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August 18th, 2010
06:56 PM ET

Muslim prayers welcome at Pentagon chapel

Tom Cohen filed this report from Washington:

Less than 100 feet from where a hijacked airplane slammed into the Pentagon, Muslim military personnel bring prayer rugs on weekday afternoons for group worship.

On Fridays, a local imam conducts a service in the Pentagon Memorial Chapel built after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks by al Qaeda that killed 184 people at the U.S. military headquarters.

The chapel, with stained-glass windows, burgundy carpeting and a wooden alter, provides a place of prayer and religious observation for anyone regardless of faith or culture.

Its welcoming calm and nondenominational culture are in stark contrast to the emotional debate over plans to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from ground zero in New York City, where planes flown by al Qaeda hijackers destroyed the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,700 people.

To chaplains who work in Army chapels around the world, the tolerance and openness represent the support and camaraderie of military culture.

"What happens here is normal," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Carleton W. Birch, spokesman for the Army Chief of Chaplains.

The Pentagon chapel opened in November 2002 as part of the reconstruction of the complex from damage caused by the 9/11 attack.

Behind the altar, a large stained-glass display depicts the Pentagon, an eagle and the American flag, with a double row of 184 ruby-red glass pieces representing the victims killed when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building.

"United in memory, September 11, 2001," it reads.

The chapel contains 80 seats and has regularly scheduled religious services on weekdays, including Catholic confession and Mass, a Jewish service and Torah study, a Hindu service, a Mormon service and services for other Christian denominations, along with the Muslim prayer service.

On average, 300 to 400 people visit the chapel each week, either to take part in group services or on their own. Army officials interviewed Wednesday said they were unaware of anyone ever protesting against Muslims using the chapel.

"I've never had a question about it" in four-plus years at the Pentagon, Army spokesman George Wright said.

The Army culture of religious freedom dates back to the Revolutionary War, Wright said, describing it as "a big tent."

"We're very tolerant here of one another and our faith," he said. "We don't keep track of who comes in."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Military • Muslim

soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. muslims R terrorists

    Muslim prayers but no Christian or Jewish prayers? Has Barry gone completely berserk?

    August 18, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • KDW

      What on earth are you talking about?

      August 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • John

      No, they allow all faiths to worship in the chapel on ALL military bases

      ..........AND FYI..........

      @libtards, we independents are going to vote the dems back to the stone age next November:)

      August 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  2. Evan C.

    As a devout agnostic, I find it scary to see the path the world is going down. All the violence caused because of the difference of religion. Christians acting like islam is the only religion of brutality and that christianity is the only religion of peace (of course, neglecting such bumps in the road as the crusades and the witch trials, among others). Both religions have blood on their hands no matter how much they try to wash them off. I trulyI worry for the day in the near future when the world is going to be at war because their individual invisible-men-in-the-sky tell them something different.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • muslims R terrorists

      Lots of non-believers have blood in their hands too. So what?

      August 18, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      When belief justifies bloodshed, people have a legitimate cause for concern. But there's a difference between raising an eyebrow and bashing people on their day of worship for worshiping in ways that are different.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  3. Flush

    The social, political and cultural factors influencing the rapid growth of the KKK between 1921 and 1925 are very complex and go beyond the scope of this brief article. Suffice to say that it was likely the acidic forces of modernity eroding away the fabric of the traditional beliefs and lifestyles of White Anglo Saxon Protestant communities.The KKK would receive much tacit support from local and state governments. However, a major platform in the rise of the KKK was Conservative Protestant Christianity.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  4. misanthropicus

    And more political correct crap and hystrionics. Does anyone dare to ask what is the pay-off for accommodating some (how many?) muslims working in Pentagon whims? Haven't all that mighty brass in Pentagon not learnt yet that WE ARE at WAR with Islam, and any concession is perceived by them as a sign of weakness, and will lead to further strikes? One day or another a bomb placed by Muslims will explode in Kansa or elsewhere – then, another mosque will be the answer?

