Don’t Insult Their Sacrifice

Sunday, December 21, AD 2014

27 Responses to Don’t Insult Their Sacrifice

  • I pray this cowardice attack on the patrolmen doesn’t lead to national copycat murderer’s targeting law enforcement.

  • Precisely what I am concerned about Philip.

  • These are days of deadly, rotten politics, when the criminals are deemed victims and their protectors targets. The words spoken about ‘poor’, rights, ‘profiling’, and ‘freedom’ have been changed into opportunities for sensational lunacy and have given no inspiration to people to use their time helping one another in community as happened until a decade ago. Sounds like a composition that is orchestrating control of the non-exempt ‘classes’ by cynical use of each their own to react . The hoodlums want to bully in a big way.

  • Would not revolt against local police be exactly what Obama wants so that he can send in the Feds to re-establish order and racial / gay equality?

  • Pray for these two early widows and a son missing a dad…Mrs. Liu married only two months….now broken hearted and alone….as is the Ramos mother and son in another way. Fatherlessness…not long past slavery…produces mayhem subcultures. The murderer probably never worked one good month in his whole life let alone picked cotton in the heat of day.
    It’s decades ago in a college summer job on the night shift on the Jersey City waterfront Post Office warehouse. I walk out on the platform to a waiting train filled with mail along with one elder black and seven young blacks. The white supervisor comes out as we sit by the wall and announces we are now to unload the whole train tonight. The young blacks don’t move one bit. I get up and enter the train. Within a minute, the elder black enters, comes right next to me and starts helping me unload….then says to me…” if they didn’t want to work…why did they take the job?” A minute or two passes….all the young blacks entered and started working. It could have gone bad….it didn’t. The elder black was key in it going in the right direction.

  • Sadly I don’t think we’ve seen the end of violence in NY. I heard from my sister, a freshman at West Point, that a fellow cadet was attacked because of his uniform in NY. The crowd started throwing bottles at him. They mistook him for a police officer, or they were just so mad that any uniform is provocation. Cadets have been told not to wear their uniform in the city in breech of a long standing tradition that freshman must always wear it when arriving and departing campus. I hope this dies down soon, but we may see a lot more innocents harmed in the crossfire.

  • I recall that back in 2011, when Jared Loughner killed 6 people and wounded
    14 others, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the left did not hesitate
    to blame the right for the shooting. We were even breathlessly informed that
    Sarah Palin, because her website used target symbols to mark congressional
    districts where incumbents such as Ms. Giffords needed to be unseated, bore a
    responsibility for Loughner’s unhinged attack. The presstitutes of the main-
    stream media and their Democrat fellow-travellers were united in affirming
    that it was the right, with its ‘overheated rhetoric’ like the use of target symbols,
    that created the climate where Jared Loughners would come out of the woodwork.
    .
    We won’t see the left engage in an examination of conscience over the deaths
    of these NYPD officers. The “Reverend” Al Sharpton long ago demonstrated his
    indifference to the mayhem and loss of life he’s incited– only recall the Crown
    Heights riots, or the fatal fire at Freddy’s Fashion Mart. That such a one is
    not only given a bully pulpit at MSNBC but is also treated as a serious voice on
    race and policy by congressmen and the White House tells me all I need to
    know about the left’s supposed commitment to civility in public discourse.
    Sharpton, Obama, Jesse Jackson, de Blasio– to these men, it’s always been
    about exploiting the crisis, and i doubt they care too much about who gets hurt.

  • I had not heard a peep about the murdered NYC police officers.

    The GOP has numerous faults and often nauseates me (but rarely disappoints, since I have low expectations when it comes to the GOP) but the Democrats inspire in me the kind of rage I used to experience when reading about Communist atrocities. The Democrats are not a political party – they are organized crime.

  • The ulitimate responsibility rests with Obama and secondly with AG Holder. These two assasinations are the result of their inflammatory speech and actions. I hope that the letters make Mayor DeBlasio understand what he has unleashed by betraying his city’s law enforcement. I pray that there will not be any vigilante payback in NYC or other parts of the country in response to the murders of P.O.s Liu and Ramos. This craven Obama Administration’s agenda, I believe, is to incite provocations so that this country will be under martial law with a national police force.
    Blessed Mother, protect and comfort Mrs. Liu and Mrs. Ramos and family.

  • Penguins Fan.

    I don’t see much of a difference between the Dem’s and the Communist Party. Sorry but they have earned that similarity. What a shame.

  • Obama and North Korea. One in the same.

