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August 15th, 2010
04:15 PM ET

Proposed New York Islamic center becomes national political issue

Two influential congressmen, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, debated the proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley.

Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and McCarthy, recruitment chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, disagreed whether the project is figuring into national politics.

Van Hollen called it a local issue; McCarthy said President Obama has made it a national one.

Republicans are making more political hay out of the debate, but the St. Petersburg Times reports that Democrats are making it an issue in the Florida Senate race.

Excerpts from the Van Hollen/McCarthy face-off:

VAN HOLLEN: Candy, first of all, I think that when it comes to 9/11 and the memory of 9/11, we should all agree that it would be wrong to politicize this issue. … I agree with the president. I think the issue is one for the people of New York City. And that's why the mayor of New York City, Mayor Bloomberg, put together an interfaith group - again, Christians, Jews, Muslims - and on the 9/11 families, some have been in favor of it, some have been against it. You know, I think it's up to the people of New York. I mean, they are obviously the folks who are right there at the site of the attack of 9/11.

MCCARTHY: I think the president - if Chris is saying this is a New York issue - then why did the president engage in it? But if you listen what he first said, he brought up the exact location and said he supported it. Look, you look at the poll. There is a sensitivity to that area. Yes, we have the freedom. Build a mosque; build more than one mosque, but don't build it there. There are other places to build them. And I think that's really what America is saying.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Barack Obama • Islam • Politics

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Recognizing the flaws and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", "kneelers" and "pew peasants" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No clerics, imams, rabbis, professors of religion and priests needed or desired. Ditto for their houses and classes of "worthless worship". 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 very disturbing that such religious 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 all religions.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:40 am |
    • Matt J.

      You can stop repeating yourself now. It was nonsense the first time you said it too.

      August 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • Reality

      More from the writings of Professor Somerville:

      John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today
      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed.

      August 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • Ben

      Yes, thank you Captain Atheist. These doofs are like atheist vultures lurking and circling looking for anywhere to insert the same tired blah blah. I got it. You don't like religion. Check.

      Don't you have a city hall nativity scene to protest.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  2. peace2all

    Give it a rest..!!!! Stop blaming a whole 1.2 billion group of humans for the atrocities of 9/11. The building is already their, it is a community center, it is several blocks away.....

    America..... freedom of religion. If..... someone, whether it is due to reilgious beliefs or not( and that certainly goes for the 'loving/perfect/tolerant 'christians'),...... if someone commits a horrendous crime, then let the law take care of it. period....

    We are not a theocracy..(The United States of Christianity)...... We respect all religions and their right, under the contstitution to worship in peace..... If 'anyone' or anyone religion can't fit within the best country in the world... The U.S... then they will be dealt with by the law.

    Peace.....

    August 16, 2010 at 3:07 am |
  3. SayWhaaa!!

    It is so hilarious that people don't realize that place is already being used as a mosque for some time now. Nobody had a problem with it before but now since the media picked it up the sky is falling. I have a question Why are the 9/11 families being made out to be ultimate judge. I understand that they lost a lot that day but that doesn't mean they have ultimate authority over that area.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:03 am |
    • beverly j newsom

      unless you have lost the love of your life a dear friend or a son then dont reply in am not alone parent of a murdered children some of you people have never went through it i hope you never do to feel the pain

      August 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • Ben

      If Neo-Nazis have been using a home near a synagogue as a meeting place for years, should there be no opposition if they want to tear it down to build a Hitler Museum?

      Or, what if Catholics wanted to build a church in Northern Ireland next to a site where the IRA massacred protestants? It wouldn't even be an issue because one, we would see how insensative that was and not do it and two people would say that was nuts if we tried to force it.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  4. James

    Here is something to think about, what if it was not terrorist from the middle east who were responsible for 9/11 but the Irish Republican Army? Would the US be opposed to a Catholic Church being built at ground zero?

