July 23rd, 2010
11:35 AM ET

My Take: No conservatism in Gingrich's attack on the ground zero mosque

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

This week, Newt Gingrich joined Sarah Palin in expressing his opposition to the Islamic community center and mosque at ground zero.

Palin’s argument, while wrongheaded, was better. Her appeal was to “common decency.” Don’t build the mosque, she wrote, out of respect for the dead and out of sensitivity to those who lost loved ones on 9/11.

Gingrich’s argument, by contrast, was simply bizarre.

In a macho manifesto that echoed some of the most hateful comments attacking my earlier post supporting the ground zero mosque on religious liberty grounds, Gingrich wrote, “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.”

Really? Since when has Saudi Arabia been the model for American civil liberties? And if it is our model, why don’t we follow it more rigorously, banning all mosques from all America, or for that matter all non-Christian places of worship?

And while we are at it, why stop at violating our citizens’ religious liberties? Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow political parties and severely restricts freedom of speech. So perhaps we should outlaw New York’s Republican and Democratic parties until Saudi Arabia agrees to allow political organizations. Perhaps we should shut down The New York Times until Saudi Arabia agrees to respect freedom of speech.

Gingrich’s truly bizarre argument basically admits that opposition to the proposed Islamic community center and mosque is rooted in religious intolerance. In fact, the whole point of the piece is to justify that admitted intolerance on the ground that Saudi Arabia is even more intolerant.

Reading Gingrich’s strange statement took me back to a chilling passage in a brilliant book by the Dartmouth historian Susannah Heschel called The Aryan Jesus. In this study of the intellectual lengths Christian theologians went to demonize the Jews during the 1930s in Nazi Germany, she makes a chilling observation about how racism works.  “By defining the target as immoral,” she writes, “the perpetrators permit themselves to violate their own moral norms.”

Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that Gingrich is a Nazi, or a racist. I don't believe he is either. What I am saying is that he is following this same script. By defining his target—in this case “the Islamists and their apologists”—as immoral he and his followers permit themselves to violate America’s longstanding moral norms.

There are many words for such an argument, but conservative is not one of them. True conservatives seek to safeguard a society's core values, not to dismiss them in the name of the demon du jour. And one of America's core values, inscribed into the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, is freedom of religion.

But we are at war, right? And don't desperate times call for desperate measures? According to Gingrich, “America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization.” And I will grant him that. There are Muslim extremists who hate America and want to destroy us.

But while terrorists may take down our buildings and murder our citizens, only we American citizens can bury our core values. And that is what Palin, Gingrich, and other so-called conservatives are all too willing to do.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Islam • Politics

soundoff (600 Responses)
  1. Da Professor

    I admit that the first time I saw the comment about a mosque at Ground Zero I was flabergasted, flimfoxed, and dumbfounded. And, I still think that it is not appropriate.

    But, why should anything that Newt says be newsworthy, make sense, and be anything but hypocritical, a blantant lie, and racist? After-all, that is the path that Republicans have taken since they lost the House, Senate, and the White House.

    These fools have NO ideas, NO common sense, and NO care at all for Americans. They spend all of their time trying to get reelected.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • PapaKat

      OH yeah! And Democrats all care for Americans, all have great new ideas that always work out great and really don't ever want to be re-elected! Wow! Why didn't I notice that before?

      Stop making stupid comments.

      July 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  2. Timmy

    Wow, this is probably the most poorly written piece I have ever seen. No wonder Boston U. only gets third tier applicants.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  3. IzDaMan

    I will stick to only facts in response to this article. Maybe Stephen Prothero has not read or seen the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, and does not fully understand the that Islam is not a religion but a complete way of life. The muslim Brotherhood was established in 1928 to re-establish the calaphate and restore true Islam to the world. It is the goal of Islam to make all of europe and the US an islamic State under Sharia Law. The leaders of Islam are openly professing this to the world. They are not hiding this at all. Stephen have you not read anything by the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference)? Or just maybe you have never heard of them. The 57 nations whose primary purpose is to re-establish the caliphate and restore Sharia law to the world.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • Bill

      And this is different form Catholicism how?

