The Heart of America

August 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm (By Maxwell James)

Michael Bloomberg gets it:

The government has no right whatsoever to deny that right – and if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question – should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another.

The right to worship or not worship as we please, and the right to do with our own private property as we please. Those freedoms are central to the experiment that is the United States.

Advertisements

12 Comments

  1. Icepick said,

    The right to worship or not worship as we please, and the right to do with our own private property as we please. Those freedoms are central to the experiment that is the United States.

    Since when have we had the right to do what we will with our property? Zoning laws are everywhere. You can be goddamned certain that if someone else wants to put a strip club next to the mosque THAT will be denied. Someone putting a monument to Hitler up next to a synagogue would not be allowed to do that, either. It’s a matter of public decency.

    It has been quite some time since property owners have had carte blanche to do as they please, and that’s a GOOD thing.

  2. Randy said,

    Zoning laws are everywhere. That’s true. Have the developers violated any? From what little I’ve read about this, it seems they’ve gone through all the legally required hoops that everyone else has to go through. I do think it’s insensitive, but I don’t have that strong an opinion because I’m tired of the politics of outrage, whether it is orchestrated by the left or the right. As you do have a strong opinion, I’m curious how far away they have to build it for it to be ok with you. 3 blocks? Ten blocks? Miles?

  3. Icepick said,

    How about no where. Islam is a savage religion by design. People do bad things in the name of most religions. Islam is the only major religion that I know of that requirs war, theft and general mayhem against every non-adherent. Philosophically it stands opposed to modernity and I see no reason to offer it or its adherants any quarter. They sure as Hell aren’t going to give any to their enemies, which they define as anyone who is not a Muslim. Fuck ’em.

    And I might be a little more willing to forgive and forget if Muslims didn’t have a nasty habit of putting their “holy sites” on top of the holy sites of others. How about this: when they give the Temple Mount back to the Jews and give the Hagia Sophia back to theOrthodox Christians we can reconsider the matter.

    In the meantime I am unwilling to forget the fact that Muslims slaughtered thousands a few blocks away from this proposed “holy” site, and we saw no real outrage from the Muslim world at large. Still waiting for that to happen.

  4. Icepick said,

    PS Some of us don’t have to manufacture any outrage – some of us just happen to remember what happened.

  5. wj said,

    So, while remembering what happened, did you happen to remember that the perpetrators were from a particularly fundamentalist sect of Islam (Wahabi; and a particularly vicious varient of even that sect), which regularly persecutes those who, like the folks in this case, are from a different sect which is perfectly fine with living peacefully with other religions? Did you happen to notice that the facility in question is several blocks away (and out of sight of the site of the World Trade Centers? Did you happen to notice that the facility is not, in fact, a mosque — no minerets, no call to prayer (although it does include a room where those who wish may go to pray).

    In short, as far as I can see, the only ones being insensitive are the ones trying so hard to make a big deal out of nothing here. And those who believe the nonsense that they are spouting.

    Now if it was a Wahabi mosque, that might (maybe) be a different story. Although as I recall, there were a fair number of Wahibi denunciations of what happened on 9/11 as well.

    I do have one question, however. If someone from a tiny Christian sect did something like this in the name of his view of his religion, would you argue that no Christian church of any kind should be allowed to be built anywhere near the site? How about a YMCA (which is a lot more like what this facility is)? Just wondering if equal treatment is an option here….

  6. Icepick said,

    wj, don’t be such an idiot. War against non-Muslims is a fundamental part of the religion of Islam. I don’t recall the Sermon on the Mount (as one example) stating that Christians should put non-Chrisitians to the sword. That guy went another direction entirely.* If so you would have a valid analogy, and thus a point.

    You claim to remember some denunciations – I remember a few half-hearted ass-covering statements from a few leaders hoping we wouldn’t notice the dancing in the streets. There was no great out-pouring of outrage from Muslims or the Muslim world to the events of nine years ago. There was a reason for that.

    How about this: We will let them build their prayer center when they allow non-Muslims to worship in Mecca. Here’s the point – you will not get reciprocity from Muslims for your tolerance. We can’t ban them from practicing their religion, but we don’t have to make it easy for those savages to do as they like.

    I see no more reason to be tolerant of Muslims than of, say, neo-Nazis or Stalinists or Maoists. They too can build what they want if they can get approval.

    * For the record, I’m pretty much an athiest, though of the non-Prosletyzing kind.

    PS It occurs to me that the Muslims also stole their holiest site from pagans. Do Muslims have any important religious sites that they didn’t steal from someone else?

  7. Icepick said,

    Did you happen to notice that the facility in question is several blocks away (and out of sight of the site of the World Trade Centers? Did you happen to notice that the facility is not, in fact, a mosque — no minerets, no call to prayer (although it does include a room where those who wish may go to pray).

    You seem to be stating the location is insignificant. If so, let them build it somewhere else. You can’t argue that location doesn’t matter if the builders of the center and their opponents both agree that it does matter.

  8. Randy said,

    Thanks for answering my question.

  9. wj said,

    Ice, you can doubtless find texts in any religion which support objectionable practices (death penalty for using the wrong kind of cloth in clothing, anyone?). Just as you can find parts of every theology which, viewed from the outside, look like sheer lunacy. Which religion is craziest? It’s a contest that avoids other issues while having no answer — other than “all of them except mine.”

    And Islam has one feature that is, to my knowledge, unique. From the very beginning, it mandated tolerance for (some) other religions. There is, in Islam, an explicit mandate to allow Christians and Jews to practice their religion in peace — whether or not Islam has conquered their lands. It’s not a universal mandate for tolerance. Some other religions tolerate/ignore the religions of others, and some more have done so at different times. But Islam is the only one which makes it a specific part of the theology.

    The mandate may be honored in the breach by the current crop of fanatics. But it is there all the same. (And cherry-picking bits of theology to justify oneself is hardly unique to Islam.)

  10. Stephanie said,

    Icepick,

    You said “Islam is the only major religion that I know of that requirs war, theft and general mayhem against every non-adherent.”. Really? The Crusades (there were four of them) ring any bells? How about the Inquisition? Religious pogroms, even into the 20th Century? Christians have had many doctrines, edicts calling for the sword to be used against people who would not convert, or practiced another religion. Just because Chrisitanity has largely moved beyond it does not mean it never existed.

  11. Melinda said,

    I do think it’s insensitive, but I don’t have that strong an opinion because I’m tired of the politics of outrage, whether it is orchestrated by the left or the right.

    Hear, here!

    A few years ago, there was en exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of deliberately sensationalist art. The most publicized piece was a painting of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung. According to the artist, the sung was supposed to represent “fertility.” Every time you turned on NY1, you heard the words “Virgin Mary covered in dung” over and over again like some kind of Bizzarro-World Novena. This was always followed by footage of an outraged Giuliani.

    From this I drew two conclusions:

    1. The Brooklyn Museum was full of crap;

    2. They did it deliberately to piss off Rudy.

    I feel the same way about the controversy over the mosque. Except the Brooklyn Museum thing was funded with taxpayer dollars. Then again, I’m not sure how many of my tax dollars went directly into the elephant dung, so I wasn’t sure if I could have a claim or a deduction or something on my taxes.

  12. amba12 said,

    A de-dung-tion?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: