Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Have we forgotten?

New friend Jennifer riffs on the controversy of the new mosque being built "at Ground Zero."

Hey, I'm offended by the concept that the new mosque might be considered a "victory mosque," too.

But I'm more offended at the concept of forbidding its erection.

The protection that this country has afforded to religion through the First Amendment has been pretty strong. And with good reason. It was literally the VERY FIRST right guaranteed in the Bill Of Rights:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Let's not forget those rights of freedom of speech and of peaceable assembly, either.

Folks are critical of Obama for saying that they have the right to put up a mosque there (2.5 blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center towers.). While it pains me to defend our current President, I have to admit that he's right.

If you're one of those people saying "They shouldn't be allowed to put a mosque there! That's hallowed ground!", then I wonder: just how far out should this Zone Of Sacredness extend? 5 blocks? 10 blocks? All of the island of Manhattan? How about we just ban them from New York City?

And even if you back it down to "well, I just don't want it within sight of the building*" consider that you're still putting restrictions on an entire religion's right to assemble where they want. What about when your religion isn't the flavor of the month? Do you really want the government telling you that your money isn't green enough to purchase a plat of land, and erect a building to code, and peaceably do with it as you please?

I know some Muslims. None of them was happy on 9/11/01. None of them had a damned thing to do with anyone who had a damned thing to do with the attacks on our nation. I'm trying to figure out how telling them that they can't build their place of worship where they want is going to be patriotic.

If you're going to try to claim that "They hate us for our freedoms," then you best extend those freedoms, whether you like it or not.

While flawed, this republic is still great. It's strong enough to withstand the act of upholding the freedoms that it guarantees.
_____________________
*The new tower, formerly called the "Freedom Tower," is to be 1,776 feet tall, which is well over a quarter mile high.

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21 Comments:

At Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:13:00 AM, Anonymous cybrus said...

Amen! I'm outraged that they might build a mosque there. But damn it - I'm not about to ask the government to stop them!

I'd be more angry with whomever sold them the land to do it!

 
At Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:16:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Agree Matt, but why is the Jewish Synagog that is being short stopped in NYC not getting the same press???

 
At Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:28:00 AM, Blogger Midwest Chick said...

I'm of the mind that putting it under the aegis of the 1st Amendment is disingenuous. No one is suggesting that they can't practice their faith.

This is a contract/commerce issue, plain and simple. If the rules and regs of NYC say that they can buy the land and they find people to build it, then fine. But protesting the building of such a thing is NOT abridging their right to worship, it is saying that maybe worshiping a couple of blocks down might be a better course of action.

However, it is in terribly bad taste and as much as they are wanting us to be sensitive to them (hence pulling the religion card) then they should be sensitive to the people of NYC.

AND, why isn't the city of New York helping the church that was destroyed when the towers fell to re-build? There's a double-standard going on.

 
At Tuesday, August 17, 2010 1:28:00 PM, Blogger David said...

I agree that there is no good reason for abridging the rights of those who want to build this mosque. But having a right doesn't make it right.

I really question the motives of the builders. I don't know if they're insensitive or deliberately trying to antagonize people.

But that's neither here nor there. If they want to build it, let them. Although personally I'd refuse to work on it.

 
At Tuesday, August 17, 2010 3:55:00 PM, Blogger Crucis said...

I have no problem with them "forbidding" the construction of the mosque. After all, they've "forbidden" the reconstruction of the Greek Orthodox Church that stood across the street from the Two Towers.

If it's OK to block the Greeks, it OK to block the muslims. Treat the muslims the same as the Christians.

 
At Tuesday, August 17, 2010 7:58:00 PM, Blogger Johnny Virgil said...

Here's why I think they have the right to build it -- but probably shouldn't.

http://www.lonsberry.com/writings.cfm?story=2920&go=4

 
At Tuesday, August 17, 2010 8:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone on another site said, let them build where they want. Then, make sure there is a pork butcher, porn shop, strip club, liquor store, and a synagog on the same block.

 
At Tuesday, August 17, 2010 8:21:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

@NFO: I don't know anything about a synagogue being stopped. Got a link?

@Midwest Chick: People are calling for the mosque to be stopped. The government doesn't need to stop a place of worship just because of its specific sect. I question how much "help" that the City Of New York should give to ANY place of worship. You said, "maybe worshiping a couple of blocks down might be a better course of action." I'm given to understand that the site is 2.5 blocks away from the site of World Trade Center 1 (Formerly The Freedom Tower).

