But we may as well take measures against it now – like, perhaps, state laws forever barring the establishment of separate sharia courts. I know people will say our first amendment prevents it. Lawyers will always find a a way to justify anything. What we don’t want in the future must clearly be spelled out now, before some bottom-feeder hoodwinks a judge or jury and establishes a dangerous precedent.

    That’s why I care, Blackadder. Jews and Hindus don’t have a mandate to convert the world by any means necessary. Muslims do. Christians also have a mandate to spread the Gospel throughout the world, but many Muslim states punish both proselytization and conversion from Islam with death.

    I really don’t hate Muslims. I respect them on many levels. But I don’t want their values replacing ours. We don’t have to become hateful savages in our dealings with them, but we need to at least match their level of determination to see their own religion and world view triumph.

  • I don’t think we assimilate like we used to. Even 30 years ago, it was assumed that the first generation would figure out English the best they could, and the second generation would be raised American (even if the family remained in an ethnic neighborhood). These days, we reinforce the “manyness” of the immigrant rather than promote the “oneness” of America. If we don’t stop that, we can’t handle any immigration at all without falling apart. If we return to the idea of assimilation, we can handle a slow influx of any culture.

  • Pinky, know many 2nd generation Americans who can’t speak English? I don’t that’s been an issue since French immigration to New England 100 years ago. Immigrants probably assimilate faster today than ever before.

  • It’s my understanding that there was a much smaller mosque, near the twin towers, and that it was damaged when the airplanes hit. Rebuild the mosque to what it once was, there is nothing wrong with that, but to build a new, much, much larger mega mosque is a slap in the face to those who lost loved ones on 9/11. As someone above said, how would muslims like it if a Cathedral was built at Mecca?

  • Pinky,

    There are a few problems with your line of thinking.

    First, there have only been two authentic religious practices – those of the Hebrews prior to the Incarnation and those of the Catholic Church since. That being said, we are not a Catholic nation; however, we are Christian.

    To be clear in our Christian nation we allow religious freedom, originally that meant that as a matter of culture we allow the different denominations of Christians to practice their own faith – it also meant that we would allow guests to practice what they desire; however guests are not invited to change the fundamental principles of our culture including religious life.

    Something as fundamental to the make-up, the constitution, of each and every one of us as religion is, cannot be multi-cultural. We have to genuinely agree on some basic truths of conduct. The only rules of conduct that are compatible with authentic human freedom are those of mere Christianity (to quote C.S. Lewis). Muslims who practice within the confines of Christian culture are welcome. Yet Christians are barely permitted to be Christians in a Muslim state.

    It is a terrible error to apply Western Christian thought about human dignity, religious freedom, human rights, etc. to the Muslim view. Islam is a conquering religion, at any cost. It is imperial, it is unbridled human passion without the restraints of reason. Do most Muslims practice their religion that way? No. But that doesn’t change what Islam is. Many Muslims do adhere to the jihad between Dar-Al-Islam (the House of Peace) and Dar-Al-Harb (the House of War). You cannot take that lightly. If you do, it is to your own peril. We are commanded to love our enemies, which means we should want them to be saved by the Precious Blood of Christ – without compulsion. But, it does not mean we tolerate their blasphemies, errors, heresies and aggression.

    Furthermore, the civil law is only valid when it is built upon the rock that is God’s Law. What are you going to do when the Catholic Church is declared illegal because she discriminates against women by not ordaining them as priests, or, engages in ‘hate speech’ for her views on homosexualism?

    Most Catholics throughout the world, including China and ALL Muslim controlled lands, practice their faith in secret because to be Catholic is illegal.

    There is no such thing as the CURRENT interpretation of the Constitution – there is only the original intent of the Constitution, properly amended. The false idea that it is to be perpetually and continuously interpreted is a liberal idea to undermine the very term constitution.

    Patrick Henry said it clearly, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship.” (Now there is some dispute as to whether or not he actually said that, or if it was added to one of his letters in 1956 – nevertheless, the sentiment is valid.)

    We can accept certain Muslims into the United States; however, those would be either guests, tourist or laborers who are invited by the employer for a temporary stay and that has to be enforced strictly. Muslims that want to come here to live, would need to choose to live in a Christian culture, which is essentially to no longer desire to be Muslim.

    I agree with your point about assimilation. We are a nation of many elasticities, but we are of one culture – the American culture and authentic American culture is Christian in character and quite compatible and welcoming to Catholics. Of course, we should all remember, sadly many don’t, that we are to uncoercively change the culture toward the one true Catholic faith without being changed by the culture.

  • AK – You raised a lot of issues, but since we disagree on a lot of things, let’s take them one at a time.

    You said that religious freedom is limited to authentic religious practices, and that there is only one such practice at this point in history. But that’s not the same thing as banning the practice of other religions. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines three types of religious toleration: dogmatic, civil, and political. The practice of dogmatic toleration of error is an affront to truth, but civil and political toleration of error are obligations. That’s why I was making the distinction between our obligation as Americans and as Catholics.

    The Summa calls religion a natural virtue, not a supernatural one. I take that to mean that the practice of any religion, even in error, contains an element of virtue. Jacques Maritain says that with respect to God and truth each of us is obligated to follow the true religion, but “with respect to the State, to the temporal community and to the temporal power, he is free to choose his religious path at his own risk; his freedom of conscience is a natural, inviolable right”.

  • Pinky,

    We are Catholics first and from the dogmatic perspective we have to be intolerant. The Spirit of the World stands against God and we are always to seek His Kingdom first. On this I know we agree.

    As for being Americans, well then we have to be vigilant to protect the fragile nature of a free society. Although the natural virtue of religion is admirable in all, after all it is innately human to seek Truth and that is what the virtue of religion is, it is not admirable to twist the virtue into an orientation for anything else. Religion is the justice due to God. For an American to have freedom of religion necessarily means a religion based on truth, not necessarily God’s revealed Truth, but the natural truth that we can know by reason.

    The religion of the atheists can be practiced by good people. If their intellect is acute enough and can see the world as it is, then an atheist can have some sense of morality. They won’t admit it, but that morality would necessarily have Christian elements, although not fullness of truth – that is what Western tradition is all about. Mormons too. They do NOT believe in God as we do, and the ‘revelation’ they received from the mind of Joseph Smith is full of error. Yet, being an American invention, their religion is replete with authentic Christian morals, which is why most Mormons are good people and fully compatible with life in America – religious heresies excepted.

    Islam is like Mormonism in many ways. It was ‘revealed’ to a mentally unstable man by and ‘angel’ and is a horrible heresy. Islam is very different than Mormonism in that Islam demands the conquest of the world by the power of force, terror, fear, plunder, deceit and unbridled human passion. This is incompatible with life in America, with our civic institutions, with our way of life. It cannot coexist in the same culture as anything other than Islam. It is not to be tolerated because it is a dangerous political movement and even the most benign Muslim will eventually face the choice of renouncing their faith (which is a death sentence) or becoming a jihadi. Mohammad left no other option.

    To be ‘tolerant’ of Islam within our country is to tempt God to unleash hell upon us. Perhaps that is what He has in mind. I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be the first time He uses Islam to chastise the children of His one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

    As for freedom of conscience as an inviolable right, I do agree; however, keep in mind that when we commit a mortal sin we may be damning ourselves, but we also bring down the whole Church and when we repent all the angels and saints in Heaven rejoice. We do not sin alone, so while we must have freedom of conscience, after all God gave us a free will, we cannot be absolved of the responsibility our individual sins have on others. The sins of Islam have direct temporal and eternal damage attached. Islam calls for the subjugation of all people of the Book and the wholesale genocidal slaughter of ALL others. That means that Islam desires the murder of 60% of the people, 3 billion souls! And the slavery of another billion. Those numbers may be right out of the Book of the Apocalypse and we are to hasten the Lord’s Parousia, but we are not to desire the tribulation that precedes the Return of the King. Islam thrives on violence, discord, domination, rape, theft, plunder, murder and chaos. To let that blasphemy take hold within our borders is suicide. For Muslims, suicide is salvation; for us it is an unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit.

    We are at war!

    Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio.

  • It’s not a matter of being “Catholics first”, AK. Obviously, we’re all Catholics first. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be Catholics at all. Given that fact, the question isn’t whether we choose to be dogmatically intolerant, civilly tolearant, or politically tolerant. The question is how do we do all three at once.

    I’m no fan of sharia, believe me, and I’m not gullible. I understand the dangers of Islam. But America isn’t at war with a religion.

  • Pinky,

    I try to state the obvious when I post because people who aren’t in the dialogue will read it and perhaps some of them aren’t Catholics or at least poorly catechized Catholics.

    We are not at war with a religion, but we are at war with a violent, dangerous, anti-intellectual (reason), anti-brotherhood (love), anti-Christian political ideology masquerading as a religion. To think we are not is to give in to defeat – in this matter we cannot concede. Our primary battle is within ourselves, but in order to win souls for Christ – our primary mission, we cannot allow an environment that is dangerous to both those outside of Islam as well as those mired in it to grow. Will we win? Ultimately – yes; however, we must remember that our part is in the effort – the victory belongs to God alone. Islam is not to be tolerated.