      July 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      This is absolutely true. The Islamic conference that was to be held at the Oak Brook Illinois Marriott on July 11, 2010, was called "Khalifah: The New World Order. Khalifah meaning caliphate. The conference was cancelled, due to the hotel being made aware of the nature of the conference.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • TRUTH

      800 years Muslims ruled Spain and India... What kind of WAR did they have in Indonesia, today the largest Islamic country? What is the population of west... Nothing is new about what you are talking, Islam grows 1.3 billion Muslims.. this mosque is not going to make any difference.. there are more than 10 mosques in Manhattan today. Churches have no problem in renting for Friday prayers. You can keep on quoting things from different sources, end of the day, YES, Islam is a way of living, if you have a problem with that you follow your path, wish you quote that verse from the Holy Qur'an also... 109:6 "To you be your religion, and to me my religion", stop threatening people with your pseudo-knowledge, get some opinion from scholars rather quoting parts here n there and wandering in panic... The Holy Qur'an was delivered over a period and addressed lot of issues pertaining to that period. Consult a scholar... Yes... different type of people come to the mosque tp pray; oh.. you forgot the LIE about WMD because it is ok to LIE since they people who lied were not Muslims !!!

      July 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      The worse thing one can do is to consider the person one hates to be an idiot. Because it only makes you look the same when you treat him as such. Muslims are not idiots. They have been around for 1,400 years. At one time, the Islamic Empire was the United States of America of its time. Circa 800 – 1300, the Islamic Empire around the middle east was the center of world learning, attention and trade and development. While Europe was considered to be in the dark ages. Muslims did not conquer the world then, what makes you think we are planning to do it now, when we are at the bottom rung of the world civilizations. Your looney bin analysis only reveals your own need for an enemy to fear and to start a witch hunt for.

      The Khilafah movement is an attempt to establish an Islamic Government in the Muslim World, so that Muslims have a voice in their own Governance and are not subject to manipulation by corrupt Western powers and their machavillian ways of installing and supporting local thugs as rulers in muslim countries. The irony is If you want lasting peace, you should be supporting the khilafah movement, so Muslims have a genuine civilized voice with which you can discourse on equal terms. Instead of financing and selling arms to local thugs and dictators (like Saddam Hussein, Mubarak, Asad, Musharaff et al.). And Bin Laden too at one time!

      July 25, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  4. Wakeup

    This will probably be censored but the real questions people should be asking are about the War on Terror and 9/11.
    The case against Bin Laden has never been proven. Most of the major terror attacks in the world are organized by intelligence agencies. You can use your imagination to figure which ones, agencies I mean. When they don't actually do the business they help it get started or fuel like in Iraq. Remember the British soldiers arrested in Arab dress while planting bombs. Right v Left, Republicans v Democrats. It's nonsense, we are being played big time.

    "And who funds this muck and stench of terror?"
    USA intelligence, Israeli intelligence. .How many of you are paid to post on these boards to perpetuate the official myths and to divide us.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • IzDaMan

      The Muslim Broitherhood aka the OIC has clearly stated they plan " Civilization Jihad by their own hands" you have to remeber that they are not here to assimilate into our society they are here to colonize Islam. When you fully understand that you fully understand what they are tryting to do. Read Reliance of the travler, which is true and approved Islamic Law, aka Sharia Law, which is what they want inpose upon the US. Islam plans on challengin Article 6 of the US consistution, because as they put it " God gave us a system of government called Islam, ...Democracy is a man made way of governing and no power can be shared with God". Let me know if you still don't get it.

      July 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Reality

      Wakeup, "The Secrets of the Koran" should also be added to your reading list.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • PapaKat

      No I never read or saw anything about British soldiers dreseed as Arabs planting bombs – where'd this tripe come from.

      July 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  5. Falcon78 in Northern Virginia

    Let's see how far we get if we went to build a Christian church in Mecca. In fact, let's build it right next door to the Kabba and put out a Christmas nativty scene on 25 December. Let's just see what the Muslims say about that, and then you can understand why the opposition to a mosque near ground zero. What's good for the goose ...

    July 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • Mike

      Lol, you just proved his point. Do you hold America to the same standards as Mecca. I choose to think we're better than that. Apparently you dont...

      July 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • Maria

      Do you even know where Mecca is?
      If you think their standards are so great, why don't you live there for a while and see how you feel about it?

      July 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      Prothero's point is, since when do we hold ourselves to the standards of
      Saudi Arabia? My question: What makes you think that immigrants coming from Saudi or any other muslim nation automatically and magically, transform into new people with democratic values? And if they don't hold democratic values, what are the implications of that?

      July 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  6. janetlaw

    Bravo as well – great commentary, and maybe Newt should be the first to go to the Middle East and build his church???? Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Personally I would prefer to see all organized religion disappear, as organized religion has caused more problems, than it has helped.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  8. Matt McHugh

    Plain and simple: there is no legal justification for opposing the construction of a private building anywhere in America on solely religious grounds. If you oppose what has been incorrectly labeled in the press as the "Ground Zero Mosque" you do so in opposition to the founding principles and current laws of the United States of America. Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are being anti-American. Period.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      Islam is NOT plain and simple, and it will not fit within a pluralistic society. Never has, never will. You should read the first hand accounts of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an atheist, and Nonie Darwish, a Christian. Both escaped Islam. Both have to live in fear for their lives. Both have written books warning the West about the threat of Islam, The Koran commands that "infidels" be killed, and makes it clear that it is perfectly acceptable to lie to "infidels" for the sake of Islam. What kind of common ground can you possibly establish, with values such as those? Islam seeks world domination by force as its goal. Right now, communities in Europe and America are struggling with what to do with those who would impose sharia law. Hence, you have Christians arrested in Dearborn, Michigan, for handing out Christian literature! Muslims are using the democratic governments of the West to overturn democracy. Wake up!

      July 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
    • KERRY

      More people have converted to Islam AFTER 9/11. You just inform us of 2 people who "escaped" it. You can't "escape" Islam. It is a belief (you believe =you are a Muslim; you do not believe =you are not a Muslim) Plain and simple; nothing more needed. Even the pope has admitted that Islam is still the fastest growing religion. This is AFTER 9/11 and the wars. Wonder way? Maybe they took the time to open their minds and learn. Not that everybody who learns becomes a Muslim; a lot of people do.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • PapaKat

      Islam is not the fastest growing religion because of conversions, unless they are forced under pain of death. It is the fastest growing religion because these people breed like flies. The average Middle Eastern Muslim woman has no control over her rights to reproduce and winds up having about seven or more kids during her lifetime.

      July 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
    • ScottK

      as of 2001 the worldwide average was 3.4 children per woman, Muslim woman were at 4.4 so they were higher than the average, but not 7 plus. Try doing at least a little research before posting your own uninformed opinion.

      July 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      To Kerry: Do you know what happens to those who wish to leave Islam? That is why I referred to the two who left Islam as having "escaped".

      July 24, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  9. Mike

    It would be like allowing wireless wire-tapping because of 9/11. Oh.......wait......

    July 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  10. VLaw

    Simply build a monument to religious tolerance.
    An edifice that will accommadate all major religions in the world ie Christianity, Islam, Jewish, Buddism etc.
    This my friend is the American way.
    Peace out

    July 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • John

      Why just the major ones? We pagans have been around for a long time.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  11. KevinBob

    "But while terrorists may take down our buildings and murder our citizens, only we American citizens can bury our core values. And that is what Palin, Gingrich, and other so-called conservatives are all too willing to do."

