Michael Kinnamon on Cordoba House and mosque at Ground Zero


An essay from a thoughtful Christian about the controversy over building a mosque in Manhattan; Kinnamon notes some of the history that should be considered:

For thousands of families, Ground Zero in southern Manhattan is holy ground. Thousands lost someone they love in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, and hundreds of thousands know someone who was directly or indirectly scarred by the collapse of the World Trade Center. The emotional investment in Ground Zero cannot be overestimated.

That is precisely why Ground Zero must be open to the religious expression of all people whose lives were scarred by the tragedy: Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, and more. And Muslims.

No one knows how many Muslims died on 9/11, but they number in the hundreds. One was Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New York City police cadet, emergency medical technician and medical student. When Salman disappeared on September 11, law enforcement officials who knew of his Islamic faith sought him out among his family to question him about the attacks. His family lived with the onus of suspicion for six months until Salman’s body was identified. He was found near the North Tower with his EMT bag beside him, situated where he could help people in need.

The point of this now famous story is simple. Not every Muslim at Ground Zero was a terrorist, and not every Muslim was a hero. The vast majority were like thousands of others on September 11: victims of one of the most heinous events of our times.

But for the family of Salman Hamdani and millions of innocent Muslims, the tragedy has been exacerbated by the fact that so many of the rest of us have formed our opinions about them out of prejudice and ignorance of the Muslim faith.

It is that narrow-minded intolerance that has led to the outcry against the building of Cordoba House and Mosque near Ground Zero. It is the same ignorance that has led many to the outrageous conclusion that all Muslims advocate hatred and violence against non-Muslims. It is the same ignorance that has led to hate crimeand systematic discrimination against Muslims, and to calls to burn the Qur’an.

On the eve of Ramadan on August 11, the National Council of Churches, its Interfaith Relations Commission and Christian participants in the National Muslim-Christian Initiative, issued a strong call for respect for our Muslim neighbors.

“Christ calls us to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:39),” the statement said. “It is this commandment, more than the simple bonds of our common humanity, which is the basis for our relationship with Muslims around the world.”

The statement supported building Cordoba House “as a living monument to mark the tragedy of 9/11 through a community center dedicated to learning, compassion, and respect for all people.”

Now the National Council of Churches reaffirms that support and calls upon Christians and people of faith to join us in that affirmation.

The alternative to that support is to engage in a bigotry that will scar our generation in the same way as bigotry scarred our forebears.

Three-hundred years ago, European settlers came to these shores with a determination to conquer and settle at the expense of millions of indigenous peoples who were regarded as sub-human savages. Today, we can’t look back on that history without painful contrition.

One-hundred and fifty years ago, white Americans subjugated black Africans in a cruel slavery that was justified with Bible proof-texts and a belief that blacks were inferior to whites. Today, we look back on that history with agonized disbelief.

Sixty years ago, in a time of war and great fear, tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans were deprived of their property and forced into detention camps because our grandparents feared everyone of Japanese ancestry. Today that decision is universally regarded as an unconscionable mistake and a blot on American history.

Today, millions of Muslims are subjected to thoughtless generalizations, open discrimination and outright hostility because of the actions of a tiny minority whose violent acts defy the teachings of Mohammed.

How will we explain our ignorance and our compliance to our grandchildren?

It’s time to turn away from ignorance and embrace again the words of Christ: Love your neighbor as yourself.

In that spirit, we welcome the building of Cordoba House and Mosque near Ground Zero.

Michael Kinnamon's signature

Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary
National Council of Churches

The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon

The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, a Disciples of Christ minister who is the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) clergyman and a long-time educator and ecumenical leader, is the ninth General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

The NCC is the ecumenical voice of America’s Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, historic African American, evangelical and traditional peace churches. These 36 communions have 45 million faithful members in 100,000 congregations in all 50 states.

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196 Responses to Michael Kinnamon on Cordoba House and mosque at Ground Zero

  1. lowerleavell says:

    I’ve searched for it several times since our discussion. There just isn’t much that has developed that is worth spending much time discussing.

    Personally, I was in the discussion for the principle of “could vs. should.” Really though, just because I “could” have a discussion for so long on the subject didn’t mean I “should.” lol :-)

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Odd how this issue just dropped out of the news. It’s almost as if the critics of Cordoba House were not really sincere, but just wanted to make some noise.

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  3. […] How about it, Joe, Morgan?  Doesn’t this plan meet yours and Sarah Palin’s objections t… […]

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  4. Almost reads like Kruschev’s “We Will Bury You” speech.

    Hey…Nick…Nikita. Is that you? Come back from the dead?

    Got both shoes on your feet?

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  5. Nick K says:

    Tell you what, Lower. Your Republicans can have the scared and ignorant white vote.

    I and my fellow Democrats will continue to take the rational white vote, the hispanic vote, the black vote and now the muslim vote. Plus the votes of all the other minorities your party keeps on treating like ****.

    Your party’s tactic may win it this election…hell it may even win the Presidency in two years.

    But we both know that sooner rather then later your party will be not be able to even be considered a national party with the way your party is going. Your party is simply excluding too many people for its own good.

    So feel free to win this year and in two years if you want…but within the next 10 years your party will not be able to hold onto the south with your party’s continued pandering to the scared white vote. And when your party no longer has the south…and no longer has the southwest thanks to your party’s continued attacks/racism against hispanics your party will be handing the Democrats the country for at least a generation.

    Your party is dying, Lower, and you’re too blind to realize it. This fearmongering is just one of it’s last gasps of existance.

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  6. Nick K says:

    Oh I forgot one. Why would your side be constantly harping “Obama is a Muslim” if not out of bigotry and trying to stir up anti-Muslim hysteria? And would you like to admit that is also an example of your party treating the American people as stupid idiots?

    You say that when my side accuses the protestors of bigotry we are engaging in “elitism” and are treating the American people as idiots. What do you think your side is doing when it accuses Democrats of “being anti-Christian” and “socialists” and accuses the President of being racist against whites?

    What do you think your side is doing when it says because a majority of the American people oppose that mosque that mosque shouldn’t be built there and the President shouldn’t support it? But when the majority of the American people believe that Bush’s tax cuts to the richest should be done away with your party conveniently ignores that? After all, even on the health care debate your party continously harped “The majority of the American people oppose it.” but yet curiously despite the fact that the majority of the people want the tax cuts to the rich done away with your party still supports those tax cuts? Do you really want to try and argue that isn’t an example of your party treating the people as idiots? Oh and even better when your party was hapring that the majority of the people opposed health care reform your side conveniently ignored that 15-20% of that opposition came from people who thought it didn’t do enough.

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  7. Nick K says:

    Oh and just to point something out for you. The reason I have gone after the right wing on the topic of the mosque, Lower, is simple. Were it not for your precious Republicans and their fear mongering the mosque would never have been an issue outside of NYC. Were it not for your precious Republicans there would not be hatred of Muslims sweeping the country and causing violent attacks on Muslims and their places of worship.

    Some on my side may be stupid enough to play along to your sides example of fascism…but your side is still the ones responsible.

    Oh and sorry you don’t get to complain about the term “bigot” when your side throws around terms like “socialist” and “President is a danger to the United States” hoping the people of the United States are stupid enough to believe them.

    Your side doesn’t get to play victim when its your side that has been doing the victimizing.

    Tell me, if there’s no bigotry going on here why was that guy in New York attacked simply because the protestors thought he was Muslim? Why was the cabbie stabbed after answering that he was Muslim? Why did the mosque in California get attacked? Or are you going to be like the man who says the woman was “asking for it” because she was dressed provactively when he’s accused of rape?

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  8. Nick K says:

    Oh and please don’t go off about “massive government spending.” According to the CBO, government spending as part of the GDP of this country is at its lowest point in 40 years. Less then 15%. But there you sit, trying to pretend otherwise just because you’ve convinced yourself that the Republicans giving massive tax cuts to the rich and letting the corporations take over is what is best for the American people.

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  9. Nick K says:

    Again, Lower, its a false comparison to compare that mosque to the nunnery at Auschwitz. Why? It’s real simple. The nunnery was on the grounds of Auschwitz…the mosque is not on the grounds of the WTC. It’s blocks away. It can’t even be seen from the WTC site.

    And I’ll give you credit for saying that if it was Christians who attacked the WTC then no Christian church should be built near there. But I’d still say you were wrong for taking that position. Do the Muslims of that mosque have anything to do with 9-11? Therefor blaming them for it and holding them responsible for it is stupid. Then there is the fact that building has been used as a mosque for a while now and it wasn’t a problem before. Then there is the fact that there are two mosques also within blocks of the WTC site and oops..there wasn’t a problem with them. Is every person who objects to that mosque a bigot? No. But you can’t deny that bigotry, racial hatred and just hatred in general isn’t playing a part in what is going on in NYC and elsewhere. There have been several violent attacks on mosques and muslims in this country in the last two weeks. Tell me, how many attacks have to happen..how many muslims have to be attacked before you realize that your side has created that? What reason are other mosques in this country being protested and objected to if not bigotry?

    The only ones who have a valid reason to complain about that mosque are the families of the victims of 9-11. You don’t, Morgan doesn’t. Fox News doesn’t. Sarah Palin doesn’t. The Republicans don’t. Neither do the Democrats who have sided with you on this. But this should never have become a “Lets protest the mosque” bit. If they had what they felt was valid objections to that mosque they should have sat down with the owners of that site and tried to work it out peacefully. But your side picked it up, ran with it and turned into a political football just in an attempt to scare the American people into voting with them. And instead of having the balls necessary to stand up and say no that was wrong Howard Dean and several other Democrats surrendered and played along. Oh and by the way, I didn’t call that Archbishop a bigot. I said he was wrong. Remember when you complained that I was putting words into your mouth? You just did it to me.

    Your side for 2 years has been on a “Lets scare the American people into putting us into power.” quest. That’s exactly what the Nazi’s did. And you think your party deserves power? For what? They ****** up the country the last time they were in charge. You are being played by your own party, Lower, whether you realize it or not. They don’t give a damn about you, they don’t give a damn what you think. They don’t give a damn about this country. They are willing to tear it apart if it puts them back in power. It isn’t my party that deserves to get its ass kicked, its yours. You say my party is the one that treats the American people as stupid and acts all elitist. No, Lower, it’s yours. Your party is the most elitist bunch of jackasses possible and your party does nothing but treat the American people as stupid idiots.

    Your party is nothing but a bunch of fear mongering jackanapes who don’t give a damn about the well being of the American people and this bit with the mosque is only the current page of that playbook. Your party is no different then it was 2 years ago, Lower, but there you sit thinking that they have changed and deserve to be in power. After doing nothing for two years to deserve power…after doing everything possible for the 6 or so years previous to **** up the country your party thinks the American people are stupid enough to vote for them. And if your party gains power I guarantee you, Lower, they will not do a damn thing to fix this country.

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  10. Nick K says:

    Lower, you say that mosque is scheduled to be dedicated on 9-11 of next year. Do you have verifiable proof? From an unbiased source.

    As for the TN Lt Governor, this is what he said: “Now, you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult whatever you want to call it”.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/27/ron-ramsey-tenn-lt-gov-is_n_659725.html

    Do you or anyone else, Lower, have any evidence to show that any Muslim or Mosque has been trying to enforce Sharia law?

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  11. Nick K says:

    Lower writes:
    nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/08/23/2010-08-23_bloombergs_tolerance_hypocrisy.html

    Interesting that the left keeps yelling louder and louder about the “bigots” on the right for desiring the mosque to be built elsewhere. Seems that NY has been on again off again denying churches the use of public school facilities for years and it continues to be in litigation. Will both Ed and Nic come out and call this religious bigotry? I highly doubt it.

    If it is religious bigotry then yes. But again, Lower, you don’t provide any evidence that is the reason. You just say it is and expect us to believe it. Do you have any proof that NYC has been allowing nonChristian religions to use those schools?

    Lower writes:
    The sad thing is that you actually believe that this is true. And you wonder why the American people are upset when they are continually slapped in the face with insults? You might as well say, “Down, you disgusting filthy animals!” It’s called biting the hand that feeds you and smacks of elitism and a liberal aristocracy to characterize the US this way. I so very much can’t wait for November to get here!

    Oh you mean like when Republicans insult the people by calling them lazy and greedy? You know…when the Republicans went after the unemployed arguing that most of them were choosing to stay unemployed? You mean how the Republicans continously insult the people of this country by treating them as stupid idiots? You know…by worrying about the defecit suddenly now when they didn’t spend any time at all worrying about the defecit when they were in power? When arguing that BP isn’t responsible for what it did? When the Republicans didn’t worry about that mosque before but suddenly they’re all butthurt about it? When the Republicans make a fuss about illegal immigration…a few years after they were the ones that killed the last attempt to pull off immigration reform? When the Republicans screamed about “death panels” and “socialism” and “Obama is a Muslim” what do you think is going on if not the Republicans are treating the people as stupid idiots? What do you think Fox News is doing when it spends an entire day going after a certain Saudi Prince for being a financial backer of that mosque implying that Prince is a radical Muslim and that makes that mosque a “radical mosque” but they conveniently don’t mention that same Saudi Prince is the second largest investor in News Corp…Fox News’ parent company.

    You say you can’t wait til November, I don’t know why you say that. Your party isn’t gaining control of Congress and your party isn’t going to have quite the success it think its going to have. Or did you somehow forget the fact that Republicans are the least trusted political party in this country according to every single poll?

    Your party has spent the last 2 years treating the citizens of the United States as a bunch of stupid idiots. And you’re too dimwittedly blind to realize that.

    You even did it yourself. You somehow think that the elections of 2006 and especially 2008 were about stopping “government spending.” You have somehow managed to convince yourself into believing that the people of the United States elected a Democrat…while expecting that Democrat to act like what the Republicans think they are. Then you expect the American people to believe that the Republican party are now so interested in dealing with “runaway spending” and solving its mistakes of the past when the Republican party of 2010 is the same party of 2008. You want the surest sign that the Republicans are not remotely interested in curbing spending or taking care of the defecit and debt? It’s because they still buy into this notion that tax cuts don’t have to be paid for and that tax cuts don’t add to the defecit.

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  12. Ed Darrell says:

    Got any peeps, Morgan? That’s a long post just to say you want terms. You were so certain before there were protests.

    Got anypeeps of protest?

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  13. I’d like some evidence that you’re right. It would restore some of my faith in fallen humanity. Got anything besides your say-so?

    Let’s straighten out our terms here first, Ed. You said there wasn’t a peep of protest prior to 11/08; I interpret that to mean anything rightward-inclined, be it politicians, hoi polloi, the hoi polloi’s pets, microbes living in their kitchen sponges, etc.

