August 13, 2010

"I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground."

Sayeth the President.
"But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan...
"This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."
Look closely at what he said. It is actually unremarkable. Of course, there is freedom of religion in the United States and the idea of discriminating against a particular religion offends our fundamental values. But it is a separate question whether the plan to build a mosque is a good one that persons of good will should choose to pursue as they exercise the freedom they are most assuredly guaranteed. Did Obama say express an opinion about that?

Ah, here is the text. Let me answer my question: The answer is no.

185 comments:

Seven Machos said...

I think the local government should decide this, and I think that government should try to do what the most citizens can deal with. Surely, some other locale can be found to placate everyone.

I think we all agree that it's a tacky thing to do. That aside, I don't see any moral qualms.

My favorite argument against it that I have heard goes like this: well, you know, Saudi Arabia and all these hard-line Islamic countries would never allow a Christian church or a synagogue to be built right up on some similar site.

To which I can only respond: Yes. No shit. That's what makes us so awesome and them so shitty. That's freedom.

Synova said...

He's good at not expressing opinions at all. Quite. He's more into inferences.

I'm rather more impressed with the Constitution, though, than I am in his "beliefs."

David said...

So what was his point--to remind us that we have the right to free exercise of religion? We knew that.

Is he giving any practical guidance? Is there any moral message here, or any useful suggestion as to how we can reconcile this issue?

Is he saying what he thinks?

Does he have any idea what he thinks?

Does he, indeed, truly believe that Ground Zero is hallowed ground?

What the fuck is going on with this man?

David said...

"But let me be clear:"

A favored introduction to a statement about to confuse, obfuscate and mystify.

exhelodrvr1 said...

He loves those waffles, doesn't he?

jfx said...

Then there's the separate question of would a good law professor spew this garbage to students paying tuition in good faith?

Synova said...

Can I say something blasphemous, please?

Ground Zero is not "hallowed" ground. It is not sacred. It's a place where a horrible thing happened and as such it has more or less the same meaning (times 3000+) as the roadside memorial to the victim of a drunk driver, or if I want to make certain no one mistakes that remark for a lack of understanding of the *intent* of the attack, no more than the roadside memorial of the deputy that was murdered trying to apprehend someone.

Hallowed... what... are the souls of the people murdered there attached to that place? Maybe, if we're going to engage in magical thinking about it all of the rubble should have stayed as it was. What if some souls got hauled off? Maybe they should have been kept as relics at least until it was determined that they weren't legitimate sources of miracles.

If it's hallowed ground it belongs to a god.

If we're going to toss that word around like nothing at all, maybe we could think about what god it likely belongs to.

Oh, and did they finally decide NOT to make this bit of sacred soil into a place dedicated to world injustice and Western oppression? Now that was offensive. Let's put up a permanent display of all the reasons that we deserved what we got, because who can resist?

Doug Wright said...

So, in the spirit of reaching across the aisle, the path, the river, the Road of Life, The One shall beseech the Saudis to build a church in Medina or Mecca!

Yea, right.

Cheers!

John Lynch said...

...and we have the same right to criticize Islam as we do any other religion.

Which is the right we're exercising, isn't it?

peter hoh said...

And it is a separate question of whether the effort to demagogue on this issue is a good one that persons of good will should choose to pursue as they exercise their freedom of speech.

The Crack Emcee said...

"The idea of discriminating against a particular religion offends our fundamental values."

Who's "our" white lady?

That's a joke. But, seriously, I'd like to see NewAge destroyed. It's proponents hounded like the criminals they are. It has brought so much misery - a misery so many choose to ignore, it's mind-boggling. Lives torn apart, fortunes lost, people (especially children) killed - it's all there, with a TV audience applauding. How such an evil and diabolical bit of kookiness ever got a foothold in American soil will be a story that will be told, and retold, in the future. I know it.

It will be the story of how the greatest nation on Earth lost it's way.

David said...

" . . . spew this garbage . . . "

The President, supposedly a Master Communicator, makes a statement about an important issue that can reasonably be construed as fatuous, meaningless, commonplace, manipulative or cowardly.

The Professor points this out, quite delicately.

All the great Presidents have made their best statements late on a Friday night in August when as few people as possible are likely to be paying attention, right?

It's a disturbing thing to see any man completely out of his depth. Terrifying when he the President of the United States.

Tim said...

He voted "present."

Quayle said...

We should live by our own laws.

We should express our displeasure and make every attempt to negotiate a move.

But I'm sure that many Muslims have the same attitude about the mosque as Obama has about his health care bill: the people don't like it now, but later, when it has taken over completely, they'll love it.

Synova said...

New Age is soft and cuddly, Crack. Kinder and gentler than the sorts of robust religions that think they are right and that being right actually matters.

I know you don't do religion at all, and I'm not asking you to. I'm only attempting to explain the "why" as you claim to be "mind-boggled" over the fact that New Age is ignored and the human cost of New Age superstitions are ignored.

Now, actually, I don't think anyone is engaging in magical thinking about Ground Zero... they just use magical language. The pain of those who lost people on 9-11 is very real and persistent. But the effect of equating hurt and strong emotion to something sacrosanct or hallowed, not deliberately but without any thought for doing so, reflects a watering out of what used to mean something into comfortable platitudes.

It's important to be comfortable, so approved religion is quaint, mostly, and inclusive of everything it's possible to be inclusive of and doesn't demand much. And New Age fits that bill. Even people who think that it's all loonies consider them harmless loonies... particularly as they aren't telling anyone else that they're going to hell.

And New Age has even less orthodoxy than Wicca or anything else, so there is really and truly no one being so rude as to venture to tell anyone at all that they are wrong, no matter how many people die in a sweat lodge.

It's the ultimate in tolerance.

(Using the erroneous definition of "tolerance" that means "joyful acceptance and promotion.")

Synova said...

I will say that most of the speech seems almost like a lecture on appropriate Muslim behavior.

I tried to think of myself being on the receiving end and I think it would be annoying, but props to the president for making such a point of our commitment to the rights of people to believe whatever they want or have no faith at all.

Quayle said...

"It's the ultimate in tolerance.

Another example of ultimate in tolerance is AIDS. A body with AIDS is tolerant of every foreign body and bacteria, and doesn't do anything "unkind or not gentle" to discern the harmful ones and get them shut down.

It's a live and let live attitude.

Kind of what subjective morality does to societies.

peter hoh said...

Why, it would be like flying the Confederate Flag over the state capitol.

Except the mosque involves private property.

peter hoh said...

Quayle, way to go, sticking it to those squishy, no-backbone, subjective moralists.

Does that apply to all squishy, no-backbone, subjective moralists, or just those with a (D) after their names?

Almost Ali said...

Don't miss Obama's point; he's advocating for the mosque. Which under any other president would be extraordinary.

JAL said...

BHO II ... to ensure that what is exceptional about America is protected – our commitment to stay true to our core values, and our ability to perfect our union.

Oh really. Exceptional? Just like everyone else thinks their country is exceptional. Right?

(He is still suffering from the lefty-utopian-need-to-perfect-things syndrome.)

Quayle said...

"Does that apply to all squishy, no-backbone, subjective moralists, or just those with a (D) after their names?

My view is that R and D only tell us when they'll sell out their principals for the party, not if they'll sell out.

Synova said...

It's not really subjective morality, though. (Love the AIDS analogy, BTW.) It's actually an extremely strict morality. It's extremely strict about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable and the intolerance towards ideas that do not conform is public and harsh.

Being intolerant of intolerance generally means carte blanche to hate anyone who has the wrong beliefs or ideas... anything that isn't the right sort of tolerant thinking can only be intolerant so...

An example of the ultimate in tolerance... someone will avow acceptance of all faiths and all ideas about the supernatural, and they will say, "What this person believes is True for *them*. What you believe is true for you." But I challenge anyone to respond to that bit of vacancy by attempting to explain that, if what I believe is not true for everyone, then what I believe is not true for me either, it is a *lie*.

Try it, and find out just how "subjective" this morality is. It's not subjective at all. It allows no other interpretations at all. It just has different rules than the old rules.

JAL said...

BHOII For in the end, we remain “one nation, under God, indivisible.” And we can only achieve “liberty and justice for all” if we live by that one rule at the heart of every religion, including Islam—that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

I call bullshit.

(And the Sharia believers in the audience are thinking "Way to go. Nice taqiyya there, Barack!")

Cedarford said...

"This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable."

Except it isn't. We are quite happy to look the other way about Intolerant Islam oppressing those of other religions outside the US while yammering endlessly about our "obligation to diversity" to accept Saudi government funds in the billions to build mosques and fund mullahs preaching the most intolerant Wahabbism here.