    August 18, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
    • HistoryHistory

      The "payoff", moron, is American Democracy!

      August 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      A billion Muslims praying at the same time can't generate enough wind to knock over a cardboard Santa. But 19 misguided morons slipping through security can kill 3,000. How they got into this country is curious. How they all slipped past security is more so. How they hijacked not one but four separate aircraft – armed with boxcutters – is truly odd. How anybody could change course – on four separate flights – without unleashing the hounds is yet another tale for generations yet unborn. If the best you people can do is to harass American Muslims for building a mosque on their own property, that's totally lame.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • LttL GTO

      Uninformed people like you who promote hate under the guise of defending any way of life or religion are the problem. As a veteran, I'm proud to say that I spent a couple decades defending the right of people to say whatever they want, even when they have no idea what they are talking about. It is becasue of people like you that the rest of us stay vigilent to defend against crackpots and tyrants.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      Perhaps you missed the memo. We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who blow up things, take hostages, and kill indiscriminately in the hopes of making us all quake with fear. We really don't care what religion they are.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
    • veritas

      Darn right, Amurrican democracy is the big "payoff". Then again, misanthropicus, you're not truly "American" I gather–at least based on your diction–so stop trolling/deceiving in other insincere ways. Though, perchance, I have not learnT the queens English well enough to reply in a articulate enough fashion for ya πŸ™‚ haha jkjk! but really, though, do you (or your parents) have a background in another country, etc?

      August 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  5. WMesser58

    PS. ALL RELIGIONS ARE TERRORIST !!!!!!!

    August 18, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • JP

      your a terrorist, go blow yourself up!

      August 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • WMesser58

      @JP

      Stop you're hurting my feelings. It's clear you're a compassionate, caring person who wants to do harm to me. I'll try and recover pray for me waste your time. It's clear you have no life.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
    • Johnson

      Ignorance like that reserves a spot for you next to Bin Laden....

      August 18, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
  6. Concerned Patriot

    http://www.whatthewestneedstoknow.com/

    August 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  7. WMesser58

    What happened to separation of church and state. I am a tax payer and I don't want to pay for or more importantly condone any religion. This needs to stop. SEPARATION OF CHRUCH OF STATE!!!!!!

    August 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
    • Chris

      So you want all Christian chapels removed from military bases? You can't have it both ways!

      August 18, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
    • WMesser58

      @Chris I do not have a problem with that. I do not want any religion anywhere and I want taxed as everyone else has to.

      I do not discriminate I want them all closed down. Religious people are the most intolerant, self-righteous, condescending people that can't even keep their made up values.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
    • JP

      @WMesser

      stupid trolls should go back to their caves

      August 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • John

      So, you think it's stupid to give our troops a place to worship, whatever religion, while they putting their lives at risk??????

      @libtards, we independents are going to vote the dems back to the stone age next November πŸ™‚

      August 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      How dare those Muslims pray in a mosque. The only place for prayer is in a public school.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • WMesser58

      @John of course it's stupid to pray to a non-existent fairy-tale higher power who is inept anyway you look at it.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
  8. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    Our real-life military knows we're not at war with Islam, but a lot of keyboard commandos out there seem to disagree. Remember that our soldiers have fought for years to protect innocent Muslims from Muslims that are terrorists and insurgents. If they're willing to make that distinction–and even to die for that distinction–then so should the civilians back home who supposedly support the troops.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • misanthropicus

      RE Carl: [...] our soldiers have fought for years to protect innocent Muslims from Muslims that are terrorists and insurgents [...].
      Wrong, buddy, wrong – the innocent Muslims protected by our soldiers are nothing but yesterday's murderers and oppressors.
      Instead of blowing warm air get a good history of the Muslim expansion – and be prepared for some jolts, 'cause you'll review the history of the most murderopus political doctrine ever on this planet – nazis and commies were just amateurs when it comes to genocide,greed, abuse and destruction –

      August 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • HistoryHistory

      Well said Carl

      August 18, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      I guess being a Christian nation means forcing the atheists to pray and forcing Muslims to stop.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Saladin

      Well said, Carl!