    If you’re now changing the terms of what you were saying before and confining it to the Senate Minority Leader, or politicians in general — well that’s just deranged, isn’t it? You’re saying if Republican politicians don’t point out what’s wrong with Republicans and give people reason to vote for the opposition, this is evidence that they’re irrational and bigoted?

    How often do politicians in the democrat party give us reasons to support their opposition? Is it the job of a Pepsi salesman to tell me why I should by Coca Cola products?

    No, I’m referring to the persons whom, at first, it appeared you were addressing. Sensible voices like myself. And yes, for your edification House of Eratosthenes Post #1 was a chastisement directed at President Bush who had just won re-election and babbled some foolish nonsense about reaching across the aisle to display a spirit of conciliation with the opposition he had just defeated. I thought at the time that was sheerest nonsense; people would say “Why should I take the trouble to vote for an imitation democrat, when I can just stay home? Or proceed to my polling place and pull the lever for the real thing?”

    Two years later, events proved me right. But anyway, yes, when George Bush governed like a democrat I had a problem with it.

    By the way, if the evidence did support your point, it would still be weak enough to be useless. Obama’s expansion of government bothers Person X; if Person X is not on record being equally alarmed and incensed about Bush expanding the government, Person X is obliged to shut his cakehole because you’ve exposed him as a racist — have I got that right?

    Such an argument rests on a premise that skin color is the only difference between Presidents #43 and 44. There are actually quite a few differences between the two. Just within identity politics, there are many things besides skin color. Party affiliation, for one thing. Person X might be more comfortable with deficit spending by a Republican than by a democrat. Just as someone who makes an effort to be centrist, might object more forcefully if a Republican starts a war than if a democrat starts a war. Sort of an “Only Nixon can go to China” thing. Would that be inherently irrational?

    Or Person X could be a numbers zealot…since, although the budget was in a deficit posture during the Bush years, such negative numbers have spun way out of control under Obama. You might check this page for some scary graphs with regard to our federal spending…in the way it really matters with respect to our national ability to bear the burden of debt, which is as a percentage of our GDP.

    Or, Person X could be trying to read the two Presidents to see if there’s any concern over the standard of living of future generations that will be required to bear this debt. Granted, Bush has always come across as a likable dimbulb unconcerned with such things. But Obama, and His friends in Congress (where the constitutional authority to spend money is really located), are actually coming up with multiple new ways to spend money! Bailing out GM, Cash-fer-clunkers, Stimulus II is going to be all-Obama. I’ve even heard talk about a newspaper bailout.

    Also, in order to regard the Bush tax cuts, or any other tax cuts, as an expenditure of money, you have to start with the premise that all money belongs to the government in the first place. That may be your opinion, but it is quite rational to disagree. Especially when you work your fanny off for the money you earn, it becomes very rational to say — congratulations on your temporary wisdom allowing me to keep a little bit more of it, government, but you aren’t “giving” me a damn thing. I earned this, it belongs to me.

    But back to your question, Ed. When you say not a peep of resistance prior to 11/08, who exactly are you talking about? By 11/08, President Bush’s disapproval numbers were pretty high. Are you saying that’s only among rational libs? There aren’t that many of them, and I personally spoke to quite a few staunch Republicans who were downright ticked at the Texan well before the date you gave.

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  14. Ed Darrell says:

    Your claiming it is so does not make it so, Morgan.  I don’t recall Mitch McConnell complaining that the Iraq War cost too much in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, nor 2008.  McConnell didn’t complain about any expansion of the federal government in those years, either — nor did most of the other people who now complain (erroneously) that Obama did it instead.

    Do you disagree?  I’d like some evidence that you’re right.  It would restore some of my faith in fallen humanity.  Got anything besides your say-so?

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  15. hat expansion came in the Bush administration, in about 2002 and 2003. That the opposition defended it until the moment Barack Obama became president-elect is a clear sign that it’s resentment toward something irrational — there was not a peep of resistance prior to November 2008.

    I’ve bold-faced the two parts that are absolutely false.

    You really need to stop making arguments that are Jenga towers, Ed. Your pieces are not as square as you believe them to be.

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  16. lowerleavell says:

    nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/08/23/2010-08-23_bloombergs_tolerance_hypocrisy.html

    Interesting that the left keeps yelling louder and louder about the “bigots” on the right for desiring the mosque to be built elsewhere. Seems that NY has been on again off again denying churches the use of public school facilities for years and it continues to be in litigation. Will both Ed and Nic come out and call this religious bigotry? I highly doubt it.

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  17. lowerleavell says:

    Krauthammer: “Now we know why the country has become “ungovernable,” last year’s excuse for the Democrats’ failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?”

    Ed said, “He’s right about that last part.”

    The sad thing is that you actually believe that this is true. And you wonder why the American people are upset when they are continually slapped in the face with insults? You might as well say, “Down, you disgusting filthy animals!” It’s called biting the hand that feeds you and smacks of elitism and a liberal aristocracy to characterize the US this way. I so very much can’t wait for November to get here!

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  18. lowerleavell says:

    Thanks Ed, for not only proving Krauthammer’s point but upping it a few notches too. :-)

    Ed said, “That expansion came in the Bush administration, in about 2002 and 2003. That the opposition defended it until the moment Barack Obama became president-elect is a clear sign that it’s resentment toward something irrational — there was not a peep of resistance prior to November 2008.”

    There WAS resistence to it by the grassroots of the US population. Why do you think Democrats took over in 2006? Because the Republicans made them mad! Why do you think Obama got elected in the first place?! To CHANGE us back into what we should be. That is the exact opposite of what has happened and the American people are angry! Unfortunately for Obama, it has been building and building since 2002 and now it has reached the boiling over point since there seems to be no from Obama that he will be slowing the tanking of our country down but rather he’s throttling the engine.”

    Ed, “Obama’s made no grab to expand government.”

    And Obamacare doesn’t qualify how? Taking over 1/6 of the whole economy isn’t government expansion??? I’d really like to hear your definition then.

    Ed said, “Unmentioned is this: Illegal immigration is significantly reduced since Obama took office. The irrational claim that Obama won’t act, when he has acted and produced results, smacks of bigotry.”

    Ah, so that must be why the unemployment rate is so high! To keep illegal immigrants from wanting to come to the US and get a job! It’s worked Brilliantly as attested to your statistic that illegal immigration has declined! I knew there had to be a logical explanation for this tanked economy! Since illegals can’t get a job very easily, there’s no reason to come…drying up the money trail by putting 9.5% of the US out of a job is brilliant! Why do we need a fence? Just make the US economy worse than Mexico’s and it will solve the problem! We’ll get there yet!

    Ed said, “The rub here is that Obama is opposed to homosexual marriage. So Krauthammer is blaming him for a position he doesn’t support.”

    The rub here is that the article isn’t about Obama but about liberals in general. Do a majority of liberals stand for gay marriage? Yep. Ed, you’re not helping his narcissism by attributing all liberalism to Obama.

    Ed said, “Irrational. Bigoted. Stupid, too. Wrong. Immoral to blame people for things they did not do.”

    You make these accusations right after getting the facts wrong about who Krauthammer was writing about. Hilarious!

    Ed said, “That’s bigotry even in a pure sense.”

    And I’ll accept these words once you put in print that Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Timothy Dolan are bigots as well. Until then, you are giving them a pass when I have taken the exact same position as they have.

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  19. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe quotes Charles Krauthammer, who appears to have stopped thinking in about 1993:

    That’s a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

    I’m not saying you can’t have opinions. I’m just saying that you can’t have a separate set of opinions that you call “facts” that are not facts.

    For example, Krauthammer said:

    – Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

    That expansion came in the Bush administration, in about 2002 and 2003. That the opposition defended it until the moment Barack Obama became president-elect is a clear sign that it’s resentment toward something irrational — there was not a peep of resistance prior to November 2008.

    What’s the only thing that changed?

    Obama’s made no grab to expand government. Fear based on imagined slights is not un-bigoted.

    – Disgust and alarm with the federal government’s unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

    Obama’s increased the number of people deployed to secure the borders, and has taken other steps. Unmentioned is this: Illegal immigration is significantly reduced since Obama took office. The irrational claim that Obama won’t act, when he has acted and produced results, smacks of bigotry. If it’s not racist bigotry, that’s good — it’s bigotry all the same.

    – Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

    The rub here is that Obama is opposed to homosexual marriage. So Krauthammer is blaming him for a position he doesn’t support.

    Irrational. Bigoted. Stupid, too. Wrong. Immoral to blame people for things they did not do.

    – Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

    But, you and Morgan freely admit that. It’s your dislike of Islam that makes you wish this building go somewhere else. That’s bigotry even in a pure sense.

    But you’re carping about the group of Moslems who support America, New Yorkers who suffered in the WTC attacks in 2001. Senseless bigotry, ugliness by definition.

    Now we know why the country has become “ungovernable,” last year’s excuse for the Democrats’ failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

    He’s right about that last part.

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  20. lowerleavell says:

    Man, I’m really starting to like Krauthammer!

    THE LAST REFUGE OF A LIBERAL (i.e. calling people bigots and other adjectives)

    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the “bitter” people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging “to guns or religion or” — this part is less remembered — “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

    That’s a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

    — Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

    — Disgust and alarm with the federal government’s unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

    — Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

    — Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

    Now we know why the country has become “ungovernable,” last year’s excuse for the Democrats’ failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

    Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities — often lopsided majorities — oppose President Obama’s social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.

    What’s a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument. The most venerable of these trumps is, of course, the race card. When the Tea Party arose, a spontaneous, leaderless and perfectly natural (and traditionally American) reaction to the vast expansion of government intrinsic to the president’s proudly proclaimed transformational agenda, the liberal commentariat cast it as a mob of angry white yahoos disguising their antipathy to a black president by cleverly speaking in economic terms.

    Then came Arizona and S.B. 1070. It seems impossible for the left to believe that people of good will could hold that: (a) illegal immigration should be illegal, (b) the federal government should not hold border enforcement hostage to comprehensive reform, i.e., amnesty, (c) every country has the right to determine the composition of its immigrant population.

    As for Proposition 8, is it so hard to see why people might believe that a single judge overturning the will of 7 million voters is an affront to democracy? And that seeing merit in retaining the structure of the most ancient and fundamental of all social institutions is something other than an alleged hatred of gays — particularly since the opposite-gender requirement has characterized virtually every society in all the millennia until just a few years ago?

    And now the mosque near Ground Zero. The intelligentsia is near unanimous that the only possible grounds for opposition is bigotry toward Muslims. This smug attribution of bigotry to two-thirds of the population (including Dean, Reid, and Archbishop Dolan – comment mine) hinges on the insistence on a complete lack of connection between Islam and radical Islam, a proposition that dovetails perfectly with the Obama administration’s pretense that we are at war with nothing more than “violent extremists” of inscrutable motive and indiscernible belief. Those who reject this as both ridiculous and politically correct (an admitted redundancy) are declared Islamophobes, the ad hominem du jour.

    It is a measure of the corruption of liberal thought and the collapse of its self-confidence that, finding itself so widely repudiated, it resorts reflexively to the cheapest race-baiting (in a colorful variety of forms). Indeed, how can one reason with a nation of pitchfork-wielding mobs brimming with “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them” — blacks, Hispanics, gays and Muslims — a nation that is, as Michelle Obama once put it succinctly, “just downright mean”?

    The Democrats are going to get beaten badly in November. Not just because the economy is ailing. And not just because Obama over-read his mandate in governing too far left. But because a comeuppance is due the arrogant elites whose undisguised contempt for the great unwashed prevents them from conceding a modicum of serious thought to those who dare oppose them.

    Like

  21. lowerleavell says:

    Nic, thank you for your post demonstrating to one and all what “fear mongering” looks like. That was your intent right? I can’t think of any other logical reason why you would have written what you just posted.

    Regarding the Gov. candidate from Ten, he was referencing Sharia law in his comments. I even read up on it from a liberal news article. His comments were that Sharia law is unconstitutional and could not be protected by the 1st ammendment. If it was more than that, then he was wrong. But I agree that political Sharia law is unconstitutional.

    By the way guys, I’ll gladly wear the label “bigot”, etc. when you use every adjective you’ve used on me and refer them to Arch Bishop Timothy Dolan. If he is the definition of a bigot, then this country could use some more bigots! If he is a bigot, then even Pope John Paul II was a bigot for calling for the nuns at Auschwitz to leave “devoid of reason”. We need more “bigots” like him, who understand that what you CAN do is not always what you SHOULD do. So, Nic and Ed, after you’ve finished writing out the long list of adjectives and apply them to the “bigoted “fascist fool” of a pope and archbishop, then fire away gentlemen!

    How many times must it be said that the main objection to this mosque is not the Muslim faith but rather the callousness to 9/11? Again, why won’t either of you respond to the dedication being scheduled on 9/11 – the 10th anniversary??? Convenience of sceduling? Come on! This has absolutely nothing to do with attacking the Muslim faith itself because both Morgan and I have repeatedly…and I mean REPEATEDLY said that if the situation were reversed where Christians had blown up the buildings, it would be bad form for a church to be built near the site…no matter which denomination. I would be just as upset as I am with Westboro Baptist Church that is practicing their consitutional rights, but are absolutely for picketing funerals of dead soldiers. How many more ways does it need to be said before you will concede the point that there is consistency between what is said of Christians and what is being said of Muslims.

    Why this makes me upset is because you’re calling me a liar for continually saying that I believe the exact opposite that I do. It’s easy to do because you’re not looking at my face but that’s one of the greatest insults you can give to me. Unless you accurately represent my position, this conversation will continue to go round and round in circles because I’m not going to let you accuse me of things that are simply not true.

    By the way, are there bigots on the right? Probably. And I’m equally confident that there are just as many bigots on the left. And yet it does little more than to side track from the conversation at hand and waste everyone’s time.

    Ed, I have no fear of Rauf personally instigating violence. And Pope John Paul the II had no fear of nuns inciting violence at Auschwitz. That point has nothing to do with this scenario.

    If I am a bigot, it is towards terrorism. But then, I’m not really a bigot, am I, because being a bigot is a paranoid, ungrounded fear. 9/11 proved that fear to be valid. It is not fear mongering to accurately state that this mosque will be taken by terrorists to be a major victory against the infidels as a holy site is errected in the place where the planes that destroyed the towers did damage. It is not bigoted to wonder why they are dedicating it on 9/11 on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. It is not bigoted to wonder why they won’t work towards reconciliation with Archbishop Dolan and officials of NY. You do understand that this building was close enough to have been damaged by the plane that was hijacked right? I would wager that this fact would make this location to be considered on site by terrorists – not near the site.