    August 16, 2010 at 1:22 am |
    • beverly j newsom

      not not not

      August 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  5. P54

    President Obama said on TV he is committed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Mosques around the world have been a breeding ground for terrorist recruiting and wickedness. The Constitution and the very core of America was the freedom of CHRISTIAN religion, not any devilish religion. The very GOD that sets people free in CHRIST mandated that the GOSPEL be preached, not a man made religion that keep people in bondage. The freedom is meant to be the freedom to join a Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal or any other Bible centered church that preaches Jesus Christ. That brought freedom to America, however look at the Muslim nations. Why do you want to bring their evil religion to America? When Hitler went on his "crusade", some nations submitted to him and betrayed their own country. Will history reveal a "QUISLING" in America? If Muslims like their religion, why not stay in your own Muslim country. Islam is not about freedom, but bondage and darkness. Don't invite spiritual darkness into a country that have been set free by the preaching of Jesus Christ. Do not betray your country by ignorance, understand the meaning of the constitution when it talks about freedom of religion. All they knew then and debated was the freedom to choose any denomination within the CHRISTIAN church. The State was not to favor any particular denomination, however support the teachings of the Bible. It was not about freedom of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism etc..Those religions do not preach Jesus Christ, God come in flesh do die for our sins, and that he rose again and that only in Him do we have eternal life. Biblical freedom is freedom to obey Jesus Christ which leads to life, however the modern twisted freedom is from hell. The Bible says NOT all freedom is beneficial. America of today have turned their back on the Bible and Jesus Christ and embraced heathen religions and lifestyles that brings shame (what is that today anyway), sorrow, sickness, diseases and death. It is the freedom that is satanic in its origin, when he said "has god said". He questioned God and tempted with destructive freedom. Only Jesus Christ can set you free, free from sin. If the president was really committed to Jesus Christ he would have taken a stand for Christ and BANNED any worship center for Islam in this Country. They can meet in their homes. Instead he gives in to favor an evil religion and invites the spirit that persecute Christians to get a foot hold in America. Will this be another step in a freedom that will reap destruction. Will history remember this as the second attack on America. Read in the Old Testament what happened to Israel when they allowed the "enemies" to bring their gods and religions into the land. Has America turned away from the very foundation on which it was founded and slowly committing suicide? Will we one day be facing the possibility of a Muslim state in the state? Is it ignorance of past and present history, or betrayal? Take a look in Europe. If you think Islam is content to be your quiet neighbors just wait till they gain in numbers and want their religion to rule the day. Love your enemy, however don't embrace their evil religion and wicked practices.The Government have stopped many cults in America, even "christian" cults, and rightfully so. Why do they want to embrace the religion that breeds killings of innocent people and Christians? Even their own family members if they become Christians or marry a non Muslim. See what happened to China when they chose communism instead of Christianity. Remember Mao? Christian servants and preachers are sharing Christ all over the world, even persecuted and killed. They do that in countries that have all these other religions that have kept those countries shackled for centuries, and people come to Christ for liberation from sin, freedom and healing. That is how this country was founded and built and changed. Now shall we turn or backs to God and Jesus Christ and his ways and embrace the religions that have haunted those nations for centuries? Pray for the President and the leaders of this country or we will face a difficult future. The symptoms of sickness and decay is all over this country, evil unnatural devilish practices are promoted and signed into law. Evil is good and good is evil. The very foundation of America and the principals upon which it was built that caused all the blessings are being replaced with evil and degeneration. Will the blessings vanish and be replaced with more and more trouble and disasters. Remember where the blessings originated, from the Lord Jesus Christ, and if America turn their back from His ways there might be a withdrawal of his protection and blessings. To invite and embrace a wicked religion by offering it a foot hold in the land is to embrace spiritual darkness and wickedness. One "Christian" nation after another is yielding to the movement of Islam, they fear to offend them and give in to their ways in fear of retaliation. Are all leaders wearing dark sunglasses? What will the coming generations reap from this? WAKE UP! Fear GOD and love the LORD. Muslims? YES, share Christ with him. Islam? NO and NO! Leave it where it comes from. Don't invite the religion that practice killings of those that become Christians into you backyard.