  • The animal rights extremists funded and fought tooth & nail to get De Blasio elected because he promised to do away with the beautiful horse drawn carriage rides in NYC saying that having a horse draw a carriage is animal abuse (NO I AM NOT KIDDING.) The animal rights extremist movement is filled with charlatans getting rich off of poor needy animals (a mixed breed dog shipped North and/or West from the South is being sold -I mean “adopted” – for between $300-$1000 an anImal–sight unseen. Pure breds are stolen and sold for $3000+ a pop,) The animals are taken and are out of the state before the owner has a chance to defend themselves and never sees the animals again.

    However back to the point at hand of the crazy Bill De Blasio and those he supports politically. The animal rights extremists movement is also filled with Socialists/Anarchists/Communists who literally intent on destroying the legal precept of privately owned property (in this case animals,) the value of human life (people = animals–so what does it matter if 2 cops are killed in these nuts’ logic? and these nuts are intent on destroying the very fabric of American society as well as the American economy. I said at the time that De Blasio was running that the people of NYC deserved what they got if they elected this nut–however if I remember correctly, all of those running for NYC mayor this last time were absolute psycho nuts.

  • DeBlasio needs to be forced out of office if he refuses to resign.

  • The behavior of di Blasio and Judge Shira Sheindlin (as well as a mess of sociologists drawing salaries from CUNY) is a reminder that much of the left adheres to self-aggrandizing social fiction. Their collision with reality is unpleasant and when it happens they respond with misdirection and obfuscation (see most of the press) or the manufacture of new social fictions (those same sociologists amplified by the press).

  • The headline of the NY Post the day after DeBlasio was inaugurated mayor: “Red Dawn.” DeB worked for the reds in Nicaragua.

    It was race war in the 70’s when dozens of policemen were killed nation-wide. Obama, Holder, DeBlasio and the Clintons are heirs of the ’60’s/70’s radical left, e.g., black liberation army and weather underground: Obama’s BFF Bill Ayers. Only thing, now they’re running regimes that once were the US government and NYC.

    Hope and change.

  • Say what you will about Rudy Giuliani being a RINO and all that, stuff like this would never have been allowed to happen on his mayoral watch.

  • By “stuff like this” I mean all the anti-police protests and lack of trust among the force being allowed to fester to the point where cops are preemptively disinviting the mayor to their funerals. No mayor can entirely prevent cops from getting killed in the line of duty.

  • Mr. P. W. Primavera, you “hit the nail squarely on the head!” I have said for many years that Obama wants chaos in the streets so he can declare as “State of Emergency”. Lord knows what the “Communist in Chief” will do then!

  • Officer shot and killed in Florida.
    No release yet if motivated by HATE.

  • Put it this way – the Democrat Party is a combination of Communism and La Cosa Nostra.

  • Penguin’s Fan: I basically agree. only quibble: you insulted La Cosa Nostra: The men I know in that “businness” are angels compared to those mass baby-murdering, tyrant-wannabe, racial-racketeers.

  • “We won’t see the left engage in an examination of conscience over the deaths
    of these NYPD officers.”

    Too many of them lack a conscience to examine.

  • CAM: “This craven Obama Administration’s agenda, I believe, is to incite provocations so that this country will be under martial law with a national police force.” This is possible but premature to conclude. they appear so far to be too pusillanimous for such an audacious enterprise. There are ominous and inexplicable observations which trouble us. Why are so many pencil-pushing federal agencies stockpiling arms and ammunition? The Democratic Party has moved far to the left since the days when m uncle and my father could have a friendly political argument on a Sunday after Mass. My uncle would find his old party affiliation incompatible with his religious faith. It’s quite clear that the party having the jackass mascot has no use at all for the principle of subsidiarity. Rather, they would accumulate pervasive power within the federal oligarchy and relegate the states to the status of mere departments. Is there a concrete plan to accomplish radical goals through social upheaval? I do not know. I can’t know what goes on in the hearts of these people so I’ll leave the judging to God while keeping a wary eye open. Nonetheless, Obama should have admitted the obvious truth about Brown’s attempted murder of the police officer or at least keep his federal mouth shut about local affairs. And, stop inviting the rabble-rousing-tax-evading Mr. Sharpton to the people’s White House.

  • La Cosa Nostra….well I haven’t thought of that combo before but it applies.
    The linkage; Planned Parenthood-George Soros-Bill & Milly Gates-The Clintons-Al Gore…just a few of “da-good-fellas.”

  • Giuliani: “Obama propaganda pushed people to hate.”

  • William P. Walsh, Agreed. Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men. If only the investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown had been left to the local authorities without premature comments or opinions period voiced by the press, president and other federal officials.