  • It’s not a Ground Zero mosque… it’s a few blocks away… and if you’ve ever been to NYC, you’d know that a few blocks is a huge distance in such a highly densely populated area. And the Imam heading the project has had his own Sufi-based (y’know…the tolerant, love-all type Muslims) in Tribeca since 1990 (Masjid Al-Farah)… roughly 12 blocks from Ground Zero. Masjid Al-Farah, where he’s given the Friday prayer service for over 20 years is the antithesis to fundamentalist Islam. It’s a seat of the Jerrahi Sufis…lead by two female Shaykhas. Heck, they’ve even had same sex couple blessings there and female-led prayers. Imam Rauf was chosen by the FBI to lead sensitivity training following 9/11 and has been involved in Interfaith issues for years. He’s very well-respected among the NYC Interfaith crowd.

    It’s not the same as building a Church in Mecca… nor is it the same as building a mosque in Vatican City (which would be similar). Although you may not know this, people like Imam Rauf are hated by Islamic Extremists far more than non-Muslims. They are viewed to be the kafirs…not Christians and Jews who are viewed as People of the Book. Sufis, liberal/tolerant Muslims are much more enemies of Bin Laden types than you and I. There would be nothing that would bother the Wahabis more than having a Sufi affiliated, Multifaith Islamic Center representing Islam. I say thumbs up. And opposing this mosque, goes against our Constitution. I’d much rather show what true religious freedom is about than unfairly target Muslims–especially those like Imam Rauf.

  • karla,

    You may not have slogged through all the posts, but it is probably worth the time if you have interest in the subject.

    Islam, even Islam as understood by the ‘nice’ Muslims, is incompatible with Western Civilization and especially Christendom. To rationalize any other viewpoint is suicide. Muslims are less than 1.5% of the American population; if ‘tolerant’ people like you keep welcoming more and more of them, that number will grow and the inevitable clash will be a disaster.

    Additionally, I don’t see how Muslims who promote homosexualism are to be held as a sign that Islam is improving. That is some seriously twisted thinking.

  • To prove their love for us, the Mosque proponents seek the civil protection of a fair minded US Constitution which is their right. But will it make us love them? Coming to us outside of the courts and appealing to our Christian duty to love, especially to love our enemies, would have been the better result, if it were for mutual love and respect. As it stands now, we have to love, but we don’t have to like. This manner of action makes me suspect the true motive and I will remain wary, very wary.

    I trust, however, that living long enough in the presence of New Yorkers will have the same “liberating” effect that New Yorkers have had on every monolithic creed they have ever encountered. How long before New York Islam buckles under New York mockery, ridicule, perversion, and defilement? Do you think their grandchildren will be wearing head scarves or jeans? Do you think their children will marry into their faith or be seduced by New York style liberty? We can corrupt the sacred in anyone.

    I also trust that living side by side with committed people of other faiths, persecuted equally by secular society, will lead to personal choices that would not be possible in single faith societies. If the Saudis want to remain Islamic pure, they better not allow any Churches.

  • Woe to us who just don’t get it. Islam seeks to conquer, pure and simple. They will build a mosque in any area they deem significant as a conquest. This is what they do, hence the reason for the mosque on the temple mount in Jerusalem. Anywhere near ground zero, for that matter, the whole of NY City as one of our centers of commerce that represents America, is where they would erect a huge ediface to the glory of their moon rock god (little g) as an insult to us. They would level NYC, then build a new Mecca if they could. We are really the ostridges with our silly 60’s peacenik, hippy, lovefest heads in the sand. They just laugh and praise allah (little a)that our stupidity with our complacent holier-than-thou humanistic, atheistic (a religion by the way), political correctness will lead us to hand over our country (if we don’t wake up!) As to previous posts, if we haven’t already allowed islam (little i) into our political system, we are certainly paving the way.

  • My wife is Muslim (from Lebanon; I am black). The father of the family is a lawyer and the mother is a lawyer. They are living the great American dream– a big screen TV, a German shephard dog in the back yard, a full 401k, a mini-van to bring the kids to footbal practice, the whole enchilada. They also happen to be practicing Muslims. We should not split “us” and “them,” we’re all “us.” Don’t let those criminal terrorists divide our vibrant, learned Muslim community from the rest of America.

  • Max,

    I’m 100% with you.

    Freedom of Religion is a right! The builders behind the Ground Zero Mosque have every right to build their mosque.

    My personal opinion is that the mosque should still not be built near Ground Zero. That’s me practicing my free speech rights.

Debra Medina Fails To Disavow 9/11 Truthers, Rick Perry Gets My Vote

Thursday, February 11, AD 2010

[Updated]

It has been said that all politics is local.

And so it is.

I have had some issues with whom to vote for in the upcoming Texas gubernatorial elections.  Especially with the Republican primary coming up and Debra Medina gaining fast on current Governor Rick Perry.

Insurgent Republican candidate Debra Medina was a asked a question by Glenn Beck on his radio show if she would deny that there was any government role in 9/11 and she hedged.

Mr. Beck followed up with a direct question and she still hedged.

Continue reading...

103 Responses to Debra Medina Fails To Disavow 9/11 Truthers, Rick Perry Gets My Vote

  • I listened in this morning because I wanted to hear what she had to say. I saw this as a make it or break it moment for her campaign. The interview seemed to start off rocky. In reply to the question, “Who is Debra Medina?”, she briefly talked about herself and then went into critiques of Perry and Hutchison. Glenn was audibly annoyed, by that point.

    On the one hand, I wonder why the 9-11 Truther question was asked; it didn’t seem to pertain to the issues facing Texans today. But, as I sat listening, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She was dancing around the issue! This little dance routine looks like a tacit admission of Trutherism. She never outright rejected the notion. The perception now, despite what she said, is that she’s a Truther. She’s finished. Finished.

  • I didn’t listen to the radio show, only to Medina’s comments on the show.

    Like you the question wasn’t really relevant in certain ways, but the way she answered it was awful.

  • It’s because of Beck’s target crowd.

  • I listened to one of the clips and he said he brought it up because he got a lot of mail accusing her of being a Truther. Based on her answer, there was probably a lot of legitimate concern out there and it turned out to be a fair question. I’m not a Beck fan, but I’m not sure what’s wrong with not having Truthers as a target audience.

  • I thought Truthers were liberal Democrats who despised Bush, the same way Birthers tend to be conservatives who despise Obama.

    If this woman is running as a Republican for governor of one of the reddest of the Red States, by what logic does she figure sympathy for the Truther movement helps her win votes? If she were running for, say, mayor of Berkeley or for Congress from some hard-left-leaning district I could see her logic; but this doesn’t make sense.

  • Texas isn’t very red. The TX House of Reps is 77 Republicans and 73 Democrats — a 4 vote majority. The TX Senate is 19 Republicans to 12 Democrats — a 7 vote majority.

    There’s been much talk in terms of changing demographics in Texas. In about 10 years, this state will arguably be purple, politically speaking.

  • When I was working in politics in Texas we had a term, Texicrat, for Texas Democrats. Think RINO, but in reverse.

  • Tito, I must say I’m sad that you will be voting for Governor 39%. We’d be better off being governed by cardboard for the next four years.

    I am totally opposed to Governor Perry and I am still entertaining the idea of voting for Debra Medina (who I oppose practically down the line on almost every issue) to vote against Governor Perry in the GOP primary (which will count me as a registered Republican until the next election — the horror!). It was a gaffe, sure. I’m more disturbed that Perry was unaware that the Advanced Care Directives Law that has seen the euthanasia of a six month old infant and several others had passed through the Texas Senate when he was the Lt. Governor and President of the Texas Senate.

    You’ll disagree, sure. Vote your conscience. I’m not rather concerned that someone’s gaffe in failing to deny that they believe in a conspiracy theory as more important than defeating Governor 39% who has been more than a horror. I’m not how sure one’s views over something that has no affect over the immediate points of Texas’ public policy absolutely disqualifies someone from your vote unless you think the other candidate is better on public policy. Mandatory vaccinations? An education budget that has been either frozen or cut in the last 16 years? — In the last 5 year in Houston alone, nearly 250 teachers were fired for criminal activity including criminal misconduct, child sexual abuse, and workplace intoxication — and I can’t seem to find one candidate talking about such issues other than lets-be-anti-Washington. Great. How are we going to solve our state’s problems?

    Of course, there’s that ever-annoying dilemma. With any of these candidates, I’m going to find their agenda sickening and their Democratic opponent is almost surely going to be pro-choice. I’m really divided over the question of whether it is legitimate not to vote for conscientious reasons.

  • Medina is a Truther and therefore unfit for any public office as far as I am concerned. It takes a special type of paranoid idiocy to believe that 9-11 was the work of agencies of the government.

  • “Medina is a Truther and therefore unfit for any public office”

    Well, that depends on how you define a Truther. It could mean :

    1) someone who believes the 9-11 attacks were actually plotted or staged by the Bush administration;
    2) one who believes the Bush administration knew the attacks were coming but chose to do nothing to prevent them;
    3) one who believes the Bush administration discounted or misinterpreted evidence that the attacks were imminent, and thereby failed to prevent them;
    4) one who believes the U.S. government has not revealed all that it knows about the origin and nature of the attacks.

    Conclusions #1 and #2, which assume that Bush was willing to let thousands of innocent American citizens die purely to provide himself with a pretext for launching the War or Terror, the PATRIOT Act, and other measures, are examples of “paranoid idiocy.”