    "If my people who are called by my name (CHRISTIANS), will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land, says the LORD.

    Pray for Obama. Pray for America.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:09 am |
  6. Christopher

    BHO, By "You, the Americans" I must deduce that you are referring to those handful of monkeys we pay to run our country. Because most Americans, prior to 9/11, didn't know squat about middle Eastern countries and our relations with them. Perhaps Americans lived in ignorance. Guilty as charged. But the country as a whole did not bring anything upon itself. If anything, it was a wake up call that we have enemies and that not everyone loves us.

    As far as invasions go...they're never really legal. That's just war. Just or unjust, that's how it goes. No 2 countries go to some neutral location to engage in battle. Typically, one country goes over to another. The reasons are almost irrelevant. Invading and occupying a country for oil, or even to rape, pillage, and murder is no more or less "OK" than doing so to topple it's government head. It's just the nature of war.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:04 am |
  7. Reality

    Actually, there should be no mosques anywhere on the face of the globe. Why?

    Muslim convert journalist Stephen Schwartz, American Jewish Committee terrorism expert Yehudit Barsky, and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer have all separately testified to a growing radical Islamist Wahhabi influence in U.S. mosques, financed by extremist groups. According to Barsky, 80% of U.S. mosques are so radicalized.

    August 9, 2010 Germany shuts 9/11 plotters' mosque in Hamburg

    Police raided the mosque on Monday and hunted for evidence of jihadist activities German police have shut down the Hamburg mosque where the 9/11 hijackers met before their suicide attacks on the US in 2001.

    Police said they believed the Taiba mosque was again being used as a meeting point for extremists.

    The cultural association that runs the mosque has also been banned.

    A German intelligence report last year said radical Muslims had travelled to military training camps in Uzbekistan after associating at the mosque.

    August 15, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
    • Christopher

      So, how does one reconcile those thoughts with...say...Italian mafia who are Catholic...have their babies "baptized"...etc. Or the many priests across the globe who molest little choir boys. Should we shut down all catholic churches? I don't dispute that Muslim radicals use Mosques as bases of sorts. I don't even dispute that some of the builders orchestrate and allow terrorists to use their mosques. However, it is niether the mosque, nor the religion that is the source of the problem...well...I suppose if you're Christian, anything not of-God is a source of problem. Point is, people getting all queezy over a building's location because they only associate the religion with 9/11 is a personal problem.

      August 16, 2010 at 12:13 am |
    • beverly j newsom

      i agree 100 percent

      August 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  8. Tim

    I heard on the news here today that we should not blame the Muslims in America for 9/11. That they did not have anything to do with it. Yet, I was working on Purdue University campus that day and Muslim students were walking around within an hour after the attacks with T-shirts of planes crashing into the Twin Towers that read "America got what it deserved". You tell me that they did not know it was coming! They are accomplices thus guilty as well. They could have said something to stop it, but instead chose to endorse the killing of all those people.

    August 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • Christopher

      Many black folks are thugs, criminals, and hate cops. Not all of us, though. Many Christians are crooks, and liars. Not all. Many Catholic priests touch little boys, but Catholicism itself isn't to blame.

      August 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Number One
      There are millions of educated and peace-promoting non-Muslim Americans who also felt that "America got what it deserved". Similarly there are 100s of millions of South American and Communist peoples across the globe who also think "America got what it deserved".

      Number Two
      Most Muslims are happy to see America get what it deserved. But the same Muslims would not have done what happened themselves. That would not be how they would go about seeking justice for America's abuses abroad. Ter rorism is not how most Muslims see justice being brought to light. A small minority do, and they should pay for their folly, not the rest of us.

      Number Three
      The number of Americans who think "America brought it on itself" has increased ten-fold since the illegal invasion of Iraq by their own country. You, the Americans, have proven your own guilt in the 9/11 tragedy by your behavior since. The ter rorists were right. And the rest of the Muslims were right too. And the communists and the South Americans and everybody else in between.

      August 15, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • MarJ

      So they had t-shirts printed within an hour?