==============
Good rant by Synova about all the New Age crap about violence+death somehow making a place "hallowed ground".
We commemorate battlefields and build memorials to celebrity mass deaths as opposed to making a large local hospital where 203,000 people died in the last 80 years "hallowed soil".
And it isn't just New Age babble - NYC Jews and Catholics delved deep into the religious glorification of mass victimhood at 9/11. From stupid micks seeing a I beam crosspiece as a sign from Jesus to Jews doing their tedious and boring and stupid droning of "names of the dead" while emotionally blackmailing everyone to stand at reverent attention at ceremony afterceremony - while the kaddish or whatever it is called by ritual name - was done.

Synova said...

I actually have a certain respect for Islam as something more potent than a social club that meets on "holy" days.

I have no respect, though, for those unwilling to unbend their own faith far enough to recognize that Islam is *real* and not part of their tolerance fantasies.

vza said...

seven machos said: "My favorite argument against it that I have heard goes like this: well, you know, Saudi Arabia and all these hard-line Islamic countries would never allow a Christian church or a synagogue to be built right up on some similar site.

To which I can only respond: Yes. No shit. That's what makes us so awesome and them so shitty. That's freedom."

I agree with you and we certainly should not aspire to lower our standards to their level, but don't you ever wonder why it is that so few Muslims in America ever make any statements condemning those restrictions in Saudi Arabia? Saudi money has poured into the USA for years, helping to build mosques, centers, schools, etc. Wouldn't it be something if some of those Muslims in America would reject the Saudi money in protest of the discrimination?

peter hoh said...

Almost Ali: Don't miss Obama's point; he's advocating for the mosque. Which under any other president would be extraordinary.

You really think that either of the Bushes would have advocated against this mosque?

I take what I see at TPM with a grain of salt, but here they are pointing out that the Bush administration worked with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

former law student said...

Our enemies respect no freedom of religion. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam – it is a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders – these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion – and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.

The answer: the mosque has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden any more than a Catholic church would represent Hitler or a Buddhist temple would represent Pol Pot, because none of the mass murders they committed had anything to do with the worship such buildongs are for.

Synova said...

Cedarford, After 9-11 the Lutheran denomination where I was attending was one of the only denominations of any size or consequence in the US that did not send a denominational representative to any of the "inter-faith" events. They caught some heat for that but it's a good principle to stand on. Not to deny others their observances or to be rude about them (if I might throw a hint your direction), but how much meaning can something have when the people attending think it's a bunch of bull sh*t? It's like having a baby baptized with an Assemblies of God congregation as witnesses. (Our AF chaplain managed something almost exactly like this at Clark and it was *horrifying*.)

peter hoh said...

Whaddya know, neither Quayle nor Synova managed to weigh in on this thread about a noted subjective moralist.

former law student said...

Ground Zero is not "hallowed" ground. It is not sacred. It's a place where a horrible thing happened and as such it has more or less the same meaning (times 3000+) ... [as] the roadside memorial of the deputy that was murdered trying to apprehend someone.

Somebody was uninfluenced by the most famous Presidential address in our Nation's history. Regarding the interment of 7500 Americans near the place they were killed by their enemy, Abraham Lincoln said:

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

Lands where the enemy has killed our fellow Americans is hallowed by their corpses.

former law student said...

"buildings"; "Lands... are"

Time for bed.

peter hoh said...

Synova, you're talking about the LCMS, correct?

If so, I don't believe it's correct to say that your denomination sent no representatives to any of the interfaith services following 9/11.

Benke had permission to attend the interfaith service at Yankee Stadium, which is why he was reinstated after being suspended for taking part in that service.

Paul said...

peter hoh said...You really think that either of the Bushes would have advocated against this mosque?

I agree. "W" would have said something equally mushy.

Seven Machos said...That's what makes us so awesome and them so shitty.

It would be nice to think so, but I suspect most nations think we're just weak and cowardly.

mc said...

Pick it.

Pick it now.

Do you wish to be obstinate and slow down a process which is very clear in Europe?

Or do you feel that you must lose to win?

Watch the entirety of your world changed so you can say "I supported not supporting the world and the ideas and the open aspect that led to my thoughts and latitudes."

Or do you wish to say "You are raising a lie, this is not so, we will not see Eurabia here"?

It is this close, right now.

Loss is not victory when your children have fewer freedoms, no matter how romantic your steaming and smoldering pile of defeat.

I know where I am, and I know that if you love women (amongst other beautiful freedoms) you will resist, or seek to foist change upon, Islam.

I say that while resenting our MSM and culture deeply for it's vapid depredations.

Keep the good, maintain the successes of freedom.

This is indeed an important aspect of the zoning struggle.

They know it...

Synova said...

"You really think that either of the Bushes would have advocated against this mosque?"

No, I don't.

W made an effort to hammer the notion home that we weren't at war with Islam. If his intelligence people didn't have any flags on the fellow wanting to fund the mosque or flags on his associates I wouldn't be surprised if he actually promoted it in order to make a strong statement about our friends and our enemies and who is who.

Without evidence, I admit, I think that a good deal of the outrage over this is from people who suddenly find themselves in the novel position of being allowed to be anti-Muslim. That may be unfair, however.

The Crack Emcee said...

Synova,

There is nothing "soft and cuddly" about what happened to me. There is nothing "soft and cuddly" about what happened when Thomas Sam killed his kid. There is nothing "soft and cuddly" about what is happening in countless households around this country, and around the world, under the guise of "spiritual but not religious" beliefs.

I know you're not debating my point, but I find the "soft and cuddly" notion to be one of the best (and what I meant by diabolical) covers NewAge has for the Mystic Mayhem™ it's unleashed on us all.

Please - to whoever reads this - check out those links (especially the first two) and comment. I'd like to know either what you'd do in such a situation or just how it strikes you.

Synova said...

Yes, Peter. My memory was fuzzy.

It was also my Mo. Synod pastor who denounced Falwell from the pulpit for his remarks after 9-11.

People tend to think that a conservative church must mean certain things as some sort of pre-set package deal. We haven't attended for many years but I approve very much of a church that doesn't ignore the parts of the bible they don't like and works very hard not to just make sh*t up even if it means some questions don't have answers.

Michael Haz said...

A major strategy of the Palestinians in their goal of ultimately taking over all of Israel is to deny Jewish and Christian ties to the land. That's why they hold on to the Temple Mount and destroy artifacts. It is why they burned down Joseph's Tomb and it is why they are now targeting Rachel's Tomb calling it the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, and why they have built the al-Hanaqa Mosque adjacent to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher(and the latrine for the mosque on the roof of the church)

Read the rest of the excellent article here.

Building a Mosque at Ground Zero is all about denying America's ties to the Ground Zero site. It is a flag of conquest placed on a battle site by a political theocracy that has waged war against the non-muslim world since the seventh century.

The Crack Emcee said...

About where the thread is going otherwise:

Anyone that suggests we have to act like ourselves, at all times, under any circumstances - when we are at war - is loopy. Get it through your heads: there are people trying to kill and/or defeat us. Al Qaeda does it the hard way, these Mosque people are trying the "soft and cuddly" route - neither should be allowed to succeed. This is OUR country, and this slight step-by-step encroachment on us, and our values, will continue until we decide to stop it.

When I'm in a fight, I don't act like myself, I act like a man who wants wants others to die, period. War is not to be left to people who don't want to fight, here, there, and everywhere. All this illegal immigrant shit, the mosque, etc., is all the result of others suspecting (rightly) this has become a nation of "soft and cuddly" pussies who are too confused by multiculturalism to defend themselves.

Well, nobody's going to lose this but us, so native born Americans had better consider keeping it ours to be a superior priority than how doing so looks to outsiders or tourists.

Synova said...

Peter, what did you want me to say about Newt? I didn't even read the thread or link pretty much just like I didn't read the one about Tiger Woods. Not that I don't occasionally wander down one of those puerile paths (I'm sure I commented on Tiger's problems previously) but I really do think they get boring fast and as I've no particular investment in Newt I skipped it.

What is there to say?

Is the validity of what someone says dependent on the moral authority of the speaker in order to be true?

No.

Was the remark about cars disgusting?

Yes.

Newt got on some moral bandwagon recently (which I've forgotten and it seems Althouse did not blog) which I considered vapid and disagreed with anyhow, so he was already on my "bleh" list.

mc said...

Mr. Emcee,

CORRECT!

and thank you

Meade said...

I'll second JAL in calling bullshit.

For in the end, we remain “one nation, under God, indivisible.” And we can only achieve “liberty and justice for all” if we live by that one rule at the heart of every religion, including Islam—that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. -Barack Obama

"[...T]hat one rule at the heart of every religion, including Islam" does not not, in fact, include Islam.

mc said...

It has been near on ten years...and the hadith and methods and cult edges not merely avoided but buried deep.

I third JAL...

I have not had the "pleasure" of chatting with any "journalist" who was not of a local level.

Are they as dense and frustratingly self loathing and lionizing (all for effect) as they seem from the print?

I understand how broad a net that may be...still...

Synova said...

"A major strategy of the Palestinians in their goal of ultimately taking over all of Israel is to deny Jewish and Christian ties to the land."

I don't think that works. It might be the strategy, and has been over and over Historically in many different cultures but they can't remove the land, only the artifacts.

You'd think that Palestinians would realize that, actually.

Jim said...

It is a measure of this man's narcissism that he felt he needed to give a statement on this AT ALL.

They say he has ALWAYS felt strongly but wanted to wait until local authorities made a decision.

So, let's get this straight. It was a local issue and therefore you said nothing because it was none of your business. But NOW THAT THE DECISION has been made, a statement is ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED because why again?

What an egotistical buffoon this guy is....Can he spend the next two years hiding away in Martha's Vineyard just to keep him away from the cameras? I think it would be extremely therapeutic - for everyone....

peter hoh said...

Synova, pardon my snark. It was really aimed at Quayle, who was all high and mighty about subjective morality. I don't really mena to suggest that failure to commnet on a thread means anything.

After I read his comment, I wondered if he had left any comment on the Newt thread. Then I thought better of it.

Should have kept to that initial thought. A little too much late-night bull session going on.

mc said...

The man waits until he feels that moment, then he puts his feet upon the resolute desk and vomits worthless political tripe.

He is stunned if it is not lapped up with enthusiasm.

This is a bullshit presidency, from a bullshit political class.

We did come back from all that Tamany hall filth over the years.

Let's try.

deborah said...

I think M7 has it right: we have freedom of religion, but they kill the infidel.

But Crack saying:
"Anyone that suggests we have to act like ourselves, at all times, under any circumstances - when we are at war - is loopy. Get it through your heads: there are people trying to kill and/or defeat us."

Puts me in mind of how our liberties have been abridged with the Patriot Act and all the inconveniences that go along with it. So in the same manner, the Mosque builders should expect a little red tape while the source of the money is cleared up. Nothing personal; we all have to put up with incoveniences during wartime.

Rose said...

Rebuild St. Nicholas CHURCH at Ground Zero, Not a Mosque - George Demos

...On September 11, 2001, over 3,000 Americans, including 168 residents of our community in Suffolk County, were taken from us by the evil acts of Islamic extremists bent on destroying our freedoms. Amid the thick smoke and choking ashes of that fateful day, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was reduced to dust.

Since 1922, St. Nicholas Church had stood as a quiet sanctuary of prayer and reflection amidst the tumultuous and bustling crossroads of commerce. For nine years the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey has used bureaucratic obstacles and false promises to hinder the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church. This must end and it must end now.

What an outrage that our government has put roadblocks in the path of its own citizens trying rebuild their beloved Church destroyed by Islamic extremists, while Saudi Arabia, a nation that prohibits people from even wearing a Cross or the Star of David, now provokes the families of those who lost loved ones by apparently funneling money to build a mosque at the same location.

peter hoh said...

Of those critical of Obama, please answer me this: What would Bush have said or done differently?

Synova said...

As for the need to resist being taken over...

I'm thinking of the issue of violence as an example. We don't want kids to use violence to get their way, to be thugs and criminals and to solve their normal childhood "problems" by hurting others... so we tell them to use their words and not to hit other children. And in the process we make violence into something it is not and we entirely destroy the notion of protecting those weaker than ourselves or defeating threats.

Are we doing that with the notion of religious tolerance? Is there so much of a push to be tolerant that we've noticed that we're in danger of becoming submissive wimps that won't stand up for anything or protect anyone? That is unacceptable, but it's not actually tolerance of bold religious practice, is it? It's more like suppression of everyone.

Lets make sure we're rejecting the right thing.

I don't think that the choice is between rejecting our Constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion or else accepting the religious pablum of a multi-culti orthodoxy that reduces all religions to the Golden Rule, if they actually contain it or not.

peter hoh said...

Rose, stop making stuff up. It's not "the same location."

Synova said...

Peter, I don't think he'd have said anything particularly different (other than not using the term "But let me be clear") but he tended to be a little bit less shy about identifying the enemy so it might have come across a little bit differently.

Don't worry about the snark. It's way past my bedtime, too. Sleep well.

peter hoh said...

Synova, I'm with you on the rejection of bland multiculturalism that seeks to paper over all the differences between different faiths.

But in the civil sphere, we go along with that mushy language, because it's not the role of government or government officials to be opining on theological issues.

We have principles. They are what define us. We abandon them at our peril.

By doing so, we play into the hands of our enemies.

Jeffrey Goldberg:
One of the ways to prevent future Ground Zeroes is to encourage moderation within Islam, and to treat Muslim moderates differently than we treat Muslim extremists. The campaign against this mosque treats all Muslims as perpetrators. This is a terrible mistake, for moral and strategic reasons.

peter hoh said...

Synova, to pick up on your distinction between an Obama quote and a Bush quote:

Blah, blah, blah = Bush.

Let me be clear, blah, blah, blah = Obama.

My friends, blah, blah, blah = McCain.

Synova said...

blah blah blah

LOL!

(Actually, I think that Bush might have gone with something a bit like the Goldberg quote since he spent quite a bit of time trying to enforce that distinction.)

Revenant said...

You really think that either of the Bushes would have advocated against this mosque?

Bush devoted considerable effort to pushing the whole "Islam is a good and nice religion" meme. It was irritating, but oh well.

Synova said...

Obama sort of kind of did, too.

But it was all so full of "let me be clear" deniability that Althouse can't see that he gave an opinion either way. I agree.

Would Bush have given an opinion?

Synova said...

On the other hand I don't think that Goldberg's suggestion of the provocation Sarah Palin would be, and resultant clash of civilizations if she were president, is valid.

I've long held the opinion that it takes a true believer to understand a true believer. I would feel more secure, not less, to have someone who understood people who actually, for real, believe in God and eternal consequences dealing with people who might make decisions that seem irrational to someone without that understanding.

Fen said...

DHOTUS comes riding in on his Scapegoat to tilt at a Strawman.

Worst. President. Ever.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'll know this country understands what's what when - the next time some jackass decides to run across a baseball diamond waving another nation's flag - he dies from a bullet, on the field, as well.

James said...

"We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who have led our response to that attack – from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us always remember who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for. Our enemies respect no freedom of religion. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam – it is a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders – these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion – and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.

That is who we are fighting against. And the reason that we will win this fight is not simply the strength of our arms – it is the strength of our values. The democracy that we uphold. The freedoms that we cherish. The laws that we apply without regard to race or religion; wealth or status. Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect to those who are different from us – a way of life that stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today.

In my inaugural address, I said that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth. That diversity can bring difficult debates. Indeed, past eras have seen controversies about the construction of synagogues or Catholic churches. But time and again, the American people have demonstrated that we can work through these issues, stay true to our core values, and emerge stronger for it. So it must be – and will be – today."

The entire speech sounds exactly like something Bush would have given.

Hector Owen said...

Obama's words are designed to be unexceptionable. But meanwhile, his State Department, a part of the Executive Branch, is sending the imam on a tour of Muslim states.

"State Department officials say Rauf is not supposed to do any fundraising during his taxpayer-sponsored program. But this is an imam whose projects, in order to roll ahead, now entail raising $100 million. Where exactly does he now expect to get the money? What, if anything, has he been discussing about this with his overseas contacts? And when does he plan to make himself available to start answering questions?"

If our government is donating the money to enable the rest of the money to be raised, that amounts to sponsorship of the mosque, and that looks like a church-state violation.

deborah said...

"I'll know this country understands what's what when - the next time some jackass decides to run across a baseball diamond waving another nation's flag - he dies from a bullet, on the field, as well."

Oh, for Pete's sake.

deborah said...

"If our government is donating the money to enable the rest of the money to be raised, that amounts to sponsorship of the mosque, and that looks like a church-state violation."

As long as he doesn't use government stationery, it should be fine.

The Crack Emcee said...

Who shot Pete?

Chip Ahoy said...

Do you know what would engender peace and harmony among people of different belief systems? Peach paletas, that's what.

Sixty Grit said...

What happened to the leftist "Freedom from religion" meme? Can't we get some of that about now?

Along with "He's not my president" and "Impeach now" and the rest of that powerful bumper sticker ideology - come back, 2008, come back!

Sixty Grit said...

