B.O. Supports Mosque near ground zero.

Ron Earp

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I'm not defending him, but his comment was spot on and I don't interpret it as saying he supports the building of a mosque there:
"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."
I too feel they can build a mosque there if it is done lawfully.

But is it a good idea?

I think the President is making a mistake in not offering an opinion here, but I will - absolutely not. It'd be something like putting a Japanese temple near the Arizona Memorial. Out of respect you just don't do things like that.

If that mosque is put there it will be an invitation to trouble. I'd imagine that in time that some militant Christians, or simply some pissed off Americans, would mount an attack on it.
 
#4
I have to agree with Ron, it certainly is the right for them to build a mosque there, but it certainly is incensitive. BO should have, but would never, say that it is their right, but out of respect of the people of the world,(as so many people of other countries were killed as well as Americans) this shouldn't be allowed. It certainly feels like an "up yours".
 

Ron Earp

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Seems that Mr. Obama doesn't wish to commit to a position on the mosque. I imagine he doesn't want to endanger his party with respect to the upcoming elections. Too bad that politics are overcoming respect for one's country and countrymen.

However, in not expressing an opinion I think he is still doing damage to the Democratic party. In fact, some Democratic members have spoken out and denounced the plans for the mosque. Regardless of which side you are on I suspect the Republicans will make hay with the issue and it'll further cost the Democrats some support in November.
 
#9
Yes, they should be allowed to build it,but building it there is a slap in the face to all that lost loved ones in the planes or the towers. I believe like others, some one will knock it down. Obama needs to grow a set of BALLS!!!
 
#10
So should we also ban a Roman Catholic Church from being built near the remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City?

Timothy McVeigh was Roman Catholic and he committed the second worst terrorist attack in the US, one behind 9/11.
 

Pat

Silver Supporter
#11
So should we also ban a Roman Catholic Church from being built near the remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City?

Timothy McVeigh was Roman Catholic and he committed the second worst terrorist attack in the US, one behind 9/11.
I don't think McVeigh's Catholicism was in any way connected to his mass murder. I also suspect he wasn't much of a churchgoer. On the other hand, the 9/11 conspirators very much were commiting their acts in conjunction with their religious beliefs.

As far as the mosque goes, "can they" is a different answer than "should they". Imagine you are a family or friend of someone killed on 9/11 and you are at the ground zero site when the adhān is played to call Muslims to prayer one of five times each day. It certainly will be heard a block or so away. Seems like an incredibly insensitive gesture.
 
#12
I don't think McVeigh's Catholicism was in any way connected to his mass murder. I also suspect he wasn't much of a churchgoer. On the other hand, the 9/11 conspirators very much were commiting their acts in conjunction with their religious beliefs.

As far as the mosque goes, "can they" is a different answer than "should they". Imagine you are a family or friend of someone killed on 9/11 and you are at the ground zero site when the adhān is played to call Muslims to prayer one of five times each day. It certainly will be heard a block or so away. Seems like an incredibly insensitive gesture.
Fair enough on the Catholicism comment, I knew that would be a response. His motivation was that he was upset about the government, Waco, and taxation; therefore maybe they should ban anti-IRS institutions near that site. (Where it may not be obvious, this last statement was sarcasm).

I am merely trying to be provocative since I believe that many in America blame all of the religion of Islam for what a small population did; as wrong as that small population was.

Regarding your "Can They" vs. "Should They"; I am fortunate enough not to have lost any loved ones in the tragedy but I can only imagine the amount of pain that was caused. Therefore I am not sure I am in a place to judge if they should or not; but I do know that I get upset when the government changes the rules on me when it is convenient for them (aka Eminent Domain).

I have seen many on this forum that are upset with public health-care, gun laws, higher taxation, etc. In each of those arguments I have heard individuals question why the government intrudes on their private place. If my understanding is correct and this property is privately held then they should be allowed to put what they want there.

I would be really disappointed if someone told me what I could or could not do with my property just because they did not like something that someone else did, quoting something that I believe in but do not agree with how they interpreted it.

I guess my only comment is that you should be careful what you ask for, if you want the government to stop something on private land, then you set a precedent; soon, that same government may want to stop you from doing something on your private land.

I for one want smaller government and don't like it when anyone tells me what I can or cannot do. Therefore I have to apply that same logic to others. Until they break a serious law, I think we need to leave private land alone. Otherwise it is a very slippery slope where those in power can impact those not in power in a much more significant way.