  • Merry Christmas CAM et al. On a light note, when I was a kid, the radio had an answer to the question: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” The Shadow knows. I had the ensuing laugh down pat. 🙂

How Dagger John Saved the Irish

Wednesday, August 14, AD 2013

 

 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33

 

 

 

Archbishop John Hughes of New York, universally known to friend and foe as Dagger John, was  a very tough and fearless man.  After the anti-Catholic riots in Philadelphia in 1844 he called on the mayor of New York, an anti-Catholic bigot, and informed him that if a single Catholic church was touched in New York, New York would be a second Moscow.  (The reference was to the burning of Moscow in 1812 during Napoleon’s occupation of the city.) Not a Catholic church was touched.  On another occasion when a threat was made to burn Saint Patrick’s cathedral the Archbishop had it guarded within hours by 4,000 armed Catholics.  He earned his nickname!

Among his many accomplishments was his success in leading the New York Irish out of poverty.  It is a fascinating story and relevant to our time.  In 1997 in City Journal, William J. Stern wrote an article on how Dagger John did it:

 

 

Hughes once remarked that “the Catholic Church is a church of discipline,” and Father Richard Shaw, Hughes’s most recent biographer, believes that the comment gives a glimpse into the inner core of his beliefs. Self-control and high personal standards were the key—and Hughes’s own disciplined labors to improve himself and all those around him, despite constant ill health, embodied this ethic monumentally. Hughes proclaimed the need to avoid sin. His clergy stated clearly that certain conduct was right and other conduct was wrong. People must not govern their lives according to momentary feelings or the desire for instant gratification: they had to live up to a code of behavior that had been developed over thousands of years. This teaching produced communities where ethical standards mattered and severe stigma attached to those who misbehaved.
The priests stressed the virtue of purity, loudly and unambiguously, to both young and old. Sex was sinful outside marriage, no exceptions. Packed together in apartments with sometimes two or three families in a single room, the Irish lived in conditions that did not encourage chastity or even basic modesty. Women working in the low-paid drudgery of domestic service were tempted to work instead in the saloons of Five Points, which often led to a life of promiscuity or prostitution. The Church’s fierce exhortations against promiscuity, with its accompanying evils of out-of-wedlock births and venereal disease, took hold. In time, most Irish began to understand that personal responsibility was an important component of sexual conduct.
Since alcohol was such a major problem for his flock, Hughes—though no teetotaler himself—promoted the formation of a Catholic abstinence society. In 1849 he accompanied the famous Irish Capuchin priest, Father Theobald Mathew, the “apostle of temperance,” all around the city as he gave the abstinence pledge to 20,000 New Yorkers.
A religion of discipline, stressing conduct and the avoidance of sin, can be a pinched and gloomy affair, but Hughes’s teaching had a very different inflection. His priests mitigated the harshness with the encouraging Doctrine of the Sacred Heart, which declares that if you keep the commandments, God will be your protector, healer, advisor, and perfect personal friend. To a people despised by many, living in desperate circumstances, with narrow economic possibilities, such a teaching was a bulwark against anger, despair, and fear. Hughes’s Catholicism was upbeat and encouraging: if God Almighty was your personal friend, you could overcome.
Hughes’s teaching had a special message for and about women. Women outnumbered men by 20 percent in New York’s Irish population partly because of famine-induced emigration patterns and partly because many Irish immigrant men went west from New York to work on building railways and canals. Irish women could find work in New York more easily than men could, and the work they found, usually as domestics, was steadier. Given the demographic facts, along with the high illegitimacy rate and the degree of family disintegration, Hughes clearly saw the need to teach men respect for women, and women self-respect.

He did this by putting Catholicism’s Marian Doctrine right at the center of his message. Irish women would hear from the priests and nuns that Mary was Queen of Peace, Queen of Prophets, and Queen of Heaven, and that women were important. The “ladies of New York,” Hughes told them, were “the children, the daughters of Mary.” The Marian teaching encouraged women to take responsibility for their own lives, to inspire their men and their children to good conduct, to keep their families together, and to become forces for upright behavior in their neighborhoods. The nuns, especially, encouraged women to become community leaders and play major roles in church fund-raising activities—radical notions for a male-dominated society where women did not yet have the right to vote. In addition, Irish men and women saw nuns in major executive positions, managing hospitals, schools, orphanages, and church societies—sending another highly unusual message for the day. Irish women became important allies in Hughes’s war for values; by the 1850s they began to be major forces for moral rectitude, stability, and progress in the Irish neighborhoods of the city.
When Hughes went beyond spiritual uplift to the material and institutional needs of New York’s Irish, he always focused sharply on self-help and mutual aid. On the simplest level, in all parishes he encouraged the formation of church societies—support groups, like today’s women’s groups or Alcoholics Anonymous, to help people deal with neighborhood concerns or personal and family problems, such as alcoholism or finding employment. In these groups, people at the local level could exchange information and advice, and offer one another encouragement and constructive criticism.