@David: I'd love to talk to some people building it, to find out their motives.

@Crucis, could ANYone build a place of worship on that spot, now?

 
At Tuesday, August 17, 2010 8:22:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

@ Anonymous: I don't have a problem with that.

 
At Wednesday, August 18, 2010 9:46:00 AM, Blogger Crucis said...

Matt, I don't have a problem building a religious center next to the Towers---as long as all are given equal treatment.

That didn't happen. The mosques were given preferential treatment.

 
At Wednesday, August 18, 2010 2:10:00 PM, Blogger DirtCrashr said...

New York has a lot to "offer" and so personally I think they should go ahead and try to build it. See if they can.
See how much payola it costs to get permits, and how frequently they get shaken-down by inspectors when the permits get lost. See if anyone working downtown will even erect the first pipe of scaffolding, or how well and how frequently the scaffolding fails a safety inspection and the job gets halted.
How many workers will actually put one brick onto another or pick-up a welding stick, whether the mortar is up to code and has to be scrapped and done-over and the welds x-rayed show flaws and the damaged steel has to be torn-out and replaced.
How many workers show up drunk and have to be sent home so a day's work is not completed. How much material gets delivered to the wrong site, or disappears into New Jersey somewhere. How easily concrete sets in the mixer before it's ready to pour, or has too much sand in the mix and has to be jackhammered-out and removed to an landfill.
It can be quite challenging to attempt a build in a City where just street traffic can cause so many delays and people going to work and about their business get robbed - or have a load of material fall on them. And the ageing infrastructure of NYC is crumbling, there's problems with the water mains bursting - what if a sinkhole opened up suddenly? It could happen.
Kinda like the Chicago Way: "Say, that's a nice little Mosque you got there, shame if something were to happen to it..." There are independent ways for things to NOT happen.
And then there's the language barrier.
There's some projects in Hawaii that are utter ghost-towns where investors have lost billions on when things happened and the economy changed, when the beach moved and the sand was gone or the lava flowed.

 
At Wednesday, August 18, 2010 2:10:00 PM, Blogger DirtCrashr said...

New York has a lot to "offer" and so personally I think they should go ahead and try to build it. See if they can.
See how much payola it costs to get permits, and how frequently they get shaken-down by inspectors when the permits get lost. See if anyone working downtown will even erect the first pipe of scaffolding, or how well and how frequently the scaffolding fails a safety inspection and the job gets halted.
How many workers will actually put one brick onto another or pick-up a welding stick, whether the mortar is up to code and has to be scrapped and done-over and the welds x-rayed show flaws and the damaged steel has to be torn-out and replaced.
How many workers show up drunk and have to be sent home so a day's work is not completed. How much material gets delivered to the wrong site, or disappears into New Jersey somewhere. How easily concrete sets in the mixer before it's ready to pour, or has too much sand in the mix and has to be jackhammered-out and removed to an landfill.
It can be quite challenging to attempt a build in a City where just street traffic can cause so many delays and people going to work and about their business get robbed - or have a load of material fall on them. And the ageing infrastructure of NYC is crumbling, there's problems with the water mains bursting - what if a sinkhole opened up suddenly? It could happen.
Kinda like the Chicago Way: "Say, that's a nice little Mosque you got there, shame if something were to happen to it..." There are independent ways for things to NOT happen.
And then there's the language barrier.
There's some projects in Hawaii that are utter ghost-towns where investors have lost billions on when things happened and the economy changed, when the beach moved and the sand was gone or the lava flowed.

 
At Wednesday, August 18, 2010 8:03:00 PM, Anonymous Zach said...

I am honestly not surprised that this has happened but at the same time I am right there with you!

I cannot understand why people cannot see that this IS an issue of freedom of religion. Besides, lets take a real good look at all of this.
People are saying that it is hallowed ground, and it most certainly is. But liked you pointed out, where does the boundry began? and can you really put a boundry on it without it someday spinning out of control? I also like too point out that there where thousands, THOUSANDS, of active followers of islam, and many, many muslims that were killed in the attack. Not only that, but does no one realize that the extremist that did this and continue this jihad on America, and really capatilism in general, are exactly that, EXTREMISTS of islam. Matter in fact, these people who believe in this holy war against the U.S. actually are going against their own religion because they are following an interpretation of the Koran (Qua'ran) by some random individual. And if a little more information is dug out of the closet it can be found that reason these individuals where able to accomplish this is due to the simple fact that they can READ and WRITE.

