August 24, 2010

Separation of Mosque and State


Buona sera. OK, clever ones, tell me something. Why is it that we get uppity atheists and snotty "progressives" crying about the "separation of church and state" at the drop of a hat? It's almost at joke status: A rabbi, a priest and a Baptist pastor walked onto City Hall property. An atheist went crying to the ACLU, who promptly filed for an injunction, etc.

"Sensitivity" and "political correctness" are absurdly think disguises in efforts to criminalize Christianity and, to some extent, Judaism. (Of course, the Jews have a few thousand years' head start being experienced in persecution before Christians started getting hammered, so they're more used to it. I'm being facetious, you know.) In a broader sense, "political correctness" is an effort to stifle free speech and to dodge productive discussion of important issues. And to squelch values, of course.

Then you get sarcastic types like me that don't give a rat's tail about politically correct approaches, so I proceed to tell the truth as I see it.

Here's a double standard. Franklin Graham was disinvited from a prayer service at the Pentagon because he was honest about his beliefs and said that Islam is an evil religion. Muslims can have prayers inside the Pentagon's memorial chapel; the chapel that was built as a memorial to the victims of the maniacs in the so-called "religion of peace".

Is America becoming a Muslim nation? (Katie did an article you should see, "Sharia in New York".) What else can explain the coddle-mad efforts to placate and make Muslims comfortable? Even the attack on Ft. Hood is not being called Muslim terrorism by the lamestream media.

It's time to tell the truth and to stand up for our rights and values. If we get some heat for it, let's give it back. Doubled.

Matt Slick of CARM has some enlightening things to say about Islam:




Addendum: Another article on this subject is here. And this one.
Also, since I'm such a "bad man" for my thoughts and feelings (and wanting to respect the people of New York), take a look at this video and think again that I'm so wrong.

17 comments:

Chris B said...

I believe Christians, Jews and Muslims should all have the same rights: namely, they should be allowed to build whatever they like on their privately owned property (aside from the usual zoning laws and such), and should be allowed to say and do what they please there (again, within the bounds of legality).

Likewise, I believe none of these faiths should be allowed to use public property or funds to promote their beliefs.

My understanding is that Community Center Down The Road From Ground Zero falls under the first category. Given your apparent opposition to this project, I can only imagine there is some part of the opinion I stated that you disagree with. Can you clarify what that is?

Stormbringer said...

They may have the right, by the letter of the law. I see it as a middle finger to the American people, legal or not.

Chris B said...

OK. So do you believe the government should be allowed to prevent it from being built?

If so, where else should the government ban mosques (or community centers)? What is the proper radius from Ground Zero where mosques should be allowed? From the Pentagon? From the homes of the families of 9/11 victims? Or the families of other Muslim terrorist attacks?


Also, you call it a "middle finger to the American people". But "The American people" is a group that includes many Muslims, and many non-Muslims who support the community center.

Is it as much of a middle finger to allow pro-life protesters to stand outside of Planned Parenthood and harass young women, after a handful of pro-life extremists have killed doctors? Is it a middle finger to allow a Christian church to be built in Provincetown or San Francisco, after Christians have worked so hard to oppose marriage rights for those cities' gay population? Is it a middle finger to allow Christian family members to mourn at a funeral being picketed by the Phelps clan of pseudo-Christians?


I am as opposed to fundamentalism and terrorism as anyone. But I also oppose blaming all members of a group for the actions of an extremist minority of that group.

Stormbringer said...

You are putting plenty of words in my mouth, including words that contradict what I clearly said in print. Slow down!

I said that they have the right to build it. Their judgment stinks on ice. The majority of the public object to it.

Also, I gave supporting links. As far as blaming all for the actions of some, I did not do that, either. What I do blame is people who are silent on injustice (especially terrorism) or excuse such actions. Also, if you bother to check the supporting links, it is clear that Islam advocates violence. Isn't that why its adherents have been doing violence for centuries?

Chris B said...

You are putting plenty of words in my mouth, including words that contradict what I clearly said in print.


No, I'm asking questions, to clarify exactly what your position here is, because, despite all you've written about the topic, your thoughts or feelings on what the correct policy here should be are unclear, buried in how deeply offensive you find the building, or how suspicious you are of Muslims in general.

I am asking these questions specifically so that I DON'T accuse you of some opinion that you don't hold. I have received no answers from you yet.


I said that they have the right to build it. Their judgment stinks on ice. The majority of the public object to it.

So if you acknowledge that they have a right to build it, what exactly is your point with these blog posts? Yes, you object to the building, and your objection is duly noted, but if you acknowledge their right to build it, what do your objections accomplish?

There's a great deal in this country that I find distasteful, or in bad judgment, but, being a fairly pragmatic fellow, any discussion objecting to such things that is not directed towards devising or promoting either specific government policy, or a specific course of action for individuals or organizations, just strikes me as a lot of whining.

No offense, but if you acknowledge that the actual decision to be made in this matter does not rest with either the government or the majority that you cite...what is your point?


As far as blaming all for the actions of some, I did not do that, either.

So if you are not blaming these Muslims for 9/11, I fail to see why their building strikes you as objectionable; I can't think of any reason to object to the community center that is not based on equating this Muslim group with terrorism: if you do not hold this group responsible, then why does their presence strike you as objectionable? Why do you feel that it is an insult to the memory of lost Americans for a group that you do not blame for their deaths to build a building near the site where they died?


What I do blame is people who are silent on injustice (especially terrorism) or excuse such actions.

I linked counter-examples in another thread, and you dismissed them as not being vocal enough or not receiving adequate news coverage.


Also, if you bother to check the supporting links, it is clear that Islam advocates violence.

As I noted in another thread, I judge an individual by what they say or do, not on what their religion supposedly says. When I look at an individual, I see an individual, not a race or religion or gender or sexual orientation. If an individual, or an organization, advocates violence, I will object to that organization.

You and I both know that there is plenty of variation within Christianity regarding any number of teachings; likewise that scripture can be taken out of context to create all sorts of false impressions of the faith. For these reasons, I will not condemn and individual for a belief or opinion attributed to them by others. Regardless of what some may believe Islam teaches, I judge individuals based on what those individuals believe. If you were sincere in your earlier statement about not blaming all for the actions of some, I would expect you to follow suit.


Isn't that why its adherents have been doing violence for centuries?

People doing violence can be influenced by their culture, economy, and politics as well as their religion. I'm not going to rush into blaming Islam itself for every crime its adherents commit, any more than I will blame Christianity for every abortion clinic bombing or KKK lynching committed by those claiming to be Christian.

Stormbringer said...

Wow, I can't see how I can make my position clearer. I said what I think. Frankly, I *do* think you're twisting my words and misrepresenting my position. How difficult is it to think that it's insensitive to build a Mosque at Ground Zero? (No, I'm not blaming *these* Muslims, and I'm irritated at that outrageous statement.) You've disagreed with me before, but this time, you seem much angrier than before. Perhaps Nicky is right, you want me to clam up because I'm not being PC?

By the way, how can you hate all major religions but not hate the adherents? You don't seem exactly Mr. Congeniality this time around, and I'm not feeling all that congenial myself lately.

Chris B said...

Wow, I can't see how I can make my position clearer.

If you were interested in doing such a thing, you could answer the questions I asked. Otherwise I'm left with no choice but to try to understand what you write, which, on top of its rather hostile nature, strikes me as occasionally contradictory.


I said what I think. Frankly, I *do* think you're twisting my words and misrepresenting my position.

I'm doing my best to understand what you're trying to say. I apologize if I've misunderstood you. I don't see where I've misrepresented you; if you're going to make accusations like that, I'd think the least you could do is point out an example and set me straight.


How difficult is it to think that it's insensitive to build a Mosque at Ground Zero?

Apparently, not difficult at all. You seem to have no trouble with it. But it seems to me that "insensitive" is a pretty mild term for something that seems to have gotten you quite riled up.


(No, I'm not blaming *these* Muslims, and I'm irritated at that outrageous statement.)

OK, so explain to me why the presence of an Islamic community center built by an Islamic group bothers you, please. And please don't brush it off with some one liner, or say "Isn't it obvious?" or anything. I am sincerely confused as to why you think it's insensitive (or "a middle finger") for a group to build a building near the site of an attack that you agree they had nothing to do with. It strikes me as completely irrelevant.