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One Response to How Dagger John Saved the Irish

  • The reason we Americans do poverty the way we do it today is that it gives the self-appointed Master Race Americans among us more power over ordinary blacks than ever before. I admit that black Americans, like the Irish before them, cooperate freely in their own destruction. But that doesn’t change the fact that they’re more deeply in slavery now then they ever were in the past and that God will not judge our country with approval for that

Mosque Opponents: Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Get It

Saturday, August 28, AD 2010

The debate over the so-called Ground Zero mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center in New York has raised public interest in, and opposition to, other proposed or recently built mosques and Islamic centers throughout the country.

In areas where Muslim migration or immigration has been significant, some citizens have attempted to discourage construction of new mosques. Few come right out and cite the threat of terrorism; more often they seem to resort to time-honored NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) tactics such as creative interpretation of zoning ordinances, claims of decreased property values, or claims of real or potential problems with traffic, noise, etc.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I understand the need to be vigilant regarding the potential for violent subversion, as well as the dangers of taking such a politically correct approach to militant Islam that people hesitate to report obvious suspicious activity for fear of being labeled bigots (as seems to have happened in the Fort Hood massacre case).

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45 Responses to Mosque Opponents: Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Get It

  • Outstanding article — thank you!!

    Question (and please forgive this social-networking-backward-participant!):

    Why doesn’t American Catholic enable readers to SHARE this via Facebook? (Maybe I’m flunking the IQ test and missed the link??? I just did a “copy & paste” on the link above on my FB page . . . Sad to say, I am still trying to figure out this RSS stuff!!!)

    Thank you!

  • Elaine,

    You raise some very valid points. But, did Catholicism, or the perversion therof, and Catholics or any Christians for that matter murder 3000 innocents on September 11? Or have Catholics or Christians committed bombings in recent years or pose threats of bombings around the world?

    I think the problem here is that the Muslims who have proposed this mosque have displayed absolutely NO sensitivity to the families of victims of 9/11 while demanding all the tolerance in the world from those 9/11 families,as well as other citizens. These “moderate” Muslims claim that they want to build bridges but all they are doing by forcing the building of this mosque at this partiular ultra-sensitive location is burning bridges. Why is this location so important when there are over 100 mosques located in NYC already? How is this mosque being funded? By terrorist organizations or not? I believe in order for the community as a whole to benefit from this mosque our government and our citizens must be as certain as possible that this mosque is not funded by terrorist organizations and will not be used as a terrorist training center under the guise of religious freedom. If the mayor and others would be willing to look into the mosque’s financial funding I believe that this would allay many peoples’ fears.

    I do understand that the people behind the building of the mosque has a right to be built according to civil law. But, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out, if zoning laws and aesthetics can trump one’s right to build why could the sensitivity to those families who had loved ones killed by a single act of war trump one’s right to build?

    As to the issue of this mosque being two blocks away from the primary ground zero site: Would you agree that wherever the planes hit or any of its part on 9/11 should be considered Ground Zero? If so, then so should the Burlington building since a part of the plane hit that building.

    I think this whole controversy could have been avoided if the NYC commission had shown some prudential judgment and declared the Burlingtion building as a historical landmark.

  • I agree that it wasn’t a good idea for the mosque/Islamic center to be built so close to Ground Zero. I see nothing wrong with encouraging them to build elsewhere. The $64,000 question, however, is whether or not the local government has a right to explicitly FORBID them to build at the site. That’s where the danger of setting a bad precedent comes in.

  • Elaine a ban on construction of new places of worship would be clearly unconstitutional and would not stand up in court longer than the time it takes a Chicago alderman to pocket a bribe. No one has been disputing the right of the Flim Flam Imam and his Cordoba Initiative (Dhimmis Always Welcome!) to build this Mosque, but whether it is right for them to do so. I am keenly aware of the frequent divergence of a legal right and a moral right. My opposition might well not exist if a local group of Muslims had wished to put up a Mosque for local worship. I think the Flim Flam Imam clearly has an agenda that has little to do with worshiping Allah, and quite a bit to do with furthering his Cordoba Initiative which has one message for gullible Western elites and another message for his backers in the Middle East.

  • I thought this post by Bob Murphy about the Glenn Beck rally today was a propos:

    Of course Mr. Beck and his fans have every legal right to hold a rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech.

    Nonetheless, we are asking that they hold their rally a few blocks away, and on a different date. There are 364 other days in the year; what’s wrong with them?
    Now look, we know full well that Mr. Beck and his supporters claim that they are trying to heal racial division. Intellectually, we black Americans know that just because we have been brutalized by angry white conservative males for as long as we can remember, that doesn’t mean that all angry white conservative males pose a threat to our physical safety.