    Another thing that bugs me here: You (Ed) keep referring to this as the “community center” when that is only part of the site. The mosque will hold 1,000 praying Muslims – hardly just a prayer closet to be sure. Is there a community center? Sure – a lot of Christian churches make that claim too…even putting “center” in their name instead of “church”…but it still gets called a church. Why refer it to being a community center and not a mosque unless you have an agenda to do so?

    Nic said, “Sorry, that’s still an example of argumentum ad populum. And that’s a logical fallacy.”

    I used Donald Trump’s name as well as the archbishop’s name (or Deans and Reid’s names) not to demonstrate ad populum but to demonstrate that this isn’t just about the “right” being bigoted because there are honest, hardworking liberals with no agenda that more than usually agree with you politically and religiously that are saying that this mosque SHOULD be moved elsewhere. They’re not bigots, are they? They believe in religious freedom, don’t they?

    You’re actually the one making fallacious arguments here, Nic. Argument by dismissal, and the fallacy of composition (what is true of parts is true of the whole). And yet you’re the one accusing me of saying that I blame all Islam for terrorism when I don’t! Yet you at the exact same time assume that if there is even one bigot on the right, or one person on the right who is an extremist, all the right is an extremist. How is this helpful again??

    Nic said, “Oh before you two stupidly try to argue that the Nazi’s never used Christianity that way…don’t even try.”

    Oh, I love how you brought that up because again, I use John Paul II as an example and stand with archBishop Dolan and say that what the pope did with the nuns at Auschwitz is the perfect example of what should be done in this scenerio as well. No one forced him to, no one blamed Catholicism for Nazi Germany, but he understood the history and the sensitivity of the Jewish people and had it moved. Bravo John Paul! Bad form Imam Rauf.

    Once again everyone…………….they CAN build the mosque! Stop with saying that I’m attacking religious rights, ok?! They probably will build it if they can get the money. Bad form.

    Ed…again, no owner of Fox has contributed a penny to the building of the mosque. A twisting of accurate information to make a punchline. If my church built a women’s center for abused women, people would contribute who had no tie to my church but wanted to support our cause. To say that everyone who supported this cause gave money to our church would be an inaccurate statement. The same is true for saying money has been donated by a Fox owner for the building of this mosque.

    Nic said, “They are not required to make that choice. And if you really respect their rights as you say then if and when they say no you will sit down and shut up.”

    I have the right to say “bad form”, the right to peacefully gather and protest the site by stating my desire for it to be built elsewhere (though I haven’t done so – I live in AZ), and the right to ask my Representative’s position on the matter as well. And I have the right to vote. Not one person, not one protester that I have seen – NO one that I have heard or read has said that they CAN’T build the mosque there. Morgan and I both agree that if it gets built then we’re not going to do petitioning, etc. How is liberty threatened by saying they SHOULD not build and asking them to move out of respect and peace? Again, if I am threatening liberty, say so of your archbishop and Pope John Paul II.

    Kind of weird to be defending Harry Reid, Howard Dean, an Archbishop, and the Pope against a liberal Catholic. :-) Who would have thought???

    Like

  22. Nick,

    This is going on and on because it isn’t my job to convince you and Ed that I’m being reasonable. You two are supposed to craft an argument that appeals to me, and convinces me the Victory Mosque is an instrument for healing a division…as opposed to what it is, a Victory Mosque.

    Because let’s face it: The First Amendment grants me a right to freedom of speech, too. Which means it grants me a right to have thoughts in my head that aren’t appealing to you.

    Ed says it must be bigotry, because after all there are other mosques in the neighborhood and they haven’t agitated tensions like the Victory Mosque has. Now, think on that for a moment or two. I’ve heard the number of mosques in the neighborhood to be as low as 23…as high as 30. What does this mean, really? It means Ed’s point, far from being supported, is actually nullified. Anti-Islamic hatred? If it was anti-Islamic hatred that was the motivating factor, the 30 other mosques would be just as responsible as the Victory Mosque for stirring up the puddin’. And they’re not.

    There. That takes care of anti-Islamic “bigotry.” Better luck next time, Ed.

    As for you, Nick, you’re just making a complete fool out of yourself. The jerk who stuck that taxicab driver was not motivated by anti-Victory-Mosque fervor, he’s actually a member of the group that is pushing for the mosque.

    This point has been made before. You act as if it’s news to you…except you don’t even acknowledge it. The only explanation is that you’re showing off for somebody else, putting on an Alan Alda angry-guilty-white-male act, engaging in these diatribes to show how unbelievably outraged you are by certain selected things. Learning absolutely nothing.

    Know what I think? I think the rights and freedoms and liberties of us all, are in greatest peril when people like you and Ed start putting out monologues about how important they are. Because I can’t help noticing, right after you guys talk about this, out come a whole bunch of eloquent essays that center around all the consequences involved if certain things continue to be allowed.

    Kind of reminds me of that thing that gets forwarded around the e-mails: “If a Republican is offended by something he hears on a radio, he change the station; if a democrat is offended by something he hears on the radio he writes a letter to the FCC demanding the station’s license is suspended.” Don’t worry, I’m not like you — if they build the Victory Mosque I’m not going to protest or blockade or circulate a petition saying it should be burned or condemned or bombed or targeted by a laser satellite. I’ll just harbor the private opinion, and now & then say it out loud, that it is what I think it is.

    If you’re opposed to that, Nick, you’ve a right to your opinion but don’t go telling me you’re trying to preserve freedoms!

    Like

  23. Nick K says:

    There is something you and Lower don’t get, morgan.

    Politically speaking the longer this stupid controversy of yours goes on the worse your side looks. The longer this goes on the more hatred, fear and intolerance of Muslims will be created. The longer this goes on the more violence will be done against Muslims.

    You say you guys aren’t bigots but yet your side is responsibile for that Muslim getting stabbed, that mosque in california getting attacked, the GOP candidate for Governor in TN saying “Islam is not even a religion and doesn’t deserve first admendment protection.” The longer this goes the worse your side looks, the longer this goes on the worse your side makes this country look. Whether you realize it or not you are making muslims in this country into second class citizens. Why should the people in the military who are muslims fight for this country when this is what they are facing back home? How does the United States combat the extremists contention that the United States is at war with Islam when your side has ginned up all this hatred of Islam that is boiling over into acts of violence? How does the United States fight that contention when you are objecting to a mosque being built but you would have absolutely no problem with a church being built there…even if 9-11 had been caused by Christian terrorists. Do you honestly think the right wing would require a Christian church go through this nonsense? Do you think Fox News owuld go off on a bender?

    You and your side are screwing over this country’s security…and for what? That you’re throwing a hissy fit over a mosque being built in a place that has housed a mosque for the last few years with nary a word of complaint?

    Like

  24. It is resistance to being told what to think, Ed. You speak of the dread you have of American principles being steamrolled, or put to pasture, or whatever. That’s the singular founding principle of America right there, and this exercise that has been engaged by yourself and Nick is a textbook illustration of its abandonment.

    What you’re really arguing about, is feelings. Nick has a feeling that if the Mosque is built, people all over the world will be convinced America is not at war with Islam. Or lots of minds will get changed; or a few; or something. And conversely, if the mosque doesn’t go up this will demonstrate we’re a bunch of hardasses …his argument is based largely on this, and yet there’s absolutely nothing to support it at all. In fact the pattern has been that if people want to presume the worst about the United States, they’re going to go ahead and presume it no matter what, so there’s a lot of evidence to contradict what he’s supposing. But Nick has his feeling. He’s entitled to his feeling.

    My own feeling is it was almost guffaw-inducing when he pointed to the taxicab-driver-slashing incident as evidence of the damage awful people like myself are doing with our bad feelings…and it turned out that throat-slasher guy was actually a mosque supporter. And from what’s being written up about that lately, it seems the “hate crime” was triggered by the taxicab driver saying what LL and I have been saying in this thread: “That there was no need to put it there.”

    Morgan, I’ve repeatedly asked for a rational basis to oppose the center. You’ve offered none I can pin down, other than an irrational fear of something “other.”

    You know, you can make everything in the world look reasonable or unreasonable if you’re willing to close your eyes to one selection of evidence and see only another selection of evidence. You, Ed, say this is all about freedoms. I’m still waiting to see what freedoms are being promoted or protected here. All you and Nick have come out with, that I can see, is a bunch of can’t-can’t-can’t…anyone who oppose the mosque is supposed to be identified as a hater, even though the actual evidence says it is mosque promoters who are trying to kill our nation’s cab drivers. You call people bigots if they disagree with you on this issue and you don’t seem that ambitious to figure out if their opposition is rational or not, you give a lot of signs of having already made up your mind. The undertone that mosque opponents should not enjoy freedom of speech so as to express their/our ideas, is palpable. The whisperings of a climate-of-fear, unsupported by actual facts, persists nevertheless. It is obviously a campaign to silence.

    I am being told this is all about First Amendment liberties. And the actions I see, seem to be all about destroying those liberties.

    There’s supposed to be an exchange involved in the Victory Mosque…which would imply some kind of two-way street. Give-and-take. And yet I’m seeing only one side pressured to take on the burden of tolerance. If the Victory Mosque is supposed to be a healer of wounds, the evidence indicates it is a failure before it’s even started — and yet I don’t see anyone even beginning to evaluate it that way.

    This makes me suspicious of motives.

    And pardon me for saying so, but that’s reasoned and rational. There’s no basis for judging it any other way, unless you have pre-judged it to be…which I’m sure you know is the origin of the word prejudiced.

    Like

  25. Ed Darrell says:

    “Bigot” comes from “by God,” meaning a feeling of faith devoid from reason.

    It seems accurate, to me, in this case. Joe generally confesses that it’s a faith issue with him, though he still objects to being called a bigot, for reasons I don’t understand considering their origin.

    The Sufis are the peaceful branch of Islam, and yet the mosque opponents claim to worry about violence indoctrination. That’s not reason, but bigotry.

    New Yorkers had nothing to do with the destruction, but everything to do with the attempts at recovery. Culture center opponents claim they are offended, but not by anything they can point to that isn’t bigoted. It was a Connecticut guy who set off the dud in Times Square — where is the movement against Connecticut institutions?

    Boeing built the airplanes used as bombs. There’s no anti-Boeing, anti-aircraft, or anti-Seattle sentiment. Why not? Bigotry.

    Opponents of the center claim they would be offended by calls to prayer. They haven’t heard any of the calls to prayer made in the last two years, but they are sure they will be offended in the future. Any reason there? No. Bigotry.

    Opponents claim to worry about the source of funding for the center. Jon Stewart, in good humor and great accuracy, suggests the source of funding is a co-owner of Fox News. The criticism is directed at the cultural center, and not at Fox News. Why? Bigotry.

    The cultural center is intended to work to bring cultures together in the tradition of the Cordoba capital city of Spain, when the Moslems practiced religious freedom, Jews and Christians were welcomed, and the blending of the religious traditions’ better characteristics produced two powerhouse nations on the Iberian Peninsula who changed the world with progressive, forward thinking. Opponents worry about “glorifying” the deaths of people who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, though, without any basis in anything the center’s organizers have said or done. Irrational. Bigotry.

    Morgan, I’ve repeatedly asked for a rational basis to oppose the center. You’ve offered none I can pin down, other than an irrational fear of something “other.” Irrational fears are the definition of bigotry.

    Don’t want to be known as a robber? Don’t rob banks. Don’t want to be known as a chiseler? Don’t chisel. Don’t want to be accused of bigotry? Don’t be a bigot.

    I think you, and Joe, are uncomfortable with the word because of its accuracy in this case.

    Like

  26. Nick,

    I kick puppies, too. <wink>

    Like

  27. Nick K says:

    Since you two want to hold the Muslims in this country as being responsible for the violence committed on 9-11, are you two going to object to being held responsible for the acts of violence being committed against muslims in this country?

    We get to start infringing on your rights, right? We get to start dictating to you, right?

    After all…if you’re so principled you two are willing to abide by what you’re trying to force the muslims to live by, right? You’re so certain you’re right that you’re willing to do that, yes?

    Like

  28. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    Hmmm. Let’s see. “People who have an opinion about something other than the opinion Nick has about it, are bad people.”

    Sorry, not how it works. People who believe differently then me aren’t automatically wrong or bad.

    But when people believe things that are wrong or bad they’re bad people. Or what? Are you saying that the Nazis’ weren’t bad because of what they believed? Are you saying that Al Qaeda aren’t bad because of what they believe? You really should think through what you’re saying, Morgan, because you tried twisting what I said except for..oh wait…you backed yourself into a corner where you were in effect saying that every opinion is right. And that no opinion is “bad.”

    Sorry, Morgan, you and yours are acting out of fear, hatred and intolerance. Like it or not…that makes you bigots…that makes you bad. I am not going to pretend that a group of people who want to infringe on the equality and the rights of another group are “good people.” They aren’t. They….you are misguided and nothing you say changes that fact.

    They have the right to build that mosque there. Like it or not that is the truth. If your side was really so worried about “respecting the dead” your side would have tried negotiating, not using it as an opportunity to gin up anti-Muslim hysteria. If you were really respecting the victims of 9-11 you’d bother to recognize that not all of them agree with you.

    Do not take away someone elses rights unless you want your own taken away. Nothing about 9-11 gave you approval rights on any mosque in this country, Morgan. Nothing about 9-11 justifies the hatred, fear and intolerance you and moreover those your defending are acting out of.

    There are two mosques near the WTC already. There was no protest about them. There was no protest about this new community center/mosque until just a few weeks ago..despite the fact that the thing has been in the planning stages for a year. The only reason it is an issue now, Morgan, is so that your precious right wing can try to win the next election by tearing this country apart with fear, hatred and intolerance. Fear of gays, fear of blacks, fear of hispanics…and now fear of muslims.

    Just like the Nazi’s did.

    Like

  29. Nick K says:

    Yeah, Lower, the Archbishop is wrong. Sorry, little one, we Catholics aren’t robots. The Archbishop is saying his personal opinion and while he’s entitled to it…he’s still wrong. And so is Krauthammer.

    Ed, the proposal is that the New York government would trade them a piece of land. Imagine the can of worms there.

    I find it curious, Lower, that you never considered the ramifications of your position. Let’s use Krauthammer’s little piece as a jumping off point.

    The Nazi’s used/twisted Christianity to justify what they did to the Jews and everyone else. Does that mean that every single Christian church in any part of Europe that was conquered by the Nazi’s should be closed up? That Christianity, in act of respect to the dead, do what you’re asking that mosque to do?

    Christianity was used to justify slavery in this country? Should Christianity do the same in this country what you’re asking of that mosque?

    Do you even realize how much hatred, intolerance and fear your side is causing to form in this country, Lower? You want the Muslims in NYC to be responsible for what Al Qaeda did near 10 years ago. Are you going to be responsible for what is being done to Muslims in this country now? Are you, Lower? Are you, Morgan? Do we get to strip away your rights because of what your brethren are doing?