Oh, and the resident liberal muslim-lovers here have done a great job. They have never met a hate-filled, child-raping, gay-hanging, woman-stoning, freedom-denying theocracy they didn't love. I hope your islamic oppressors treat you better than the dreaded conservatives did.

Revenant said...

What happened to the leftist "Freedom from religion" meme? Can't we get some of that about now?

It is an atheist meme, not a leftist one. And since it applies to government establishment of religion, it doesn't apply here. The mosque is being built with private funds on private land, which makes it irritating but not illegal.

rhhardin said...

It's the claim on respect that's the problem.

edutcher said...

Once you get to know The Zero, he becomes awfully predictable; also interesting that he let Bloomie articulate the position first.

Synova said...
He's good at not expressing opinions at all. Quite. He's more into inferences.

It's the art of voting, "Present".

Ground Zero is not "hallowed" ground. It is not sacred. It's a place where a horrible thing happened and as such it has more or less the same meaning (times 3000+) as the roadside memorial to the victim of a drunk driver, or if I want to make certain no one mistakes that remark for a lack of understanding of the *intent* of the attack, no more than the roadside memorial of the deputy that was murdered trying to apprehend someone.

Hallowed... what... are the souls of the people murdered there attached to that place?


We were attacked there. Think USS Arizona (another place where they had no chance to fight back) rather than Gettysburg - often referred to as hallowed ground.

lucid said...

Ann has it exactly right.

The point is not whether we can legally stop it but how we should feel about it.

No one claims there is any legal authority that can stop the Cordobaa Initiative because they are Muslims.

But that is not the point.

Most Americans are offended by the planned mosque.

It remains to be seen whether the industries and workers who build in New York City will build this mosque.

If they do, without question, the mosque will be a source of tension and animosity for decades to come.

MikeDC said...

By making a statement without mentioning whether he thought it was a good idea, the President surely expressed an opinion.

HDHouse said...

I am surprised that Ann didn't say "this is the first amendment" get over it. End of discussion.

If there is a call for "bad taste" or "out of keeping" whatever, it doesn't have anything to do with the right to practice religion and the government's absolute ban from getting involved in it one way or another.

If hallowed means holy (which is one meaning) and ground zero is "holy ground" (proclaimed holy by whom"? and under what possible authority) whouldn't we be even better served to forbid any "for profit" venture being built and operated - like an office tower for moneylenders perhaps?? - on a holy site?

Chase said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The Muslim Center has only one purpose. The same purpose that Van Gogh's assasin accomplished by pinning a victory proclamation to Theo's dead chest with the knife thru his heart that had been uswed to cut off his head for speaking truth to Islamic lies.

lemondog said...

But it is a separate question whether the plan to build a mosque.....

My understanding is that it is more a community center including a mosque or 'prayer space.'

But why is Obama even sticking his nose into it?

People have the right to belly-ache, complain and petition against.

He arrogantly sermonizes on religious freedom but has no qualms ridiculing citizens exercising their freedom of speech who assemble against his policies.

BTW, Mr. President, in between your lecturing gig. how goes the economy?

Chase said...

Obama personally stepped into the issue and said:

"This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.


Really?

How does he feel about this?:

California Supreme Court: Doctors faith must yield to gays' rights

Chase said...

Religious Freedom. It has Obama "concerned". He said:

"This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."

Revenant said:

It is an atheist meme, not a leftist one.

Is this a leftist meme? Does the President also want to step personally into this one?:


Lesbians in New Mexico successfully sue photographer for declining services for their ceremony.

Cedarford said...

peter hoh said...
Of those critical of Obama, please answer me this: What would Bush have said or done differently?
============
No, Bush, who looks like a failed President - was also big on Open Borders and preaching about The Religion of Peace. Both Obama and Bush are morons that think Islam and Democracy are generally compatable, and nation-building and tolerance are the way to go.

*****************
edutcher to Synvova's Hallowed... what... are the souls of the people murdered there attached to that place?

"We were attacked there. Think USS Arizona (another place where they had no chance to fight back) rather than Gettysburg - often referred to as hallowed ground."

Somewhere in the 19th Century spiritualism movement, the rather unique American notion arose that we needed to go past putting up a memorial and having services at the site of lots of people killed to publicly preaching that the soil was rendered Holy by victimhood.

In Europe and Asia, as with America, there are plenty of battlefield and war memorials - but an absence of an idea that cities once blasted in war, plane crash sites, and scenes of mass murder - now are consecrated soil.

It is considered a rather strange American fetish, even a bit repellant.

Ann Althouse said...

For those of you who don't get "hallowed ground," here's a quote. See if you can place it, and work from there:

"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground."

Triangle Man said...

Obama is finally confining his comments to something like a "presidential" scope. I think "hallowed" is a forgivable embellishment.

"Is it a good idea"? For whom? Will it generate profit for the developers? Will the owners make money and will the tenants advance their goals as a religious community?

I wonder how many contractors will refuse to bid on the job. Will workers or their unions refuse to work?

The Drill SGT said...

I was struck by the Dinner attendee list.

1. I found it interesting that nobody from CAIR showed up.

2. That even in a social setting Obama can't say anything nice about the Bush... Even though Bush held these dinners for 8 years, (I saw no Clinton event) Obama snarked, "Here at the White House, we have a tradition of hosting iftars that goes back several ye"

3. They now have LCDRs in the USMC :) at least 1 anyway: Lt. Commander Abuhena Saifulislam, U.S. Marine Corps

4. why does the incompetent WH Social Secretary list a spouse in front of all the Diplomats?

7M, I thought it would be by data of station, isn't that the general rule? instead, first on the list is: Mrs. Shamim Jawad, Spouse, Embassy of Afghanistan. And don't tell me it's alphabetical, can Pakistan isn't in the alphabet after Saudi Arabia

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
For those of you who don't get "hallowed ground," here's a quote. See if you can place it, and work from there:


Hallowed, Smallowed.

Obama just wants to appear Lincolnesque

Mick said...

He has no attachment or allegiance to this country, which was the basis of the rationale to make sure that the POTUS is a Natural Born Citizen, i.e. born in the US of US citizen parents. The founders
warning that the POTUS and VP be insulated from foreign influence is being ignored, to our detriment.

The Drill SGT said...

FWIW,

WWII ended 65 years ago today.

Absent Companions!

alan markus said...

"Did Obama say express an opinion about that?"

"Let me answer my question: The answer is no."

What exactly is the question?

Ann Althouse said...

"What exactly is the question?"

This is what students say in class when they haven't been paying attention. But you have the text in front of you, so what's your excuse for saying that?

g2loq said...

You don't choose your enemy.
Your enemy chooses you.

The Drill SGT said...

Men of sense often learn from their enemies. It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war.

- Aristophanes

MadisonMan said...

He should have been briefer. And he should always, ALWAYS, avoid Let me be clear. No one wants to hear him say that.

The Federal Government has no business -- with a couple exceptions that aren't relevant here -- telling a Mosque where it can or cannot build.

That would have been a better statement. Why can't a politician in front of a microphone be brief?

Scott said...

The Muslims who want to build their expression of triumphalism at their battlefield have the right to do it under the law.

But Americans who find this utterly tasteless and massively offensive have the right to bring continual pressure to bear on the perpetrators of this repugnance, in exercise of their very same rights.

Picket lines in front of the mosque entrance? Why not. In fact, why not do anything that a union would do, including all the kinds of union violence that police departments tacitly protect as expressions of First Amendment rights -- slash tires, vandalize property, beat people up, other forms of intimidation. If it's allowable for the SEIU, it ought to be okay for mosque protesters too.

Jeffrey Goldberg says we shouldn't provoke Muslims. That cuts both ways.

Rialby said...

When the livid child, son or brother of one of those massacred on 9/11 straps a bomb on and goes jihad on that mosque, we Americans will all be stained with that act of retribution. Nobody has the courage to prevent that from happening.

Scott said...

@Rialby: Islam incentivizes that kind of terrorism. Other religions don't.

Lincolntf said...

The Government tells EVERYONE where and when and what they can build, everybody knows that. Try to erect anything bigger than a shed without Gov't approval and you'll see what I mean.
This "Cordoba Institute" mosque is meant to memorialize the blow in the cause of Islam that was struck on 9/11. That's just the reality.
That Obama, who supposedly loathes "Bible clingers" to the point of distraction, is in favor of this grand devotional effort is bizarre. Hopefully, this stand of his will be quietly reversed just like closing Gitmo, trying KSM in NYC, gutting the Patriot Act, etc. all were.
Whatever happens, this should knock a few more percentage points off Barry's approval numbers.

Paddy O said...

Synova, very nicely said. And Quayle, I think your associated analogy is excellent. I'm likely going to be using that.

