Update: Christians and the Ground Zero Mosque

Post image for Update: Christians and the Ground Zero Mosque

UPDATE: Daniel linked an article by Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, two Muslims who are on the board of the Muslim Canadian Congress, entitled – Mischief in Manhattan: We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation. This article shows that there are atleast some vocal Muslims who get it.

There has been much talk (and I’m sure a lot more to come) over whether or not a Mosque should be built two blocks from Ground Zero. Though popularly called the Ground Zero Mosque it may more accurately be called an Islamic Center.

Not that the name Islamic Center necessarily changes anyone’s mind. One friend even said that “the Mosque at Ground Zero is an act of political disdain & ideological war. Citizens Unite.” It’s hard to disagree. However, those who are for or against its building don’t fall into one particular religious or political camp as far as I can tell. So I’ve wondered how Christians should react to building the center.

My gut reaction was – NO WAY! Are you kidding me?!

OK, that may not be the best reaction. I understand this is America and we have religious freedom and all. Even President Obama has made a few comments defending the religious liberty of Muslims to build the center. Though I tend to agree with the anti-religious radio host Neal Boortz who explained that Obama should have phrased his comments something like this:

“The American people have a deep appreciation for freedom of religion and have shown through the history of this country their tolerance of different religious viewpoints. All they’re asking of the Muslim community is recognition that many, perhaps most Americans consider the location of this planned Islamic Community Center as hallowed ground. The landing gear from one of the aircraft flown into the World Trade Towers crashed into the very building that will be demolished for the construction of this Islamic center. As President, and on behalf of the people that I represent, I would ask you to reconsider your plans for this project.”

Boortz suggestion makes sense. It takes into account the feelings of many of those who have been personally affected by the 9/11 attacks. This is basically the position taken in the video below by 9/11 survivor, NYC Firefighter Tim Brown who lost 93 friends in the attacks. His opponent in the video below is Eboo Patel, a Muslim and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core.

One of Eboo Patel’s key comments is – And American Muslims were not behind the terrorist plot either.

This is right after Patel compared the denial the building of this center to telling black people they could not sit at the front of the bus. I suppose using this comparison will never go away in the political sphere. Patel may be 100% right that no American Muslims were behind 9/11. But isn’t this all the more reason to not build the center?

If there are peaceful Muslims, peaceful American Muslims, wouldn’t it make a stronger statement for them to show the world their peacefulness and sensitivity for their fellow Americans? In other words, the peaceful Muslim approach would to take a position that says something like:

As American Muslims we have Constitutional religious freedom to build a Mosque or Islamic Center near Ground Zero. As much as we desire to build we more desire to show the world that we love and respect our fellow Americans. In order to show respect to other Americans and to show radical Islam that this is about living peacefully with people of other faiths we will not build the center so close to Ground Zero. We want to show the world that we understand the sensitivities involved in this issue and will do so by agreeing to a compromise.

OK, that probably won’t happen. And I understand the need to fight for religious liberty in this country. However, one may keep their liberty and still decide not to build.

But what about a Christian response? Again, there is the issue of religious liberty. Since the way is clear to build an Islamic Center close to Ground Zero the implications of denial due to public opinion could come back and hurt churches. Though some might argue that Christianity has actually flourished in times of repression, I’m not convinced that possibly giving up existing religious freedom is a good idea.

Rather, let’s keep the freedom we have (as much as we can these days). Let’s encourage open religious debate. If Muslims get to build their Mosque or Islamic Center then so be it. This does not defeat nor offer a blow to Christianity and it might actually be counter-productive for Islam. The big picture for Christians is not that we will not overcome Islam or evangelize Muslims better through laws or political/social policies. Our only hope for these things are through the cross of Jesus Christ as proclaimed in the gospel. And maybe this new center will be a great place to evangelize.

Ultimately, as uncomfortable as it is, I say let them build.

Tags: ,
The above article was posted on August 18, 2010 by Mark Lamprecht.
© 2004-2015. All rights reserved.


{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kim August 17, 2010 at 3:16 pm

This has now become an issue of NATIONAL SECURITY. Freedom of Religion is critical and expression an of it, building a center for education, is actually a beautiful act in the shadow of ground zero. The world is watching and we should be ashamed if we act hypocritically by saying, “No”. This WILL create a feeling of a religious war, kept in flame by America. Any form of extreminism (sp?) is not healthy for a nation grown from the idea of TOLERANCE. We need to look inside and talk to everyone we know that we should act LOVINGLY and be spending our energy in loving the 20 million people that have been displaced, and btw, they are muslims, love them anyway (Pakistan). Thank you.