    Answer the question, Lower, because your blithely ignoring it is only you acknowledging that you refuse to be held to the same standard that you are trying to hold those Muslims.

    Oh before you two stupidly try to argue that the Nazi’s never used Christianity that way…don’t even try. I guarantee you I have had enough experience with my fellow Christians playing that game to be able to kick your tails from pillar to post on that topic.

    You may ask those Muslims to move that mosque, Lower, but if they so no that is their choice. They are not required to make that choice. And if you really respect their rights as you say then if and when they say no you will sit down and shut up.

    But the fact still is that your side and your party, Lower, is using this topic to tear the country apart with fear, hatred and intolerance. As I said, your party has in the last 6 months ginned up hatred of blacks, hispanics, gays, poor people, the middle class, people out of work and now muslims. Tell me, Lower, who is next? Who is the next victim of your sides bigotry?

    Where does it say that you get to turn muslims into second class citizens? Where does it say that your side gets to create hatred and intolerance of muslims? Where does it say that tearing the country apart out of fear is good for the country?

    Exactly how is your side acting any different then the Nazi’s did before the Nazi’s? Your side has already started acting violently.

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  30. Since I’m pretty sure Lower and Morgan can guess what the point I’m making…

    Hmmm. Let’s see. “People who have an opinion about something other than the opinion Nick has about it, are bad people.”

    Hey Nick, have you ever stopped to think how your ideas are evaluated? It looks like this:

    “I’m supposed to hate Muslims. Well, let’s see about that. Ummmm…nope, if Christians bombed something and someone wanted to build a Christian building really close to whatever it is, I’d still say that’s in incredibly bad taste. So that fails. What else has he got? Ooh, some angry words! So an angry guy is presuming to know how I look at the world and he happens to be wrong. Yawn.”

    So in case you didn’t pick it up, when I said you convinced me I was being sarcastic.

    I hope you keep at it. All the arguments from the left, lately, seem to have it in common that someone is supposed to be forced to accept something they would not, by choice, accept — dismissal of opposition. I see your “You’re bad because you disagree with me” as an offshoot of that. In fact, this entire thread, when you boil it down to its essentials, is just me & a few others saying “this tactic is not working on me” and you and Ed just doing it a few more times because you don’t have anything else.

    This technique of yours is well worn out. People are sick of it. That’s the reason the elections are going the way they’re going — NO Republicans have emerged as clear leaders, anywhere, and yet your guys are getting spanked because whenever they offer an opinion about something, they have to tell a lot of people to go stick it. It’s like a nervous tic, and it doesn’t seem to matter much what the issue is.

    Do keep at it though. People like you have soured the national discussion of politics to the point where it can really get any worse…and meanwhile, the change in ideological tone in this country over the last year and a half is absolutely history-making. It’s been enjoyable to watch. You’re proving that tea party sign correct, “It doesn’t matter what my sign says, they’ll just call it racist,” and as you prove it you continue to reap the benefits. You’re not arguing, you’re just name-calling with a whole bunch of words & paragraphs.

    I’m loving this. I’m having dinner catered on November 2nd.

    Like

  31. Nick K says:

    To quote:
    By the way, just as a point of news (not that it will matter to you very much), Donald Trump has joined the names of those who say the mosque should be moved elsewhere. Yes, he’s a Republican, but a majority of his contributions go to Democrats.

    Sorry, that’s still an example of argumentum ad populum. And that’s a logical fallacy. Let me be blunt…

    If 99.999% of the country opposed that mosque..guess what…you’d still be wrong. You’d be wrong legally, you’d be wrong morally, you’d be wrong ethically and you’d be acting out of pure unAmerican hatred.

    Like

  32. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    And yet, the memory of what happened, is still there. It’s predictable futile to instruct strangers to forget all about something that happened.

    I’m curious, Ed. You seem to be a more reasonable chap than that silly deranged character Nick. Yet you continue to use that word “bigoted” to describe people who disagree with you on this issue. Lower has politely asked you to stop this and you keep doing it.

    If I thought your side was being reasonable I’d return the favor, Morgan. But you’re not. To be blunt I’m being far more reasonable then you and your side are even attempting. I also tend to take attempts to blow holes through the US Constitution…especially the 1st Admendment and 14th Admendment’s as a personal affront. Sorry, like I said before…I don’t suffer fools. I especially don’t suffer fascist fools.

    If your side was being reasonable your side would have tried asking first. It would have tried negotiating. But no…your side jumped straight to “Lets gin up hatred of Muslims” and stupid protests.

    And sorry, while you and Lower may not be bigots yourselves…though you’re far closer to being a bigot then Lower is…quite a few people on your side of the fence are nothing but bigots.

    So before you chide me for not being reasonable…try it yourself.

    Like

  33. Nick K says:

    Since I’m pretty sure Lower and Morgan can guess what the point I’m making by citing this, I’ll refrain from saying it:

    http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/08/25/2053382/vandalism-at-madera-islamic-center.html

    Imam Abdullah Salem arrived at the Madera Islamic Center on Tuesday to find a pair of menacing signs, including one that read “Wake up America, the enemy is here.”

    It was the latest in a series of incidents that the Madera County Sheriff’s Department is investigating as hate crimes. On Sunday, a brick nearly smashed a window at the center on Road 26 just outside Madera. Last week, another sign left on the property read “No temple for the god of terrorism.”

    Signs left at the mosque claimed to be from a group called the “American Nationalist Brotherhood.” Sheriff’s officials said they hadn’t heard of such an organization.

    Some local Muslims worry that talk radio hosts who have repeatedly invited callers to express their anger about the controversy surrounding a proposed Islamic center near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City are fanning flames of intolerance — and putting their families in danger.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/#38857745

    It’s specifically the 4th story from the show yesterday.

    The lady’s name is Donna O’Conner. She is the mother of a victim of 9-11. She’s part of a group called Sept 11th Victims for a Better Tomorrow. And she and her group supports the mosque. Now..as I said..she’s the mother of a 9-11 victim.

    Would Lower or Morgan, since they keep on insisting that what they and their own are doing is trying to be “respectful to the victims” and insist that the Muslims in New York are doing the same, like to explain how exactly they and their fellow mosque protesters are being respectful of that woman’s dead child, her dead grandchild and to the woman herself?

    Where does the hate end, Lower? Where does the Islamophobia end, Lower?

    How is trying to force a group of people to go somewhere else at all an American value? How is dictating that they can’t worship in a spot that you would allow Christians to worship an American value, Lower?

    Oh here’s another article you should read: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67J45U20100826

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  34. And yet, the memory of what happened, is still there. It’s predictable futile to instruct strangers to forget all about something that happened.

    I’m curious, Ed. You seem to be a more reasonable chap than that silly deranged character Nick. Yet you continue to use that word “bigoted” to describe people who disagree with you on this issue. Lower has politely asked you to stop this and you keep doing it.

    Are you that far down the crazy-pathway that you’re no longer capable of considering the possibility people can disagree with you, and still have their hearts in the right place? Because if you can’t do that, you’re confessing to something else, and it would be very far down the list of confessions you’d appreciate making: That the opinions you form are not based on reason.

    Like

  35. Ed Darrell says:

    By the way, just as a point of news (not that it will matter to you very much), Donald Trump has joined the names of those who say the mosque should be moved elsewhere. Yes, he’s a Republican, but a majority of his contributions go to Democrats.

    You know, my objection to that sort of surrender is this: It’s a confession that the U.S. is waging war with Islam. That’s abandoning the founding principles of this nation, the principles that allowed the U.S. to make peace with Islam from the very start (from before the Constitution, even).

    I think we should not piss away our heritage on the basis of bigoted error. We shouldn’t act on error in any case — but in this case, the bigotry, a rejection of the founding principles of this nation, make it particularly galling.

    Like

  36. lowerleavell says:

    Ed said, “What do you make of the Fox News financing for this site? Shouldn’t that make you worry more about Fox News?”

    Well, to start off, I’ll leave the comments alone that you’re using John Stewart as your source for news now, and two, this Saudi prince hasn’t contributed a dime to the building of this site. His charity has contributed to Rauf’s projects, but not directly to the building of this mosque. So what? He’s a Muslim Saudi Prince – what are the odds he’s going to contribute to Muslim causes? Is anyone surprised?

    If it was Rupert Murdoch who was funding the site, you’d have a real story here.

    Here’s the raw story here:

    rawstory.com/rs/2010/0821/fox-shareholder-funded-mosque-imam/

    Interestingly, bin Talal also contributed $20 mil to Harvard in 2009. Compare that to the $300,000 he contributed to Rauf and you get his contributions to Rauf being small potatoes. Wait! Obama graduated from Harvard! Quick! Call Stewart! We may have a follow up story!!!

    Like

  37. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, here are the details that I could find. Just about every news agency has a story on it. Here’s one from the AP on Yahoo:

    news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100810/ap_on_re_us/us_ground_zero_mosque_paterson

    By the way, just as a point of news (not that it will matter to you very much), Donald Trump has joined the names of those who say the mosque should be moved elsewhere. Yes, he’s a Republican, but a majority of his contributions go to Democrats.

    By the way, Nic, along with Trump, NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan has come out in favor of the mosque being built elsewhere as well, though at the same time he praised Bloomberg’s work for producing healthy discussion. So…what will you do as a Catholic? Will you state that the Archbishop is wrong as well? Is he “stupid, bigoted, racist” etc?” Or perhaps good people on both sides just happen to disagree and you can tone down your rhetoric about the “fear mongering, bigoted”, etc. because even your own church leader agrees with me! I agree with the archbishop and with the Governor’s call for “respectful dialogue.”

    I fully agree with the archbishop and especially with his thoughts on the way this discussion should be handled by both sides. You can see the bishop’s full comments here:

    huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/19/archbishop-timothy-dolan-_n_687404.html

    Interesting that he praises Krauthammer for his analogy used in his article that you guys tried to blast. Are you sure you’re not on the wrong side of this one Nic, or is your bishop a bigot too?

    Like

  38. Ed Darrell says:

    The fact that Rauf is unwilling to move the site of the culturul center even though they have been offered to in the name of peace, is contraditory to what pure Sufi teaching would advocate.

    I’d like to hear details of that offer.

    This group has been worshipping at that site for many months, with no problems. It appears to be a fine site, for this group.

    What offer is there of a similar site, at similar cost?

    What do you make of the Fox News financing for this site? Shouldn’t that make you worry more about Fox News?

    Like

  39. Lower, I don’t know about you but I’ve found Nick’s confrontational tone, preening, dismissive cocky attitude, and constant stream of insults to be most compelling. A little bit more of the same and he’s sure to sway me toward his way of thinking on this.

    Nick, I congratulate you on your powers of persuasion, and your talent for showing the true spirit of fellowship being promoted by the Ground Zero mosque. Well done.

    Like

  40. Nick K says:

    Oh and that still doesn’t explain, Lower, how exactly that proposed building never got any protests or any of that folderol for the last year…until a mere 3 months before the next election. It’s only been in the planning/approval stages for the last year…but no..noone protested at all until the last few weeks…

    Or does it never occur to you that you and your fellow Americans on the right wing are getting played by your leaders? That they are ginning up fear and hatred of various minorities in order to gain political party exactly like the Nazi’s did in Germany?

    Or have you not paid attention to the fact that in the last 6 or so months the right wing has stirred up fear and hatred of Hispanics, gays, African-Americans and now Muslims. Tell me, Lower, who is next?

    Like

  41. Nick K says:

    Lower writes:
    The fact that Rauf is unwilling to move the site of the culturul center even though they have been offered to in the name of peace, is contraditory to what pure Sufi teaching would advocate. The Sufi, even more than the other sects of Islam, would do well to move the center since to incite such controversy and protests is counter to what they say they believe.

    Translation: The fact that they’re unwilling to give into our bullying in the name of fear and hatred is proof that they’re not interested in “peace” and “fellowship.”

    Seriously, Lower, do you think about the crap you say? Do you put even one second’s thought into what you say? They do not have to move it. They are not required to. They may choose to do so but it and pay attention here: IT IS THEIR CHOICE. And if they choose not does not grant you permission to use it as further justification for your sides stupid bullying. Sorry, you don’t get to say “offered in peace” when your side has not even been remotely close to “peaceful.”

    Maybe if your side had tried talking to them calmly, politely and civilly instead of out of fear, anger and stupid prejudice they might have been more inclined to listen. But guess what…your side didn’t. So don’t blame them for your side’s stupidity. I swear to God your side is like a husband who beats his wife and then blames his wife for “making” him beat her.

    If I was the one in charge of that community center and you and yours were doing what you’re doing my reply to any offer to move it would not even be fit for polite and civil ears.

    As for what you said about the Ku Klux Klan…you’re forgetting something. Islam is not Al Qaeda. The KKK is not representative of all Christianity…just as Al Qaeda is not representative of all Islam. But you’re saying, in effect, “The KKK is not representative of all Christianity…but Al Qaeda is representative of all Islam.” Which is why you and moreover those you’re defending keep on trying to hold all Muslims responsible for what happened on 9-11.

    Here, since you dismiss what happened thousands of years ago as happening thousands of years ago..lets use something a bit more modern:

    From: http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/140578

    So far in the last two years we’ve had an doctor who provides abortions gunned down in his church. He was a frequent target of that right wing bloviator Bill O’Reilly. An right wing white supremacist entered the Holocaust Museum and shot up the place and killed a guard. A mentally disturbed man who believed the “tea-bagging” movement’s contention that the Obama administration is destroying the American economy — and who reportedly owned a number of firearms — withdrew $85,000 from his bank account, said he was part of a plot to asassinate the President, disappeared and was caught in Vegas. Then there’s the attack on the Muslim cabdriver who as attacked and nearly killed in NYC for being Muslim. Then there’s all the other mosque’s around the country being targeted and protested. Oh and lets not forget the bombing in Oklahoma City that was caused by two right wing extremists with ties, among others, to the Christian Identity movement. They especially bought into the anti-government hysteria that your precious right wing has spent 30 years plus spewing.

    Should we apply to your side of the political fence and to right wing Christianity what you and yours are trying to apply to that mosque? Should we hold you and yours responsible and demand that you bow down to our demands? Does that give us the right to say that we have final say on what you can and can’t do? What rights you have and what rights you don’t? Where you can worship and where you can’t? Where your place of worship can and can’t build?

    Because so help me, God, Lower, I would have absolutely no problem in doing to you and yours what you and yours are trying to do that mosque just to get you to realize how incredibly stupid, dangerous and deranged your side is being right now.