    Conclusion #3 simply assumes that Bush and/or his advisers made mistakes, though not necessarily malicious ones. Conclusion #4 presumes that the government might be withholding certain information for security reasons, or to protect certain parties from embarrassment or exposure. While we may not agree with these conclusions (and I don’t), I think they can be held by reasonable people.

    If Medina says simply she doesn’t know the “whole truth” about 9/11, she may mean something similar to Conclusion #3 or #4, not necessarily #1 or #2. However it’s evident she handled the question very badly.

  • I have to wonder, if Sarah Palin handled this question badly — let’s say almost identically — would it change your view of her or your willingness to cast a vote in her favor?

  • I don’t understand the Governor 39% thing. What’s that about?

  • My views regarding Truthers Eric are independent of the person making the statement.

  • Well, since at this time I have no intention of voting for Sarah Palin — it wouldn’t change my view of her.

    I’m just baffled that Medina would attempt to run as a more-conservative-than-thou Republican if she was a genuine, hard-core Truther who really believed Bush was that evil. Is she trying to appeal to the libertarian, Ron Paul types who consider everything the Big Bad Feds do evil?

  • My guess Elaine is that like Ron Paul she is a paranoid conspiracy nut who normally has the good sense to not go full headcase before the sane. Beck caught her in an unguarded moment.

  • Tito,

    With all due respect, this is a really poor reason not to vote for Debra Medina.

    And while I remain highly skeptical of the logistical aspect of the 9/11 conspiracy, it is a documented historical fact that factions in this government (and it is far from the only government in history) have considered false-flag operations in the past.

    Operation Northwoods, for instance, is not a hallucination. It’s not tin-foil hat spectulation, it is real, verified, accepted history that absolutely no one denies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods

    And this is only ONE example, ONE historically documented, scholarly approved, mainstream comfortable instance of the US government either considering, or actually perpetrating, harm on its own citizens (lets not forget the Tuskeege Experiments either).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment

    Unless Medina is actually coming out and saying that she believes the US government planned and executed 9/11, I think its incredibly closed-minded to write her off. Voters should look at policies, not implied personal opinions.

    That’s just my two cents, and I’m sure everyone will disagree. It’s cool 🙂

  • I’m also really just disturbed by this notion that an failure to immediately disavow an idea that isn’t popular (although I think this particular idea is more popular than you realize) is automatic grounds for disqualification, as if our minds must instantly shut down.

    Forgive me if I see this as an example of knee-jerk group-think and want nothing to do with it.

  • Perry won his 2006 re-election bid with 39% of the vote, which is humorously exactly where he’s polling right now in the GOP primary.

  • Perry won his 2006 re-election bid with 39% of the vote

    So what? 39% is a pretty respectable figure in a four person race, particularly when two of the other candidates are competing with you for votes on your half of the political spectrum.

  • Eric,

    you said, “I have to wonder, if Sarah Palin handled this question badly — let’s say almost identically — would it change your view of her or your willingness to cast a vote in her favor?”

    I am probably one of the Biggest fans for Sarah, but if she answered this way… I would have disowned her in a heartbeat!

    I’m sorry Joe, but you are wrong… we don’t need loons running the government.

  • This was a clear and definite set up. First of all, to not question what happened on 9/11 and to simply accept the government’s account is blissful and disgusting ignorance. Debra Medina did not say that 9/11 was an inside job or that she believed that government insiders allowed 9/11 to take place. It is a fact that some of the 9/11 commission members said that the investigation was doomed from the start. So what is the public supposed to make of such claims? Medina simply said that she was not satisfied with the official story. She is not alone. Many Americans feel this way and Mrs. Medina should not be expected to disavow a staff member simply because that staff member questions the government’s “official story”. Beck is a Hack and anyone who agrees with his sentiment on this issue will believe just about anything, I suppose. Any talk show host who labels an individual running for governor as a “9/11 truther” is only trying to do one thing and that is to distract the public from focusing on important issues like government taxation and an overreaching federal government. Make no mistake, this was a planned attack by the republican establishment of Texas to bring down Debra Medina. Sarah Palin just endorsed Rick Perry and Glenn Beck has been in Palin’s pocket from day 1. Medina’s following was getting to be just too large to be allowed to go on any further. Anyone who has followed her race closely can see through the blinders the neocons have put up for the public.

  • Debra Medina is like a non-press adored Barack Obama.

  • It is possible I suppose that she answered the question as she did because she assumed that Beck is a Truther. Surprise! Like a lot of Beck’s critics, and I say this as someone who thinks Beck is half a lunatic, she made assumptions about Beck rather than being aware about what his actual views are.

    Beck has long been a severe critic of the Truther movement as the nut cases in the movement themselves realize:

    http://www.infowars.com/beck-says-truth-activists-in-the-white-house-threaten-obamas-life/

    This might be an indication that Medina is not a Truther, but rather just another politician attempting to curry favor with whoever is interviewing her at the moment. That is somewhat pathetic, but it is not paranoid crazy.

  • I’m with Brett on this.

    I like Palin, but if she would say what Medina said, I would immediately drop any interest that I had for her.

    That simple.

    I don’t buy the conspiracy theory one iota.

    And with much respect to Joe, when it happens I’ll believe it.

    There would be a near-revolution if the government were actually implement anything like Northwoods.

    There are still people who believe that FDR allowed Pearl Harbor to be bombed, which I don’t believe one bit.

    🙂

  • Tito,

    The only reason government DIDN’T was because JFK was, in spite of his flaws, a man with a moral compass. This proposal was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It went almost all the way up to the top – but the buck stopped with Kennedy.

    Forgive me if I think it is reasonable to believe that George W. Bush was not of the same caliber. Or Bill Clinton. And certainly not the current clown.

    Bottom line – our government has factions within it that are morally willing and able to plan the mass murder of US citizens to advance a foreign policy agenda. The hard evidence that it carried out 9/11 is somewhat lacking – I personally believe that it was gross negligence and incompetence this time around – but I certainly don’t believe that those who think government is CAPABLE of it on a moral level are insane.

    I think you’re naive if you think people in power are checked by some profound respect for human lives that even the average citizen finds difficult.

  • I love the defenses of Medina: “Don’t listen to what she *said*, listen to what her campaign wrote after the fact!”

    Who are you going to believe, her furiously-spinning flacks or your lying ears?

    Listen, it’s pretty clear that her “Truth”erism is, like it is for all “Truth”ers, a lazy exercise in mental masturbation. Anybody who really, truly believed that the government was complicit in 9/11 would do more than try to argue it’s a “Federal issue” (which ranks as one of the 10 dumbest political statements I have ever heard or read). They would actually be trying to *do* something, and not just sign web petitions, make internet videos harassing Danny Bonaduce (no, really) or try to burn chickenwire. Consistent with her statements and political bent, you’d think that Medina would at least organize a tax protest, for the love of Ron. “Everybody fill out new W-4s!” Legal. Easy. Noticeable. And it would crimp the evil regime, even if just a little bit. But no, she makes a jurisdictional argument, of all things, not to address the issue.

    None of them deserve to be taken seriously because, deep down, none of them seriously believe a word they emit on the subject. To use an analogy appropriate to a Catholic blog, “Truth”ers are a church made up entirely of the lapsed.

  • I’ll continue playing devil’s advocate here, because I think it needs to be done.

    Dale,

    You said,

    “Anybody who really, truly believed that the government was complicit in 9/11 would do more than try to argue it’s a “Federal issue””

    Actually, no, that doesn’t logically follow. Belief and action are not logically connected in that way. You can say that they ought to or they should – but not that they must.

    “They would actually be trying to *do* something”

    Again, no. That’s not an argument.

    This really isn’t about the substance of their claims, but the error in logic you are making here. The actions or lack thereof of 9/11 truth folks have absolutely nothing to with whether or not they ‘actually’ believe it. Belief implies nothing.

    We might say that anyone who really believed in Jesus Christ would devote their entire lives to Him, but then, we’d only have a tiny handful of Christians left. There’s what we ought to become, and what we are.

  • The fact that Operation Northwoods was developed and advocated is not evidence that our government conspired to produce 9/11. 9/11 truthers are nutters of the same ilk as flat-earthers. Joe, you are a good and smart guy, but one really can have a mind so open that all gray matter manages to escape.

    Don’s hypothesis is the most reassuring, even if it does take considerable speculative liberties.

    Finally, I admit that it is technically possible that the truthers are right, just as it is technically possible that the flat earthers are right. But folks who vote and live their lives respectfully mindful of these bizarre technical possiblities are missing the boat big time.

  • Mike,

    “The fact that Operation Northwoods was developed and advocated is not evidence that our government conspired to produce 9/11.”

    I NEVER argued that it was. That is NOT my point.

    I said, very clearly – and against all hope that I would be properly understood – that it simply means that people who suspect that the government is morally capable of such a thing are not crazy. They have a precedent.

    So please understand, two entirely distinct claims. The precedent of Northwoods:

    1) Does show that it is not crazy to believe government is capable of harming its own citizens (and we have JFK alone to thank for putting a stop to what the CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to do)

    2) Does NOT prove a single thing about 9/11, obviously.