      Yeah....right.
      Are you sure you didn't get them confused with the Mossad agents who had previously planned the filming of the towers as they went down ?

      August 16, 2010 at 12:13 am |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      Wow that was the most horrible argurment I have ever heard. Come on buddy give those brain cells a rest enough booze for one day. Shirts made in one hour HAHAHA!!

      August 16, 2010 at 1:54 am |
    • PhysicsRus

      @Christopher

      Then what IS to blame??? You say these things and beliefs are not to blame.....well, then...what is your opinion as to the true roots of the problem??? I happen to agree with you on some things, but you leave everything hanging in your post. Please elaborate.

      August 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
    • Abdo

      How many muslim were killed before and after sept 11 ???? Any bigots out there wants to guess??? TWO MILLION iraqis died before 9/11 and another MILLION including 300,000 children died after 9/11. So please shut the F up about victimes of 9/11. Despite all this there are churches all over the arab world with the exception of Saudia Arabia bc of its reliogious significance. Just like the Vatican no one is asking the vatican to allow mosques and synagogues to be built there.Stop the bigotry and double standard. In the name of Christianity, an entire race (black) was enslaved and another race (native indians ) destroyed. In the name of Jesus these horrible actions were committed by Christians in America. So how come Christian were allowed to steal native indian lands and build churches on them ??????

      August 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  9. Mark from Middle River

    When will Saudi arabia allow Christian churches to be built within their boarders?

    When will people accept that those that believe differently than them are often just as intellegent as them?

    When will folks learn that some of those who are the most intellegent and rational are often some of the meanest and evil folks that have walked the planet?

    Kerbelah – what is logical and good sence to one can is often considered illogical and irrational to another. Who is to say who is right or wrong in such a situation?

    August 15, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Saudi Arabia allows you even worse than your bogus churches. Saudi Arabia allows you to build military bases in Saudi Arabia. Where you can house your fighting men and women and booze and semi p orn satellite TV piped in. And your fatty unhealthy food!! You can hardly complain about Saudi Arabia! Do you allow Saudis to build military bases in your United States??

      August 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      Well there are churches but you probably thought since Saudia is a big bad Islamic country they didn't have them. Oh does the Vatican have mosques or synagogues??

      August 16, 2010 at 2:05 am |
    • Ben

      Say wha...name the large church in Saudi Arabia. I suppose you are meaning that someone whose home is used for worship is a church? And, they unofficially allow non muslims so long as they do not practice openly (their law, not mine). This is because they have so many foreign workers and is not a freedom granted to their citizens. Oh, and while you make this stupid statement, tell me, what is the punichment for the crime of trying to convert a Christian to Islam in America? Oh, wait, it isn't a crime...just like Saudi Arabia...

      Oh, an the asking about Mosques in the Vatican is like asking about Churches in Mecca except the vatican is a few blocks and completely built up while Mecca is a city with space for a church...which I hear they plan to build real soon.

      If you want to make a point, make sure you have actual facts and understand what an analogy actually is.

      August 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  10. richard newton and kay wells

    Is it not true that these mosques were built in other countries near a battle ground claiming domination over the battle. my opinion is that they should build two extra buildings over the world trade sight totaling four buildings to show they cannot snuff it out. until this is done, they will claim success.go New York, we are on your side. kay and rick from missouri nra supporters

    August 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  11. Dave

    Why not erect a Center for Nuclear Research in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I am sure the residents would be thrilled. Or on a more local front, perhaps the descendants of General George Sherman could go to Atlanta and open a shrine to his memory there? Memories are long Mr. President, though yours is more recent.

    August 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
    • Kerbelai

      When will the Vat!can allow mosques and protestant churches to be built within their borders?
      When will Jerusalem be free of religious buildings?
      Will a god-like being ever step into human affairs and clear up this mess? When will God show up to let us all know he exists?
      Will cultural conflicts ever be resolved intelligently?
      Will religious people ever deny their religion simply because someone else argues against it?
      Will sentimentality always trump logic and good sense? Will the dead be better off because of a memorial?
      Why not erect a monument to erratic behavior? Oh, yeah. We've got the United Nations building in NY.
      Southern folk need more alcohol, Dave, not monuments. We all need people like you to be so drunk they cannot even type.