Crack, I think your experiences are immensely helpful to these sorts of conversation. When I hear "soft and cuddly" I don't think of this as a positive. Soft and cuddly allows monsters into the midst, and monsters take decided advantage of the over-open minded.

It is not, I think, an accident that Nazi Germany happened after 100 years of increasing liberalizing theology in Germany, in which the whole basis of Christian faith was left an empty shell, to be replaced by a vaguely Christian humanism.

Tolerance of the fluffiness of evil really is only tolerance of the powerful and the malicious. Victims abound, even as they're drawn in by the hope of eventually becoming some of the enlightened.

__________________________

From this speech, and the helpful comparison to Lincoln, I wonder how Obama would have responded to Gettysburg. The people, certainly, have the right to self-government, after all. And those in the South have certainly proven to be good Americans, with a distinct culture. But, I suspect that then and now people would think a Southern Heritage Center at Gettysburg would be a fairly unsuitable.

jr565 said...

This whole argument that it's an argument of freedom of religion is a total red herring.
Because 9/11 occured 9 years ago, and I'd imagine that mosques were built in that time. No mosques were closed and no muslims were denied the right to prey anywhere, even at the height of 9/11. In fact, despite the fact taht Bush was accused of trying to start a new crusades,he CONSTANTLY said this was not a war against Islam.
The issue is where the mosque is placed, period. Putting the mosque in the middle of Ground Zero is insensitive to many. If you listen to those arguing against the mosque, be they Peter King, or Gov. Patterson, they are simply saying don't build it inside of Ground Zero. Both have suggested it simply be moved out of that area and there is no problem.
And noone is saying they CAN"t build the mosque. It is private property. The argument is they SHOULDN'T where they're proposing to.

lemondog said...

...OUR commitment to religious freedom...

Is that "Congress shall make no law......"

lucid said...

@Ann--

I think you probably saw it, but the "hallowed ground" also picks up Krathammer's recent column where he used and defined Lincoln's idea, which is one of the most distinguished and widely read anti-mosque statements.

Rialby said...

Fen - you said it first.

I wonder if Obama sat down at some point in his twenties and templated out how he was going to speak or if it just came naturally over the course of decades as he spewed forth. It's the SAME FUCKING FORMULATION EVERYTIME.

Let me be clear, [APPEAL TO AUTHORITY], [INSERT STRAWMAN]. [VAGUE PRONOUN FOR OPPONENTS] say that [FALSE DICHOTOMY]. I do not. [NONSPECIFIC SOLUTION THAT IS LIKELY MASKING PROGRESSIVE AGENDA]. [LEFTIST TROPE].

ricpic said...

I stand shoulder to shoulder with the forces of darkness and resentment. And with Satan's help we will finally crush the hated Amerika. Allah-Foshizzle, y'all.

Scott said...

@Rialby: LOL. I bet someone with some programming chops could take that algorithm and write a "random Obama speech generator." It would get a zillion hits!

edutcher said...

The thing about Rauf that should raise red flags with people is his tendency, when someone wants him to give a straight answer on something, to say, "I'm trying to build bridges...", and then change the subject.

The Drill SGT said...
FWIW,

WWII ended 65 years ago today.

Absent Companions!


It's worth a lot, Sergeant!

And, for those who think that second A-bomb was unnecessary and criminal, a little note from This Day in History from strategypage:

1945 Tokyo: Attempted coup by the Imperial Guard is put down with bloodshed.

HDHouse said...

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground"

A. Lincoln, 1963

HDHouse said...

jr565 said...
"No mosques were closed and no muslims were denied the right to prey anywhere"

pray, as well.

Triangle Man said...

the right to prey

@jr565

LOL! Intentional?

HDHouse said...

Hey jr565...this isn't exactly in the midst of ground zero - its a couple blocks north......

former law student said...

Are you guys also opposed to the idea of a memorial at Ground Zero? Why memorialize how Muslims kicked our asses?

Almost Ali said...

peter hoh said...
You really think that either of the Bushes would have advocated against this mosque?

In keeping with the office, they would have kept their public mouths shut.

Not so with Obama, whose ultimate goal is to destroy Wall Street, thus capitalism. The proposed mosque amounts to nothing less than Mecca West, with all the attending pilgrimages - certainly not a place conducive to a Morgan Stanley or Cantor Fitzgerald.

Rialby said...

I say we tear down the site of the Stonewall Inn and put in a mosque. Anyone with me?

Oh wait... that cannot happen. BECAUSE WE HAVE HALLOWED THE GROUND:

In June 1999, through the efforts of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects and Designers, the area including Stonewall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its historic significance to gay and lesbian history. The area delineated included the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and portions of surrounding streets and sidewalks. The area was declared a National Historic Landmark in February 2000.

peter hoh said...

Now the proposed site for the mosque is "in the middle of Ground Zero." (jr565, 8:44).

Stop making stuff up.

peter hoh said...

edutcher: And, for those who think that second A-bomb was unnecessary and criminal, a little note from This Day in History from strategypage:

1945 Tokyo: Attempted coup by the Imperial Guard is put down with bloodshed.


I'm not taking issue with the idea that the second bomb was justified, but the coup was motivated by the desire to continue fighting among junior officers.

peter hoh said...

Rialby, more false equivalencies.

If you think the Burlington Coat Factory building should be on the register of historic places, go ahead and submit the paperwork.

Almost Ali, your assertion that President Bush would not have made a similar statement is based on what, exactly?

JAL said...

@ Peter Hoh 1:41 AM it's not the role of government or government officials to be opining on theological issues.

Peter, make sure Imam Faisal gets the memo.

Faisal it is clear an Islamic state can be established in more than just a single form or mold. It can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of Sharia that are required to govern.

In its base form Islam is a theocracy which, as it inhabits whatever political bodies it can, works to remake them in its image.

"What We Do" (Cordoba Initiative site) The Sharia Index -- to measure the "Islamicity" of a state.

(The Sharia Index was created using the input of an Iranian leader whose picture and name have now been deleted from the Cordoba site.)

wv buthenn
Buthenh the damning "but" was used.

JAL said...

"You really think that either of the Bushes would have advocated against this mosque?"

No, I don't.


While GWB was nice nice, he had a strong hand. Did he deal with Faisal -- probably yes ... and CAIR was on his doorstep as soon as he got back to the White House. By demonizing Daniel Pipes they were able to have face time for a couple years. I think. They seem to be less prominent in Official Washington, though they yak a lot. (As The Drill Sgt noted, they do not seem to be represented on the dinner list.)

As the dirty laundry comes out (and it will) the State Departments funding Faisal's good will cross cultural trips which are not to be fund raisers (hahahah) will quietly cease.

I do not think the Bushes would have advocated against the mosque. (First Amendment and all that.)

But neither do I think they would have fallen all over themselves advocating FOR the mosque, much less in the venue of a Ramadan dinner.

Obama was trying for Brownie points with his Muslim audience, or practicing taqiyyah.

Either way he thinks saying words are enough. Not here. Not now. Not when more than half of America has been woken up with a slap the side of the head.

He's a complete idiot if he, who supposedly knows *about* Islam, thinks what he said is true.

Almost Ali said...

peter hoh said...
Almost Ali, your assertion that President Bush would not have made a similar statement is based on what, exactly?

Common sense.

Anglelyne said...

Scott: Jeffrey Goldberg says we shouldn't provoke Muslims. That cuts both ways.

"Of course I believe freedom of _______ is one of our most fundamental rights and values. But freedom of _______ must be exercised with maturity, judgment, and sensitivity toward the feelings and beliefs of our fellow citizens, and not abused in the service of insult and provocation."

It would be nice to just once see our butt-kissing pundits and politicos wag their sanctimonious little fingers at insensitive Muslims behaving obnoxiously.

former law student said...

By demonizing Daniel Pipes

What a strange phrase. What did they do, hold up a mirror to him? Can one demonize a demonizer?

Live by the sword, etc.

Beth said...

"or practicing taqiyyah"

Everybody's a dhimmi-expert on Islam these days. It must be next on the Tea Party reading list, right after Alinsky.

Anglelyne said...

peter hoh: Synova, I'm with you on the rejection of bland multiculturalism that seeks to paper over all the differences between different faiths.

Not really. If you rule it out of bounds even to speculate that any religion could be in conflict with a civil ethos of religious tolerance, and take it as an unexamined axiom that civic ideals derived from a specific human cultural tradition can be universally applied and accepted, then you believe in a "bland multiculturalism". In the real world of non-bland multiculturalism, differences actually matter.

Anglelyne said...