    So while I question 9/11 truthers on the logistics of the whole conspiracy, I DO NOT question their sanity for believing that the government could contemplate such a horrific act. And Northwoods is only ONE example.

  • Joe:

    Well, no right back! 🙂

    The lack of action–deeds–suggests quite a bit about the putative believer. It is a strong indicator that the belief in question is a matter of mere minor habit, or a dilettantish (word coining time!) dabbling done because it’s what a subgroup expects.

    Let’s try it this way. Consider the following hypothetical (none of which is true, amusingly enough): I say I’m a fervent Democrat and I believe the Republicans need to be stopped at all costs because their policies are uniformly destructive and threaten our nation.

    Subsequently, you find out that (1) I’ve never donated to a Democratic candidate, (2) never had a yard sign for a Dem on my property, (3) I’ve never done volunteer work for Democrats and (4) it turns out that I vote about 20% of the time.

    On the other hand, I’ve renewed my Detroit Lions season tickets at the first opportunity for the past 22 years, price increases or no, and despite the fact I know the feckless owner of the Lions bankrolls GOP candidates and causes.

    Thus, while you would not be in a position to call me a liar with respect to my claim to be a dogged Democrat, you could draw some conclusions about the nature of my claim and its importance in my life.

  • against all hope that I would be properly understood

    LOL 😀

  • We need to remember what this was all about:

    “Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.” — Body of Secrets, James Bamford, 2001

  • Dale,

    Yes, one could do all of those things – but one would have to make an awful lot of unwarranted assumptions to do so. All could be explained in ways other than laziness.

    1 – you have no money
    2 – you don’t have a yard
    3 – you’re too busy
    4 – you’re threatened with job loss if you leave work to vote

    Or, alternatively, one could do one or more of these things but just isn’t comfortable for whatever psychological reason.

    All of these things happen to people on a regular basis. The bottom line is that you can’t make judgments about a person’s sincerity without knowing something more about their circumstances.

    As for Medina, she’s running for office. Presumably she’s spending her own money toward that end. Perhaps she thinks that will be more effective than convincing a handful of people not to pay their taxes this year. Again, I think you’re making unwarranted assumptions about her. She might – might – embrace an unpopular position so its easy to just pile on the assumptions; she’s so unpopular, who will care?

  • I don’t think Operation Northwoods shows the government was capable of orchestrating 9/11. It’s one thing to talk about doing something like this, quite another to actually carry it out. Further, the scale of what was proposed was not comparable to what happened on 9/11. The proposals generally involved either fake incidents or attacks on a small number of non-citizens. That’s shocking enough, but it’s nowhere close to plotting to kill tens of thousands of Americans.

  • Eric, et al,

    I to have the very same concerns about Perry. I was quietly seeing and maybe even hoping that Medina would creep up the polls as she had recently overtaken Hutchison for number 2.

    Believe me, I’m going to hold my nose when I cast a vote for Perry.

    Like McCain, I’m not that enthusiastic as it is.

    Unlike McCain, I have seen Perry work closely with the pro-life movement in the legislature and he has been “our man” in Austin getting things done, or at least going to bat for us and our legislative bills.

    He’s learned his lesson, believe me, I’ve inquired.

    Perry has got my vote after Medina’s unfortunate comments.

  • Words just don’t matter any more, do they?

    I might as well type asjdkhbsjkfhbjskgbfjkdgbjk the next time I want to make a point. It would be just as effective.

    “I don’t think Operation Northwoods shows the government was capable of orchestrating 9/11.”

    It shows that government is morally capable of it – that is what I said. The logistics are a different story. I made that distinction several times. I should have typed djbfdsjkgbskjgdb instead.

    “It’s one thing to talk about doing something like this, quite another to actually carry it out.”

    Is it another thing when the Joint Chiefs of Staff propose it? The only reason it wasn’t carried out Kennedy’s personal opposition.

    The talk only does one thing – it obliterates the ceaseless and stupid claim that anyone who believes government could or would kill its own citizens is “crazy.” That’s the only claim I am making.

    Or, AJgjisfgbjfgbjshfgbsf.

    “Further, the scale of what was proposed was not comparable to what happened on 9/11.”

    The scale isn’t relevant. What was proposed was bad enough. And no one said anything about “tens of thousands” – only 3000 or so died on 9/11. A terrorist campaign “in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington” – could have ended up killing or wounding just as many. Not to mention all of the innocent people who would have died fighting the phony war.

    Or, ritoyritoyuitory.

  • Joe H.,

    Ewrtjvjrum gweercfviop weporijwoiu qwefijkfj qjkfaslkuj kljlkj eiruqtcb adfga? qpwoeiru alf, aslfkj to what asfkl.

    Eric,

    zvxbvbm tyru f asjg, afas ja asw.

    Dale,

    The city of Detroit reminds me of Kabul, just as pretty but not so much.

    BA,

    As mfnf, asdfklj “paokj” dhakh sdfho.

  • I mean, have you listened to the emotional-hysterical reasons why people won’t even CONSIDER the possibility? It’s just that they can’t bear to think for one second that American soldiers are being sent to fight and die for a lie. Well, that’s not an argument. It’s an emotional response.

    If someone wants to completely and totally reject 9/11 conspiracies on the facts, I respect that. In fact, that’s what I do myself.

    But to reject it on the assumption that government would never do or contemplate doing such a thing, or on the grounds that we MUST NOT THINK lest we denigrate the service of the men and women overseas are just forms of self-imposed idiocy. To then turn on people who share a different interpretation of the facts, given what government is historically capable of, and call them cooks, crazies, even traitors who ought to be shot, is just crazed mob mentality. It isn’t sane, it isn’t rational.

  • “I don’t think Operation Northwoods shows the government was capable of orchestrating 9/11.”

    It shows that government is morally capable of it – that is what I said. The logistics are a different story. I made that distinction several times.

    My comments were directed towards morals, not logistics.

    The scale isn’t relevant. What was proposed was bad enough. And no one said anything about “tens of thousands” – only 3000 or so died on 9/11.

    The expected death toll was in the tens of thousands. The only reason it wasn’t actually that high was that people ignored official statements that it was safe to stay in the Towers. Anyone who thinks the government was behind 9/11 has to think they were planning on killing far more people than actually ended up dead.

    A terrorist campaign “in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington” – could have ended up killing or wounding just as many.

    Allow me to quote from the Wiki page on Operation Northwoods that you linked to earlier:

    The terror campaign could be pointed at refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized.

    I don’t think attacks on Cuban refugees in the states “even to the extent of wounding” were likely to kill thousands of American citizens. Again, even trying to wound a non-citizen is really bad (and sinking a boat load of refugees would be horrendous), but it’s not on the same level as deliberately killing thousands if not tens of thousands of your own citizens.

  • Joe:

    You are a game interlocutor, I concede that! 🙂

    But…I don’t know that my carefully-stacked deck allows you to play all of the cards you want to play–e.g., the self-declared diehard Dem has plenty of money to spend on Lions–Lions!–tickets. Granted, that may also be a symptom of a delusional personality in and of itself, but I’ll put that aside for now.

    More to the point, my hypothetical shows the belief holder to be knowingly acting against the holder’s alleged firm belief by actually funding that which he asserts is anathema.

    Which is what the “Truth”ers are doing by living out the status quo under the most illegitimate regime in American history.

    It seems that you have met a better grade of “Truth”er than I have. I envy you. In *every* case where I have stumbled across one, it is either a case of lazy paranoia alloyed with dogged ignorance, or worse (and thankfully rare) is closely-associated with hatred of Jews.

    I have no problem with a distrust of government–even where it is reflexive, so long as there are limits. I think it’s wired into our national character and usually serves us well. But when it lapses into a habit of paranoia, it becomes corrosive. The “Truth”er mentality is deeply corrosive, and is of a piece with other anti-reason/hyper-individualist memes floating about in American life right now, which is why I react so badly to it.

  • “My comments were directed towards morals, not logistics.”

    That wasn’t clear. It is now. And I completely disagree.

    “Anyone who thinks the government was behind 9/11 has to think they were planning on killing far more people than actually ended up dead.”

    If the ends justify the means, then the difference of thousands isn’t really a difference at all.

    And again, you leave out all of the people who would have died in the phony war, a war against a country under the direct protection of a nuclear superpower. I’m sure the Soviets would have sat on their thumbs while all of this unfolded.

  • If the ends justify the means, then the difference of thousands isn’t really a difference at all.

    If numbers don’t matter, why did the report suggest that people would only be wounded in the attacks rather than killed, or that the various attacks would or could be faked rather than real. Why the focus on non-citizens? I don’t think it is realistic to human psychology to say these things don’t matter.

    And again, you leave out all of the people who would have died in the phony war

    Soldiers dying at the hands of the enemy in a war you started (for what you believe to be justified reasons) is not the same as you killing your own citizens.

  • Dale,

    “The “Truth”er mentality is deeply corrosive, and is of a piece with other anti-reason/hyper-individualist memes floating about in American life right now, which is why I react so badly to it”

    I’m not concerned with various “mentalities”, to be honest with you Dale. All that matters to me are facts and logic, both of which are independent from one or another kind of “mentality.” A crumpled up napkin in the gutter that has the expression “2+2=4” on it is telling me a truth regardless of its grimy and smelly presentation.