You've disagreed with me before, but this time, you seem much angrier than before.

I apologize; this issue annoys me a lot, because it strikes me as completely pointless and manufactured and mean-spirited. And, to be honest, the open hostility of your posts is a little grating.


Perhaps Nicky is right, you want me to clam up because I'm not being PC?

I don't even know what "PC" means (yes, I know it stands for "Politically Correct"; I just don't know what the term is actually supposed to mean, other than that it's often tossed around derisively by conservatives). And I don't care if you try to be "PC" or not.

I'm just trying to figure out why you're opposed to a building being put up near Ground Zero by people who you know had nothing to do with 9/11.

And why you feel the need to publicly question the patriotism, or capacity to be good citizens, of those people.

And why you have such contempt for people who support these people's right to build a building.

Or exactly what the point is of making a big fuss over a building that you acknowledge these people have every right to build.

And, of course, why you act insulted when asked to clarify your position on any of the above.

I endorse your freedom to believe and say whatever you like. I don't see why you need to get hostile when I engage you to try to figure out exactly what it is you say and believe.


By the way, how can you hate all major religions but not hate the adherents?

Easily. A belief is not a person, and a person is more than a belief. I can disagree with what someone believes, and even dislike the belief, without disliking the person. This does not strike me as a universal trait.


You don't seem exactly Mr. Congeniality this time around, and I'm not feeling all that congenial myself lately.

No, you're not nearly so warm and cuddly as you usually are.

Stormbringer said...

"No, you're not nearly so warm and cuddly as you usually are."

That one got a snicker out of me. And you're quite right.

"I'm just trying to figure out why you're opposed to a building being put up near Ground Zero by people who you know had nothing to do with 9/11."

There's nothing *right* about it, and the simple fact that it is radical Muslims that are doing the bulk of the terror, it would be a constant reminder of 9-11. By the way, I'm wondering why Jews are not allowed to rebuild their synagogue that was destroyed on that date.

"And why you feel the need to publicly question the patriotism, or capacity to be good citizens, of those people." I question their loyalty because of the actions of Muslims around the world, the writings of the Koran, and the tacit agreement of the majority with the terrorism by their silence. Since Muslims seem to have a privileged status by the media, if they were making efforts to be good citizens, I fully believe that this would be all over the press.

As I have stated several times, it's insensitivity at the very least to build Muslim stuff near Ground Zero. That's not peace, love and healing, that's contempt. You seem surprised that I feel this way, perhaps you should ask yourself why you're in the small minority that approves of this venture.

"And, of course, why you act insulted when asked to clarify your position on any of the above." Because I thought I was clear, and it seemed to me that your emotions were interfering with your understanding. (Here is where I dislike the printed word, I'd like to add facial expressions, voice tone and hand gestures to dispel any sarcastic or contemptuous "tone" that these typed words may take.)

Stormbringer said...

As I was getting ready to work today, this article was waiting in my newsreader.

Chris B said...

There's nothing *right* about it, and the simple fact that it is radical Muslims that are doing the bulk of the terror, it would be a constant reminder of 9-11.

OK, I hope you can understand here why it's difficult for me to understand your position: you don't blame American Muslims for 9/11...but you think they should curtail their building plans based on their flimsy association with terrorism. Do you see why this seems strange to me? To me, if they are not being blamed for it, they shouldn't have to face consequences for it. Now, I'm not expecting you to necessarily agree with that, I'm just trying to get us to understand each other properly. And I simply don't understand your logic here.


Now, brace yourself for a shock: I would probably kinda agree with you if this were proposed to be built on, or directly across the street from, the footprint of the Towers. That, to me, WOULD be tasteless and offensive (although I still wouldn't see the point in protesting something that was within their legal rights). But this thing is going to be two blocks away. It begs the question of what the proper distance from Ground Zero for a mosque would be. Do you oppose the existing mosque that is only 4 blocks from Ground Zero? Should they be allowed anywhere in Manhattan? Anywhere in NYC? Even if they went otherwise, they would run the risk of building near a loved one of one of the 9/11 victims. Even if they didn't build anymore mosques, should the existing mosques be allowed to stand? Even if they tore down the mosques, the continued existence of Muslims in this country would serve as a cruel reminder of 9/11 to some; where do you draw the line? I'm not trying to misrepresent your position, I'm seriously curious about this. Where is it OK for Muslims to build mosques, in your eyes?