    But this isn’t about logic or rationality. This is about sensitivity to our feelings. Surely Mr. Beck can understand why a majority of American blacks wouldn’t appreciate him holding a rally on the anniversary of Dr. King’s famous speech. If he goes ahead with his plans, he won’t promote racial unity. So we ask him to hold the rally in a different place, on a different date.

  • Teresa – Did you seriously just say that Christians have not bombed or killed significant numbers of people? Check the stats on our current wars sometime.

  • As usual, Blackadder mistakes cuteness for substance. By now Blackadder is aware that the objections to the Mosque are not grounded in a general objection to anything at all being built near Ground Zero.

  • “Teresa – Did you seriously just say that Christians have not bombed or killed significant numbers of people? Check the stats on our current wars sometime.”

    Our wars being the equivalent of Bin Laden’s murder of 3,000 innocent men, women and children? Moral equivalency: the opiate of the politically correct.

  • While I agree with Donald that the proposed ban shouldn’t pass constitutional muster (there’s a case that states you can’t ban all forms of religious speech-I think it’s Rosenberger v. Rectors & Vistors of UVA), you are absolutely right in stating that the opposition to the mosque establishes a precedent that is far more dangerous to Catholics than to Muslims insofar as some are advocating legal means to interfere with the building of the mosque.

  • “I think the Flim Flam Imam clearly has an agenda that has little to do with worshiping Allah, and quite a bit to do with furthering his Cordoba Initiative which has one message for gullible Western elites and another message for his backers in the Middle East.”

    Donald, I agree.

    Blackadder,
    If Alveda King has no problem with the rally I don’t see why any other person, of any color black, white, red, brown etc., should have a problem with Beck and others honoring Martin Luther King Jr’s message of equality for all. Yeah, and if he didn’t do anything honoring Martin Luther King the Left would make accusations about no person caring about blacks and spreading King’s message, so Your “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” according to liberalism.

    Martin,
    First, is that an admission that our nation is rooted in Christian values?

    Second, Did we really go to war as “Christians” or as a nation fighting against terrorism and for our nation’s national defense?

    Third, I didn’t know that a group of Christians not associated with the U.S. government went off on their own and specifically targeted a building or another location just to murder Iraqi inocents? I think your the person who is a little confused with reality, Martin.

    Fourth, Please name me one war in history that has had no civilian casualties?

  • I’m with Gen’l. (Vinegar) Joe Stillwell, “Don’t let the bastards wear you down.”

  • It isn’t even a matter of where the mosque is being built – replace the entire WTC site with the biggest mosque in the world, no problem – PROVIDED Islam changes its ways.

    I realize all the 1st Amendment issues involved here – but until I am no longer considered such subhuman filth that I cannot enter the precincts of Mecca, then I’m going to hold that Moslems must be curbed in what they do in the United States. Not stopped – not expelled; just carefully curtailed to ensure that everyone, especially in the Moslem world, knows that we have not lost our back bone.

    Tolerance does not mean going along happily with whatever someone wants to do – it is a two way street and it requires some compromise. We can easily tolerate a mosque in Manhattan – but we can’t tolerate it hard by Ground Zero…not now, and not until Islam changes its tune.

    Mark Noonan

  • Blackadder,

    I wonder if the author of that piece can find even a single black man brutalized by a conservative white man in the past 40 years.

  • We might just consider the possibility that these local pols want to limit the quantum of non-taxable property in that particular locality. Piggy, but unsurprising.

    It is not a novelty for houses of worship to face zoning tangles. Given the size of the metropolitan New York area, you will have to excuse me if I suggest that prohibiting the placement of a 13 story building of a particular character at a historic site of modest dimensions is a measure different in kind than prohibiting all construction of houses of worship in a given municipality.

    Martin:

    As far as I am aware, the Marine Corps does not have an icon of St. Michael on their weaponry and al-Qaeda does not do civil affairs projects.

  • Here’s my $64,000,000.03 question.

    If religious freedom/tolerance requires a $100 million mosque over the WTC site. How is religious liberty/tolerance served by denying the rebuild of THE Orthodox Church that THE muslim terrorists destroyed on 11 Sep 2001?

    AD:

    No! It’s much worse than that! USMC heroes wear (gasp) US flags on their uniforms.

    Re AQ civil affairs projects: They’re helping make Americans good. They believe the only good American is a dead American.

  • Lot of assumptions in this post; the assumption that the REAL motive folks have is fear of terrorism, and that they can’t possibly object for the reasons they give:

    zoning ordinances, claims of decreased property values, or claims of real or potential problems with traffic, noise, etc.

    Evidence for this claim? I know that the blog Beers with Demo did the research to show a pattern of harassment against a church in his area, but a blanket claim that 1) Mosques are being unusually opposed and 2) it is because of fears of terrorism is a claim that requires more than just a claim to be taken seriously.