    Yea, right. See when something benefits Liberals it is OK. Liberals on this issue are trying to appease the Muslims for their votes to help maintain power, which is ALL that matters to them.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • John

      I question the credibility of your reasoning, when Muslims constitute (per the CIA World Factbook) a mere 0.6% of the US population, and many of them are immigrants and not citizens, so they aren't voting anyway. Comparatively, 51.3% of the US is Christian, 23.9% is Catholic, and 1.7% is Jewish. With the Jew-Muslim acrimony, liberals stand to lose twice as many votes as they could conceivably gain by "appeasing" Muslims.

      Indeed, looking at the demographics, what appears much more likely is that liberals are willing to lose votes in order to preserve the ideals of religious equality and freedom that the nation was founded upon, even if those ideals are currently unpopular.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • StevenS

      You are right 100%. The liberals are ready to destroy this country in order to sit couple more years in office. Look at Europe – they already got the point that muslims is not a good citizens.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  12. sagebrush

    In my opinion Gingrich is 100% correct.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  13. David

    The naiveté exhibited by the author is dangerous and, unfortunately not uncommon among liberals. The Quran speaks of slaying non-believers and instructs Muslims not to befriend Christians or Jews. Quite clearly, it requires believers (Muslims) to fight against non-Muslims. We are in the midst of a religious war and we recognize it not.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Maria

      False. Have you read the Qur'an? Try it sometime instead of just reiterating the passages used as scare tactics that have so obviously worked on you.

      July 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • John

      Have you ever read the Bible?

      July 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • Luke

      David – Hilarious! Calling a professional naive and then making a naive statement; completely missing the ball that the books of the bible are nearly as violent. Wow, you can't make this stuff up.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  14. ForchunCooki

    They say it's a community center with a prayer space for Muslims. So how about making it a real COMMUNITY center and having prayer space for Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Mormons, etc.? And while they're at it, how about a crisis line for women infear of honor killings? Maybe some AA meetings, too? That's what a COMMUNITY center does. Then, I will believe their stated motives. Not until.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Luke

      It will, and it is open to the public. The community center is much like the local YMCA on 92nd Street, but with prayer space.

      July 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • John

      Luke: Does it have a sacred space that can be used by any religion? Because if so, I'm all for it. I mean, I was for it before on principle, but I'd be *all* for it if they had a place open for every religion for worship.

      I think that if there was a multi-faith house of worship, somewhere that Muslims could see Christians worship, Christians could see Muslim worship, Both could see Jews worship and Jews could see both worship, then that would go a long way towards healing the (to me) inexplicable rift in the branches of the Judeo-Christian religions.

      Downside is that it'd free up those three to unify together and come after pagans like me >.>

      July 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • KERRY

      Its more than a prayer place. They have office space and athletic activities along with other things as well. Yeah; its more like a YMCA.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Luke

      I haven't studied the blueprints, so I honestly have no idea. It has stuff like a YMCA. Weight rooms. Meeting rooms. Probably a theater. I heard a swimming pool too – which would be great, considering most of the pool in NYC are unaffordable or exclusive to the pretty people. I've used the pool at the JCC on the Upper West Side, and it wasn't all Jews in there. I suppose it's the same thing.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  15. KNVB

    Reality, you've mad you're point that Islam has an extreme eliminate, but what religion doesn't? Think about the horrible acts that was done in Crusades and the 30 Years War, and those were Christians. How about we just get rid of religion in general?

    July 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • gg

      i agree with you KNVB, but that would mean getting rid of 90% of the world's foolish populations that practice their false teachings.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Reality

      And yet again:

      Recognizing the flaws in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "kneelers" and "pew peasants" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No clerics, imams, rabbis and priests needed or desired. It will be called the great "Pink Slipping" of religion and its leaders.