By the way, I'm wondering why Jews are not allowed to rebuild their synagogue that was destroyed on that date.

I'm afraid I don't know anything about that, but I certainly support their right to do so.


I question their loyalty because of the actions of Muslims around the world,

Now, again, I don't want to misrepresent you, but please try to understand my confusion: you don't blame American Muslims for the actions of Muslim extremist terrorists, in fact you are insulted by the very suggestion...but you DO question the loyalty of American Muslims based on the actions of Muslim extremist terrorists. This is a distinction that strikes me as extremely subtle. To me, judging someone based on someone else's actions is not so different from blaming them for them. Perhaps you can explain to me the difference.


the writings of the Koran,

I'm pretty sure whoever wrote the Koran is long dead by now.


and the tacit agreement of the majority with the terrorism by their silence. Since Muslims seem to have a privileged status by the media, if they were making efforts to be good citizens, I fully believe that this would be all over the press.

I'm pretty sure I already mentioned this: I am not as convinced as you that this would be a story worthy of most of the press; Muslims protesting terrorism is not as exciting and sexy as disasters or controversy or celebrity gossip. I don't think this is the sort of thing the media is going to present us, unless we actively go looking for it...and, as you might remember, when I took the trouble to dig up some internet resources on this topic, you were quite dismissive.

Also, assuming "tacit agreement" of someone who doesn't actively protest terrorism, simply because of their religion, strikes me as "guilt until proven innocent". Do you blame all Christians for Fred Phelps unless they actively protest his actions (and get on the evening news for doing so)? If not, why not?

Chris B said...

As I have stated several times, it's insensitivity at the very least to build Muslim stuff near Ground Zero. That's not peace, love and healing, that's contempt.

As I've asked several times, what IS the proper distance from Ground Zero to build such a thing?

Also, I seem to recall you making a comment about "PC" the other day...isn't expecting somebody to limit their Free Speech out of sensitivity for the feelings of others the very definition of "PC"? You don't seem the type to limit what you say or do in order to protect the feelings of people who disagree with you...why would you expect others to be any different? If you don't blame American Muslims for 9/11, why the double standard?


You seem surprised that I feel this way,

Not really, it's about what I would expect from you. I'm just trying to understand your position and have a discussion about it.


perhaps you should ask yourself why you're in the small minority that approves of this venture.

I think I know why: because I'm a patriotic American citizen, who believes in Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Freedom of Expression and Religion, racial equality, and other liberal values. I think the better question is the one I've been asking: why do you, and so many others, oppose it?


Because I thought I was clear, and it seemed to me that your emotions were interfering with your understanding.

Really? In what way? I've been asking simple questions, in the hope of making reasoned arguments. So far most of the emotion seems to be on your side, no offense.


As I was getting ready to work today, this article was waiting in my newsreader.

OK...I don't get it. He doesn't want to get dragged into a discussion about 9/11 (which, let me remind you, you acknowledge he had nothing to do with). So?

I came across an article myself yesterday. About a cab driver being stabbed for being Muslim.

Does it bother you to live in a country where outrage is mounting against a racial and religious minority? To the point that it leads to innocent people being assaulted?

Let me ask you this: suppose it was proposed that white people in NYC should refrain from taking cab rides after this incident, because it would be "insensitive" to the victim of this attack. How would you react to that?

Stormbringer said...

OK, I'm done with this. It will keep going on and on and on, and I am not inclined to turn this into a doctoral dissertation. Also, I'm getting very angry and do not want to lash out. Why am I angry? I feel like I am on trial and have to justify my own right to have feelings, an opinion and freedom of speech. Don't read stuff into my comments.

Your own lashing out isn't helping. "Does it bother you to live in a country where outrage is mounting against a racial and religious minority? To the point that it leads to innocent people being assaulted?" What do you want me to say? I'm ashamed to be an American, so I'll hang myself. Or move to Iceland. Or an uninhabited desert island. People do injustices. How do you feel about people being assaulted for being Christians and standing up for their beliefs? Right, both points about the assaults are irrelevant.