    Are you going to bow, Lower? Are you going to say that Ed and I and our fellow liberals get to hold you to account for the actions of the crazies on your side of the political fence? Are you going to place your rights in our hands? Next time some crazed idiot on the right does something violent do we get to protest your church and demand that it go somewhere else?

    Like

  42. lowerleavell says:

    Ed said, “And it is your claim that this applies also to the Whirling Dervishes, the Sufi sect (the sect building the cultural center)?”

    To be sure, the Sufi sect is the most non-violent group of the Islam religion. Pragmatically speaking, it would be highly beneficial to Islam if Sufi’s took over the religion. That the group building the cultural center is Sufi is the one thing they’ve got going for them. That being said, there’s not a lot of strict Sufi’s these days. Most have been diluted with the other sects of Islam. The fact that Rauf is unwilling to move the site of the culturul center even though they have been offered to in the name of peace, is contraditory to what pure Sufi teaching would advocate. The Sufi, even more than the other sects of Islam, would do well to move the center since to incite such controversy and protests is counter to what they say they believe.

    The Sufi sect is an interesting study. I have been doing some research on them the past few days. Sufi’s (including Rauf) very much believe and teach the importance of Sharia law. Their tactic is simply different than those who are violent – they believe in infiltration through non-violence rather than at the edge of a sword. That’s a commendable thing, to be sure! The end game is the same in that Muslim rule (Sharia) is the goal of every Muslim sect. Those who accuse Christians of wanting a theocracy haven’t seen anything compared to Sharia law!

    Ed said, “Joe, I think anything you have said here against Islam applies in spades to Christianity, especially to the Inquisition, the conquest of America in the 16th century, and to the Ku Klux Klan. Will you urge your congregation to burn its building to avoid offending victims of lynchings, Hispanics and African Americans?”

    Well, since the church I attended on Sunday rents from a local high-school facility, I’m probably not going to urge them to burn the building. LOL :-)

    What Christendom’s ancestors did was wrong. Period. No defense of atrocities wherever they occur. Why do you and Nic insist on trying to get me to justify what is blatantly evil just because it is done in the name of Jesus? There will be a lot of people who won’t be going to heaven who did things because they thought they were doing it for Jesus. Jesus says in Matthew what he will tell these people who do these things in His name without having a relationship with Him, “depart from me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you!” I give no defense for them – Jesus doesn’t either.

    All that being said, I would have a big problem with a “peace loving” Klu Klux Klan “cultural center” that wanted to go up right next to the headquarters of the NAACP. It’s the wrong message and I completely oppose the Klu Klux Klan!

    Also, we’re not talking about something that happened 500 years ago in this scenario, it is something that happened 9 years ago and the violence by terrorist jihadists continues on to this day. If Catholic Spaniards were still killing and burning in middle America you’d have some legs to stand on in your argument. I’m not going to defend anyone’s actions who commits violence in the name of God, whatever religion they are from.

    Like

  43. lowerleavell says:

    Ed said, “Which sura is that?”

    I mispoke by stating it was in the Quran because the law called Naskh is how Muslim’s handle the Quran, it is not found in the Quran itself.

    You can find more information on this teaching of Islam here:

    wikipedia.org/wiki/Naskh_(tafsir)#cite_note-7

    Just to give an example: Mohammed was in Mecca when he wrote the passages about peace. He was in the minority and not as popular at that point of time. So, he called for peace. Later, when he was in Medina, he gained a large following and after gaining much strength began calling out for war against the infidels and those who believe in multiple gods (which they believe includes Christians who believe in the Triune God).

    So, some Muslims interpret Naskh to mean that when Muslims are the minority they should declare peaceful until such time as they have strength enough to fight the infidels. Others (Jihadists) just claim that the older passages of the Quran that talk about peace are just completely nullified.

    Like

  44. Jim Stanley says:

    Nick,

    Let me offer the standard rebuttals to your cab driver story and, thereby, give the right wingers a break on bandwidth.

    1. The man who slashed the cab driver was not a real Christian. No real Christian would ever do violence to an unarmed person. Of course, all the 9/11 terrorists were real Muslims and typical ones.

    2. The cab driver provoked the poor, innocent attacker by admitting he was Muslim. The presence of a Muslim cab driver so close to (whoops, I mean right on the very site of) the twin towers, just made the poor Christian fellow go berzerk. The wounds of NYC are still raw, Nic. And if we hang or burn a Muslim or two, well…that’s sad…but they need to learn their place.

    3. ACORN! Community organizers! Jeremiah Wright!

    4. The slasher was a closeted Muslim (like Obama) who is running around attacking Muslims (the victims may be part of the conspiracy, too) in order to make peace-loving, God-fearing, real ‘murricans look like terrorists.

    5. When the cabbie admitted to being Muslim, he did so in a very uppity fashion. There’s far too much uppity in this country since Michelle Obama became First Lady!

    There, Nic. The wingnuts can just pick one without having to do a lot of writing.

    Like

  45. Nick K says:

    Since Lower and Morgan and all their fellow anti-mosque friends want to blame Islam for the actions of a crazed few, lets see if they’re willing to take responsibility for the action one person took at their behest:

    http://www.ny1.com/?ArID=124338

    A city cab driver is in the hospital after being stabbed by a passenger who allegedly asked if he was Muslim, police tell NY1.

    Investigators with the New York City Police Department say it all began Monday night when a 21-year-old man hailed a cab at 24th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.

    Police say the passenger asked the driver, “Are you Muslim?” When the driver said yes the passenger pulled a knife and slashed him in the throat, arm and lip.

    The 43-year-old driver was able to lock the passenger in the back of the cab and call 911.

    Both the driver and the passenger were taken to Bellevue Hospital.

    As of late Tuesday, no charges had been filed.

    Like

  46. Nick K says:

    Joe said:

    The Quran states that if there is a contradiction between earlier passages in the Quran and later passages, you go with the later passages.

    Which sura is that?

    Wonder what Joe would say about all the contradictions in the Bible.

    Like

  47. Ellie says:

    Re: Fox News. Not really news to anyone who is aware that Rupert Murdoch has no loyalty to anyone but himself, and is only interested in selling whatever he can sell to acquire more money, and most importantly, more power.

    He is an evil person, and certainly a liar, and will throw gasoline on any fire available when it suits his purpose.

    In December, the Islamic Center was a good idea. Then Murdoch decided it was incendiary time, and the order came down from on high (Oh Great Murdoch, Whom We All Worship) to make it a bad idea. Of course, they aren’t going to mention their ties or who else owns them, and most of their viewers are too stupid to check things out. They just join the employees in worshipping at the Throne of Murdoch. Yes, Good Patriotic Americans worshipping at the throne of a foreign power who became an American citizen for the sole purpose of buying a television station, because here in these United States, he was not allowed to make that purchase as an Australian citizen.

    Fox, because they are an appendage of Murdoch will do or say anything, and the truth is not in them, nor is it ever required to be. And they have such a dandy piece of explosives here, because people don’t care about the facts if the “truth” is sexier and will arouse more emotion.

    Like

  48. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe said:

    do a google search on Muslim protestors if you want the pics . . .

    And it is your claim that this applies also to the Whirling Dervishes, the Sufi sect (the sect building the cultural center)?

    Have you ever read Rumi?

    Joe, I think anything you have said here against Islam applies in spades to Christianity, especially to the Inquisition, the conquest of America in the 16th century, and to the Ku Klux Klan. Will you urge your congregation to burn its building to avoid offending victims of lynchings, Hispanics and African Americans?

    If not, why should this group not proceed with its meeting house, even were your claims accurate?

    Like

  49. Ed Darrell says:

    This is certainly an interesting twist. Morgan asked, “Where’s the $100mil coming from, anyway?”

    Turns out it’s coming from Fox News, in a rather direct way:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-23-2010/the-parent-company-trap?xrs=eml_tds

    I’ll bet both faces of the Tea Party movement are stinging.

    Like

  50. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe said:

    The Quran states that if there is a contradiction between earlier passages in the Quran and later passages, you go with the later passages.

    Which sura is that?

    Like

  51. At 8/21 7:50pm Nick sez…

    You and yours are giving the terrorists a perfect recruiting tool, you are making this country less safe. And you are dishonoring the dead by using their corpses as justification for your petty hatred. And well…that is my right to say so.

    At 8/22 9:29pm Nick links a video at Alan Colmes’ LiberaLand called “America at its Ugliest” which is clearly intended to portray America in a negative light. Not a bunch of protesters. But the country.

    Nick: Please reconcile those to things for me. If you can. You’re worried about our country’s image overseas, or aren’t you?

    Like

  52. lowerleavell says:

    Can’t figure out how to post the pictures, so here are the captions from Islam protests throughout Europe, though the pictures are much more intense – do a google search on Muslim protestors if you want the pics:

    – Europe is the Cancer Islam is the Answer
    – Anglican Soldiers Go To HELL
    – Massacre Those Who Insult Islam
    – Freedom Go to Hell
    – God Bless Hitler
    – Be Prepared for the REAL Holocaust
    – Bush is the Real Terrorist – Osama Bin Laden is our Hero
    – Europe. Take some lessons from 9/11
    – Islam will Conquer ROME
    – Whoever insults a prophet KILL HIM
    – Slay those who Insult Islam
    – Europe You Will Pay – Your 9/11 is on it’s way
    – Behead Those who Insult Islam
    – Butcher Those who Mock Islam
    – Europe You Will Pay – Your Extermination is on it’s way!
    – Europe You will Pay – Demolition is on it’s way!
    – Sharia for the Netherlands!
    – Islam will Dominate the world!
    – Freedom of Expression Go to Hell!

    These aren’t isolated – they include protests in London, Rome, Netherlands, France, and Germany and the numbers are in the thousands! Are you SURE this is the religion of peace? Are you sure this is about liberty and tolerance on their part? Are you SURE that this mosque is not being dedicated on 9/11 for a reason? Are you sure this isn’t bad form on their part?

    Just to be clear on a couple facts about the Islam religion as well –

    1) Sharia law is a primary goal of the Muslim religion – there is no end until all the world is under Muslim control and all is controlled by Allah.

    2) Unlike the Bible that claims that all passages are true and do not contradict, the Quran does not make this claim as such. The Quran states that if there is a contradiction between earlier passages in the Quran and later passages, you go with the later passages. The passages about peace are earlier writings and the passages about Jihad are later. Muslims can legitimately state that the Quran calls for peace when they know full well the Quran states that these are overridden by later writings.

    3)Muslims are completely free to lie to infidels if it advances the agenda of Islam. So I do not find it comforting when Muslims are talking to ‘infidels’ about their beliefs and how this community center is about peace. If you want to know what they believe, only go by what they say to each other, not the American press.

    I also did a google search on those protesting the mosque – no call for anyone’s death, just calls to move it somewhere else and calls for an end to terrorism and peace. The difference in rhetoric is astounding! One pic I liked was a guy with a sign that said, “And they think a CARTOON is offensive???”

    Like

  53. Nick K says:

    Kindly explain to me, Lower or Morgan, where what happens to this guy has anything to do with the people doing it to him having a problem with a mosque near the WTC site. Or rather..explain to me how this isn’t a “Lets attack the Muslim looking guy!” incident. Oh…and before you open your mouths…the guy who gets mocked/attacked is a laborer on the actual WTC site.

    http://www.alan.com/2010/08/22/america-at-its-ugliest/

    Like

  54. Nick K says:

    Oh wait, Stewart didn’t go far enough. A Saudi Prince, member of a family known for backing radical Islam, is a major investor in News Corp….which just gave a million dollars to the Republicans.

    *imitates Beck* The Republicans have become the political party for Osama bin Laden!

    Like

  55. Ed Darrell says:

    I’m leaning toward thinking Frank Rich is right: Those who make a big whoop about this deal are trying to sabotage the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

    Like

  56. Nick K says:

    Since some on the right are insisting that the proposed mosque is really a terrorist command center, there’s this: Jon Stewart connects Fox News to bin Laden

    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/jon-stewart-is-fox-news-a-terrorist-command-center-video.php

    And curious isn’t it that a year ago Christian and Jewish groups endorsed the project. And oops..so did Fox News.

    Like

  57. Nick K says:

    Lower writes:
    Thanks Thomas for proving Morgan’s point better than anyone else possibly could. This isn’t about religious liberty – it’s about stopping those “right wing fanatic Christians” who have “gotten out of hand.”

    Oh? And are you sure that the opposition to that mosque can’t be summed up as “It’s about stopping those “fanatical Muslims” who have “gotten out of hand.”?

    Anyways, here’s a little article about the Imam for you:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/nyregion/22imam.html?_r=1

    You writes:
    Also, how about this mosque being slated to be dedicated on 9/11/11 – ten years after 9/11? Are you SURE this is about tolerence???

    Also, according to a Time magazine poll, Americans would be much more willing to have a mosque two blocks from their house than two blocks from ground zero. I agree. For most people, it’s about 9/11, not about peaceful Muslims.

    Really? Then pray tell why are so many other mosques around the country likewise facing opposition? And since when is building permits given out by popular poll? When did the entirety of the United States get permission to make decisions on what gets built where in New York City?

    Lower writes:
    By the way Nic, this “mosque” that you say exists in the Pentagon is an interfaith chapel – it’s just as much a Mormon Ward and Buddhist Temple as it is a mosque or a church. It’s not a mosque at all.

    Yeah…just like the area around the WTC site is an “interfaith area.” It’s just as much a muslim area as it is a Christian area and so on. That new mosque won’t change that fact and moving it somewhere else won’t change that fact either.

    Oh and by the way, for me this is about religious tolerance and freedom. That it ticks off the right wing when I oppose them on their bullying is just really frosting on the cake. One can be for religious tolerance and oppose you. However, you can not be against that mosque just because of where its proposed and still claim to be for religious tolerance. You want them to tolerate you but you don’t want to tolerate them.

    If your side was really so interested in being respectful here, Lower, your side would have tried negotiating with them quietly instead of making this a big giant hullaballoo. Furthermore, if your side was so interested in the victims of 9-11 your side wouldn’t be trying to turn this into a campaign issue. For your side this is one big giant smokescreen act to distract the people from the fact that your precious political right have no damn idea how to run the country or fix the country’s problems. Meaning, if it wasn’t 3 months before the election this never would be a controversy.

    As for the big about the dedication being on 9-11-2011, have any proof? Oh and I mean something actually unbiased. And if you mean “dedicate” as in the thing will open in less then 13 months try again. It took two years to build my church and that church is quite a bit smaller.

    But if they really are trying to dedicate the thing on 9-11 next year…fine then stick them to asking them to dedicate it some other day. But you’re going to object to Glenn Beck using the anniversary of Martin Luther’s I Have A Dream speech to engage in racism right?