Beth quoting JAL:

"or practicing taqiyyah"

Everybody's a dhimmi-expert on Islam these days. It must be next on the Tea Party reading list, right after Alinsky.


Everybody's an expert on Islam, Beth - including you. Otherwise, you wouldn't know enough to know whether JAL's talking bullshit or not.

Synova said...

"Are you guys also opposed to the idea of a memorial at Ground Zero? Why memorialize how Muslims kicked our asses?"

Some people thought that the best thing would be to rebuild, to not be defeated.

There is also value in reminding people that evil exists in the world.

The oppression museum idea was obscene, better nothing at all than that.

A memorial is appropriate but lord almighty did people get ridiculous about it. I haven't looked up what the current plans are, but I think something about a garden and reflecting pool? That seems nice.

Synova said...

What is the Pentagon getting? I would expect something like a plaque in the new wall with maybe names of the dead and a date.

Turtledove said...

"The idea of discriminating against a particular religion offends our fundamental values."

The idea of discriminating against women by all Muslims offends my fundamental values. Freedom of religion should not mean freedom to be oppressive to 50% of the world's population. When Islam respects other religions and stops oppressing women, we can start discussing a mosque anywhere near Ground Zero.

peter hoh said...

Anglelyne writes: If you rule it out of bounds even to speculate that any religion could be in conflict with a civil ethos of religious tolerance, and take it as an unexamined axiom that civic ideals derived from a specific human cultural tradition can be universally applied and accepted, then you believe in a "bland multiculturalism".

I have done neither A nor B.

I'm not the straw man you are looking for.

Big Mike said...

The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders.

It's unimaginable, so he understands it. Right.

This guy is has the lowest level of empathy since ... I don't know. Has there ever been a president who is so poor at connecting with Americans?

former law student said...

The idea of discriminating against women by all Muslims offends my fundamental values. Freedom of religion should not mean freedom to be oppressive to 50% of the world's population. When Islam respects other religions and stops oppressing women, we can start discussing a mosque anywhere near Ground Zero.

s/Muslims/haredi/
s/Islam/Judaism/
s/mosque/shul/

The validity of the paragraph is unchanged.

peter hoh said...

While familiar with ultra-orthodox, I was unfamiliar with the term "Haredi."

Google turned up this interesting article, with quotes from Israelis claiming that the Haredi pose an existential threat to Israel.

Lincolntf said...

fls- he clearly includes "the world's population" in his paragraph.
Your attempted parallel is not only "changed", it's nonsensical.

jr565 said...

Seven Machos wrote:
To which I can only respond: Yes. No shit. That's what makes us so awesome and them so shitty. That's freedom.


And yet we seem to be the ones that constantly have to kowtow or apologize. We have to accomodate the wishes of those who wish to build a mosque in ground zero, those wishing to build a mosque don't have to accomodate those who are offended by the idea.We have to accomodate them so much that we can't even rebuild things that were destroyed on the grounds of religious freedom, but have to build something that was never there before, that rewards the religion of those who attacked us, and gives them a victory on many fronts.
They can hate us for our policies, and libs constantly bring up said policies as the reason to understand their hatred us, yet we never can hate their policies, or our actions are never viewed as inspired by their policies.
If you want to say that they are shitty, that's your perogative, but then again, if that's the case why the need to get them to like us so much?
And are Muslims denied the right to pray or build mosques in the US now? Even during 9/11? So how is this a religious rights issue? Do we owe muslims some extra degree of appreciation for the wrongs done to them in this country?

Libs just seem to really have a need to kowtow.

jr565 said...

Beth wrote:

Everybody's a dhimmi-expert on Islam these days. It must be next on the Tea Party reading list, right after Alinsky.


Everyone that is except the libs, who consistently show a lack of understanding of all things Islam. Then agian, considering their usual role is as the useful idiot and anti american agitprop ally for any tin pot dictatorship that comes along, it's perhaps understandable. they simply don't understand the concept of evil, unless it's America's or Israel's.

peter hoh said...

Now it's "in Ground Zero?"

And we are blocking the rebuilding of the Greek Orthodox church building in order to accommodate the Cordoba project?

Really?

jr565 said...

Beth wrote:

Everybody's a dhimmi-expert on Islam these days. It must be next on the Tea Party reading list, right after Alinsky.


And if the left is not an expert on dhimi's and Islam then how are they saying that Islam is a religion of peace? They may be wrong or right in their assertions, but it sounds like you are suggesting that they are wilfully ignornant on the subject.
As to Alinsky being on the reading list. Maybe it's good to read up on the philosophies of those leading us. I'm sure you held Sarah Palin to account for not knowing what the Bush doctrine meant, you think we shouldn't know about Rules for Radicals?

Fred4Pres said...

Did Obama express an opinion about the Cordoba House project?

Yes he did. By not addressing it and saying he thought it was inappropriate (while giving a speech on the first amendment and freedom), the reasonable inference is he does not oppose it. In fact, the reasonable inference is you are against American values if you oppose it.

While I liked that technique by Otter in Animal House...Mr. President you are no Otter.

jr565 said...

Peter Hoh wrote:
Now it's "in Ground Zero?"


It's close enough. Gov Patterson offered to move the mosque a little bit away from the area so as to not cause controversy. What's wrong with that suggestion?

And we are blocking the rebuilding of the Greek Orthodox church building in order to accommodate the Cordoba project?

Really?


I'm sure it's not literally an either or proposition. However, for all the talk of religious freedom, I don't hear libs in particular arguing how we have to rebuild a church that was destroyed in the attack. Libs seem to have invested themselves in this mosque being built as close to ground zero as possible. They've thrown up complete straw men arguments about religious freedom, which are quite cute considering Muslims have never been denied access to prayer in this country, nor have they been denied the ability to build mosques,and in fact those criticizing this have even offered alternate locations to build said mosque. Yet for al the zeal about building the mosque there is a complete lack of zeal about rebuilding a church that was destroyed int he attack. Not to say we have to champion that cuase or that it's a priority to rebuild said church. but it's very funny to see the libs (primarly) reaction to this in both cases. It almost sounds like the left is using this as a political tool to try to paint their enemies as being against religious freedoms for electoral purposes.
Yet seriously, considering the amount of religious intolerance direted towards christianity by the left, I have to wonder if you're making the intolerance charge as some ironic stance or as satire.

peter hoh said...

Jr565, now you want to assert that "Islam is a religion of peace" is a left-wing claim?

Where were you when George W. Bush brought that phrase into our public discourse?

Again, stop making stuff up.

peter hoh said...

nor have they been denied the ability to build mosques

You simply haven't been paying attention. Link.

Other made up assertions: Liberals seem invested in making sure this mosque is built as close to Ground Zero as possible.

Show me one example of a liberal who thinks that the Cordoba mosque should be built closer to Ground Zero than currently proposed.

peter hoh said...

Gov Patterson offered to move the mosque a little bit away from the area so as to not cause controversy. What's wrong with that suggestion?

Those opposed to the building have never been able to agree how far is far enough.

If the Cordoba House were proposed for 10 blocks away, I am certain that quite a few on the right would continue to claim offense.

It almost sounds like the left is using this as a political tool to try to paint their enemies as being against religious freedoms for electoral purposes.

The left did not start this controversy. It has been ginned up by those on the right.

peter hoh said...

Almost Ali, while not conclusive, here's some evidence for my claim that Bush would have made a similar statement.

Michael Gerson, a speech writer for George W. Bush, said this:

An enormously complex and emotional issue -- but ultimately the right thing to do. A president is president for every citizen, including every Muslim citizen. Obama is correct that the way to marginalize radicalism is to respect the best traditions of Islam and protect the religious liberty of Muslim Americans. It is radicals who imagine an American war on Islam. But our conflict is with the radicals alone.

peter hoh said...

I guess the guy who wrote these words is one of those liberals who has invested himself in this mosque being built as close to Ground Zero as possible:

Having a mosque near the site of the attack can be a very important symbol of how much we value religious freedom in this country.

Link.

Pastafarian said...

fls said: "...s/Islam/Judaism/..."

I missed those videos of Jews sawing the heads off of captives with dull knives. Probably all those Jews in the media, hiding the truth from us. If you or Cedarford could post a link to these videos, please do.

Anglelyne said...

peter hoh: [Looks like it's pick on peter Sunday for Angleyne.]: Almost Ali, while not conclusive, here's some evidence for my claim that Bush would have made a similar statement.

Yes, I agree. Bush would have said something equally if not more inane and tone-deaf than Obama. Is there some reason why this pointless little exercise in tu-quoque-ing should be of interest to anyone but moronic party hacks?

Synova said...

I think it would be worth it just to have Gutfeld's "Outfidels" lunch-counter and gay bar constructed nearby.