    On many of the facts, I think 9/11 truthers come up short. But the premise that government would carry out such an operation is not delusional, since there are plenty of historical precedents for it here and in every other country.

    The precedent, obviously, proves nothing. It does something else. It makes it reasonable to question and investigate the official narrative of 9/11. It provides a good reason to search for proof. It makes the people (or some of them at any rate) who do search for it “not crazy”, not traitors, but reasonable people with a legitimate concern.

    Now, let me address this:

    “More to the point, my hypothetical shows the belief holder to be knowingly acting against the holder’s alleged firm belief by actually funding that which he asserts is anathema.”

    By this logic, though, no one who pays taxes in this country really believes in anything. Both left and right disagree with where a lot of the tax money goes – to what the left believes are unjustified wars, to what the right believes are unjustified welfare programs, to what Christians believe are immoral, sacrilegious purposes, and so on and so forth. People pay taxes because they don’t want to risk jail, not because they don’t care.

    That’s just being pragmatic. There is a time and place for self-sacrifice in the name of a cause, and my guess is that most people do not feel that this is the time. Or, they are cowards.

  • “If numbers don’t matter, why did the report suggest that people would only be wounded in the attacks rather than killed”

    Different people and different governments have different approaches to these matters. The Project for a New American Century reports stated quite clearly that the entire foreign policy agenda they wanted to see implemented would require a “Pearl Harbor” type of event.

    A larger scale war may require a larger scale incident. It could be that simple.

    Of course, their saying it, and their being guilty for arranging it, are indeed two different things. It isn’t a distortion of the truth at all, however, to say that this think tank, whose members went on to occupy key positions in the Bush administration, greatly benefited from the 9/11 attacks. It’s the plain, unvarnished, indisputable, documented truth.

    “I don’t think it is realistic to human psychology to say these things don’t matter.”

    Then I believe you are being naive about man’s capacity to do evil.

    What you’re really saying here, in making these distinctions between citizens and non-citizens, terrorist attacks and wars, is that the same people who are willing to go to war on the basis of outright fabrications, drop bombs on civilians, and cause thousands of deaths – in the name of a cause they believe is justified – would be completely unwilling because of some magic barrier in their minds to do anything remotely similar to their own citizens.

    Forgive me if I don’t think that particular approach to human psychology is realistic. Operation Northwoods, is, as I said, only one example of the government’s willingness to commit crimes against its own people (or lets say, innocent people).

    There were Operations Ajax and Gladio, in which innocent civilians – albeit non-Americans again – were murdered by the CIA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies in foreign countries. There is MK Ultra, there is the Tuskegee Experiment, which WERE done on American citizens. There is the reckless use of depleted uranium which has caused untold misery to a number of US combat veterans, these are only a few.

    Personally, I don’t think the numbers mattered at all. IF the government did 9/11 – IF – then it was clearly aimed at simply bringing down the Twin Towers as a symbolic landmark, whether there was 1 person or 10,000 inside.

    “Soldiers dying at the hands of the enemy in a war you started (for what you believe to be justified reasons) is not the same as you killing your own citizens.”

    If you send soldiers off to die for a lie, and especially back then when the draft was being used, then I don’t think there is a relevant difference. How many people do you think would volunteer to fight and die for what was an obvious, open lie, or a reason so immoral and stupid that it would have to be covered up by a lie?

  • Plus, the wiki entry doesn’t have everything.

    “The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

    Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, “the objective is to provide irrevocable proof … that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic].”

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662&page=2

    Can we trust the crackpots at ABC news?

    We have a clear pattern of deception and reckless disregard for the sanctity of human life.

    Given that, the only thing I say follows is that we take claims seriously. It’s a lesson as simple as the one we learn from “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

  • “I’m not concerned with various “mentalities”, to be honest with you Dale.”

    You should be. The way people think–or, in this case, won’t–is exceptionally important, especially in the context of a society that aspires to be self-governing. To the extent lazy paranoid un-thought becomes widespread, all of us will suffer. The hardening of destructive intellectual patterns and the championing thereof by the strident is always a precursor to civil conflict. It was in America from the 1840s to Sumter and it was the same with the run up to the Spanish conflagration in 1936. I’m not saying we’re anywhere near such a horror here, but the initial signs are worrisome.

    More to the point, your tax analogy dodges the monstrous nature of what “Truth”erism says about our current republic–namely, that it is dead.

    Not reformable, not fixable at the ballot box, not subject to redress in the courts, but *dead.* It posits that an illegitimate regime has enthroned itself on the corpse of the American republic, having committed the mass murder of American citizens before our eyes for various sordid and squalid ends. That the murderous puppetmasters who perpetrated this atrocity are so slippery and clever that they cannot be rooted out despite the “obvious” “evidence.” With the war in Iraq or on abortion, the various political factions at least have the honest hope that the ballot box might move policy in their favor, however incrementally. Not so the “Truth”er.

    Whether honestly held or as is currently practiced, “Truth”erism is the political equivalent of the sin of despair. It is another toxin in the body politic. I pray to God that it remains in the inert form we see in adherents like Medina.

  • As a former resident of Texas I feel it is a shame that Medina fumbled the question and that so many are so sensitive to the ‘truther’ question they would actually fall into the arms of Rick Perry.

    Rick Perry has had more than enough time as governor of Texas. He should be retired from public service and forced to work the private sector.

    Medina has handled herself extremely well in the debate footage I have seen, and technically her answer was not wrong, just horribly answered. I would be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was shaken by the question which— lets be honest, has nothing to do with Texas politics. And shame on Glenn Beck for an atrocious interview. He just lost a viewer.

    Clearly Medina falls into the category of ‘truthers’ that do not necessarily accuse the government of being ‘behind’ the 9/11 attacks, but nevertheless suspects that all that can be revealed about that day has not seen sunlight. While I personally do not think the U.S. government had anything to do with the attacks I think it is fairly naive to portray the U.S. government as being completely in the dark regarding a rising and ongoing threat. Also it is naive to not believe that some in our political class privately wait for just such disasters in order to advance their own ideological agenda. ‘Never let a crisis go to waste’ indeed.

    One question I would have for those (among the Right) who immediately are now going to vote for frat-boy extraordinaire Rick Perry: if it is so easy to imagine a ‘conspiracy’ amongst bankers and politicians to extract money from the taxpayer through the bailouts, why is it impossible to imagine a ‘conspiracy’ among political elites to further entrench their foreign policy agenda?

    The 9/11 highjackers ‘conspired’ to murder thousands of American citizens. Enron executives ‘conspired’ to coverup their pattern of fraud and theft. The CIA conspires EVERYDAY to destabilize governments not to their liking. Environmentalists conspired to gain economic and political control in order to mold society as they see fit. A few thousand years ago, political and religious authorities ‘conspired’ to murder Jesus Christ.

    Again, do I believe the U.S. government, in twirling-mustache fashion engineered the fall of the WTC and Pentagon? No. Mostly, because they’ve proven themselves to be so grossly incompetent in all lesser ambitions. BUT if you think for one second that the most powerful and influential people in the United States do not have interests contrary to the safety and well being of the ‘common good’, and that they work (ie, CONSPIRE) in the advance of that agenda: you’re living in la-la land.

    People don’t suddenly become angels and saints when they work in higher office. When I entered the professional world at an ad agency, one of the biggest surprises was the open pettiness, back-stabbing, egomania and over-the-top theatrics of ADULTS. It wasn’t until several years after being on projects ranging from film productions to simple busy work that I realized it wasn’t much different in the upper-levels of society: just the stakes were much higher.

    I fully admit I’m not cutout for such an office. I would not want to be a part of a culture where my all too common weakness can result in lives being ruined or snuffed out.

    Bully for Medina for giving an honest, if not well-articulated answer, despite the known backlash that would come. Thats more than can be said for either Rick Perry or Sarah Palin.

  • The Project for a New American Century reports stated quite clearly that the entire foreign policy agenda they wanted to see implemented would require a “Pearl Harbor” type of event.

    I assume you are referring to the PNAC report Rebuilding America’s Defenses, which includes the following quote:

    Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.

    If you read the section of the report in which this quote appears for context, you’ll find that the “transformation” and “revolutionary change” referred to in the quote consists of things like adopting information technologies, reforming the military procurement process, and generally streamlining the military to make it smaller and more effective. So, in context, the quote 1) doesn’t say that a new Pearl Harbor is desirable; and 2) is talking about an area of military policy that a) doesn’t have anything to do with Iraq, and b) hasn’t actually happened yet. To say that this quote somehow gives any credence to 9/11 conspiracy theories is, in my opinion, pretty thing gruel.

    It isn’t a distortion of the truth at all, however, to say that this think tank, whose members went on to occupy key positions in the Bush administration, greatly benefited from the 9/11 attacks.

    It’s true that some people associated with PNAC held positions in the Bush administration. On the other hand, some of the people associated with PNAC who held positions in the Bush administration were against the Iraq War. So perhaps they needed to be a bit more discerning about who they let into their cabal.

    Personally, I don’t think the numbers mattered at all. IF the government did 9/11 – IF – then it was clearly aimed at simply bringing down the Twin Towers as a symbolic landmark, whether there was 1 person or 10,000 inside.

    The question isn’t whether you consider the cases to be morally different. The question is whether the fact someone is willing to attack, wound, or possibly even kill a small number of non-citizens means they would have no compunction about killing large numbers of their own citizens. I don’t find that remotely plausible.