      As per James Somerville, Philosophy professor emeritus from Xavier University, Cincinnati,

      "The faith of the vast majority of believers (and non-believers) depends upon where they were born and when."
      It is disturbing that such violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of it all.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Diana

      Why bother with "reality"? He has no arguement but can cut and paste really well.

      Luke....GREAT post above, I wish everyone could overcome their prejudices, fears and open their hearts but that would be a prefect world which we are far from.

      July 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Diana, Cut and pasting the truth (and for those who don't have time to read the previous commentary). Indeed I do!!

      July 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  16. Tylerkad

    Hold on everyone, Gingrich and Palin have devoted themselves entirely to 9/11. Living in NY, providing support and counseling services as well as donating all their vast sums to 9/11 funds and charities.
    Oops, they don't do any of that except capitalize on the fear of 9/11 for their own political promotion.
    I guess there is nothing more immoral than what they seem to be doing.
    They should be firmly rebuked and should apologize for yielding their opinions on a matter that know nothing or doing nothing about. While you are it Sarah and Newt, why don't you send a $100,000 to a NY charity of your choice to make up for your arrogance.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • Reality

      Diana, Cut and pasting the truth (and for those who don't have time to read the previous commentary). Indeed I do!!

      July 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  17. Mike

    Question? Are there really no synagogues or churches in Saudi Arabia? Really? Or is New Gingrich starting his analogy with an ignorant assumption?

    July 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • Stephen Prothero

      No, he's right about that, though the Vatican has been in negotiations for a few years about opening up a church in Saudi Arabia as was recently done in Qatar. The overwhelming majority of Muslim-majority countries, however, have churches.

      July 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • John

      The significance within Muslim culture of having a house of worship for any other religion in Saudi Arabia is that Saudi Arabia is also home to Mecca, the absolute hands-down holiest Muslim site and the house of God on Earth. There's also the holy city of Medina in Saudi Arabia. Having another religion's house of worship there would be as abhorrent to fundamentalists within Islam as building a mosque in Vatican City would be to Catholics. Think of the entirety of Saudi Arabia as a big sandy Vatican City.

      That being said, I could see a Catholic church being built in Saudi Arabia as a possibility, since within Islam, Christians and Jews are "Ahl-i-ketab", "People of the Book". So, it'd be more acceptable then, say, having a pagan temple plopped down there. Course, the Catholics couldn't recruit because proselytizing is still a capital offense in Saudi Arabia.

      There have technically been churches in Saudi Arabia before, since when we had troops stationed there (I was one of them) we had our own military chapels.

      Saudi Arabia is far from being in any way a model for freedom and equality, and don't think that me providing perspective means I approve of their government or their laws. Being a pagan, I'd be killed in Saudi Arabia, if they found out my religion. Understanding the motivations of another culture is never a bad thing, and with luck and vigilance we can use the example of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and others, to keep the Christian fundamentalists from turning the US into their own vision of a perfect Christian society. Again.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • JoeB

      Mike, you can't be serious. Every other religion besides Islam is OUTLAWED in Saudia Arabia. This is no joke, you are not even allowed to bring a bible into their country. Did you know that a non-muslim is forbidden, UNDER DEATH to enter Mecca or Medina in Saudia Arabia. That means that Barrack and Michelle CANNOT enter these twio cities if they were ever to visit. Check it out for yourself. They won't make an exception for our President or any other non-muslim on the planet. NOTHING but Islam is allowed. Now, ask any Muslim you know if they will publicly support building a church in Saudia Arabia, Egypt, Syria etc, and see what they say. They will use American principles and values to tell you why they cannot support it.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • John

      There are bunches of churches in Egypt and Syria...

      Coptic Christians (one of the absolute earliest branches of Christianity) is huge in Egypt, and 20% of Egyptians are Christian, compared to the 0.6% of Americans who are Muslim.

      Everything you said about Saudi Arabia is true though, but why should we let the world's worst example of religious tyranny (along with Iran) set the example for us? Should Pennsylvania have denied Puritans entrance because the Puritan colonies expelled all other religions and denominations?