Him suggesting that was worth it, just to get the official response from the mosque people about how offending sensibilities doesn't promote bridge building or whatever. But when he talked about what he was thinking of for the bar he sounded like he sincerely wanted to make it a place where Muslims would be comfortable.

The answer to speech is more speech. We tend to want to repress anything raucous or dynamic or fractious, and that's too bad.

peter hoh said...

Anglelyne, the point is not to praise Obama for being just like Bush, but rather to point out that there's just about no other statement that the president could make.

Those who promote "Miss Me yet?" can't escape that on this, Obama is walking the same line that Bush walked.

jr565 said...

Peter Koh wrote:

You simply haven't been paying attention. Link.

The fact that you can find people who don't want any mosques built does not mean that any objection to THIS particular mosque being built means that those objecting hold the same views. if you do a google map of mosques in NYC you'll see that there are already dozens of mosques, none of which were torn down at any time from 9/11 to present. And some of which may have been built since then for all I know. And during that time no Muslim has been denied the ability to pray at those mosques. Nor has Peter King Or Gov Patterson suggested that said mosques should not be there, or that muslims shouldn't be allowed to pray. Do you really think King is against this because of religious intolerance? Or do you think that Palin said peaceful muslims understand this is a strike at the heart or whatever it was that she said because they wanted to build a mosque anywhere in the country? OR was it because of the location proposed?



"Other made up assertions: Liberals seem invested in making sure this mosque is built as close to Ground Zero as possible.

Show me one example of a liberal who thinks that the Cordoba mosque should be built closer to Ground Zero than currently proposed."


It's close enough to ground zero as it is. So, if libs don't want it literally in the crater of 6WTC then perhaps that should be commmended (/sarc). Are you denying its in the vicinity of the World Trade Center? Also, this is still a fresh wound, so fresh that despite the years have passed, there is still nothing there that replaced the WTC, so for all intents and purposes it's in it's unformed state. Perhaps building a mosque that caters specifically to muslims when we have yet to build the towers, might be viewed as misplaced priorities?
But are those proposing this not aware that building a mosque right at the heart of the WTC might be viewed as a provocative act, or one that smacks of being slightly intolerant? Even if you think it's the other side making it an issue, shouldn't the tolerance of those proposing the location take that into consideration and act accordingly? If a lot of people are hurt and insulted when it's proposed to be built in one space but they would not be so hurt and insulted if it were built somewhere else, why, if they are seeking to build bridges by building this would they not pick the location that was less controversial?
and that doesn't even address where the money is coming from and who is funding this mosque etc.

jr565 said...

Why not have moslems donate money for a memorial rather than a mosque. Why not have moslems donate money to build a church, the church that was destroyed. or a firehouse, considering all the firemen that died, or a synegogue? Or propose to build a 9/11 memorial somewhere in the middle east.

As was asked in the article below:
Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html#ixzz0wbqL5OLf

Do you think that Muslims would view such a church as a sign of tolerance or a provocation?

Maguro said...

I just find it hard to believe that a Muslim sincerely interested in "building bridges" with other Americans would choose to site his mega-mosque at this particular location.

Call me a cynic, I guess.

deborah said...

"Who shot Pete?"

Some crazy sombitch in the bleachers.

James said...

"Perhaps building a mosque that caters specifically to muslims when we have yet to build the towers"

As opposed to a mosque that caters specifically to Christians?

And the truth is, it is a community center that caters to Manhattanites, with a mosque that caters to Muslims (shocker, I know, a religious house of worship that caters to that religion.)

And for all the talk about moving to another location - is anyone offering to pay the costs of such a move? They've already sunk in at least $4.85 million (the purchase price of the building). You have another abandoned downtown Manhattan building that you're willing to hand over to them?

peter hoh said...

Perhaps building a mosque that caters specifically to muslims when we have yet to build the towers, might be viewed as misplaced priorities?

This might make sense if the same people were building both buildings and chose to build one before building the other.

jr565 said...

James wrote:

As opposed to a mosque that caters specifically to Christians?


We're talking about the site of the WTC that was brought down by a sect of Islam that is at war with the US. Why are we catering to muslims at this particular location?
We did they plunk down money for this particular building knowing the location in the first place? They didn't think it might be considered provocative?
Also, why not simply make a community center then and leave the mosque out of it completely? and say it was dedicated to the city by peaceloving muslims who are opposed to violent jihad?
And I can't understand the obtuseness for the degree to which this might offend considering there is outrage (usually from the left) directed when people simply hang confederate flags in their windows on a college campus.

James said...

"I just find it hard to believe that a Muslim sincerely interested in "building bridges" with other Americans would choose to site his mega-mosque at this particular location.

Call me a cynic, I guess."

My guess? I'm no expert on Manhattan real estate, but I'm guessing that the prospect of finding an entire building for sale in this area of Manhattan, that will sell at a price of $4.85 million, that you can tear down and rebuild without having to worry about current tenants (since there are none) would be a rather tricky prospect.

JAL said...

Those who promote "Miss Me yet?" can't escape that on this, Obama is walking the same line that Bush walked.

So then which one is the hypocrite?

BHO is always attacking the former president. This is not a banana republic. Obama is disrespectful and childish.

Bush could easily have said *some* of what Obama said ... but BHO giving us the DB quote and advocating for something he -- let me be clear -- denied having the place to take a side on before this is just some more disgusting schmooze.

And the Muslims promoters are pleased. But not impressed.

Trooper York said...

I knew that President Obama would never represent my interests or those of my family and friends. I am just trying to endure his disastrous tenure with good grace.

I would expect nothing less than his complicity if not joy in sticking a thumb in the eye of those who were lost on 911. We have no standing in Barack Obama’s view of who he has to represent as President of all the people.

In this Obama and Cedarford are as one.

Revenant said...

Is this a leftist meme? Does the President also want to step personally into this one?

Do you know what "meme" means?

Revenant said...

How does he feel about this?: California Supreme Court: Doctors faith must yield to gays' rights

Licensed doctors are granted a legal monopoly on providing medical care. In exchange for that, they submit to the government's requirements.

When you work for the organ grinder, you dance to his tune.

alan markus said...

Indeed, Obama did not say express an opinion about that.

Obama's comments take mosque story national

"But his comments Friday night were widely interpreted as an endorsement of plans to build a mosque a few blocks away from where nearly 3,000 Americans perished at the hands of Islamic terrorists on 9/11 – an interpretation the White House hadn't disputed, up until Obama’s comments in Florida."

Revenant said...

Why memorialize how Muslims kicked our asses?

It is a mystery where the whole "leftists aren't patriotic" meme came from.

Trooper York said...

The President has no understanding of the emotions that this issue engenders. He is as usual clueless if consistent in throwing in with the enemies of our nation. I am surprised that he did not bow to them.

Make no mistake about it; the people behind this abomination are directly funded by the same sources and ideology that led to the murders of 3000 people.

JAL said...

@ Peter 1:31 AM

Rose did not "make things up." She linked to a piece by George Demos, a Congressional candidate for NY District One. He wrote it.

While I agree it is not the "same location" I do believe part of the landing gear from one of the WTC plane bombs ended up on the the "mosque" / BCF property. So yes, it is, technically, part of the WTC attack site.

And as per Rose and Mr. Demos, why doesn't the Port Authority help the St. Nicholas Congregation get their church rebuilt by giving them permission? Some of their members probably have died by now. Waiting for the rest to go so they don't have to be bothered?

Trooper York said...

Barack Obama and hdhouse want you to get over it. 911 was a long time ago. You should forget it and facilitate the victory dance of the religion of peace on the graves of the fallen.

Stop clinging to your bitterness and embrace the new day.

Next up. Revisiting the Pigford settlement so redress can be made to those who truly suffered grievous harm.

What’s the matter with you people?

Almost Ali said...

peter hoh said...
Michael Gerson, a speech writer for George W. Bush, said this:

Bush wouldn't have argued for or against. It's counterproductive to state the obvious on such a divisive issue.

Which brings us to Obama's motive, since there aren't enough Muslims in lower Manhattan to fill a Winnebago.

It comes down to financing, that is, generating enough money from legitimate, domestic sources - which is exactly why Obama decided to lobby on the mosque's behalf. Now even George Soros can become an honorary Muslim. And any other Liberal looking to stick it to America. I expect many universities will be holding pledge drives. And if that falls short, Barney & Friends figuring out a way to get Fannie and Freddie involved - you know, letting us taxpayers underwrite the construction.

Trooper York said...

This project is being financed by the same forces and ideology that led to the attacks. That is why the builders refuse to divulge who has given them the seed money to begin their fund raising. They are adamant in refusing to give up this information since it must be dirty money.

peter hoh said...