    How many people do you think would volunteer to fight and die for what was an obvious, open lie, or a reason so immoral and stupid that it would have to be covered up by a lie?

    The assumption here is that if you have to lie to get people to support a war, then the reasons for going to war must not be compelling. I don’t think the folks who proposed Operation Northwoods saw things that way. They appear to have believed that a Communist Cuba was a severe threat to American national security, and that popular reluctance to take action wasn’t justified.

  • Dale,

    “Not reformable, not fixable at the ballot box, not subject to redress in the courts, but *dead.* It posits that an illegitimate regime has enthroned itself on the corpse of the American republic, having committed the mass murder of American citizens before our eyes for various sordid and squalid ends. ”

    If that’s what’s true, it’s what’s true. In my view it is never intellectually sound to reject a theory because of its implications – yet that is what most people seem to be willing to do. There are perhaps other good reasons to reject the 9/11 conspiracy, but the implications for the American republic is absolutely not one of them. One can believe that this country is finished without believing that 9/11 was an inside job. Personally I think we are hovering on the edge. And I don’t see how that is despair – that is just history.

    Countries, empires, they come and go, they rise and fall. You speak of the sin of despair – there is also the sin of presumption, in this case, that America is a divine institution that cannot fail, like the Church. I’m not saying YOU believe that, but it could follow from what you’ve said.

  • Plus, the wiki entry doesn’t have everything.

    “The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

    Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, “the objective is to provide irrevocable proof … that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic].”

    Actually, this is mentioned in the Wikipedia article, and the proposal wasn’t to kill John Glenn, but to blame the Cubans for it if he died.

  • For the record, the Project for a New American Century was not a ‘think tank’, but an advocacy group. I believe it employed four people.

  • I had a response typed up, but the internet connection here is so terrible that it failed to load it… and I don’t feel like doing it again.

    Needless to say, I disagree, BA. Briefly, by paragraph.

    1. PNAC also advocated regime change against Iraq, and the Afghan war was planned in advance of 9/11.

    2. Association is not membership.

    3. The thousands if not millions of people who die on both sides of a war also count – anyone willing to go to war under false pretenses at the potential cost of that many lives is certainly capable of carrying out acts of terrorism against citizens.

    4. Obviously, the reasons were not compelling to the American people, or to Congress, that democratically elected and accountable body that alone is supposed to have the authority to declare war.

    Instigating terrorist attacks to spread a level of fear and panic that will lead to a war that will cost thousands of lives is a criminal conspiracy, an act of evil on the scale of 9/11.

    That’s all I’ll say on it.

  • 1. PNAC also advocated regime change against Iraq, and the Afghan war was planned in advance of 9/11.

    Lots of people advocated regime chance in Iraq. What does that have to do with 9/11?

    You cited a PNAC quote about the need for a new Pearl Harbor. As I showed, the PNAC quote doesn’t actually say what you claimed. Do you not care about that?

    I don’t know what you mean when you say the Afghan war was planned in advance of 9/11. Nor do I see what that has to do with PNAC.

    2. Association is not membership.

    I don’t think PNAC even has members. If you’re going by employees of the organization, then it’s not true that they went on to hold high positions in the Bush administration. If you want to include people who were signatories on PNAC statements, then you’ll get people who opposed the Iraq war, as well as those who supported it.

    3. The thousands if not millions of people who die on both sides of a war also count – anyone willing to go to war under false pretenses at the potential cost of that many lives is certainly capable of carrying out acts of terrorism against citizens.

    I don’t say they don’t count. They do, however, count differently, at least to most people (if you don’t think it made a difference to the creators of Operation Northwoods, then why were their proposals so focused on non-citizens and/or plans involving minimal casualties?)

    4. Obviously, the reasons were not compelling to the American people, or to Congress, that democratically elected and accountable body that alone is supposed to have the authority to declare war.

    Sure.

  • Joe,
    You can *perhaps* make a plausible case for the federal government being willing to have the appetite for a horrible false flag operation on this scale (personally I think that is a real stretch when considered in context), but the case for the proposition that it could and did pull it off is simply not plausible. The very idea that thousands of co-conspiritors have successfully remained silent is just plain laughable, and that is why we are all laughing at the 9/11 truthers. The fact that you don’t think it is laughable is frankly kind of disturbing. The willingness to be a contrarian can sometimes be an emblem of courage and intelligence, but only sometimes.

  • BA,

    “Do you not care about that?”

    I do. Obviously that quote has been misused, so I care about that. But there’s still the fact that its foreign policy prognosis required a 9/11 to go into effect. That doesn’t prove anything, as I said.

    The only reason I brought it up was to answer one of your questions – why the Northwoods proposals weren’t as drastic as a 9/11. I said a bigger war, a longer war, a more expensive war on multiple fronts, would probably require a bigger justification. Just such a war was being dreamed up before 9/11. Again, it proves nothing.

    On Afghanistan:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm

    “why were their proposals so focused on non-citizens and/or plans involving minimal casualties?”

    See above. The scale of deception and the loss of life that would have resulted make it just as bad. We can only speculate on the reasons why the plan wasn’t more drastic – but when you fit it in with a PATTERN of willingness on the part of the CIA, factions of the military, and others to murder civilians to advance political goals, It ISN’T crazy. The other two operations I mentioned, Gladio and Ajax, involved exactly that. There was also Operation Condor in Latin America which the CIA had a hand in as well.

    People can justify these covert opts and the assassination of innocent civilians however they like. Frankly I would rather debate whether or not such things are justified rather than whether or not they happened, or could happen again.

    I’ll also remind you that I DON’T think the US government pulled off 9/11 – only that I believe that FACTIONS within it are CAPABLE of that level of evil, and that isn’t crazy to say so. That’s all. That’s the argument – that the supposed benevolence of the government, or some supposed barrier in their minds that says “murdering innocent civilians all over the globe is fine, but never ever domestically” is not the reason they wouldn’t do it. And that’s the reason I most frequently hear for dismissing 9/11 truth claims out of hand, without even looking at the evidence.

    If that doesn’t apply to you, then we have no quarrel. If you reject it for other reasons, then we probably agree.

  • Mike,

    “The very idea that thousands of co-conspiritors have successfully remained silent is just plain laughable”

    I don’t think you need “thousands of co-conspirators” – no one argues that. If their premise is that you need thousands of people to orchestrate this, then obviously that is laughable, but I don’t think they accept that premise and there’s no logical reason for them to.

    “The fact that you don’t think it is laughable is frankly kind of disturbing.”

    Again, I do – but I don’t think they would accept being boxed into that corner. So I’m not going to laugh at people for a position they don’t hold.

  • Joe,

    I was going to write out a response, but frankly the disagreement between us is minor enough that it’s probably not worth arguing over. I apologize if I came across as rude or overly hostile/nitpicky.

  • It’s all good. I get too defensive at times myself, so I apologize if I overreacted.

  • I’ll add one more thing for general consumption.

    It wasn’t that long ago that anyone who questioned anthropogenic global warming was considered a kook and a nut. Defenders would ask, “what, are you saying the whole scientific establishment is lying?”

    It turns out that the willful collaboration of thousands of people in a big lie wasn’t really necessary – it took one research team and its accomplices in the UN to trickle down false information to scientists all over the world. Before climategate, glaicergate, amazongate, et. al., the IPCC was consider “the gold standard.” Now it is about as valuable as dirt.

    Climategate and the surrounding “gates” are evidence of a conspiracy among a handful of people in positions of authority to distort and falsify information. They got millions of people to believe them unquestioningly, and thousands of scientists to use their data as a basis for their own research.

    For those who still don’t understand the extent to which the IPCC’s theory has imploded,

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/the-great-global-warming-collapse/article1458206/

    Again, none of this makes a case for 9/11. I reiterate that I don’t think Bush administration planned and executed 9/11. But it shows that conspiracies can begin with a few people “in the know” and spread down through compartmentalization – no one beneath those who know has all or most of the information, only enough to fulfill their part.

  • Hey Joe,

    in one of your beginning responses you said…”The only reason government DIDN’T was because JFK was, in spite of his flaws, a man with a moral compass.”

    I will disagree with you and so does President Diem, he had him murdered.

  • Oh sheesh Bret, I’ve heard plenty of JFK conspiracy theories but that’s the first I heard that President Diem of South Vietnam did it. Actually, if he really did do it (and that’s a big if), more than likely it was his sister-in-law Madame Nhu’s idea. As I posted some weeks ago, Madame Nhu seems to have been the closest thing to a bona fide female dictator in modern history.

    Between “Castro did it,” “the Mob did it,” “the CIA/FBI did it,” “LBJ did it,” and “Woody Harrelson’s father did it,” and now “the South Vietnamese did it,” have we missed anybody?

  • Pingback: The Adventures of Debra “Kadabra” Medina « docweaselblog
  • Elaine,

    “W” and Dick Cheney.