    There’s also the issue of using charged terms inaccurately. NIMBY, while meaning “not in my back yard,” also implies that something is not opposed in general. (Example, opposing wind power generators in your area while promoting wind energy in general.)
    People who are worried about Islamic terror risings from Mosques are going to be bright enough to remember the home mosques of the 9/11 terrorists were far, far away, and would appose them in general, not just specific.

    Your notion of equivalence between “there shall be no non-profit organizational buildings in our district” and “no, you may not build a triumphalist religious center on the ruins created by said religion” is mind bending.

  • Martin-
    Go troll someplace else.

  • Wow. Far-ranging discussion.

    First, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The religion piece really has no bearing on the discussion over the Cordoba Mosque proposed for Ground Zero.

    How many mosques are there in Manhattan? About a hundred? Sounds like pretty free exercise of religion to me.

    Second: I challenge any black person who reads this blogs, or any black person who’s a friend of someone who reads this blog, to tell me the date of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. I had to memorize parts of it as a child (stand down, racialists: I’m Black). Never knew what day it was given; barely knew it was in August. Glenn Beck planned this rally (which I wish I had had time to attend)for the last Saturday in August. An lo and behold, what date did that happen to fall on? Why, August 28! August the 28th, which happened to be an anniversary of Dr. King’s speech!

    Why should a mosque be built at the site of a murder committed by people motivated by Islam? Why should a church of any type be built at the site of the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jewish people (and others, including Catholic Saints)? Why should the Japanese in Hawaii build a temple at the site of the sunken USS Arizona?

    Answer? None of them should. Because it’s disrespectful. Why is this so hard to grasp? And what does it tell those who truly hate us about whether we will truly resist them?

    It is not un-Christian to stand up for common politeness.

  • Gee, RR, why didn’t you link to this much more recent article on those idiots?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/nyregion/08hate.html

    Those morons were accused of racial hate crimes and seem to be gang related. Notably, not “conservative white men”– just idiot gang members. (is that redundant?)

  • What are you trying to prove by arguing that white people no longer attack black people? For one, it’s a sad, callous, and absurd battle to fight. Do you, like, remember this one time, in, like, 1992 in LA where, like, some white cops beat up this black guy named Rodney King? White on black violence occurs a lot, as does black on white, white on white, black on black, brown on black, brown on white, brown on brown, white on brown, black on brown, etc, etc, etc.

    Also, please STOP calling it a mosque. A mosque is specifically a Muslim holy place where only prayer can be conducted. This is a Muslim community center, similar to a YMCA. It will have a culinary school, basketball courts, etc. With a prayer room on one or two of the fifteen or so floors.

    I can think of Catholic terrorism pretty easily: the IRA. And that was specifically religio-nationalist.

    It is utterly absurd to demand that “Islam” renounce its terroristic ways before the community center is built, as Mr. Noonan said. A religion cannot change its ways. People can change their ways, but abstract nouns cannot. And the people behind this community center have no terroristic tendencies to modify. Furthermore, there is no central authority for Islam as there is for Catholicism. In fact, some radical sects of Muslims hate opposing Islamic sects more than they hate America. Like al-Qaeda. Bin Laden hates America not “for our freedoms” but because we prop up the (in his mind) heretical Saud monarchy in Arabia.

    Quite frankly, it’s astounding that a debate over a Muslim community center is occurring in 21st century America. As someone who would never have voted for George Bush, I will say that I am so grateful that he modeled Christ’s love to American Muslims by not targeting them after 9/11, as seems to be occurring now.

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  • I would like to ask everyone – Do you think that Islam can be a “moderate” religion? I am not saying Muslims cannot be moderates, but can the religion itself really ever be considered moderate since it follows Sharia law?

    If Sharia law is one of the precepts of Islam then why wouldn’t Sharia law fall under the guise of religious freedom and challenge the constitution in several capacities and force all of us citizens to respect and follow Sharia as well? Is Sharia law and the Constitution really compatible?

    If those who believe in the “letter of the Constitution” instead of the “spirit of the Constitution” with regards to religious freedom truly believe that religious freedom is absolute without taking into account our national security interests (as it seems to me) how could one deny Muslims the “right” to follow their “moderate” religion that includes Sharia Law which would also impose Sharia Laws on the non-Muslim citizens when that clearly clashes with our Constitution?

    You might want to look at a some things that Sharia law demands:

    1 – Jihad defined as “to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.

    2 – A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.

    3 – A Caliph is exempt from being charged with serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.

    4 – A percentage of Zakat (alms) must go towards jihad.

    5 – It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if he is unjust.

    6 – A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.

    7 – The Muslim public must remove the Caliph in one case, if he rejects Islam.

    8 – A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.