I want my land to be mine so I can do what I want; unfortunately that means I have to accept what others want to do is up to them.
 

Jeff Young

Bronze Supporter
#13
I think Kevin is correct. No public official should take a position on this -- it's a freedom of religion question. If the local ordinances, etc. allow it, and the property owners sold the property to the developers of the mosque, then so be it.

Whether it is a good idea is one left up to the owner of the property, not the government.
 

Pat

Silver Supporter
#14
Interesting point and I guess at the core of what I struggle with when I talk to friends that are Libertarians. The question is what is government’s role in public policy versus merely civil and criminal law. Where is the dividing line of when rights are infringed and the proliferation of new “rights”? I also see a blurring of lines of freedom of religion to freedom from religion. If some coach wants to offer a silent prayer for player safety before a high school football game, the school board censures him because it’s offensive to someone. Yet a mosque near ground zero is offensive to many yet it’s OK. Seems to me to be contradictory.
 

Jeff Young

Bronze Supporter
#15
It's actually not contradictory at all. It's about keeping government out of religion and vice versa. It most certainly should not be about anyone taking offense to a religious display etc.

--government should not endorse religion by sanctioning prayer from a particular sect at any government run event;

--government should not be allowed to say a particular faith can't build a church in a particular place.

In fact, the latter is far more dangerous than the former.
 

Pat

Silver Supporter
#16
Is punishment for voluntary prayer a "non endorsement" or a violation of the first amendment?

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.

Seems to me, a better argument is to allow the prayer, allow the mosque.
 
#17
Interesting point and I guess at the core of what I struggle with when I talk to friends that are Libertarians. The question is what is government’s role in public policy versus merely civil and criminal law. Where is the dividing line of when rights are infringed and the proliferation of new “rights”? I also see a blurring of lines of freedom of religion to freedom from religion. If some coach wants to offer a silent prayer for player safety before a high school football game, the school board censures him because it’s offensive to someone. Yet a mosque near ground zero is offensive to many yet it’s OK. Seems to me to be contradictory.
I agree Veek... it is difficult to determine where the line is drawn. The problem is that when a government infringes on public policy they will only get it right at most 50% of the time, if they are lucky.

To be perfectly honest, I have a hard time with your argument about silent prayers for a coach vs. building a mosque. They do not seem equitable because one involves religion in a public place while the other involves building a structure that individuals can worship in private. Maybe my interpretation of your example was incorrect.

If your example was that you did not understand why a Christian coach could not give a silent prayer but an Islamic coach could, then I would be at the picketing lines with you saying that is totally wrong.

We are moving into a world of too much litigation in my opinion. We should work it out ourselves rather than hiding behind high priced lawyers.... I am tired of individuals bi!tching and moaning about what the government does or does not do for/to them.

Individuals can picket the mosque and I would support that, we have that right. Letters can be written, laws can be established (with due process) to not allow mosques in a certain area, or any number of lawful changes can be made... but I do not support the president making statements that change laws which we have all aided by just because we "perceive" public sentiment has changed.

I want to be clear; I do not support what happened in 9/11 and it still makes me very upset. In that same vain, I don't want to be forced into a religion nor do I want to stop others from having a religion. I simply want to live a free life with less government trying to tell me what to do including build what I want where I want when I buy it.
 

Jack

Bronze Supporter
#18
I think the good people of New York will be the determining factor as to if it is built or not. Not the politicians, radicals, activists, etc.
 

Jeff Young

Bronze Supporter
#19
Test for any government involvement in religion, and whether there is a First Amendment violation (I actually tried one of these cases, involving a courthouse display of the Ten Commandments in Haywood County NC, and won -- and kept the display up), is this:

1. Is there ANY secular purpose for the religious activity in the context of a government sponsored/endorsed event? If no, then it is a violation.

2. If yes, and there is some secular purpose (in my case, the display was put up in the 30s as part of a recognition of the basis of Western law, along with other symbols), then is the resulting entanglement of government and religion "excessive?"

The prayer at a public high school game/practice doesn't pass test 1. No secular purpose for it. If you want to pray quietly to yourself, or in private, have at it. But government allowing prayer at a public event looks too much like endorsement.

Banning a mosque in a particular location because of the religion involved clearly has no secular purpose -- and is disallowed.


Is punishment for voluntary prayer a "non endorsement" or a violation of the first amendment?

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.

Seems to me, a better argument is to allow the prayer, allow the mosque.
 
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