    The only time I went off a side discussion about other things I disagree with about the Republicans was when you accused me of hating the right. And I chose to explain why I detest them. You opened the door on that one, Lower.

    As for this “Why else does Nic keep trying to have side discussions about the things he disagrees with the Republican party? I am confident in this point because NO ONE here has spoken out against Reid or Dean.”

    Lets see…I called Mr. Reid’s office last week to file a complaint about his position. I intend to do the same with Mr. Howard Dean. And oops..there’s this: http://www.alan.com/2010/08/18/howard-dean-wrong-on-mosque/

    Oh and by the way…according to the New York State Attorney General’s office..the fund to build that mosque…has all of $18,000 in it. Meaning they’re not even close to starting construction on it.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41238.html

    But please, Lower, continue to refuse to let the facts get in the way of your little narrative.

    I find it cute you chide me for bringing up side issues but you did the same with that church in NYC, however. Even better…you didn’t even bother to do any research into why that church hadn’t been granted permission to build. It’s as if you expected me to be dumb enough to think that we poor Christians are being persecuted in a country where we’re 80% of the population.

    Like

  58. lowerleavell says:

    Thomas: “I am following this discussion because the influence of right wing fanatic christians in the United States has gotten so out of hand in recent decades and IT IS TIME THEY ARE STOPPED. IN THEIR TRACKS(emphasis mine).”

    Thanks Thomas for proving Morgan’s point better than anyone else possibly could. This isn’t about religious liberty – it’s about stopping those “right wing fanatic Christians” who have “gotten out of hand.”

    So glad to see you all are for religious tolerance and liberty. Sigh…I figured if we gave enough time, we’d stop beating around the bush and get to the heart of the issue in writing. Thanks for pointing it out Thomas. Glad to see if Christians are ever in the minority where you would stand on religious liberty.

    By the way Nic, this “mosque” that you say exists in the Pentagon is an interfaith chapel – it’s just as much a Mormon Ward and Buddhist Temple as it is a mosque or a church. It’s not a mosque at all.

    Also, you have yet to address Howard Dean and Harry Reid – are they religious bigots who need to “shut up”? Can I count on you supporting the Republican who is running against Reid to get those bigots to “shut up”?

    Also, how about this mosque being slated to be dedicated on 9/11/11 – ten years after 9/11? Are you SURE this is about tolerence???

    Also, according to a Time magazine poll, Americans would be much more willing to have a mosque two blocks from their house than two blocks from ground zero. I agree. For most people, it’s about 9/11, not about peaceful Muslims.

    You all (especially Thomas and Nic) are simply using this whole thing as a soap box for all the disagreements you have with the right. Why else does Nic keep trying to have side discussions about the things he disagrees with the Republican party? I am confident in this point because NO ONE here has spoken out against Reid or Dean.

    Like

  59. Yeah Thomas, I think you’re having an Inigo Montoya moment with that word “bigotry.”

    Once you start making sounds like THIS SIDE GOOD…THAT SIDE BAD…you’re it.

    Like

  60. thomas says:

    I am following this discussion because the influence of right wing fanatic christians in the United States has gotten so out of hand in recent decades and it is time they are stopped. In their tracks.

    I served in the USAF in the late ’60’s and ’70’s. There were two major issues the USAF (I assume all branches of the US military) handled with precision and with a zero tolerance policy. One was racism. Everyone was mandated to attend what was called “Race Relations Training.” It was a lengthy, in-your-face training forcing any person who held racist ideas or who thought they could act out their racism – to face that racism. They were forced to change – to accept that racism was not tolerated in any form or fashion, and if they could not or would not change – they were shown the door. It worked beautifully.

    The second issue was separation of church (religion) and state (the USAF). There was NO acceptance of any proselytizing by anyone. No one could intimidate others into “accepting jesus christ, blah, blah, blah.” No Commander would have allowed that. Chaplains were available to those who sought them out for comfort or counseling. Religion was not allowed into the day to day mission. Not at all.

    Of course we all know that since the fundamentalist/evangelical fanatics have grown in power in the US, they even have gained inroads into the US military. The USAF Academy had had a serious problem with evangelical christians taking positions of power as trainers, teachers and Staff Officers. Thanks to a Jewish student and his family, that is being stopped. There is no excuse for such behavior in the US military. We are a nation of law and of the separation of church and state as one of our founding and guiding principles.

    The opposition to the NYC Mosque by bigots and racists such as Sarah Palin is a scream from a dying monster – the monster of xenophobia and right wing christian extremism – a monster that is losing its power. Think of the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz.

    Like

  61. Oh, I see. Contrary to your earlier claims, I really haven’t said anything sufficiently incriminating so you have to play the game of “Let’s see Morgan denounce this” so you can put some words in my mouth. What are we gonna pretend I’m endorsing next, “I can see Russia from my house?”

    Nick, let’s get back to the subject at hand.

    Bill Whittle’s video just cuts through all the crap. It does something you don’t, which is to distinguish between reconciliation efforts that demand tolerance out of one side, versus more honest efforts that demand it out of both.

    He starts talking about you, Nick, at 12:50. Hope you can stay tuned in that long.

    http://www.peekinthewell.net/blog/it-is-weakness-that-starts-wars/

    Like

  62. Nick K says:

    Lets see Lower and Morgan condemn this “Christian.” Oh and Lower, I’ll be waiting for you to say that this guy should not be allowed to do his “preaching” inside the public schools too. I’ll be waiting for you to condemn the Republicans for supporting that jagoff. I’ll be waiting for you two to apply to Christianity because of that jagoff what you’re trying to apply to Islam. And tell me, you two, where is your concern about the mosque that is inside the Pentagon? After all…people died in the Pentagon on 9-11. If you’re so thinking that mosque in NYC is offensive because it’s going to be two blocks from the WTC site…how come you don’t find the other two mosques near the WTC site offensive? Or can you be honest enough to admit that your being offended at it is a lie and made up?

    Christian says that executing homosexuals is moral

    You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry that brings its hard rock gospel into public schools, has been deepening its long-running ties to the Republican Party of Minnesota. Long a cause célèbre for Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has twice lent her name to the group’s fundraising efforts, You Can Run (YCR) had a booth at the GOP convention in April, and the group’s frontman, Bradlee Dean, reports that gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer recently accepted an invitation to visit with him at Dean’s home. But recent controversial statements by Dean — that Muslim countries calling for the execution of gays and lesbians are “more moral than even the American Christians” — have drawn the ire of some both within and outside the party.

    “Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said on YCR’s May 15 radio show on AM 1280 the Patriot. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”

    “If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that,” Dean continued. “That is what you are seeing in America.”

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  63. Nick,

    I understand the rage and the grief. You’re finding everyone in the world doesn’t necessarily have the same opinions that you do. For an immature mind this comes as a shock. First step in getting better is admitting you have a problem.

    Now along the way, it’s very common for people to engage in a common false belief: “**I** am merely expressing disapproval of something, ***YOU*** are trying to make a rule!” You can’t play that card here because you’ve explained, repeatedly, that the law is the law is the law as far as granting the permit for building this Mosque, and everyone needs to get behind it.

    Speaking for myself, I’ve gone as far as calling bullshit on Ed when he says RLUIPA requires that the permit be granted. From all I’ve read about this, it doesn’t seem this is the case at all; in fact, one of the example cases I cited was specifically about a RLUIPA lawsuit, in which the defense prevailed. It isn’t the kind of suit where a council says “Because of RLUIPA, our hands are tied” — I know Ed was trying to make it look like that, but that’s not what it is. It’s another tool in the box for lawyers who want to go hunting; an ambulance-chaser law. It’s a delegation from Congress to the Justice Department to go throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks…a very common tactic to deploy in the Clinton era.

    So far as I know, at this point, any little thing you want to put up, there’s at least a fighting chance it might be turned down if it pisses off enough of the community. RLUIPA might provide an avenue by which a different outcome might be sought, but it doesn’t decide the issue by itself.

    Now, I’ll not answer any of your hypothetical scenarios because I’m still waiting for a response to my own: Christian institution wants to erect a Christian edifice on private property, which happens to be deplorably near a site of a massacre committed by Christians. Since we haven’t had Christians knock down buildings with hijacked jet planes lately, this would require some creativity from you, and being an agenda driven liberal you aren’t going to supply it. So that’s fallen flat; you aren’t sufficiently friendly to an intellectual discourse, and Christians aren’t massacring enough people.

    So I’ll tell you what I will do. I’ll condense the problem with your argument so that the summary can be managed by your limited attention span…maybe…after you’ve calmed down from this traumatic experience of encountering someone who disagrees with you.

    Your argument, as I see it, is — “‘Should’ doesn’t matter, ‘can’ is the only thing that matters, so when something is clearly legal, expressing your disapproval is something you shouldn’t do!”

    See the contradiction?

    It’s like the old canard about “all absolute statements fail.” No matter how you cut it, in order to maintain what you’re trying to say, you have to monopolize a “right” to deplore things — while denying it to your opposition. And claiming you’re all about equal rights for everyone, in the middle of demonstrating you’re not for this.

    Like

  64. Nick K says:

    By the way, Morgan, just to explain something to you.

    The reason I said “shouldn’t doesn’t matter” basially boils down to the fact that in this country things are decided by the law. Meaning, whether NYC approves the permits for that mosque are decided on the law. NYC can not say “Well, we can’t let a Mosque be built here” because unless they decide to allow no places of religious worship to be built anywhere near the WTC site they are discriminating and walking themselves into a lawsuit they wouldn’t win.

    Furthermore, you say “what about the families of the 9-11 victims?” but you ignore the fact that more then a few of the families of the victims have said they have no problem with the mosque.

    You ignore the fact that there are two other mosques already there, that this proposed building is intending to replace one of those mosques because it is too small (in other words they have a viable and reasonable reason to build that mosque instead of this trumped up “Islamic Triumphalism” you and the others spout.) You ignore the fact that if it had been Christians who blew up the WTC building you’d be among the last to block any Christian church from building there.

    And you argue that the Muslims should be respectful and understanding but you are not interested in being respectful or understanding at all. In fact I doubt that if those Muslims decide to proceed to build that mosque there, assuming they get approval, that you would bother to be respectful enough to acknowledge their right to make their decision. You and the others would still spout off, make stupid unfounded accusations and demand that they obey you and all the while protesting that you were the ones being bullied, harassed and victimized.

    You have the right to say your opinion…but it is their decision ultimately so now it is time for you to respect that fact. They may choose to listen to you and the others…but acknowledge the fact that they are not required to.

    Oh and next time before you claim that the area around the WTC site is sacred I also suggest you speak out against the actual affronts to “sacredness” that are near there. You know..the porn shops, the strip joints and such.

    But I suggest that you start to prove that this isn’t a “Hate Muslim fest” with you by bothering to acknowledge that the people opposing mosques in other places are doing so out of fear and hate. Because I’ve pointed out that mosques in other places have been opposed and you have not uttered a peep about them.

    One of our ideals is religious freedom. I suggest you start practicing that ideal instead of this nitwitted “I get to approve whether other religions can worship here or not” bulldrek you’re engaging in.

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  65. Nick K says:

    Lower, Morgan, so tell me you’re going to back the soldiers who are claiming they were punished for not attending a Christian rock concert right?

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Army said Friday it was investigating a claim that dozens of soldiers who refused to attend a Christian band’s concert at a Virginia military base were banished to their barracks and told to clean them up.

    Fort Eustis spokesman Rick Haverinen told The Associated Press he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the investigation. At the Pentagon, Army spokesman Col. Thomas Collins said the military shouldn’t impose religious views on soldiers.

    “If something like that were to have happened, it would be contrary to Army policy,” Collins said.

    Pvt. Anthony Smith said he and other soldiers felt pressured to attend the May concert while stationed at the Newport News base, home of the Army’s Transportation Corps.

    “My whole issue was I don’t need to be preached at,” Smith said in a phone interview from Phoenix, where he is stationed with the National Guard. “That’s not what I signed up for.”

    Smith, 21, was stationed in Virginia for nearly seven months for helicopter electrician training when the Christian rock group BarlowGirl played as part of the “Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concerts.”

    Smith said a staff sergeant told 200 men in their barracks they could either attend or remain in their barracks. Eighty to 100 decided not to attend, he said.

    “Instead of being released to our personal time, we were locked down,” Smith said. “It seemed very much like a punishment.”

    The Military Religious Freedom Foundation first reported on the Christian concert. The foundation said it was approached by soldiers who were punished for not attending or offended by the religious theme of the event.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/21/troops-skipping-christian_n_690032.html

    Like

  66. Your idea that popular whim should allow the trumping of the law is the most destructive idea of them all.

    Even compared to you? Everyone has to agree with you or you can say all these bad things about them.

    And all because on 9-11 you became a coward and so desperately want to give the terrorists exactly what they want…to turn this from a war of the United States against terrorism..to a war of the United States against Islam.

    The idea that, once the mosque goes in, the terrorists are all going to go “Oh no, they’re staying tolerant those Americans…we didn’t scare them into giving up their freedoms, ah, we suck so much!” just like The Grinch hearing the Whos singing on Christmas morning.

    Go on, keep peddling it. You already look as foolish as you’re ever going to.

    So, Nick is in favor of Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s “racist rant.” Popular whim shouldn’t allowing trumping of the law…and the First Amendment says she should be able to say what she wants.

    Nick is also in favor of a Serbian Orthodox center being erected right by the killing fields.

    Furthermore, once the Ground Zero mosque goes in, Greg Gutfield can enjoy Nick’s complete support of the gay bars he plans to open right next door. Nick also supports my plan to open a gun shop right by Columbine.

    You were probably pleased as punch when that bereaved father had to hand over that judgment amount to Rev. Fred Phelps.

    For those who are smarter and have better personal insight than Nick…

    This is a short, slick, slippery slope of its own. When the law defines morality and there is no “should,” the word “can” is the only thing that matters — your replacement “should” takes on a life of its own. Suddenly you get this “should” that says “we must keep our personal liberties intact.” Which is noble, of course…but in the space of an instant, suddenly you’re giving uneven importance to these “cans.” It’s the most reprehensible “cans” that get the priority.

    And then you get to be like Nick. Someone logs onto a blog and says “Whoah, I see a problem with this”…and you condemn them for it.

    Many of us are just saying “You know, if my son got killed in the attacks, I don’t think I’d like this.” Refer to Nick’s comments to see how we’re ripped apart for this. We have low character, we’re moral reprobates, we’re detestable…which means the hypothetical bereaved parent, not quite so hypothetical with three thousand dead, is also detestable and horrible just for having such natural feelings.