2 Daniel Spratlin August 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm

We tell businesses (places of worship included) all the time where they can and can’t build something. We even tell homeowners what they can and cannot build on their own property. We don’t allow liquor stores to be within 1,000 feet of a school, etc. These are called zoning laws yet no one is up in arms about them.

Ground Zero is sacred and the normal laws do not apply. Special consideration must be taken and realization that Ground Zero belongs to those who were murdered by Muslims (and FYI there were ties to American Muslims) is required.

This is not a “freedom of religion” issue. It has nothing to do with it. This is an issue of plain good taste. I don’t support this project to build the center any more than I would support building a Japanese cultural center at Pearl Harbor.   

Bottom line, if the Muslim community in New York actually believed their “we are of peace” rhetoric then they would not be pushing for this building in the face of overwhelming opposition to it.

3 Howell Scott August 17, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Mark and Daniel,

The building of the Ground Zero mosque has little to do with religious freedom or historic Baptist principles. This has become, and perhaps was from the very beginning, a political issue. No reasonable person argues that Muslims have a legal right to build the mosque at this location. That is simply not the issue, although elites such as President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg want to obfuscate and try to make it the issue.

This is a matter of what is appropriate. I will defend the right of any religious group to build where otherwise permissible, but I do not have to be forced to like it. I highly doubt that Obama, Bloomberg or Norman Jameson, the editor of the North Carolina Baptist Biblical Recorder would be as supportive of Westboro “Baptist Church” building anywhere in NYC, much less near Ground Zero. I have a post responding to Jameson’s ABP article up at http://www.fromlaw2grace.com. His “defense” is typical of elites who want us to pretend that nothing significant happened on 9/11/01. That I will not do!

4 Mark August 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Daniel,

I agree with you about zoning laws. I almost brought this up in the post. It is my understanding that Ground Zero was not deemed as “sacred” or whatever the term is. Therefore, a religious institution, in this case an Islamic Center, may be built nearby.

I understand your objection to the religious freedom article, however, if the zoning law allows the Islamic Center then the issue will be, and has been, couched in view of religious liberty. As long as the law allows the center it will be argued as religious liberty.

5 Mark August 17, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Howell,

I agree that this is a political issue. Whether a person is reasonable or not, if the law allows the center to be built then they have the right to do so. I don’t have to like it. And I don’t!

I like your point about Westboro Baptist. I’m not against what you’re saying. Yet as I understand the ruling, the Muslims are allowed to build near Ground Zero. Do you have different information? Again, I’m not arguing that they should or should be allowed to build.

6 Daniel Spratlin August 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I say they submit a petition to turn Ground Zero into a national memorial then. No one in their right mind would dare oppose such a measure and then special zoning laws would apply.

But in either case, is it legal to build a Muslim community center there? Possibly. But “legal” is not synonymous with “right.” It is just plain wrong and in poor taste.

As far as I know, there is legal precedent from the that would give the state justification for blocking this project on legal grounds, though. Judge Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion in Lawrence v. Texas (2003):

“Countless judicial decisions and legislative enactments have relied on the ancient proposition that a governing majority’s belief that certain sexual behavior is “immoral and unacceptable” constitutes a rational basis for regulation.”

I believe the same would apply to ANY behavior and this construction project would qualify.

7 Dan Smith August 18, 2010 at 9:29 am

I agree that they have the right, but that it would be in extremely bad taste. I’m not going to go protest it or anything, but it’s bad form. No way around it.

8 Howell Scott August 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Mark,

From all indications, there are no legal impediments to the mosque being built at the proposed location two blocks from Ground Zero. The last hurdle to overcome was when the Landmarks Commission refused to designate the property with Landmark Status. I believe that was the last-ditch effort by opponents of the mosque to halt its being built.

From a legal and constitutional standpoint, I am not agains the mosque being built. But, I do not have to like nor do I have to support it. I have been trying to get the folks over at BaptistLife to tell me if there is a difference between defending someone’s First Amendment rights and supporting/endorsing what they do with those rights. I have used Westboro as the example, but strangely enough, no one whats to engage in that discussion. Great post by the way. God bless,

Howell

9 Mark August 18, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Howell,

My sentiments are as you’ve stated from the legal and constitutional standpoint. I do think there is a difference in defending someone’s rights and supporting what they do with them.