      August 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
    • Q8tyAmerican

      Thank you Carl – the US military came to the rescue of the MUSLIM Kuwaitis when Saddam blatantly wanted to take-over the country. There are many Muslim-majority countries in the world, and the US is not at war with any but two (Iraq & Afghanistan), so obviously, the US is NOT at war with Islam.

      August 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  9. chedar

    I don't understand if Fox News or the Republican are deliverately stupid or what. They seem to defy the intellectual reasoning of the scholars. Watch this, anything Obama say or does they'll grab it as an issue in this coming election. Desperate little people.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • Geoff

      "deliverately stupid"

      I love irony!!!

      Liberals defy the intellectual reasoning of reality. Keep pretending the world is a cherry place...sing Kumbaya all you want. Ignorant and naive little people.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • John

      I asked in my last post "How do these idiots get elected"........Now I understand, thanks chedar.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • HistoryHistory

      Unfortunately, we can't just blame the Retards...I mean Repubs. The American Public are the most ADHD populace on the planet. They lean right or left at the slightest breeze. They want someone to solve all the problems NOW!!! Don't confuse them with facts, do it NOW!!!! What, you can't do it now, you're a loser and I'm going to vote for someone who will promise me that I can keep all my money have still have a great life. Oh, and who hates eveyone who isn't just like me. I have very little respect for most people. Sure, let's elect a Repub, that's no problem, because they'll be drawn and quartered within a few months. Happens every time.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • Luke

      Geoff – What's a Cherry Place? I honestly don't get it.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
  10. John

    Sooooo......What does this have to do with a victory mosque???? Every military base accomadates all religions, which is what they should do. Why hasn't CNN covered the story about Pelosi.......instead of launching a probe into where the funding for this mosque is coming from, she wants to launch a probe into where the protestors are getting money. She can't believe that the victims of 9/11 are offended by this. How do these idiots get elected????????

    August 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
    • Geoff

      "deliverately stupid"

      I love irony!!!

      August 18, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  11. Geoff

    *cough* Nidal Malik Hasan *cough*

    August 18, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
  12. amarjit sehmi

    Prayers & worship in a common place is different from the construction of structure that too near the site of adventure. This the liberty granted to all people to pray, profess & practice their faith any where in a enclosure. Religious prayers & worship is encouraged in all armies other than Islamic countries of non democracy. Having a faith is ever living inner life of human beings & never from the body except on the last breath of life.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  13. txchristian

    We should not let Muslims build that mosque near WTC. This is a CHRISTIAN nation and we need to stay that way. They ljust want to get totally infiltrated into our country and then destroy us like they have done in Africa and other nations. Beware of staying silent; we might end up like the Jewish people did when Nazi Germany killed all of them...They were silent as well.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
    • doodle

      you are an idiot!

      August 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • medellin

      Yes, totally agree, lets do what the NAZI's did and get them before the jews, (oops), I mean the Moslems get too strong. ( by the way, this is sarcasm, in poor taste, but unfortunately some people dont get it otherwise).

      August 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
    • JP

      christian nation eh? last time i checked there was separation of church and state so im more compelled to say that this is a DEMOCRATIC nation, where jackasses like you are allowed to spill your idiocracy to the rest of us....if this was a christian nation, a jewish nation, or a muslim nation.....it is highly likely you wouldn't for fear of having your tounge cut out

      August 18, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
    • HistoryHistory

      Oh, lord, how OLD are you? Do you even KNOW how really ridiculous you sound? Tell me, do you have ANY of your teeth left??

      August 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      How does being a "Christian nation" have anything to do telling people where they can pray? Aren't you neocons always whining about school prayer? If it's okay to impose prayer upon children, why is it wrong if those children – and their parents – decide to pray on their own, on private property, and without any permission from you?