    Nick can say all he wants that he’s not out to interfere with anybody’s rights. But it’s obvious he doesn’t want us to have them. We are to “shut up about it and respect their decision” otherwise we’re giving the terrorists a “perfect recruiting tool.” That means freedom of speech is not for us. It isn’t for the bereaved parents who are naturally offended by this Ground Zero Mosque.

    So some of us have these basic rights, others don’t, or shouldn’t. We got to this point by avoiding “shoulds,” saying they don’t matter, the absolute preservation of personal liberties is too precious. This is where it takes us. Some of us are superpeople who get to express opinions about what we find detestable…others don’t have this because we’re not good people.

    Nick, in his blind rage, has become the polar opposite of what he seeks to be. And he’s in some very good company this way.

    So Nick, my verdict on your way of thinking is FAIL. It doesn’t achieve what it is supposed to achieve. It bends around in a perfect 180 just like a paper clip.

    And to think, this disagreement started because I’m the one who was factoring in how people would feel about things, and you’re supposed to be the rational one looking far down the road at what would happen to our personal liberties. Huh. How’d that work out.

    Like

  67. And well…that is my right to say so.

    Wish I was cool, like you, Nick. Then I could have a right like that. That’d be completely awesome.

    Like

  68. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    This is, by the way, the reason Nick’s idea of “should doesn’t matter” is so destructive. It’s a good way for a society to work only if it’s filled with weak people, with weak character. Such a society ultimately becomes a weak society, because it becomes a place where people are constantly telling each other to f— off.

    Oh you mean people like you who have the weakest character of them all? Sorry, Morgan, when it comes to strong character…between you and yours and me and mind…you and yours fall way short. You fall short in character and you fall short in morality.

    Your idea that popular whim should allow the trumping of the law is the most destructive idea of them all. Your idea that fear, hatred and intolerance should trump people’s rights to worship in a building that you would allow if they were Christian is very destructive.

    And all because on 9-11 you became a coward and so desperately want to give the terrorists exactly what they want…to turn this from a war of the United States against terrorism..to a war of the United States against Islam.

    Like

  69. Nick K says:

    That should be “while trying to divide the country so your side can win an election by mimicing some…

    Like

  70. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    Your own bullying implication that we don’t have the right to speak out against the Ground Zero Mosque, register any objections, maybe not even think them to ourselves,

    Oh, speak your mind all you want, Morgan. But before you talk about “bullying” tell me….if they decide to build that building where they want instead of doing as you wish…are you and yours going to shut up about it and respect their decision? Or are you going to be bullies about it?

    Noone here has tried taking away your rights, and noone here has been bullies to you. Not even me. Yes I’ve been harsh..but sorry I find ignorant fear mongering, ignorant hate mongering, blatant racism, and using those things to score political points while trying to divide the country so your side can win an election but mimicing some of what the Nazi’s did to the Jews to be..well..detestable. I also find it morally depraved. And I also find it UnAmerican.

    You and yours are giving the terrorists a perfect recruiting tool, you are making this country less safe. And you are dishonoring the dead by using their corpses as justification for your petty hatred.

    And well…that is my right to say so.

    Like

  71. Nick K says:

    To quote:
    this is post 911 America, it is our responsibility to question and be vigilant…or we will surrender our rights!

    You’re not being asked to surrender any rights. And there is a difference between vigilance and paranoia. There is a difference between responsibility and fear/hate mongering.

    And I find it curious that you whine about “or we will surrender our rights”….but you are asking them to surrender their rights.

    You are being a rank hypocrite and a coward.

    Like

  72. Where’s the beef? There ain’t any.

    The Golden Rule, Ed. Persons of weak character would say it has no binding force at all, although persons of strong character regard it as the mightiest law of all. Both are right. This is why we don’t open gun shops across the street from Columbine High School.

    This is, by the way, the reason Nick’s idea of “should doesn’t matter” is so destructive. It’s a good way for a society to work only if it’s filled with weak people, with weak character. Such a society ultimately becomes a weak society, because it becomes a place where people are constantly telling each other to f— off.

    By the way, I’m noticing your blog is filled with a curious mindset and it isn’t just you. People start talking about the sanctity of some precious personal liberty, and by the time they’re done prattling with whatever, the rest of us are about to become a lot less free than when they started.

    Your own bullying implication that we don’t have the right to speak out against the Ground Zero Mosque, register any objections, maybe not even think them to ourselves, that’s a good example of what I’m talking about. “Religious freedom” is precious, so wham-bam, our right to peaceably assemble and petition our government about our grievances…it’s history. Our freedom is so precious that there need to be some rules to make us behave right.

    Here’s another example.

    No. You have no right to draw “a line in the sand” regarding prayer in public schools. It is unconstitutional. Always has been. It was practiced for a period of time in some public schools in the United States because the christians had such power and influence and our nation was less diverse and so the christians were able to impose their will. No more.

    Thomas, first of all, if this was an accurate legal summary then Engel v. Vitale would have meant nothing. And if you really think this is correct, you’d better write to the Oyez website so they can strike misleading, mistaken statements like “This was the first in a series of cases in which the Court used the establishment clause to eliminate religious activities of all sorts, which had traditionally been a part of public ceremonies.”

    Also, this statement ignores the fact that the Constitution, and the First Amendment in particular, is constructed to restrict the activities of the Government, not of the people. It says “Congress shall make no law” — not “private citizens in public school.”

    You’re one of the people I’m talking about. Our constitutional “freedoms” are so precious, it’s important that we be stopped from doing things. Was that a prayer?? Citizen’s arrest!

    Where do we put these people who were caught praying? What kind of punishment do you think would be appropriate for a first offense?

    I’ve had some girlfriends who loved me pretty much the same way liberals “love” our personal freedoms. I’m glad I got out of those situations in one piece.

    Like

  73. thomas says:

    Robert Asci. No. You have no right to draw “a line in the sand” regarding prayer in public schools. It is unconstitutional. Always has been. It was practiced for a period of time in some public schools in the United States because the christians had such power and influence and our nation was less diverse and so the christians were able to impose their will.

    No more.

    Like

  74. Ellie says:

    Robert Asci, I started school in 1951. During my school years, we had one — count her — one teacher who led prayers in school. And she used the Roman Catholic Lord’s Prayer. Prayer in school, I have learned over the decades, varied widely from place to place and its loss is no bad thing. I’m quite sure the non-RC’s parents from long ago would agree with me remembering the teacher and how she singled out “All you Protestants.” Who knows what she would have said if she had suspected there were any students who were not Christian at all?

    Like

  75. James Hanley says:

    Robert wrote,

    what is the motivation behind those who are most vehemently attempting to exercise this right to express religious freedom?

    Where do you get the “vehemently” business? There are countless people “vehemently” opposing the exercise of the right to build, but those trying to build are just exercising their rights under law. In what way are they being vehement? They bought property, they are using the property, they sought permits to demolish the building and build a more suitable one on the property they own. If that’s vehement, then real-estate developers are vehemently exercising their rights every day in this country–why don’t you complain about their “vehement” exercise of their rights?

    And who cares if someone exercises their rights vehemently anyway? I have friends who make a big noise about voting in every election, but nobody criticizes them for vehemently exercising their rights. If I get arrested and dragged into court, I’m going to stand up and loudly demand a lawyer–would you criticize me for vehemently exercising my rights?

    In fact why aren’t you criticizing the people objecting to the mosque, as they are so vehemently exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech? Do you object to Christians who vehemently exercise their First Amendment right to freedom of religion by going to church multiple times a week, proselytizing their co-workers, and praying in public?

    Of course none of that bothers you. But a group of Muslims just seeking a building permit, that’s too vehement? Smacks of bigotry and hypocrisy to me.

    this is post 911 America, it is our responsibility to question and be vigilant…or we will surrender our rights!

    There, fixed that for you.

    Like

  76. James Hanley says:

    Nick,

    A quick correction. Cato is libertarian all right, but not at all right wing. Right wingers are authoritarian–Cato-style libertarians (like me) are very anti-authoritarian.

    Everything else you’ve said here in your valiant battle against bigots I’m wholly in agreement with.

    Like

  77. Robert Asci, Swampscott, MA says:

    Yes…I believe in religious freedom, this country was founded on it

    Yes again to the f…act that I do not blanket view all Muslims as being terrorist affiliated. Most are hardworking, family oriented and gentle loving people, as are the majority of us law abiding, God fearing individuals.

    That being said, I still must ask myself, what is the motivation behind those who are most vehemently attempting to exercise this right to express religious freedom? Who is financing this endeavor and what does it say that they are attempting to build a monument to their religion so near a site which demands reverence and respect. Sorry to say, but this is post 911 America, it is our responsibility to question and be vigilant….our way of life depends upon it!

    I view the thought of this project as not only being insensitive but a blatant act of disrespect to those who’s lives and feelings are forever changed by the violence which took place here….I never again want to see a day when this country is disrespected on its own soil. Some may say that I am just being over-sensitive …..maybe so, am I distrustful….I have the right to be!

    ….and yes again, to the fact that we live in America, for as long as they stand before me declaring their right to erect this structure, I will do the same to see that it doesn’t happen. I sat idly by and have watched the erosion of some long held traditions like reciting The Pledge of Allegiance or saying prayers in our schools, so pardon the pun…but if this were the desert, I’m drawing a line in the proverbial sand!

    Like

  78. Robert Asci, Swampscott, MA says:

    Well Mr. Wolpe, it certainly is O.K. to say “I just don’t know” because this is a tough question…. but here is one man’s opinion that is clear and loud!

    Yes…I believe in religious freedom, this country was founded on it

    Yes again to the f…act that I do not blanket view all Muslims as being terrorist affiliated. Most are hardworking, family oriented and gentle loving people, as are the majority of us law abiding, God fearing individuals.

    That being said, I still must ask myself, what is the motivation behind those who are most vehemently attempting to exercise this right to express religious freedom? Who is financing this endeavor and what does it say that they are attempting to build a monument to their religion so near a site which demands reverence and respect. Sorry to say, but this is post 911 America, it is our responsibility to question and be vigilant….our way of life depends upon it!

    I view the thought of this project as not only being insensitive but a blatant act of disrespect to those who’s lives and feelings are forever changed by the violence which took place here….I never again want to see a day when this country is disrespected on its own soil. Some may say that I am just being over-sensitive …..maybe so, am I distrustful….I have the right to be!

    ….and yes again, to the fact that we live in America, for as long as they stand before me declaring their right to erect this structure, I will do the same to see that it doesn’t happen. I sat idly by and have watched the erosion of some long held traditions like reciting The Pledge of Allegiance or saying prayers in our schools, so pardon the pun…but if this were the desert, I’m drawing a line in the proverbial sand!

    Like

  79. Ed Darrell says:

    So in response to your question, maybe people have been learning. And since they still want to do the decent thing, they’re using the new knowledge they’re gaining. You lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

    Still waiting for a correct fact to suggest any reason why these mostly-native New Yorkers, completely unaffiliated with al Quaeda, the leader of the group sent on missions of diplomacy for George W. Bush, should be denied a permit to build a cultural center. They had nothing to do with 9/11. Their sect does not urge violence. Their worship at that spot for 2 years has produced no annoyance to anyone.

    Where’s the beef? There ain’t any.

    Like

  80. Nick K says:

    Oh even better, you use the fact that the terrorists claimed to be Muslim and doing it in Islam as you being given permission to blame all of Islam for what they did….but yet you refuse to blame all of Christianity for what Christian terrorists have done.

    You are a hypocrite.

    Like

  81. Nick K says:

    You mean I’m hostile against hate mongering fear mongering racist bulldrek, Morgan? Gee…I wonder why. You mean I’m hostile aginst intolerance and blaming innocent people for a crime a bunch of extremists did while claiming to be members of the same religion as the innocent people? Tell me, Morgan, how many times has a Christian done something terrible and the first words out of your sides mouth is “That person isn’t a real Christian”?

    Lets see, so far you have accused them of radicalism without proof, of getting funding from radical sources without proof and generally acted as if the United States follows the idea of “Guilty until proven innocent.”

    Furthermore you somehow manage to argue that they haven’t given into bullying and so far refused to move the site means that they’re guilty of not worrying about “fellowship” and are trying to be provacative. Which is a bit like saying that if a woman says no to having sex she’s begging to be raped.

    Furthermore you blithely ignore the fact that not all the 9-11 victims and their families oppose the building. You also ignore that the building is not actually on the WTC site, you ignore that even President George W Bush said Muslims were victims of the attacks.

    What? You saying he lied?

    They do not have to move that building just because you and others oppose it. And you would flip your lid if this was a Christain church being asked to do that. So its time for you to get off your soapbox and stop being a bullying goon.

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  82. Ellie says:

    Morgan, I have yet to see where any facts have changed.

    Therefore, it is my suspicious and cynical opinion, that some people took this event and ran with it, knowing it would stir up emotions, play into fear, and bring dissension; knowing it, and reveling in it, even though this should have been an issue decided in and by the people of the borough of Manhattan and not Albany, or DC, or Georgia, or Alaska.

    When I see the facts change, I may also change my mind. As yet, that has not happened.

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  83. Ellie,

    I’m pretty sure that when people work hard to support decent things and oppose ugly things, it isn’t completely out of appearances. I think overall, most people want to have a beneficial effect on things in substance as well as in symbolism.

    Now, to a casual observer, obviously it seems like the tolerant thing to do is be permissive: “Go ahead.” But when you discuss these things for a little while you start to run into people like Nick. And then the truth emerges that there’s a lot of hostility on the “go ahead and build” side of the argument. I’ve pointed this out before, with this very thread: My very first comment, #1 of 150+ now, had to do with this ethereal reference to Muslim victims of the 9/11 attacks, “no one knows how many.” I asked for an explanation of how this could be the case. Ed supplied the only explanation possible — difficulty in determining religious denominations of individuals. I’ll leave it to you to determine whether that passes the smell test. It doesn’t with me.

    But since then, the conversation has been dragged off countless times into an attitude I’ll sum up as “We, who want the building to proceed, are enlightened and open-minded; you, who would oppose it (or merely question it), are crazy, stupid, bigoted, and should somehow be forcefully shut up.”

    Ellie, that is the very definition of intolerance right there.

    So in response to your question, maybe people have been learning. And since they still want to do the decent thing, they’re using the new knowledge they’re gaining. You lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

    I think Keynes said it best with that quote about “when the facts change, I change my opinion, what do YOU do, sir?”

    Like

  84. Ellie says:

    I’d like to see a list of people who were shouting against this in December 2009, or even March of 2010. Trot out the list. Give the links. Point to the video.

    We could look at video from Fox, December 21, 2009. Or, maybe not. Because there, you’d see Laura Ingraham saying to Daisy Khan, “I like what you’re trying to do.” Of course, now, she’s against it.

    It was a good idea last December, but not any more. Somehow it went from “I like what you’re trying to do,” to “It’s a finger in the eye to New York.”