    9 – A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of: 1) an apostasy 2) an adulterer 3) a highway robber. Making vigilante street justice and honor killing acceptable.

    10 – A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim.

    11- Sharia never abolished slavery and sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave.

    12 – Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for crimes of sin such as adultery.

    13 – Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims and must comply to Sharia if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their scriptures or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he commits adultery with a Muslim woman or if he leads a Muslim away from Islam.

    14 – It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims. However, the opposite is not true for Muslims.

    15 – A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.

    16 – Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.

    17 – No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or a bathhouse attendant. Women in such low-level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.

    18 – A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslims minority.

    19 – H***sexuality is punishable by death.

    20 – There is no age limit for marriage of girls under Sharia. The marriage contract can take place any time after birth and consummated at age 8 or 9.

    21 – Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.

    22 – Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.

    23 – There is no community property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.

    24 – A woman inherits half what a man inherits.

    25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and she has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.

    26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.

    27 – A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and women captured in battle, and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.

    28 – The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man.

    29- A woman loses custody if she remarries.

    30- To prove rape, a woman must have 4 male witnesses.

    31 – A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.

    32 – A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Some schools of Sharia allow the face and some don’t.

    33 – A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”

    The above are clear-cut laws in Islam decided by great Imams after years of examination and interpretation of the Quran, Hadith and Mohammed’s life. Now let the learned Imam Rauf tell us what part of the above is compliant with the US constitution?

  • Ryan-
    who are you talking to?
    NO ONE was talking about “whites never attack blacks”. Blackadder posted a quote of someone claiming that “angry white conservative males” have been brutalizing blacks for “as long as they can remember,” and someone else challenged him to find a single case of a white conservative assaulting a black person. RR then posted an article that implied but did not claim anti-Dem motives, and which five minutes of research showed to just be gang idiots.

    Secondly, go yell at the Cordoba House proponents, and even the initiative itself; half the time, they call it a mosque. (Generally when they want to drum up the religion side of it; when it’s more flattering to emphasize the “community center” side, it becomes a building that includes a mosque.)

    If the reading comprehension and careful consideration of the argument you’ve shown in this post is standard for you, no wonder you can’t see how this is a topic for valid debate. Straw men with only a nodding acquaintance to the topic aren’t very good aids to understanding.

    A wise lady once told me that if you can’t argue the other side of something, you have no business arguing your own side because you clearly don’t know enough about the topic. I try to keep it in mind, maybe you should try it?

  • In response to jihad etc…

    I am not sure where you are getting your information on what jihad and sharia is….but you have incorrect information. Jihad and sharia is much more complex then what you have stated. As I have reserached this extensively I will just point out very plainly and in layman terms what jihad is. Jihad means “struggle”.
    More commonly known in the Muslim world as an internal spiritual struggle to be better and serve God. It can also mean warfare where one needs to defend themselves when attacked- so it has two meanings to it. There are a lot of inaccuracies in your e-mail and I do not have time to go over them now…but one just to correct one is that bride money is not given for sexual organs. Bride money is called “mehr” and it is an obligatory gift that the groom must give his wife so that she is not left with nothing if he decides to leave her. It is the right of a woman and not a man. Actually in researching Muslims I found that there are a lot of similaries to Catholicism…and then there were differences as well. An interesting bit of information I came across was “Marriage helps men and women to develop along natural lines and head towards development and success through mutual co-operation. Marriage prevents immorality licentiousness and irresponsibility. The spouses in marriage agree to share rights and responsibilities to develop a happy family”….doesn’t that sound like something Catholics believe in as well? What happened on 9/11 was plain WRONG. I have friends who are Muslims and they beleive it is wrong…they say that the people who did this are crazy. So I have to think before I judge anyone and encourage you to do the same.

  • Sandy-
    please do not misrepresent your study, which seems to have been of the more modern and mild forms of Islam, as representative of Islam in general.

    Also, your definition of “mehr” is incorrect, (In Canada, it often functions like a pre-nup– often enough that a basic google will bring up a LOT of legal help boards.) as is your characterization of Jihaad.
    (links to understanding-Islam.com, which is affiliated with Al-Mawrid Islamic Research foundation out of Pakistan.)

  • Foxfier, white conservatives can’t be in gangs?

  • RR,

    Gangs are color neutral, but I’m having a hard time picturing how a conservative could be in a gang since gang life and activities run counter to conservative values. My guess is that you’re perhaps angling toward skinheads because the media like to call them conservatives. However, conservatives have about as much appreciation for neo-nazis as they do racist gangs/parties typically associated with the left, which is to say none.

  • “Gang life and activities run counter to conservative values”

    Well, it goes without saying that violence, vandalism, drug use, other criminal activity, and intimidation of non-members go against conservative values (and probably even the values of most moderates and liberals I know).