      August 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
    • Alex

      The USA is NOT a Christian nation.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • Luke

      HistoryHistory – He's from Texas. Need I say more?

      August 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
    • Hendrik

      @txchristian,

      You really are an idiot. A double dare unadulterated IDIOT.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
    • Janet

      People of many religions make up this country and many Muslims have been in the USA for decades. They have, and are, serving in government and armed services, with honor, and they deserve all the same rights as you expect. They are good citizens and part of many communities. There is a lot of hate and fear being generated by a few ignorant people or people with a strange idea of what our country is about.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
    • RA

      Hey Luke,
      I'm from TX (Austin) and totally disagree with this statement. TX does not have monopoly on ignorant people. We have our share as much as any other state.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Perfect example of what "moderate" members of a religion permit to exist. Without so called "moderates" there could be no "extremists." Religion is evil, it is something that served to separate one group from another. And that is all it continues to do today....

      August 19, 2010 at 12:33 am |
    • Nixxon

      If you think USA is a fundamentally a christian nation, you are proposing to send all the jews, muslims, hindus, bahais, buddists and atheist away from the land where they were born (millions of them were born in american soil)? Are you serious about it?

      ItΒ΄s funny to see how the Fascism/Nazism is growing among the Republican/Tea Party supporters like this guy.

      August 19, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • boobear59

      since when did america become a christian nation?? so much for a melting pot

      August 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
    • Krista

      This country is NOT and had Never been a "Christian" nation. Thomas Jefferson _wrote_ the laws regarding separation of church and state. Just as many neo-con types tend to do these days, you're ignoring the facts in favor of what you'd rather believe. This is a country founded on religious freedom.

      August 19, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • Josie

      My goodness...did you ever have a Civics class in school...or did you choose to skip the first amendment?

      August 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
    • Jason

      It seems that a lot of the conservative southern Christians can comprehend the Second Amendment just fine, but somehow the whole "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" in respect to religious freedom in the First seems to just slip by when it's anyone but Jesus.

      Here's all the text of the First Amendment as a refresher:

      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

      Now, please, all you strict constructionist conservative types, please explain your opposition to this Muslim community center. Please. No "judicial activism" is allowed.

      August 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • FH Ohio

      What an ignorant idiot !!!

      September 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  14. Tom

    @ Rob Nobody wants gays becasue they live an immoral and unhealthy lifestyle. Check the health and mortality statistics of those who choose to be homosexual.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  15. Wikkidtwisted

    I find it insulting and disgusting. Army Personnel or not. What happened at Ft. Hood? They are preying to what the believe is a victory to their god.

    Not the same as the Victory Mosque issue. The name "Cordova" didn't come out of thin air to the Muslims building this Mosque. Look it up.

    Those are my feelings. Show some tolerance to those for once.

    – The Infidel

    August 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • NotXenophobic

      Maybe the name Cordova was there, but they had no problem changing that, and the imam of that center (it's not a mosque) has helped the F.B.I. with counter terrorism, but I suppose those are inconvienent facts. Look it up.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • John

      You mean Cordoba.

      Under Moorish Spain, Cordoba was the most advanced and economically successful city in western Europe, with Muslims, Christians, and Jews living and working side by side.

      When the Catholic Spaniards completed the Reconquista and took back all of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims, they began the Spanish Inquisition and the Acts of Expulsion, kicking out, killing, or forcibly converting, and then later killing anyway, anyone who wasn't sufficiently Catholic.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
  16. JP