The real spiritual issue for Christians, whether we like the legal status in this case or not, is the gospel and the sovereignty of God.

Thanks for stopping by again.

10 Mark August 18, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Dan,

Yep!

11 Daniel Spratlin August 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Here’s a great article on the situation written by a Muslim – http://j.mp/aUjOXu

12 Charles August 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I don’t like it, either. Here’s a link that states the wrongness of it quite nicely, in my opinion:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/06/pat-condell-on-ground-zero-mosque-is-it-possible-to-be-astonished-but-not-surprised.html

13 Larry August 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm

This is a private property issue. The owners of this property have the right to do with it as they please within the bounds of the law. Conservatives need to decide if they support private property rights in all circumstances or just in those circumstances where they agree with the owner’s plan of use. If they choose the latter, they need to realize that at some point, what they want to do with THEIR property will be thwarted by the wishes of another (likely the government) – and they need to stop calling themselves conservatives and stop complaining about things like eminent domain.

14 Dan Smith August 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Larry, no one is saying it’s a matter of law and property. It’s just bad form. Surely even you can admit it.

15 Joanne Hines August 19, 2010 at 12:36 am

We are being manipulated. Take a close look at the people who are in favor of this mosque. They are not people who respect property rights, or religious freedom, or this country’s values, or our Constitution, and they aren’t suddenly fans of these things. They are still the same. These people demanded the cross in the Mojave desert, on a WWI memorial be removed, even after the property was no longer public property. These people use “eminent domain” to take one person’s private property and give it to a large corporation. These people ridicule those who quote our Constitution. These people won’t allow prayer at graduations. If they are suddenly so pro-religious freedom, and private property rights, why is St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church not allowed to rebuild their facility (destroyed on 9-11) on their own land, across the street from ground zero? The city won’t allow anything resembling a church overlook Ground Zero. This is not about rights, tolerance, or liberty, except the zero tolerance from Islam, while insisting on complete tolerance for Islam. This is turning our tolerance as a weapon against us, to enable the construction of a tourist attraction, for Islamic terrorists from around the world to come visit and gloat, and to be encouraged to finish the job of our destruction. Pay attention to what extremist Muslim leaders are saying to their people. They are proudly announcing their goals.

16 Howell Scott August 19, 2010 at 2:48 am

Larry,

I hate to disagree, but this is not about private property or about religious freedom or historic Baptist principles. The supporters of the mosque will try to argue for each of these, but that is not the issue. Principled conservatives (Christian or otherwise) can defend the Muslim’s right to build near Ground Zero. Does that mean that we must personally support or endorse the expression of this group’s First Amendment rights? Are there any situations in which you would defend an individual or group’s rights of religion or speech or assembly, but yet would find it difficult if not impossible to endorse or support those rights personally? Would you support/endorse Westboro “Baptist Church’s” right to protest at military funerals? I might defend their rights, just as I would defend the rights of Muslims to build a mosque in lower Manhattan, but I will not be forced to like it or otherwise endorse or support it. God bless,

Howell

17 Mark August 19, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Joanne,

I would be interested in know more about St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church “not being allowed to rebuild their facility (destroyed on 9-11) on their own land, across the street from ground zero.” I really would. I don’t know why this issue is not talked about in light of this Islamic Center.

I can’t exactly disagree with what you say about the reason people support this Center. The problem is that, whatever their motives, if they can work within the current zoning laws, they can move forward and build.

Interestingly enough, many groups use American freedom to promote their cause. Pick a country, cause or religion and I bet you can find a movement in America that supports and funnels money into whatever it is they support.

18 Larry August 20, 2010 at 8:47 am

@ Howell.

With all due respect, I think you missed my point. These “principled conservatives” for the most part are not arguing for the right to build the center (its not a Mosque AND its not at “ground zero” BTW) while disagreeing with that decision – they are arguing for government intervention to prevent its being built. Those are two very different things.

I never said I liked it or that anyone had to personally support it. What I object to is all these so-called conservatives who rail against the government interfering in private property and other matters – except when such intervention suits their personal agenda.

There’s also the additional wrinkle of all this “sacred” or “holy” ground nonsense that Christians especially should know better than to invoke but that’s an entire other topic.

19 Dan Smith August 20, 2010 at 8:56 am

Larry,
You tease! I’ve been waiting for someone to say that the World Trade Center site isn’t hallowed ground, and you alluded to it. I’ve honestly been afraid to speak out on that part of the subject, but you’ve made it clear that I’m at least not alone.