Isn't is just amazing too think that all it takes too create a religious radicals in the very poor and mostly rural countries of the Middle East is too find the one guy that can read and write and convince him draft HIS version of the Koran. Thats all it took and thats all it continues too take.

 
At Thursday, August 19, 2010 9:08:00 AM, Anonymous Bob S. said...

I'm of the opinion they have the right to build the cultural center there -- it is private property after all.

But they shouldn't build it there.

One of the things we get slammed for all the time is our lack of sensitivity -- yet the people who are building this are not showing any sensitivity, now are they?


As far as the issue with the Extremists -- all I can say it
It wasn't the extremists only who were dancing in the streets after the 9/11 attack.
It wasn't the extremists only who where celebrating the murder of nearly 3,000 lives.

 
At Saturday, August 21, 2010 8:38:00 PM, Anonymous Jerry said...

I am simply bothered that my rights to worship and pray as a Christian are pushed aside in favor of Islam. How long before we are told to keep our religion at home?

 
At Sunday, August 22, 2010 9:10:00 AM, Blogger John B said...

This is in the same league as the Communists who wanted to exploit our freedoms to bring about out destruction.

And what about the Greek Orthodox Church across the street that isn't being allowed to rebuild.

Freedom of Religion?

 
At Tuesday, August 24, 2010 12:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual, this is insane! One must only look to Europe to see the destruction orchestrated by the invasion of muslims. (All in the name of "their rights").

As Americans, we are a weak people, caring more about "tolerance", "sensitivity", and "diversity", than the rights of OUR OWN PEOPLE.

Sadly, we will ultimately end up getting exactly what we deserve. We will be alienated strangers in a country our ancestors bled and died to create. We are simply too ignorant (and arrogant) to realize it...

 
At Tuesday, August 24, 2010 2:08:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

All of y'all referencing another structure by another faith, which is being "forbidden"-- do you have a reputable link?

Old NFO-- I'd say that NOTHING is getting the press of this mosque/"cultural center."

As for the fears that tolerance of religions other than your own will cause the downfall of this nation-- I submit that failure to tolerate other religions results in the downfall of this nation.

 
At Tuesday, August 24, 2010 2:37:00 PM, Blogger John B said...

http://www.projo.com/news/content/GROUND_ZERO_SIDEBAR_08-19-10_C3JJLLL_v6.8e4a58.html

for more, use google, your search term is; greek orthodox ground zero

I betcha the Mosque won't suffer those issues.

Frankly I'm tired of being accused of, well anything actually, by people when their own motives are less than pure.

I'm not a racist, sexist, anti-religionist or any kind of bigot. I do get my knickers in a twist when someone, in this case the muslims, use race, sex, or religion to over on me.

Damn it sir, I'm a fat, white, christian male. If I am supposed to respect everyone elses diversity, I require them to respect mine in the same measure.

 
At Tuesday, August 24, 2010 11:26:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

John B, following your link, I read that "Those negotiations fell through, however, with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey saying the church was demanding too much money..."

Wait-- the church was demanding too much money, from the Port Authority?

The church wants the Port Authority to rebuild it? With public funds? It's not that the P.A. is STOPPING the Greek Orthodox Church from rebuilding their church, but rather that they aren't PAYING for the church to be built?

Meanwhile, the Muslims a couple of blocks over are paying for their own mosque/"heritage center/mirrored funhouse to be built?

Tell me again how this compares? Because I'm seeing apples and oranges.

 
At Thursday, August 26, 2010 2:58:00 PM, Blogger John B said...

I don't know, Matt! I read the one bit on the Patriot report, and wanted something a little less right wing biased to cite.

But when the main aspect of somebody's religion is 'Death to the Unbelievers', I have a hard time with not "Prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

And until mainstream Islam repudiates the actions of these extremists, and leads the cause to bring them to justice, they are just as responsible for the terrorism as the guys in the planes, according to Edmund Burke. I.E. "The indifference of good men."

You don't see me wanting to build a LDS temple where some townies were massacred by hard-pressed church members acting in self defense.

I only ask the Muslims in question show a similar level of class.

 

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