    as for the whole ground zero issue....i think it's completely ludacris that a group of paranoid ignorant bigoted retards are trying to undermine the constitution and then proceed on to claim that they are supporters of the constitution....you know, 2nd amendment, 1st amendment, 7th amendment etc etc etc....you talk to any of them about if they believe in following the constitution i guarantee 95% will answer with a definitive "YES"....they are probably the same people who still can't get over the fact that obama was born in america and believe that lowering taxes and reducing the deficit/debt can go hand in hand somehow....on the other side, i also believe that the reluctance of the group that wants to build the structure, to at least move it somewhere a little further away is also quite ignorant of the feelings of those still suffering from the 9/11 attacks....if they are so determined to build their structure then they should be sensitive to those in the area....they obviously aren't and at this point i could call this a form of trolling

    either way, the entire situation is completely pathetic, i understand freedom is a 2 way street but there's a point when you are abusing your rights and both sides are guilty.....the group that wants to build this structure is guilty because they have the right to build a place of worship anywhere in the country and they choose to do it right near one of the biggest memorials created from a radical faction of their religion....and the people who oppose it are guilty because they KNOW that these people have the right to build a building next to ground zero and worship in it, yet they still think that by shouting louder than everyone else they will get their way....sorry it doesn't work like that, my mom tried and failed miserably with that method and so did one of my old close friends, now he uses dentures and he's only in his 20's

    im gonna move to canada, because i am embarrassed beyond belief to be an american right now

    August 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  17. WiDawg

    This really has no connection to the Victory Mosque...

    August 18, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • Hendrik

      @WiDawg,

      Where did you get the name Victory Mosque? Is that the name the Muslim community gave it or did you come up with that by yourself?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  18. Mike T

    Al Queda crashed those planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Islam is no more guilty for the actions of Al Queda than Christianity is for the actions of the Ku Klux Klan...and the KKK has caused more harm and killed more people in the United States than Al Queda has. I don't hate Muslims for the actions of Al Queda any more than I hate Christians for justifying the slave trade. Honor trancends religious beliefs and so does evil.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • Sayem

      well said bro, well said.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • William D

      Very well said.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
    • Juneyt

      Well said Mike
      70% of the American population cannot comprehend this point. They would never consider themselves KKK members as Christians but they put all Muslims into the terrorist bucket. Thanks to FAUX News and Neo Cons

      August 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Most intelligent comment I've read all day.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
    • Geoff

      What a moron....the Klan aren't acting on behalf of Christianity.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
    • Ka

      The KKK was NOT a Christian organization. It was considered an extremist nationalist/racist organization only. It had nothing to do with religion.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
    • Geoff

      @Juneyt – where as you get your news from Mother Jones and the Communist News Network who have brainwashed you into thinking that Islam is a religion of peace and that the war on terror isn't a war on radical Islam.

      The Klan isn't acting in the name of Christianity. the bible does not tell them to do any of that. try saying the same thing about Al Qaeda and Islam. Typical libtard...you think you're so smart while you resort to played out cliches like Faux News. Another useful idiot.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
    • John

      Yeah dude........part of our Sunday mass is to burn a cross.........your an idiot, the KKK has nothing to do with Christianity

      August 18, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • HistoryHistory

      THANK YOU!!

      August 18, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
    • HistoryHistory

      Well said, Mike T. Thirty years from now all these hate mongers will look really weird, but that's now history goes.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • Thanh

      Various white supremacy groups did use Christianity to justify their hate and violence. Does Aryan Nations and Christian Identity ring a bell? Mike's whole point is that radicals will use anything, including religion to justify their activities. Lumping everyone who follows Islam with the terrorists is wrong and ignorant.

      That's like holding every Christian accountable for the Crusades.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      Those of you saying the KKK has no relation to Christianity have obviously done zero research on the KKK and its origins.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • Hendrik

      Well said, Mike

      August 18, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      for those who say there is no connection between KKK and Christianity: Didn't you ever wonder why they burned crosses?

      Also–that's the point. Most Muslims would not consider Al-Queda really Muslim. They are just the right-wing nut jobs. Like the KKK.