    But, isn’t it true that gang membership, especially among urban teens, basically takes the place of the families they don’t have — giving them a structure, culture and sense of belonging that they don’t get from absent or incarcerated or unknown fathers, mothers who change boyfriends as often as they change clothes, being shuffled from one relative to another, etc.?

    So in that sense, gang membership does express (albeit in a perverted or distorted fashion) one very important “conservative” value: the absolute primacy of the family as the basic unit of society, and the consequences that result when it is undermined or destroyed.

  • I can think of Catholic terrorism pretty easily: the IRA. And that was specifically religio-nationalist.

    True to some extent. But it wasn’t expansionist.

  • Actually I think in a number of areas there are limits on, if not the building of churches, at least the size of churches. Where I once lived this limit made it impractical to build a Catholic Church as the size limit was too small for what was required to meet the needs of the Catholic population without building multiple small churches. Those restrictions were placed in the 90’s as I recall. No big First Ammendment concerns have been raised. Perhaps they should.

  • Mary Margaret Cannon,

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Until recently, WordPress.com did not allow this function (WordPress.org does I believe).

    But today I noticed this option was now available and I have just finished adding this particular function.

    Enjoy!

  • Hey, why not make a page, too? You can set it up to autopublish your blog with the “notes” feed, or us
    e http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/newuser1.php

  • Foxfier,

    We have ‘something’ on Facebook, not sure what.

    I’m going to investigate and get this set-up/streamlined for greater social-networking-optimization (SNO).

  • Scott Gentries might want to take a look at this:

  • …Might strike home if the primary arguments weren’t specifically related to the history and culture of Islam, Ryan.

    Fail.

  • RL, if conservatives can’t be in gangs by definition then sure there are no white conservatives in gangs. There are no Catholics in gangs either then.

  • i would like to point out that the proposal only bars new buildings, and not changing the use to of already constructed ones. the mosque near to us was once a church, a church was previously a synagogue, and the nigerian christian group uses a clothing warehouse.

  • Teresa, half of what you said is inaccurate / disinformation. if the USA followed the other half, maybe they wont have millions of inmates that the taxpayer has to support.

  • I would just like to point out a couple of things that are on point:

    1. It’s not a mosque. It’s a community center, and you can read here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/opinion/08mosque.html?_r=1&src=tptw the words of the chairman of the project, stating that one of the many goals of it is to include prayer centers for those of Christian and Jewish faiths in hopes that this will strengthen interfaith relations.

    2. I’m not usually a fan of Charlie Brooker, but he hit one point straight on the head when he said that being a 2 minute walk and around the corner is not at all the same thing as being AT the same location. He said something like, he’s used a bathroom 2 minutes away from Buckingham Palace, and has yet to be arrested for defecating on the Queen’s pillow. We’re talking about Manhattan, and if you’ve ever been there, it’s a crowded place. How close is too close, exactly?

    3. To the person who said Catholic/Christian extremists haven’t bombed or killed significant numbers of people in recent years, I ask: Have you ever heard of the Irish Republican Army? Visit Belfast or Glasgow sometime and ask around – just… be careful in which neighborhood you ask and what colors you’re wearing when you do.

  • 4. On the topic of how Muslim women are clothed, ask yourself if you’ve ever questioned the chaste garb (and lifestyle, for that matter) of nuns and priests. I bet you just take it as a matter of course, because it’s what you’re used to. Of course, there is spousal abuse and other unsavory activity that goes on among members of the Islamic faith, but again, look closer to home. Surely you cannot insist that no Catholic or Christian has ever abused another human being.

  • Brian,

    Strawman.

    The IRA is a nationalist organization. To be more accurate, they are a violent Marxist nationalist organization looking to impose communism under the guise of being “Irish” and “Catholic”.

    Being Catholic has nothing to do with it.

    They don’t espouse anything Christian AT ALL.

    You’ve never heard them saying they are dying in the name of Jesus. Only in the name of Ireland.

    You need to do better than that to espouse your anti-Christian bigotry around here.

  • Brian,

    Again your bias is grossly revealing itself.

    Religious wear their clericals as a choice, not in being imposed.

    Whilst on the other hand Muslims force women to wear burkas, regardless of their religiosity.

  • Brian, you’re exposing your ignorance or willful blindness– the folks building it called it a mosque until their PR guys realized that was not so good. They also called it the Cordoba House, until word got around what that indicated, especially with the 9/11/11 opening date.

    Also, you’re pointing to an opinion piece in the NY Times. Not exactly hard, unbiased facts– I notice you didn’t bother to do the research Powerline did about another time that “chairman” spoke in the NYTimes.

    As Teresa pointed out above, a building destroyed by chunks of the plane on 9/11 is part of ground zero.

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.

Continue reading...

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.