Ground Zero: Church vs Mosque

September 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm (Political Ponderings)

This is one of those controversies that I keep hearing about off and on, probably having much to do with the fairly recent decision to allow a large mosque to be built near the site of the 9/11/01 World Trade Center attack site.

Broken down to the basic phrase most use to explain the situation, all you hear is “New York denied the request from a church that was destroyed on 9/11 to rebuild, but they approved a mosque to be build near the site!!”

That’d be enough to piss off just about any American recalling that the deaths of nearly 3,000 people people on that day were the result of Islamic terrorists.

Here are my thoughts on the subject, and they’ll likely annoy a couple  of friends of mine, but hey.

As far as the mosque goes, I can see why people don’t like it. There are people who may be reminded every time they see this building of the losses of that day and who caused it.
But this sort of falls into a category similar to those dickheads who keep protesting at military funerals, who have been shown to be protected under the First Amendment: they have the right. There is no legal basis on which to keep the building from being built. And, as conservatives frequently like to express to liberals, the fact that someone’s feelings may be hurt does not mean it can be banned.
This is, essentially, the same conclusion the court came to as described in the earlier linked article.

So what about the church then?
Well, according to the New York Port Authority (as quoted in this Fox article), they didn’t deny the church’s request to rebuild. Apparently they initially approved a deal including a pretty sizable amount of funding, but the church leaders decided to be a pain in the ass and keep pushing for more, until the Port Authority basically got to the point where they told the church to just go F off then. The church can still build, just not on the city’s dime.

It can be easy to get caught up on all the rhetoric regarding this type of controversy – it is, after all, a pretty emotional subject.
But perhaps it needs to be remembered that banning something like a mosque would essentially go directly against one of the primary freedoms our country is based on.

It’s also good to keep in mind that it wasn’t the entire religion of Islam that attacked our country.
This reminds me a bit of some paragraphs I wrote a little while back on a different web site in an area discussing religious tolerance, which I had titled “Blame the people, not the religion.”
Remember that Islam isn’t the only religion that has a history of violent members. Anybody remember The Crusades? I’m betting most Muslims do.
Yes, I know that something that happened 800 years ago may not feel as important as something that happened ten years ago. My point is that these major world religious are not inherently evil. But they do sometimes find themselves with evil people who somehow make it into a leadership role, who are then able to recruit the easily duped towards violent work because “God said so.”

Banning a religion, and the symbols thereof, because a tiny minority of their followers are a bunch of violent dumbasses is not the way our country works.

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