      August 15, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
    • Christopher

      Dave A nuclear facility where a nuclear attack took place has a slightly different connection than a religious temple where a terrorist attack to place. Also, building a shrine to a particular individual who represents something bad to Georgians is also a lil different than a mosque and a terrorist. The problem is the only connection that the muslim mosque has with terrorism is that the terrorists identified with that religion and killed in the name of it. If I killed a lot of people in the name of Christ, I wouldn't expect Americans to have ill feelings toward all Christians and churches.

      Kerb, The Vatican represents a specific religion. That's why. America, though it was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, does not. Jerusalem...also different than America.

      August 15, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
    • Kerbelai

      @Christopher
      I know. I was trying to make a point. One of reciprocal thinking when trying on solutions for size. I was getting tired of so many posts that pointed fingers at foreign theocracies. To show up the hypocrisy, you see...and the fact that America is not a theocracy.
      As separate nations they have an almost unlimited right to self-determination within their own borders. The Vatican is a theocracy, but no one is pointing at the Vatican because they aren't taking the problem far enough.
      Und so weiter. Thanks for your post.

      August 16, 2010 at 12:23 am |
    • Acroyear

      ummm...Dave? The man's name was William Tecumseh Sherman.

      August 16, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • Mike

      But Chris how is it different when the owner would not denounce the attacks in a radio interview and said it was our fault in a video.

      Then there is no difference between the owner and the terrorist.

      August 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  12. da

    Ok, if there is to be unity among all Americans, let this building contain a room for Jewish, christians, baptist, and the catholic faith as well if we are going to promote religious harmony. Well, how about it?

    August 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
    • Christopher

      I think "Unity" as is thought of in this sense is more along the lines of "respect and accept your neighbor;" not necessarily "join your neighbor for prayer."

      August 15, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • JimmyG

      @Christopher
      So much for that idea. Good fences make good neighbors. How do you fence in a religion?

      August 17, 2010 at 9:57 am |
    • Ben

      I do not think all muslims are evil. However, it is a fact that the towers were broght down by muslims. It may offend your sensibilites to admit that stark fact, but it is no less true. With that said, if these people truly are "moderate" it is they who should be sensative, not Americans who don't want the Mosqu there. Legally, I am sure they have the right. However, it shows just how determinedly unsensative this group is that they try to force this issue. Tolerance goes both ways (Well, at least in America...)

      August 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  13. Christopher

    In the past, there have been cult leaders who commit attrocities while claiming to be doing things in the name of God, or worse, claiming to be some messiah. When the subsequent events are brought to a conclusion, no American would dream of saying "Don't build a church anywhere near it." The reality is, since the terrorists of 9/11 waged a Holy Jihad in the name of Islam, Americans who refuse to really learn anything more about Islam, associate the faith with terrorism. essentially, what is being said is, "You have the right to your faith, but since your faith reminds America of terrorism, we don't want you near where the act of terrorism took place." To say it dishonors the memories of the fallen and is insensitive to the emotions of the victims' families is a falacy, since there were Muslim Americans who were also killed in the attacks on 9/11.

    Now, the issue of safety if American-born terrorists shack up in this new mosque is legit. However, I understand that there are multiple mosques in NY and I'm sure, at least to some extent, they are monitored by National Security agencies.

    August 15, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
    • Bob

      Muslim Americans is not an ethnic group anymore than Baptist Americans. The are either Arab-Americans or Americans who practice Islam.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  14. Ed

    Here is a chance for the Muslims, Christians, and Jews to show the world that they have grown out of the barbarism of the past and pave the way for true respect and equality for all faiths. Religious leaders to should taking ownership of Peace and taking the initiative to pull together and show the World that their perspective religions are about Peace, Love and Harmony. I'd like to see them all step up and extend the hand of Peace and Love towards one another instead of perpetuating bickering and strife. They [we] should all understand by now that Peace can only be obtained through unity, not in the minor details that make their religions unique but the broader aspect of Peace. Step up and put your faith where your mouth is...