    But, I’m sure this was just some kind of natural progression.

    Like

  85. You’re not free to claim a right for others to give your foolish idea any more deference than it deserves. That’s what this discussion is about.

    Indeed it is. And it is the pro-mosque people demanding deference. Look at Nick, just to cite one example. Man, I’d love to have a relative like him over for Thanksgiving, I’ll bet the guy just makes the party.

    This whole notion of “show me twenty people who oppose the mosque and I’ll show you twenty xenophobes” is childish and it is also unpleasant. It is not possible for a civil conversation to ensue around its presence. Step One for me is to assume a defensive posture and prove I’m not something, and take a civil tone with my opponent while he’s in the midst of spreading propaganda that I am? Seriously, Ed, how do you go about engaging in such an exchange and keeping it friendly? It’s a fool’s errand.

    You’re quite right that it is an invalid extension of the First Amendment to assume the right to tell others what to think. And thinking people are not persuaded to think this is any kind of “fellowship center.” The forces behind it, if their motives were pristine, would have relocated it long before now; if that’s out of the question, then the logical thing to do would be to declare the project a dismal failure. Blame Palin if you want. But it isn’t healing any divide, it’s heading in the opposite direction, and only a blind man would fail to see that.

    See, what I object to in this debate is the crude and crass mislabeling of things. It’s not a mosque. It’s not at Ground Zero of anything. [Muslims] didn’t blow up the World Trade Center, terrorists did. No one worshipping at the WTC site has been bothered by anyone’s call to prayer, nor is that likely to change. I didn’t say that any person can’t have free speech.

    Please stick to the facts.

    You polled everyone worshiping at the WTC site?

    Here’s a fact: Airplane debris fell and hit the building Park51 would replace. Here’s another: The hijackers were Muslims. They shouted Allahu Ackbar as the planes hit the buildings. Gee I dunno, Ed, if I were related to one or more of the victims, I’d find this all pretty disturbing. If I knew someone who was so related, and found it all disturbing, I wouldn’t blame them for it. I’d find that to be a reasonable reaction.

    Would you agree with our House Speaker that such a person should be investigated to see where their funding comes from?

    I watch the arguments coming from people like yourself and from Nick…of course I’m looking more at Nick, but still it applies to both of you…and this is looking more, and more, and more like “My position is the only one, you have to agree with me or else you’re a hateful bigot.” It’s looking more and more each passing day like you’re the guys trying to push an intolerant opinion.

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  86. Ed Darrell says:

    The Supreme Court says any corporation has the same rights you do — just more resources. I didn’t say they couldn’t speak. I merely point out that this exercise in free speech isn’t free, but costs a penny, and is not pure in “citizen” origins.

    You’re free to say any fool thing you wish to say. That’s what the Constitution says. You’re not free to claim a right for others to give your foolish idea any more deference than it deserves. That’s what this discussion is about.

    You are free in America to say hateful, racist, sexist, hurtful things. Everyone else has a right to ignore such speech, and act nobly and wise instead.

    See, what I object to in this debate is the crude and crass mislabeling of things. It’s not a mosque. It’s not at Ground Zero of anything. Moslems didn’t blow up the World Trade Center, terrorists did. No one worshipping at the WTC site has been bothered by anyone’s call to prayer, nor is that likely to change. I didn’t say that any person can’t have free speech.

    Please stick to the facts.

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  87. Freedom of expression for one side but not the other, eh, Ed?

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  88. Ed Darrell says:

    Apparently, no one would be criticizing this project if they weren’t being paid for it. What an out of touch joke!

    You thought this was a spontaneous protest? How do you think you heard about it, Joe? The idea that this is not a paid political attack is the joke — but, then, I’m cynical from my years working inside that beast.

    The fingerprints are all over it. You could track it back. If Newt Gingrich is on the issue, you can be sure his campaign is paying a lot of people to place his editorials, with an eye to beating Sarah Palin in any primary she may run in.

    You could take it to the bank.

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  89. lowerleavell says:

    Did you catch this quote by Nancy Pelosi – a follow up to her initial comments:

    “I support the statement made by the Interfaith Alliance that ‘We agree with the ADL that there is a need for transparency about who is funding the effort to build this Islamic center. At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center.’

    I didn’t know Morgan, me, and 60% plus of America required funding to oppose the construction of the ‘center’. Apparently, no one would be criticizing this project if they weren’t being paid for it. What an out of touch joke!

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  90. lowerleavell says:

    Debra Burlingame, bereaved sister of a victim of 9/11, and head of 9/11 Families, recently issued a statement co-written with Tim Summer.

    I’m not saying everything she says is right or wrong – I’m just saying that this is what some of the victim’s families are going through with all this. Are you going to tell them to “shut up” and “get over it” as well?

    “Barack Obama has abandoned America at the place where America’s heart was broken nine years ago, and where her true values were on display for all to see. Since that dark day, Americans have been asked to bear the burden of defending those values, again and again and again. Now this president declares that the victims of 9/11 and their families must bear another burden. We must stand silent at the last place in America where 9/11 is still remembered with reverence or risk being called religious bigots.

    “Muslims have worshipped in New York without incident both before and after the attacks of 9/11. This controversy is not about religious freedom. 9/11 was more than a ‘deeply traumatic event,’ it was an act of war. Building a 15-story mosque at Ground Zero is a deliberately provocative act that will precipitate more bloodshed in the name of Allah. Those who continue to target and kill American civilians and U.S. troops will see it as a symbol of their historic progress at the site of their most bloody victory. Demolishing a building that was damaged by wreckage from one of the hijacked planes in order to build a mosque and Islamic Center will further energize those who regard it as a ratification of their violent and divinely ordered mission: the spread of shariah law and its subjugation of all free people, including secular Muslims who come to this country fleeing that medieval ideology, which destroys lives and crushes the human spirit.

    “We are stunned by the president’s willingness to disregard what Americans should be proud of: our enduring generosity to others on 9/11–a day when human decency triumphed over human depravity. On that day, when 3,000 of our fellow human beings were killed in a barbaric act of raw religious intolerance unlike any this country had ever seen, Americans did not turn outward with hatred or violence, we turned to each other, armed with nothing more than American flags and countless acts of kindness. In a breathtakingly inappropriate setting, the president has chosen to declare our memories of 9/11 obsolete and the sanctity of Ground Zero finished. No one who has lived this history and felt the sting of our country’s loss that day can truly believe that putting our families through more wrenching heartache can be an act of peace.

    “We will honor the memory of our loved ones. We will protect our children, whose lives will never be the same. We will not stand silent.”

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  91. lowerleavell says:

    Nic, the reasons I am not responding to everything you write about other issues is that I simply do not have time to get into discussions with each of these issues. You’re wanting to delve into practically every offense that you have against the entire Republican party. What good would it do to get into a Sarah Palin/Repub vs. Dems debate here? I simply do not have time at this point in my life. Sorry.

    You’re complaining about Republican power when they’re NOT in power. Did they mess up royal when they were? Absolutely! They handed control of the Congress and the Whitehouse over to the Democrats on a silver platter because of their stupidity. Am I all things Republican? Unlike liberals, my loyalty is not to a party but to ideals. When a party doesn’t share my values then I look for the candidate that does. When one is not to be found I unfortunately have to look for the one I agree with the most.

    How am I treating Muslims and Christians different when I said I would advocate a Christian church not building if the situation were reversed? How am I treating them different when I have Baptist roots and am completely ticked off at Westboro Baptist? they have rights – but I’m still completely against their picketing.

    Again, you say that what CAN happen is the only thing that matters. I think we understand each other Nic. You believe that whatever someone can do they should freely express themselves. That’s narcissism. I believe that while someone has the right to do many things, one also has the right and the moral obligation to limit their freedom for the good of others. Something about loving neighbors as one loves himself. For example, would I go to jail if I cheated on my wife? Nope. Does that mean that I have the legal right to cheat on my wife? I suppose you could look at it that way. But SHOULD I cheat on my wife??? Absolutely no! So in that scenario, which one really matters? What I CAN do or what I SHOULD do? Unfortunately a lot of people are like you and justify what they CAN do because they WANT to do it, not because they SHOULD do it. To me, what I should do trumps what I can do hands down. Again, I could go to Vegas and blow all my money. I could become an alcoholic. I could waste my days playing video games. There are a LOT of things I CAN do but what I CAN do doesn’t really matter if it is something that is not expedient to do. To me, this mosque does not fall into the realm of “CAN” because practically no one is disputing their religious rights! Everywhere I turn people are asking about the SHOULD and I agree. You’re telling over 60 percent of the US, including Howard Dean and Harry Reid to just shut up because SHOULD doesn’t matter. It matters. Not that they should be forced to move, but because the Muslims building this mosque should realize that this mosque SHOULD be moved elsewhere.

    Speaking of which, how do you reconcile that this is a Republican tactic when both Dean and Reid have come out saying that while they support religious liberty the mosque SHOULD move elsewhere? That and most Democrats are just saying that ground zero is simply a local zoning issue and refuse to give an opinion one way or the other.

    Nic said, “As for that bit about “freedom from a works religion” you are aware that is Christianity actually? Or did you somehow miss the lesson Jesus was teaching when He talked about the sheeps and the goats? Faith without works is nothing but empty words.”

    There is a major difference here. Some teach that we work in order to gain entrance to heaven and God’s good graces – i.e. a works based salvation. But the Bible says that believers do good works BECAUSE we have been given the gift of heaven/forgiveness of sins. The very definition of grace is being given something that is not deserved or worked for. As an illustration, when I was a child, I did not do things for my parents in order to become their child – I did it in order to demonstrate my love and thankfulness because I AM their child. I did not work to become their child. As a Christian, I do not work to become God’s child, I work because God gave me the free gift of forgiveness of my rebellion to Him and made me His child and no one can take that away from me, ever. See the difference?

    Nice said, “I didn’t equate the mosque with porn shops but nice misrepresentation of what I said. However you are the one that equated a mosque with immorality. That building it is immoral.”

    You brought up the parallel. If that’s not what you intended, again, forgive me. As I said, the building of the mosque 600 ft. from ground zero is immoral. It’s sticking it where it hurts to the American people. Do you really believe this is all about tolerance and religious freedom to those who are building this mosque? Simply need a place to worship? Seriosly? Let me ask you then, why do they plan to dedicate it on 9/11/11, the 10th anniversary of 9/11?? Coincidence, I’m sure!

    Distance from ground zero does matter. If not, why did the governor of NY offer to move it farther away, even offering to give up state owned land?? Wow, you want to talk separation of church and state? You guys are all saying that there is a cultural center AT Pearl Harbor, but it would be like saying that there is a mosque at Ground Zero when it is in Queens! There’s a big difference between being located in the adjoining town and a place so close my baby girl could crawl there.

    I completely recognize that they don’t have to do what I say. This is a blog. I’m stating my opinion on the matter. I’m stating my frustration. Blogs don’t do a lot to effect change in policy and zoning laws now do they? Either way, this is more a discussion of principle than law because we’re not going to change anything one way or the other anyway.

    Nic said, “However I would point out for you there have been quite a few times when I’ve been told by protestant Christians that I’m not a real Christian because I’m Catholic.’

    I’m not a Protestant, unless you lump everyone who is not Catholic compltely into the mold of the Reformers’ views. I understand your frustration if they told you that being a Catholic means you’re not a Christian. I’ve been told the same thing because I’m not Catholic, Mormon, and Jehovah’s Witness. Again, it’s not what church you go to – it’s what you believe about Jesus that really matters. The church you go to either encourages you from the Bible to be like Him or a mold that they have created for you. I always ask people which one their church teaches? That’s a good test to see how healthy their church is.

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  92. […] noted on another thread that there is, in fact, a Japanese Cultural Center at Pearl Harbor.  Hanley wonders how the Japanese deal with reminders of the being the victims of the first atomic […]

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  93. Nick K says:

    *sighs* That should read:
    Where were the rest of the conservatives who are so for “financial responsibility.”

    And does not “financial responsibility” also mean that sometimes you have to spend and that sometimes you have to raise taxes?

    When did financial responsibility come to only mean “cut spending” and “cut taxes.”

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  94. Nick K says:

    Lower writes:
    Funny that you are mad at Palin who agrees with you on several of your points against the Republicans. It is the conservatives that are upset with Republicans for being hypocrites by saying they are for financial responsibility and then completely ignoring it when in power. While some of your concerns are attacks against things that Republicans have always stood for (family values, defence of the innocent, personal responsibility vs. government entitlement, liberty, etc), some of the accusations are just ridiculous. Going back to a state religion? And you accuse me of fear mongering? Seriously!

    Sarah Palin is not for financial responsibility. She’s the one that said we should be spending more on our military and we should build more aircraft carriers and nuclear powered submarines. The military consumes 45% of all our spending..and thats not even counting the two wars. Does that sound very “financially responsible” to you? Where was she when Bush and the Republicans were spending money hand over fist? Where were the rest of the conservatives who are so for “financial responsible”?

    As for family values…when was the last time the Republicans were for that? When they were attacking the middle class? When they were criticizing Bill Clinton for having an affair while more then a few of the leaders of the Republicans were having affairs of their own? When they were attacking health care reform? Or are families not having adequate health care actually a “family value”? Yeah the right loves to claim its for family values and morality but for most of the last 30-40 years they’ve been saying that and doing the opposite.

    And as for the state religion bit…apparently you haven’t been listening to some of the Republicans over the years. I wasn’t saying you’re for a state religion and if thats what you thought then my apologies. But lets see…more then a few Republicans support organized school led prayer..which is an example of a state religion. Then there’s the teaching Creationism/ID in public schools..which is also an example of a state religion. Then there’s the repeated claims that the United States is a Christian nation and our laws are based on the Bible. The repeated attacks from the right on the separation of church and state. The Lt Governor of Tennesee saying that Islam is not a religion and therefor doesn’t deserve 1st admendment protection. Pat Robertson’s repeated statements that only Christians should be allowed to hold office.

    Again..the whole manufactured nonsense with Keith Ellison not saying the oath of office on the Bible.

    Look up the term “Christian Reconstructionism” Lower.

    From: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,210680,00.html

    MIAMI — U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is “a lie” and God and the nation’s founding fathers did not intend the country be “a nation of secular laws.”

    The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will “legislate sin,” including abortion and gay marriage.

    Harris made the comments — which she clarified Saturday — in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.

    Separation of church and state is “a lie we have been told,” Harris said in the interview, published Thursday, saying separating religion and politics is “wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers.”

    “If you’re not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin,” Harris said.

    Would you like to acknowledge that Ms. Harris is wholesale advocating the violation of the third paragraph of Article 6 of the US Constituton?

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