      (remember your SAT analogies? AlQueda:KKK as Muslim:Christian)

      August 18, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
    • globalblog

      Hey Mike, your comments linking KKK to Christianity is absurd, please do a proper research on this, Christian do not preach burning crosses or Churches neither, KKK is on white supremacy and nationalistic in nature not like radical Islam with loads of terrorist cell and excellent deceptive techniques to get sympathy of people like you...get over it mate. You & me are a infidel for them and always will be.....

      August 19, 2010 at 12:33 am |
    • teXoy

      SO TRUE MIKE & SO RIGHT

      August 19, 2010 at 1:30 am |
    • Abdul Aziz

      mighty funny that the full title of the Ku Klux Klan is "The Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan" so..... yeah who said they arent representing christianity? If you dont believe me go to google and type in Christian Knights and wait a second for the results.... Im just sayin...

      August 19, 2010 at 1:34 am |
    • Debasser

      For those people who think the KKK and Christianity aren't related, you're sadly misinformed and need to do some research about the link between certain organizations and religion. Like for instance, did you know that the Boy Scouts of America is the last religious organization (Christianity) assisted by the US government? Just giving you an example of something you probably don't know about the connections of religion to specific groups, and how a little research would open your eyes.

      August 19, 2010 at 1:35 am |
    • Mat

      KKK is not an offshoot of Christianity. No matter what any one says kkk and Christianity is no compatible. There is no word in the entire new testament which justifies the violence and bigotry by any on which says they are based on Christianity. As for the Christian bashers and atheists, you are looking at humans who say they are Christians but do unchristian things and then base your assumption that anything to do with Christianity is bogus. You never took the pain to read and understand the bible. It reminds me of the blind men and the elephant. Its also like Julia Roberts who suddenly got the Hindu religion. She wants to be reborn in a less fortunate life because she feels too indulged in this life. I really dont know how she will be reborn just because she changed religion? Well its her belief and good luck to her. There are so many hungry and less privileged people in this world , she could do so many things.

      August 19, 2010 at 11:28 am |
    • citygirl98

      why do people get so heated up when the topic of KKK being linked to Christianity comes up?? just like christians don't want to be linked to the KKK, its the same way for muslims, they don't wanna be associated with Al-Qaeda

      August 19, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • Josie

      For those of you who deny the KKK doesn't believe their actions are in the name of christianity, why does their website say: " Bringing a Message of Hope and Deliverance to White Christian Americans." No, I don't believe all christians are KKK members or there is anything in christianity that can justify the beliefs of the KKK. Nor do I believe that all Muslims are terrorists or there is anything in the religion that can justify the actions of a few who say they are doing it in the name of their religion. We are a nation where those who were persecuted for their religion came to because of a freedom of religion. We are a nation of laws and thoose who plan to build the Muslim community center with a prayer room have complied with the laws for the permit and zoning process. It is 2 blocks from the 9/11 site on private property. It seems that the same people you defend the rights of property owners are opposing this building.

      August 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • FH Ohio

      Right on bro

      September 4, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  19. LiberalNN

    Puts the overdone Ground Zero issue in perspective.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Ka

      I disagree. The mosque center (which the developer is proudly saying will be the largest in the world, with thousands of Muslims to come and visit, I might add) is not a simple freedom of religion issue. Islam does not separate from politics. Placing a mosque center that large is disrespectful to the thousands who died at Ground Zero. If they wanted to be respectful to everyone, they would move it to a location far away from Ground Zero.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
    • HistoryHistory

      I'm afraid it really is a simple freedom of religion issue. The people building that mosque have not committed any crime. There is no legal reason at all that Muslims can't build a mosque right there. We talk about Muslims like they're a different species, it's truly disgusting the way Americans are talking about other Americans. Disgusting disgusting. What are our soldiers fighting for? To try to spark democracy in an Islamic state. So, if we believe in democracy there, I think we can tolerate it here, ya think?