    August 15, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • Mike

      Peace and Love is not letting wolves devour sheep'

      Peace and Love is not letting your child thumb their nose at the other childern on the play ground

      Peace and Love is not offending and insulting the native peoples culture.

      If you can not condon the attacks and give explaination as to why the mosque is named after a violent take over of a church... then

      Peace and Love is to rebuke your neighbor.

      August 16, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • Bob

      I think Jesus would disagree with you. How does it feel to be on the opposite end of what your faith says it should do?

      August 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • Mike

      Bob can you back up what Jesus would think with a quote from Jesus like let's say
      John 10:7-18

      August 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • Mike

      Luke 3:19

      August 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  15. E. Kilgo

    It is obvious that "folk" would like to make an issue where there should be none. Part of the reason our ancestors came to this country had to do with the opportunity to have religious freedom. It is underwritten by the constitution. Therefore, the premise that President Obama is somehow insensitive to the loss of Ground Zero families, New Yorkers, and our nation at large is absolutely baseless. The folk who will worship there are not the same folk that sent airplanes into the World Trade Center on 9/11. To deny them the right (as theoretically and constitutionally supported) to build a mosque on the grounds that its building somehow demeans the memory and unduly assaults the families of those lost is just ridiculous and "unintentionally biased(?)" against Muslims who, until somehow proves differently, simply want to practice their religion and live in peace. There is a secondary point from the media and political pundits that suggests President Obama should not speak out on this issue. Please, people. He is the President, our ultimate leader. I expect that he should speak on important topics of the day. Does he have to get actively involved? No, but I both expect and respect his opinion. He is the President of all people, not just those who agree/disagree with his policies or positions. It is even more ridiculous for his own staff to spout their misgivings about how Mr. Obama's opinions will effect the upcoming elections. He should speak the truth and allow the chips to fall where they may. I think the American people are smart enough to ferret out the reality from misplaced hostility. No one is diminishing what happened on 9/11 - I live in the city, had meetings in the WTC, wife worked right next door and I was terrified when I could not find her for sometime. Fortunately, she survived. I was on site days later with other evaluators of the site, so I am not immune to deep feelings about what occurred. I DO NOT, however, believe that we should align Americam Muslims with terrorists. That is just not right..

    August 15, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  16. Kerbelai

    Americans must follow their Constitution-or risk legal consequences.
    If you make a national political issue out of something that has already been decided by those who started your country, then you are doing nothing but running around and screeching like a bunch of old women.

    August 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  17. WISDOM

    I Actually thouth President Obama learnt a thing or two when he commented on Prof Gates and the Cops feud that ended up with an infamous Beer Summit. How can one be so informed on Major issues and constantly display a sheer stupidity in dealing with very basic common sense things.
    If this mosque thing is a local issue, then let the locals handle it. Many have no problem when it comes to building mosques anywhere, but on ground zero, since this is now a national issue .... Let the Americans decide.

    August 15, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  18. Robservation

    Timothy McVeigh was Christian. Would you object to a Christian Church being built in Oklahoma City?

    August 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
    • Reality

      McVeigh was a Christian? Give us a break!!! Real Christians dealt with him properly.

      August 15, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      International ter rorist Born-Again Bush however, was a real christian!!

      August 15, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • Mike

      Timothy McViegh was not Christian, explain to us what verses from the Bible he used to justify his attacks.

      August 16, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • Reality

      Bush was a terrorist? Give us a break! It is all about our War on Terror most of which is the result of the mythical messages from a mythical "pretty wingie thingie" named Gabriel to the warmongering, womanizing, illiterate Arab named Mohammed. Until these mythical messages are removed from the koran, no Muslim can be trusted!!!