20 Daniel Spratlin August 20, 2010 at 11:54 am

Three points in order to correct your misunderstandings:

1) The building will contain a mosque.

2) It is at Ground Zero. So close that the building in question was damaged by pieces of debris.

3) Arguing that conservatives “rail against” government interference unless it suits them is not an argument at all. Ad hominem tu quoque.

4) It is sacred ground. The fact that 3000 innocent people were murdered there makes it so. Human life has significance and the taking of innocent human life is significant.

I guess you have no problem with putting a Taco Bell in Arlington? How about a Confederate memorial at Gettysburg? Japanese cultural center at Pearl Harbor?

21 Larry August 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

@ Daniel.

“It is at Ground Zero.”

Its like four city blocks away. OK, so what if it were 5 blocks or 10 blocks? How far should the sacred bubble extend from true ground zero?

“Arguing that conservatives “rail against” government interference unless it suits them is not an argument at all.”

No, in many cases its simply a fact.

“It is sacred ground. The fact that 3000 innocent people were murdered there makes it so.”

Really? Could you show me that from scripture please? Every place I look in the Bible things are made sacred by the presence of God not by how many “innocent” (whatever that means) people died there.

(FYI…there are lots of Confederate memorials at Gettysburg)

22 Joe Blackmon August 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Oh, please. How about we build a museum celebrating the Crusades across the street? Oh, let me guess, you would find that hateful and intolerant, not to mention disrepectful but the “Haa, we did it!!” Mosque is ok?

23 Mark August 20, 2010 at 12:17 pm

In similar news – Port Authority: No deal with Ground Zero church.

The Port Authority then decided to move ahead with their project, using eminent domain to gain control of the land beneath the church.

The church maintains ownership to the original 1,200-square-foot parcel of land at 155 Cedar Street, but this land cannot accommodate what church officials had begun to plan for Liberty Street—a church with a traditional Greek Orthodox dome, as well as a nondenominational center to welcome visitors to Ground Zero that would cover 24,000-square-feet.

24 Daniel Spratlin August 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

“Its like four city blocks away.  OK, so what if it were 5 blocks or 10 blocks?”

More like 1/10 of a mile or two minutes walking time. See this map

“How far should the sacred bubble extend from true ground zero?”

No closer than a mosque already present before 9/11. Simple.

“No, in many cases its simply a fact.”

A “fact” that has zero bearing on the issue. I repeat: ad hominem tu quoque.

“Really? Could you show me that from scripture please?  Every place I look in the Bible things are made sacred by the presence of God not by how many “innocent” (whatever that means) people died there.”

Man is made in the image of God and, therefore, intrinsically valuable. How close did you read?

“(FYI…there are lots of Confederate memorials at Gettysburg)”

If you’ve ever been to Gettysburg you’ll know that none of the statues from CSA state that the Union got what they deserved. Yet Feisal Abdul Rauf said that of America about 9/11.

I believe Ground Zero to be sacred (as does the President and millions of Americans). But even if you take away that truth it still changes nothing.

Building this mosque is clearly considered “fighting words” as defined by the Supreme Court in 1942 and, therefore, the government has every right to step in and prevent it from happening.

25 Daniel Spratlin August 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I guess I could have used HTML for that link but didn’t know it was allowed.

Mark, can you edit it to add an “a href” markup for the link?

26 Mark August 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Done. And check this out:
View Larger Map

27 Daniel Spratlin August 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Thank you kindly sir.

28 Larry August 20, 2010 at 12:42 pm

“Man is made in the image of God and, therefore, intrinsically valuable”

Which is why God instituted capital punishment for murder. However, there’s a HUGE stretch from there to calling a place ‘sacred’ because a certain number of people died there. What is the required number? If it were only 2,500 would it still qualify for ‘sacred’ status? What about 1,000 or 100 or 10 or 1? Perhaps every time a drunk driver kills someone “innocent” the intersection where the accident happened becomes sacred ground.

Is Hiroshima sacred? Most of the people who died there were women and children who had no role at all in the war.

The ‘sacredness’ of Ground Zero is a teaching of American civil religion, not Biblical Christianity.

(“Yet Feisal Abdul Rauf said that of America about 9/11.” – What were you saying about ad hominem? He was also an FBI informant BTW.)