  • Elaine,
    I’m afraid that Bret’s imprecise use of pronouns confused you. I’m sure he was referring to JFK’s alleged involvement in Diem’s murder. The allegation that JFK had Diem murdered is also a bit imprecise. Most historians agree that (i) the US was indeed increasingly uncomfortable with Diem due largely to his contemptable oppression of Viet Nam’s Bhuddist community, (ii) Viet Nam’s military decided that Diem needed to go and plotted a coup, (ii) these military leaders sought and received assurances that the US would not intervene in the event of such a coup, and (iv) the military offered Diem safety if he surrendered, Diem declined and was killed later after being captured.

  • The reason to Vote for Medina is to get the entrenched political classes out of power. Perry is a corporate Republican as far as I have heard. I think the solution is to vote out every incumbant except proven – as in initiators of legislation and spenders of political capital such as Chris Smith of NJ pro-lifers. Perry is part of the problem with his mandatory guardicil vaccinations.

  • Elaine,

    Sorry for my imprecise use of pronouns. Diem was dead before Kennedy was assassinated.

    Mike what you said is true; however, to overthrow one of the Biggest Anticommunist during the middle of the Vietnam war because the press thought that the Buddhist community was being suppressed (which it wasn’t) was lunacy.

    He was a solid Catholic who knew the evils of communism.

    In reality, it was Roger Hilsman, Averell Harriman’s plan with Henry Cabot Lodge doing the ground work. Secretary of State George Ball approved the overthrow and Kennedy agreed (but to Kennedy’s defense he thought it had been cleared with Sec. of Def. McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor which it had not).

    He did not surrender to the Americans because he did not trust Lodge (with good reason). But he did surrender after he went to Holy Mass. He and his brother was gunned down afterwards.

  • Oh by the way Elaine, you have Madame Nhu all wrong. That is another female who was assassinated by the press.

  • How to destroy a 9/11 truther:

  • BREAKING: Sarah Palin 9/11 truther controversy makes hypocrite of Glenn Beck

    http://www.infowars.com/sarah-palin-911-truther-controversy-makes-hypocrite-of-glenn-beck/

  • If you can find a mainstream news organization reporting this it would be appreciated.

  • Glenn Beck is a truther himself. To all of you closed minded hate filled war mongers……

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBn-VIW7ivE&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

  • Not a hypocrite,

    I’ve wasted 7 minutes and 31 seconds of my life viewing and searching the video you posted of Glenn Beck accusing the U.S. government and “W” of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks.

    He never said anything remotely close to your claim.

    He did say we have a right to question our government and then quickly pointed out he doesn’t when it comes to 9/11.

    He made a reference to Sandy Berger and questioning if both Slick Willy and “W” were in cahoots in regard to him, but not to 9/11.

    You failed.

    Again.

    To prove that Glenn Beck is a truther.

    I will delete anymore posts that you put up if it includes calumny again.

  • Countries, empires, they come and go, they rise and fall. You speak of the sin of despair – there is also the sin of presumption, in this case, that America is a divine institution that cannot fail, like the Church. I’m not saying YOU believe that, but it could follow from what you’ve said.

    It’s late, but I don’t want to leave a misimpression. No, I don’t believe the U.S. is a divine institution, nor particularly one guided by providence.

    But I won’t back off the analogy of “truth”erism to despair: to the extent the phenomenon breeds a genuine cynicism and paranoia, it is a mental/quasi-spiritual cancer on the republic. I agree that America is in considerable trouble at the moment, but for the sake of my children (the first among many reasons) I don’t want to see it die on my watch. A determined, hard-working, clear-eyed and clear-thinking citizenry is a must at this hour. “Truth”ers present none of those virtues, and in fact prevent the cultivation of the same. Ditto the paranoia of birtherism, albeit on a much smaller scale.

    Put another way: the death of America would be a calamity that would make the fall of Western Rome in the fifth century look like a recession. Imagine Constantinople, Athens and Alexandria being obliterated at the same time, and you have a measure of what would happen.

  • Not a hypocrite:

    1. Tito is right. I’m no fan of Beck, but he is not a “truther.” You are mistaken or worse.

    2. There is only one way to avoid being a hypocrite: Conform you conscience to your actions. For those of us who struggle unsuccessfully to conform our actions to our conscience, we live with the knowledge of imperfections and therefore our hypocricy every day.

    3. Given your statement re Beck, I must assume defamation is not a sin in your book — you not being a hyprocrite and all.

  • Beck might not be a truther, but I think the rather rudely and aggressively stated point was this:

    Beck said the same thing Medina said.
    Medina said we have a right to question.
    Medina was called a “truther”.
    Ergo, Beck is a truther.

    All you have to do is disavow premise 3 for this thing to go away. Debra Medina is not a “truther”, and I hope she wins in TX.

    For Dale,

    “A determined, hard-working, clear-eyed and clear-thinking citizenry is a must at this hour. “Truth”ers present none of those virtues”

    That simply isn’t true, Dale, especially among the educated engineers and political activists in their ranks. Disagreeing with them is one thing; degrading their character is another.

    “the death of America would be a calamity that would make the fall of Western Rome in the fifth century look like a recession.”

    I think you overstate the problem a bit.

  • Joe,
    I don’t know whether Medina is a truther, but her handling of Beck’s question leads one to believe that she falls into one of the following categories:

    1. She is a truther.

    2. She is not a truther but is willing to pander to them.

    3. She is not sure and has no developed opinion either way.

    4. She thinks truthers are wrong but also thinks their opinion is a reasonable one.

    I realize that you are comfortable that a person can hold 3 or 4 and still be fit for office. I’m not.

  • Fair enough, Mike, but do you think that Beck and Palin, who have made similar statements, fall into the same category?

  • “educated engineers and political activists in their ranks”

    They’re the worst of the bunch, and are causing the most damage. A degree is no indicator of character, much less clear thinking. Likewise a career in political activism.

    “I think you overstate the problem a bit.”

    The mightiest nation in history, the lynchpin of the western political system, the strongest economic power ever to exist, going down in flames? Actually, I understate the potential horror. Western Rome didn’t have nukes, for starters. Nor did Rome provide massive amounts of aid to nations struggling with disease and poverty. The cascade effects are incalculable, and would take a great deal of work to overstate. Great empires–and, yes, America is in many ways an empire–do not die peacefully in their beds, unless there happens to be a reasonably like-minded heir to hand off the scepter to. That’s happened once in history–Great Britain passing the baton to America.

    Now, there’s no one to pass the baton to.

  • Joe,
    Yes, if they did in fact make similar statements. That said, I think it is disingenuous to say that Beck and Medina are comparable because both said that people have the *right* to question the government (something no American would disagree with), when Beck then explictly emphasizes his disagreement with truthers to the point of ridicule whereas Medina carefully and obviously deliberately chooses to not do so. And I’m not aware of Palin behaving similary to Medina. If I’m wrong on the facts, I’m all ears.

  • And Joe, I do not think Beck is fit for public office, but for other reasons. Palin is clearly fit for public office, though quite possibly an ill-fit for the presidency, at least at this point in time.

  • Mike,

    Palin, according to the video I saw on youtube, was willing to say publicly that she supported another 9/11 investigation. Though I think her intent was simply to tell the people who asked her what they wanted to hear, Medina supporters might understandably, if illogically, want to play the same game with Palin and say that supporting another 9/11 investigation is tantamount to not believing the official story, which could therefore mean that she gives credence to truther claims.

    Medina, moreover, HAS expressed her disagreement with truthers, unless we are of the mind that she did too little, too late after having been put on the spot. Her statement to the press afterward is good enough for me, and I think it would be more important to get back to the issues. To me its absurd to hold this against a person if you think they’re right on the issues.

    It would be one thing if she persisted and started campaigning on a truther platform, but she hasn’t done that. One moment of hesitation shouldn’t undo a campaign, and the fact that it can is precisely what is wrong with this country. It’s like the Dean scream. It’s media sensationalism and I reject Beck, Fox News, and Rick Perry’s attempt to manipulate the electorate with this irrelevant distraction.

  • Thanks, Joe. I admit that I have not followed this very closely, and it may be that Medina’s later statement is more than adequate — I don’t recall reading it. But I would emphasize that if the statement is basically akin to my option 4 above, it would not be adquate in my view. And it would not be comparable to Beck.

    As for Palin, it depends on context. If all she honestly meant was that thge 9/11 report was deficient and glossed over failures and errors that the public had the right to know about, fair enough. If she was playing with ambiguity to pander to the truthers, then bad on her and I see no difference with Medina at all.

  • To any truthers who might be reading this thread, please go to Popular Mechanics at the link below and learn why you are truly wasting your time.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html

  • In regard to Sarah Palin and 9-11, the question was asked her by someone calling himself Anthony the Activist during a rope line that she was proceeding down. Here is the video he made.

    Unlike Medina, Palin did not have the following question asked to her:

    “Do you believe the government was in any way involved in the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11?”

    Nor did Palin give this type of answer:

    “I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard,” Medina replied. “There are some very good arguments, and I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there, so I have not taken a position on that.”

    Comparing what Palin said to what Medina said is like comparing swans and swine.

  • Don,

    It really isn’t like that at all.

    If one voices support for the idea of a new 9/11 investigation, then one can reasonably assume that they believe the old one wasn’t good enough, that there are still problems with the “official story”, etc. That’s what 6 of the 10 people on the panel said anyway.

    That isn’t THAT different from what Medina said – using a little common sense. And it certainly isn’t different than the clarification she made afterward.