      August 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • Mike

      Bob can you back up what Jesus would think with a quote from Jesus like let's say John 10:7-18

      August 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • Ben

      I would if it was the same denomination of Christianity as the right wing white supremists he listened too. I would if the man pushing the church refused to recognize him as a terrorist. I would object if the man pushing for the building of the church implied on several occasions that McVeigh might have "ultimately" been wrong but that I should also see that the Federal Government through attacks like Ruby Ridge and Waco helped create McVeigh and thus must share the blame for the children murdered in the day care of the building. So, ya, if it was an apples to apples, I would object.

      August 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  19. Hah

    This is a news-driven "political issue".
    As a legal issue, our "freedom of religion" wins all draws, so I think this is just one of those things that "news" organizations love during a slow news cycle.

    Opinions as "fact".

    What kind of prizes do we have for our lucky contestants, Rolley?

    August 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  20. One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

    There is no law against it. That's all the President said. Does that actually make it a national issue?

    August 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • beverly j newsom

      yes i have a problem with the mosque no they do not have a right they are not american we are americans we need to take back our country the land of the free they did not help build our country we built it send them back to their countries and let us live in peace and sorrow stop putting in god we trust stop the pledge in our schools for our country stop prayer dag this is not the country i grew up in sad so sad why do we have to live thier lives they are in our country wow this is obamas world and sad to say i thought he would make a change not my vote this time he is not for our people

      August 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      First off, let me say "Punctuation is our friend. Maybe we could use it to make ourselves more understood?"

      Next–they are American. Born here? yes? then you are an American. There is no one to take "our" country back from! You, personally, did not build this country. That's not even an argument. Of course this country isn't the same as it was 30 years ago; no country is! People change and grow and nations do too.

      Last–Obama's world? Right. Because he's recently been elected High Poobah of the Planet. I'm all for supporting a President who is for keeping the laws of this land–including the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. Maybe you want all Presidents to lie, cheat, and steal to get votes, but I'd rather they didn't.

      August 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • Sam

      I think we should come up with a street sign saying "No Muslims allowed in 3 miles radius of WTC site". BTW this Mosque was always there on lease... why is it a big issue now??? But yea we could always tweak the first amendment and sugar coat it for Muslims

      August 18, 2010 at 2:25 am |
    • Ehsan

      i thought this is a free country because it is in this county's constitution that everyone has the right of practicing their religion.
      for those who are so closed minded that think it is Islam's fault i have a word with u ! it is not Islam ! why ? because whatever happened there was an act of bunch of dumb people. i'm agnostic myself which means i do not believe in any organized religion but at the same time i respect every religion and the right of their existence.
      for those who think this country is a owened by Christians. this is a free country there are 6+ billion people living on this planet and not a single person thinks the same way does that mean we have to get rid of all the people who think differently? the answer is no because that way only one person will be left behind.
      we as the citizens of this planet and this country are not allowed to defy someone elses rights.
      for the people who think we should kick every muslim out of this country a word with you. america was and is a immigrant country and if you have read some history most true americans were killed in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
      plus if you really praise jesus christ you need to know he came from the same middle east as mohammad and the same as the terrorists who started this whole disaster.
      as true and honest and people with religion lets condemn who done wrong IN THE NAME OF RELIGION not the religion itself.
      most of us who just send these messages of hate do not know more than the bounries of their own religion. and if we all were true religious people and truly believed in jesus we would know all he fought for all his life was to show people hope and love nothing else so lets learn from him and act like him and love everyone no matter who they are and what they stand for.
      with respect to you all E.R

      August 18, 2010 at 5:44 am |
    • American Truth

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZpT2Muxoo0&feature=youtube_gdata

      August 18, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • Mike

      He's better at sports reply, but not by much.

      August 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • Ben

      Even if I accept that this is a good faith gesture on the part of all involved with wanting the Mosque at this location. Even if I take for granted that their motives are pure...do you really believe that this will not become a shrine to 9-11 "Martyrs" for every nutbag radical Muslim? Do you?

      And, this is even more true after this contraversy where it will be seen among that crowd as a double victory.

      August 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
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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.