JAL, okay, Demos is making stuff up.

Or exaggerating. Or engaging in Demagogy.

Whatever. It's hard to have a serious conversation about this when there are so many exaggerations/misrepresentations.

The issues surrounding the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church have nothing to do with the Cordoba project. This is another red herring, unless you have some facts that show otherwise.

The Port Authority recognizes the congregation's right to rebuild in their original location. The Port Authority offered the congregation nearby land and $20,000,000 for the construction of a new sanctuary, provided it was done in accordance with the plans the PA had for the area.

That's a pretty big carrot, but the church rejected it, and negotiations broke down, leaving the project in limbo. As best I can tell, St. Nicholas still has the right to rebuild where their original church stood.

I'm not seeing a violation of their rights.

peter hoh said...

Which brings us to Obama's motive, since there aren't enough Muslims in lower Manhattan to fill a Winnebago.

And from where did you pull this stat?

Again, making stuff up does not constitute an argument.

peter hoh said...

OMG, secret donors!!!

Why, no one has ever heard of a building being built with money from donors who wish to keep their identity secret.

Link.

This is getting too easy.

Trooper York said...

Why won't they divulge where they got their funding?

Why don't they tell us who is really behing this?

In New York City the Landmark case has languished for ten years but was settled in a week to accomidate this project. Why did that happen?

Why won't they agree to the search for human remains if construction begins? A tire from one of the planes hit that building.

Trooper York said...

You are really a foolish man peter. If you think the donorslist to the Bush Library have anything to do with this. Seriously?

You mock the seriousness of this issue and what it means to the people who lost family in 911.

I get it. You are like the President. It means nothing to you but a chance to score political points. I hope you never are in a position to mourn someone who was murdered by fanatical Islamic terrorism.

I had thought you were a serious person. My mistake.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Trooper, I'm not suggesting that the donor lists have any names in common.

I'm going after your suggestion that secret donors proves that the money is dirty.

FWIW, I would approve efforts to figure out who gave money to the Cordoba project. If it is dirty money, that should be made known.

peter hoh said...

To be explicit, I don't think it's fair for HuffPo or Michael Moore to assert that secrecy about the donors to the Bush Library means that there was dirty money involved.

If you want to argue against the Cordoba project, go ahead, but don't make stuff up. Any principles advanced to block the project must be principles that apply across the board.

Trooper York said...

There is no doubt in my mind that this is funded by the same sources that finance terrorists. That is why they have refused to release any information. They are creating a separate 501c charity for future fund raising where they will be forced to reveal their sources. But the original sources are shrouded in mystery and deceit. It is dirty money and if it came to light even so foolish and politically correct a mark as President Obama or Nanny Bloomberg would be forced to object to this abomination.

But they will not press for this information because they know it will blow up in their face.

It is the dog that is not barking.

Methadras said...

So President Barely acknowledging that there is a fundamental right to property ownership? That's a fucking stretch coming from him.

Trooper York said...

You mean you really don't see the difference between these two cases.

I guess you equate Halliburton with Osama Bin Laden and Hamas and the rest of the financiers of Islamic terrorism?

Moral equivalence is a very strange thing in a liberals mind.

peter hoh said...

Trooper, of course there are differences. But you advanced the argument that secret donors = dirty money.

I challenged that argument.

Trooper York said...

Peter you are among the first to advance the argument that not all Muslims were at fault for terrorism. Just specific ones.

Well this specific case must be shown in the light of day in every aspect so we can be sure that it is not what it truly seems to be.

A victory dance on the graves of the fallen.

Anything less is an abomination and an affront to everyone who died that day and their families who mourn no less today than they did on September 12th..

Almost Ali said...

peter hoh said...
And from where did you pull this stat?

Next time you're in lower Manhattan, look for yourself. Because if you want to find enough Muslims to fill your Winnebago, you'll have to visit Union City (NJ), Queens, or Yonkers.

Also in the barns of NYC cab companies, because chances are that if you hail a taxi anywhere in New York, your driver will be from Syria, Pakistan, or Afghanistan. And if you encourage them, they'll be happy to tell you all the things they hate about America and Americans.

Me, I especially enjoy taking cabs to the airport(s), especially JFK. Because the shortest route (if you know it) from lower Manhattan takes us along Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn - where I insist that we stop at the local White Castle for "ham-burgers." Where they, the drivers, mumble militant passages from their Koran. In tongue, of course.

But I'm a rather large person, so I wouldn't recommend this routine to average pilgrim. No, just sit back and let'em run you all over the BQE. Till you miss your plane. Still hungry.

rhhardin said...

Belmont Club

"What President Obama achieved in endorsing the mosque’s construction is to change what it is all about. Prior to his endorsement the mosque controversy might have been about religion or the culture wars. It might even have been about the War on Terror. What the President’s words have done — apart from making it all about him — is transform it into a referendum on whether a country can long rely on a elite that doesn’t even remotely “get it” the way they do."

Lincolntf said...

I didn't think it was possible for Obama to lose supporters at a faster clip than in the last 18 months, but this gaffe is a doozy. Even now, as he attempts to back pedal out of the stupid-swamp, he's pissing off hordes of his 2008 voters.

If this farrago results in his approval numbers hitting the 30's, beers are on me.

jr565 said...

Peter Yoh wrote:
Blogger peter hoh said...

Trooper, I'm not suggesting that the donor lists have any names in common.

I'm going after your suggestion that secret donors proves that the money is dirty.

FWIW, I would approve efforts to figure out who gave money to the Cordoba project. If it is dirty money, that should be made known.

You know it wouldn't take that much effort to figure out where they money is coming from.If for example, they simply told us.
I do love though how the left accused Bush of being in league with the Saudis based on some loose affiliotions and then accused him of going to war for oil so he could enrich himself and his buddies. And how he was protecting the Saudis on the day of 9/11 in letting them fly out of ny around the time of the WTC attack because of some nefarious purposes.

For example, here;s a link that mentions the various nefarious connections suggesting Bush was in league with the Saudis Al Qaeda and various other organizations based on the most tenous of links:

http://www.hermes-press.com/BushSaud.htm
or
http://www.morphizm.com/politix/palast/palast_199i.html
or
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1211-05.htm
or
http://www.sullivan-county.com/x/list.htm
or
http://dir.salon.com/story/books/feature/2004/03/12/unger_2/

Yet, suddenly the left is entirely uncurious about secret donors. I guess when the job isn't about libeling BUsh with war crimes charges, digging into an organizations ties isn't that big a deal. We got a lot about how Bush was in league with Saudis, yet how do we know that this particular imam is not tied to Hamas or the Saudis? Wouldn't that be hilarious if you charged Bush with deliberately siding with the Saudis, yet it was Saudi money that was
key to getting this mosque off the ground? Or maybe it's Hamas money?
By the way I do think that Bush would have said that this mosque shouldn't have been built, but he WOULD have still suggested that Islam was a religion of peace and tried to do an outreach to that community. Beause I remember for example the Dubai ports incident when he was considering allowing arabs from Dubai who handle shipping around the world to handle our ports in NYC. And while there was some republican opposition a lot of support was from people like Rush Limbaugh and much of the opposition was from people like Chuck Shumer, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who demagogued the crap out of it, implying that arabs from the UAE were a threat to our national security, despite the fact that this company was an international company, handled ports around the world, was not tied to terrorists and despite the fact that the UAE was not part of the 9/11 attacks. Further they then said Bush wasn't doing enough to protect our ports and demanded completely unrealistic inspections of all the cargo coming in and out of our ports. (which I guess the dems forgot all about because Obama is not as we speak calling for refoming our port security).
So libs have no problem demagoging muslims when they seek to gain power, and have no problem playing on the fears about the bogeyman terrrorist attacks when it comes to attacks on Bush. just as right after 9/11 RIchard Clarke was the lefts darliing declaring Bush should have realized that AL Qaeda was the biggest threat we faced. once engaged in a war in Afghanistan it turned into "Is the terrorist threat really that bad? More people die in car accidents every year and Bush is hyping the threat">
And now they demagogue their opponents for hating muslims and denying religious freedom for simply not wanting a mosque to be built on the rubble of the WTC, or its immediate neighborhood,and questioning where the money is coming from.
How about applying some of that same intellectual vigor to research this particular imam as your side did to research Bush and his nefarious Saudi connections?

Warren said...

Its not hallowed ground. Its a mass grave for 3000 innocent murder victims.

Now, the Muslims want to build a 13 story mosque so they can look out over their handy-work and gloat!

WV, quant.
I think I'm going to be ill.

JAL said...

jr565 -

here's a suggestion -- break your posts into smaller paragraphs.

Easier to read and therefore more likely to be read.