    So its probably time to move on and concentrate on the issues. I certainly don’t believe that Medina spends her waking hours in fits of paranoia about government conspiracies.

  • Mike,

    I think BOTH Medina and Palin were doing what politicians do.

    Medina, I think, probably assumed that a lot of her grassroots supporters were sympathetic to, or actually were, 9/11 truthers. And this might be the case, because a lot of them are anti-establishment types, and Medina is an anti-establishment candidate. That’s not her fault. It’s not her fault that polls show 86% of Americans question the official story and that the “truther” position, in one form or another, is a hell of a lot more popular than its opponents understand. And I think THAT ALONE was the real reason for her hesitation.

    Palin was being Palin – telling people what they want to hear. She’s an amazingly gifted politician.

  • Disagree Joe. Medina was specifically answering a question as to whether she believed that the government was involved in bringing down the World Trade Center. Her answer indicated that she believed that the truthers had asked some very good questions and made some very good arguments. She is either a truther, lying or was simply bone ignorant and pandering to Beck since she wrongly assumed that Beck is a truther.

  • As for Palin, she was indicating that she would support a new 9-11 investigation in order to assure that 9-11 didn’t happen again. Presumably she was referring to the miserable intelligence failure prior to the 9-11 attack and a new investigation could highlight steps that could be taken to correct such an intelligence failure in the future.

  • Joe,
    It may be that both Palin and Medina were saying what they thought their audiences wanted to hear, but the more important fact is that they did not say the same thing as Don amply demonstrates. To suggest that they were similar requires taking profoundly unfair and unwarranted inferential liberties with Palin’s statements.
    It may be that there are more truthers out there than I realize, but if so I’m glad I don’t get around more.
    I’m perfectly willing to believe that the 9/11 report failed to disclose certain intelligence failures, perhaps even deliberately failed to do so; but in my view anyone who takes seriously the view that the government was actually involved in some conspiratorial way with the attacks is seriously and sadly out of touch with reality.

  • “To suggest that they were similar requires taking profoundly unfair and unwarranted inferential liberties with Palin’s statements.”

    I think it’s also pretty unfair to not allow Medina to clarify her remarks, or apologize for them if that is what’s called for. This “one strike and you’re out” rule of politics is absurd, especially when the issues are so high. It’s like a shutting off of the mind. I can’t do that.

    The number of genuine truthers who believe that it is a proven fact that 9/11 was an inside job is probably small, but the number of people who think that the government is covering something up is a substantial majority, according to the polls I’ve seen.

  • Joe, I agree completely with your last post. If Medina has issued or will issue a statement that makes it clear that she is not only not a truther (something that I assume she already has done) but also understands that the truther position is irresponsible and nutty, then she is fine by me. In other words, thus far her conduct has led me to believe that she is in one of the last three categories I listed earlier. If she makes it clear that she is not, then we are good to go.

    There is a HUGE difference between believing that our government covered up or might have covered up some things not disclosed in the 9/11 report versus believing our government was actually involved or might have been actually involved in a conspiratorial fashion in arranging and executing the incidents. There are many plausible reasons one might speculate as to why the report could have been less than complete, including some that almost everyone might agree are legitimate. And might the report have glossed over some shortcomings and misteps in order to avoid embarrassing certain powerful parties or interests? Sure, that is possible. But I believe (and hope) that the number of Americans who actually take the inside job possiblity seriously (let alone think it is an established fact) is very small, but I don’t know. My point remains that it is this — the truther — position that is nuts. A candidate who leads me to believe that they don’t think it is nuts is simply not fit in my view.

  • “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

    “1,000 Architects & Engineers Call for New 9/11 Investigation ”

    More than 1,000 worldwide architects and engineers now support the call for a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. After careful examination of the official explanation, along with the forensic data omitted from official reports, these professionals have concluded that a new independent investigation into these mysterious collapses is needed.

    http://thetruthnews.info/census.html#911

  • Why would a call for an independent investigation into 9/11 throw such abject fear into people?

    And when did “truth” become a dirty word, and someone who wants to know the truth become someone to be despised, and a subject of suspicion?

    If the officially approved version of 9/11 is accurate and true, wouldn’t an independent investigation by “we, the people” just prove that fact?

    We all know that our government would NEVER, EVER lie to us. So what could they, or anyone else, possibly have to fear from some independent fact checking by the citizens?

  • It’s a shame that a Catholic website would attack the 9/11 truth movement. What is wrong with not believing the official story? It is not wrong to question authority. I am a Christian and I don’t believe the official story of 9/11. I am a responsible American, husband, and father. I am not a nutjob or Glenn Beck drone. I make my own decisions.

    Glenn Beck attacked Medina, threw her the question out of left field, to purposely cause her bad press, within 30 min. after hanging up with Glenn, Perry’s campaign had audio excerpts via cold calls sent to Texans trashing Medina.

    Glenn Beck is controlled opposition. His job is to subvert the Tea Party movement, water it down, and lead the masses back to the NEOCONS.

    There is nothing ‘Christian’ about Endless War.
    http://www.wtc7.net/

  • Joey,

    There is absolutely no evidence of government involvement.

    Do you also believe that FDR ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor?

    Do you also believe that the moon landing was staged?

  • Here is a video of Sarah Palin–saying she would like another 911 investigation and another video of Glenn Beck saying he has questions about 911 and its our right and DUTY to question government:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcngiD6Sq6Q&feature=youtu.be, Palin supports new 911 investigation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FSwztg8Xvk Glenn Beck video, says it’s our DUTY to question government

    It’s noteworthy that both Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin receive their checks from Fox.

    Debra Medina isn’t a 911 truther any more than I am.
    I knew the mud-slinging would start and it has.

    There is a difference between a “Truther”–one who believes the government is responsible for the attack on 9/11, and those who think the government may have known something and failed to stop it–as with the attack at Ft. Hood, Texas.

    Beck has lost a lot of Texas viewers; over 17% of his television audience over this–NOT INCLUDING those who have quit listening to his radio broadcast. One article I read said it was close to 1,000,000,000 viewers–probably a combined figure.

    Oh, and while I’m at it, here a link to an old speech by Governor Perry, in which he admits that he shares Vicente Fox’s dream of an open border with Mexico.

    http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/10688/

    Think about THAT before you cast your vote.

  • Beck EVERYDAY questions the validity of this present administration. I listened to him for years and can say that it seemed to me that he definitely had an agenda. Medina is the best for TX and for this country. Perry and Hutchinson are of the establishment and I would rather risk Medina then go with the same old same old making things worse. Take a look at who pays Beck his millions, who his publicist is and then maybe you will understand why he probably obeyed some directive from somewhere. Mr Beck is NOT WELCOMED in my home anymore on radio or TV.

  • Was Perry or Hutchinson ever asked if they were 9/11 truthers? And since when is it wrong to question the government? The greatest country in the world the USA is capable of evil…take a look at abortions…so I am not saying either way I am just saying that the evil perpetrated on our most helpless and who is to say the government never had any false flag operations!?!

  • It’s a free country.

    You have every right to question the government.

    With it comes consequences.

    For example my opinion is that Truther’s are nuts.

    I have a right to that opinion.

    Unfortunately for you and Medina, 99% of the rest of the country thinks Truthers are nuts as well.

  • I did not and do not like the way that Glenn Beck handled the interview with Debra Medina and at the time I accepted her later explanation and seeming clarification, as having been made in good faith. But this is my problem with Debra Medina. Debra Medina should either explain what is going on in the Debra Medina Facebook page or say why she does not accept the basic principles and ethos of the US Constitution ( if that is her position ) or shut up. Frankly, I am sick of Debra Medina rabbiting on, appearing to be a conservative constitutionalist nationalist republican, whilst on the Debra Medina Facebook page if one expresses views in the ethos of Ronald Reagan or Senator Barry Goldwater, one will likely be hounded remorselessly up to and including death threats and yet at the same time, the Debra Medina Facebook page is a comfortable place to express admiration for somebody like the British MP Mr George Galloway.

  • ” John Says:
    Sunday, February 21, 2010 A.D. at 1:13 pm
    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

    “1,000 Architects & Engineers Call for New 9/11 Investigation ”

    More than 1,000 worldwide architects and engineers now support the call for a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. After careful examination of the official explanation, along with the forensic data omitted from official reports, these professionals have concluded that a new independent investigation into these mysterious collapses is needed.

    http://thetruthnews.info/census.html#911

    I have tried to engage 9/11 truthers in reasonable debate about the events surrounding the World Trade Center on 9/11 and these folks are simply not willing to do that, what they will most usually do is spew Youtubes and cut and paste at one. In one of the rare instances, that one of these characters was willing to get in to a debate with me, in which in that particular instance they were making an argument that sprinkler fire suppression systems, should have been able to fight and extinguish the fire, having effectively lost the argument on that point, ( re the capabilities of the sprinkler systems ), they then went on to claim that no aircraft had hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. What is also interesting, is that when in a popular internet forum, I advanced the possibility that 9/11 might have been a false flag operation but conducted by Aliens from outerspace, this idea attracted little interest, despite the fact it is a more legitimately plausible concept than many of the arguments advanced by the truthers, which fits well with my view that the 9/11 truther movement has very serious ideological and political objectives and its not just a bunch of folks who prefer convoluted conspiracy theories to simple explanations well grounded in facts.