      I do wish that non-Muslims were allowed in Mecca; I'd love to watch the pilgrimages and the prayers at the Kabaa, belief of that power (even if it isn't mine) has a kind of beauty to it. Maybe someday.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • Luke

      JoeB – You keep missing this ball. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy. The US is a secular democracy. In Saudi Arabia, the government has the right to deny freedom of religion. The government cannot do that here. You seem reasonable and informed. Don't you follow?

      July 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • krashundburn

      LUKE, you said:
      """In Saudi Arabia, the government has the right to deny freedom of religion. The government cannot do that here. You seem reasonable and informed. Don't you follow?"""

      Thanks for making our point. The Saudi system of "government" is based on fundamentalist Islamic Law. This is how a fundamentalist Islamic state displays tolerance of other religions. In fact, basic Islam is at odds with the very concept of democracy.

      BTW, my neighbors were Egyptian Christians who fled their country because of Islamic threats.

      July 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  18. Kevin

    "Reality" – ummm, try getting a grip on yourself as it were. Seriously, have the doctor up your meds, and try discussing things from a rational position

    July 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • Reality

      Some added rationality:

      Recognizing the flaws in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "kneelers" and "pew peasants" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No clerics, imams, rabbis and priests needed or desired. It will be called the great "Pink Slipping" of religion and its leaders.

      As per James Somerville, Philosophy professor emeritus from Xavier University, Cincinnati,

      "The faith of the vast majority of believers (and non-believers) depends upon where they were born and when."
      It is disturbing that such violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of it all.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  19. Steve

    There's lies on all sides. This is not about religious liberty. No one has an absolute right to command where they will build a house, church or any other structure. Islam has no liberty interest in having a mosque at the particular location involved. If the NYC residents want it, it can and should be built. If they don't, then no. Conversely, the mosque is not proposed to be built "at Ground Zero." The site for the mosque happens to be 2 and 1/2 blocks away. It is pure conservative spin and hogwash to claim that the mosque is to built on Ground Zero. I'm a Jew who generally disagrees with Islam. I was also born and raised in Brooklyn. I say the Manhattan locals get to decide if they want it, and because it seems they do, I support it. If it were proposed to be on Ground Zero proper, I would vehemently oppose it.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • JoeB

      Steve if you believe that only Manhattan locals get to decide if the Mosque should eb built then you shouldn't even be posting here. Most Manhattan locals are against it. Haven't you seen any of the news reports or read any of the articles about Mahttan locals who don't want the Mosque built. Another thing, I bet that most of the "Manhattan locals" posting here weren't born and raised there. They just live there now and think that gives them a better understanding then the rest of the country. They are so smug in their 'Manhattam" coolness that they might as well wave a banner over their head saying. "I moved here, I'm really liberal and I'm cooler then you". Like most liberals, they can't think for themselves but have to follow the party line. Independant thought scares them. Accepting what they are supposed to believe makes them feel like good sheep.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  20. Henry

    Wouldn't it be great if we could have the same concerns in New York CIty that Jerusalem currently enjoys? Maybe we should build a monument in Nagasaki and Hiroshima to celebrate the wonderful benefits America recieved from obliterating thousands of their residents. I wonder if there would be any disagreement to allowing Timothy McVey's family erecting a McVey Church at the location of the old J.P. Murray building?

    July 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • Luke

      Sigh. How do you people not see the difference between a house of worship covered by the freedom of religion clause in the Bill of rights and a radical murderer?

      July 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • realworld

      We already had mosques in our country before 9/11 (there's a small one less than 100 yards from my home of 18 years; I'm still waiting for the terrorism), so I guess any church, synagogue, or mosque we build is really just a monument to America.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • whatif

      Maybe we should go to their countries and build military bases against their wishes and see how they like it... Oh Wait... We already do that !!!

      July 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.