So, I'm too wound up and also do not want to expend the time and energy in dragging this discussion out. Being at the workplace doesn't help, ha.

Chris B said...

OK, I'm done with this. It will keep going on and on and on

You know, it really wouldn't have to if you were able to answer a few fairly simple questions. How far from Ground Zero (or anywhere) is an acceptable place for a mosque? Such a simple question that you are unable or unwilling to answer after being asked several times.


Also, I'm getting very angry and do not want to lash out. Why am I angry? I feel like I am on trial and have to justify my own right to have feelings, an opinion and freedom of speech.

First, I've not challenged your right to speak your mind. Part of Free Speech is the Freedom of others to challenge what you say.

Second, I'm just asking questions here. If you can't rationally defend the opinions you've taken the time to post (at length) for all the internet to see without getting upset, that says a lot more about you than about me. If you can't have a rational discussion about your opinions, doesn't that suggest that they're shaped more by emotion than thought? If you can't have this discussion without lashing out, doesn't that suggest you're not looking at the issue calmly? You've accused me of being emotional and lashing out, yet I've been able to respond fairly calmly to every challenge you've made against my position. Does that suggest anything to you?


Your own lashing out isn't helping. "Does it bother you to live in a country where outrage is mounting against a racial and religious minority? To the point that it leads to innocent people being assaulted?" What do you want me to say?

I don't care what you say; I said that not to get you to respond, but to get you to think about what you believe, and what you post, and the sort of environment it's contributing to. And I'm sorry if having your opinions challenged, or being exposed to the idea that they might be wrong, hurts your widdle feelings. But I think you're man enough to handle it.


People do injustices.

Yes, they do. They do injustices because of their opinions...and maybe if they had those opinions challenged, and were encouraged to think about and defend them a bit more, they'd think twice about doing injustices.

Chris B said...

How do you feel about people being assaulted for being Christians and standing up for their beliefs?

I think it's horrific. And I will say so unequivocally, without hesitation. I don't get angry and defensive when people mention it to me. Then again, I don't go around posting blogs about how suspicious and untrustworthy Christians are, and how furious it makes me when they build their churches near certain special places. I wonder if there's some correlation there?


So, I'm too wound up and also do not want to expend the time and energy in dragging this discussion out. Being at the workplace doesn't help, ha.

Ha, indeed. You know what else I think doesn't help? Cognitive dissonance. I think it doesn't help that you have very strong feelings about this issue, but find yourself unable to defend or explain them rationally. I think it doesn't help when you are shown the disconnect between your feelings on this issue and your values as a Christian and as an American.

I think it doesn't help to think about what these feelings say about you if it turns out you're wrong.


But of course, you don't really care much what I think, and you won't respond to it, and you won't change your mind. In fact, you'll probably channel the anger sparked by this discussion into being even more angry about the Ground Zero Mosque that isn't a mosque and isn't at Ground Zero. I understand that. No one ever really "wins" an argument on the internet, because no one wants to lose one. Heck, you might not have even read this far (kudos to you if you did, though).

All I wanted was to invite you to think about this issue a bit, and see what it looks like from the other side. It probably hasn't done much good. But it seemed more useful than just screaming at you and calling you names, which is all anybody else seems to be doing over this.

Stormbringer said...

Now you're setting me up. I don't recall the name of the logical fallacy, but if I don't respond, it's an admission of guilt, etc. I'm not falling for the baiting.

Perhaps you should do what you are insisting that I do, examine yourself. You're making such an effort to slam my fingers in the door, and it seems to be very emotional and irrational on your part. Caution.

Nicky Andolini said...

What about St. Nicholas church?
http://www.georgedemosforcongress.com/refresh/templates/petition.php?id=82

Stormbringer said...

This was just sent to me:

Then right across the street, someone should put a topless bar, called "You Mecca Me Hot". Next to that should be a gay bar, "The Turban Cowboy". And next door to the mosque should be a pork rib restaurant, maybe "Iraq o' Ribs"?

Then the Muslims could be allowed to show their tolerance.

Problem solved.!

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