      August 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
    • John

      @historyhistory.......Nobody is saying it's not legal, the issue is "sensitivity" to the victims of 9/11 and their families. And the constitutuion does not say you can build a chruch or mosque anywhere you want.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Sure does. If we believe in an America where all kinds can live in peace, there's no reason for people to stick their snouts into the private and peaceful doings of any religious community. The Cordoba Center isn't to be at Ground Zero. It's to be on Park Place, two blocks away, hidden behind two taller buildings and not even in view of Ground Zero. It's ironic that so many Americans would sanctify a hole, and then want to create their own arbitrary radius so many blocks around it. Are they trying to turn Ground Zero into an American Qa'aba?

      August 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • John

      Okay, seriously, there is not enough available land there for it to be the largest mosque in the world. The Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca has the capacity for 820,000 worshipers *at a time*. It's biggest by far than a football stadium. This place would come nowhere near that. Heck, they could actually build the mosque in the WTC 1 and 2 footprints, and still not have the biggest mosque in the world.

      So... you're pretty wrong.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Purush

      All politicians who tried to make it an election issue inflamming the already charged emotions should be round up and charged for disrupting law and order and instigating one community against the other (almost treason against the country). Politics does not give you super rights to do what you want. Is the common man listening????
      Defeat all such Politicians at the election.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • Jose

      It's a typical political gambit, actually, and the Republicans have gotten really good at it because the Dems really suck at damage control. Dems use it in Chicago all the time, though.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:33 am |
    • Woody

      The Mosque that they want to build in New York is being financed by private funds. The Chapel in the Pentagon is being financed by the American taxpayers. Has anyone in the Pentagon ever read the First Amendment?

      August 20, 2010 at 12:52 am |
  20. Saladin

    That's one of the things I've always liked about military life. Beliefs are beliefs. Service is service. Honor is honor.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • Shertastic

      Unless you're gay, in which case the government deems it important to spend 4.3 million dollars to conduct a survey with less than a 25% reply rating. =)

      August 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • Rob

      Unless you are gay, then they dont want you at all.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • buckofive

      @rob and @shertastic... you may want to read the Army policy on this before commenting... it is called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for a reason...

      August 18, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • Luke

      buckofive – dude, first of all, they shouldn't have to worry about not asking and not telling. Secondly, it took hundreds of years to even get that far.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
    • Mike T

      The most fearsom army the world knew at the time, the Roman legions, encouraged homosexuality. The rational is that a warrior would more fiercely fight for his lover than he would for just another person. The difference is that homosexuality to the Roman soldier was just a sexual choice...not a LIFESTYLE choice. Heterosexuals didn't act any differently than homosexuals and therefore there was acceptance and no one cared. A guy in a dress and lipstick wouldn't have gone over too well in the Roman army either.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • Geoff

      Tell that to gay people

      August 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
    • buckofive

      Now look up the name Barry Winchell and Fort Campbell. The rule isn't to discriminate, it is to protect. Have you ever thought of it that way? Of course not, you wanna bash all you can because you don't completely understand.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      If the military can get it – and they're the ones staring death in the face on the front lines of this War on Terror – why can't the rest of the country?

      August 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • Vin

      Though they are not first and foremost a religious organization, if you think there is no connection between the Ku Klux Klan and Christianity you are clearly ignorant and misinformed

      August 18, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • BerenstainBears

      And perhaps one days gays will be able to serve w/o DADT. No system is perfect and they are trying to change it. Give the mil some credit and respect!

      August 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • Hendrik

      Well said, Saladin

      August 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • Jose

      One thing I do give the Army credit for, they are better about leaving personal feelings aside in order to work together. If Don't Ask, Don't Tell was removed I'm sure there would be initial conflicting feelings but eventually they would handle as they've handled everything else. DADT is more a political mind field for politicians.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:30 am |
    • Aaron

      @Saladin
      and this is this and that is that....
      To say that something is what it is...is saying nothing at all.
      congratulations. You just said that you like the part of military life that is whatever it is. Verrry informative. Don't forget to tie your arms up so they don't drag.

      August 19, 2010 at 2:00 am |
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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.