29 Dan Smith August 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Is your citizenship in heaven or America? The only sacred ground I know of in America is…ok, there isn’t any.

This is a voting year issue, and I do believe the Muslims behind it know that. Furthermore, they know that there is now no victory for the conservative side. If they let them build (not that they have a choice) it looks like we caved. If we don’t, it looks like we’re suppressing rights of religious thought. No way around it. It’s really well-played if you think about it.

30 Mark August 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Larry,

You make a good point about the sacredness of Ground Zero. I understand it’s a sensitive subject. The 9/11 attack was an awful demonstration of evil. It would be an interesting study to biblically argue for the sacredness of any place in modern times where such an attack took place. I’m not sure it could be sustained.

31 Daniel Spratlin August 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm

“Which is why God instituted capital punishment for murder.”

To be carried out by the state upon those whom have taken the life of another unjustly and don’t respect the image of God. Don’t equivocate.

“However, there’s a HUGE stretch from there to calling a place ‘sacred’ because a certain number of people died there. What is the required number?  If it were only 2,500 would it still qualify for ‘sacred’ status? What about 1,000 or 100 or 10 or 1?  Perhaps every time a drunk driver kills someone “innocent” the intersection where the accident happened becomes sacred ground.”

You’ve completely missed the point. It is not sacred because of the number alone. It is sacred because of the magnitude. Number, method, motive, etc. all add to the magnitude.

A death from a car accident is tragic but it is not nearly on level with 9/11.

“Is Hiroshima sacred?  Most of the people who died there were women and children who had no role at all in the war.”

Another action taken by the state. I’m not sure if I would consider it sacred though because I don’t consider the actions unjust. Hiroshima again isn’t on par with 9/11 which was an unprovoked attack on an entirely civilian target by a terrorist group.

“The ‘sacredness’ of Ground Zero is a teaching of American civil religion, not Biblical Christianity.”

And that very well may be true. But Biblical Christianity no more condemns than it does condone holding Ground Zero to be sacred. I don’t believe you can be dogmatic either way.

However, as I said previously, the “sacred” argument can be taken away and my position still stands on the law.

“(“Yet Feisal Abdul Rauf said that of America about 9/11.” – What were you saying about ad hominem?”

Perhaps you’re not familiar with what “ad hominem” means?

“He was also an FBI informant BTW.)”

And Osama was funded and trained by the CIA. Doesn’t excuse him.

32 Mark August 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

A friend sent me an article that offers another perspective. Check it out. What do you think?

33 Daniel Spratlin August 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm

“Is your citizenship in heaven or America?”

Yes.

“Furthermore, they know that there is now no victory for the conservative side. If they let them build (not that they have a choice) it looks like we caved. If we don’t, it looks like we’re suppressing rights of religious thought. No way around it. It’s really well-played if you think about it.”

America suppresses religious thought all the time. The Constitution refers to a “Creator” and “Nature’s God.” That suppresses Buddhism. Yet no one is crying foul.

To suggest that America is or should be religiously neutral is a utopian fantasy and ignorant of reality.

Not to mention that Islam is the very definition of religious suppression.

34 Larry August 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm

“Don’t equivocate.”

As you asked about ad hominem I’ll have to ask if you know what equivocate means. I did not use one word in two different ways nor was I deliberately unclear in what I was saying. I simply cited the Biblical evidence that supports the value of human life – showing that it stops well short of canonizing a piece of real estate because human beings died there.

“However, as I said previously, the “sacred” argument can be taken away and my position still stands on the law.”

No the ‘sacredness’ of ‘ground zero’ is the hinge on which this whole door swings. Its the first thing you hear when people are arguing against it. It has to be – because apart from that emotional appeal, there are no legal grounds for opposition. They are legally completely within their rights to do as they please with this piece of property.

“Perhaps you’re not familiar with what “ad hominem” means?”

Argumentum ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine a speaker’s argument by attacking the speaker instead of addressing the argument. For example: you don’t like what the Imam said so his desire to build a building in Manhattan is by definition wrong.

“But Biblical Christianity no more condemns than it does condone holding Ground Zero to be sacred”

Attributing to a piece of real estate one of the attributes of God is a pretty clear cut issue to me. God tells us what is and is not holy and He’s said nothing about ‘ground zero’.

“And Osama was funded and trained by the CIA. Doesn’t excuse him.”

It doesn’t excuse him – it condemns us.

35 Larry August 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm

That’s a very well balanced take Mark. I usually like what Ivan Eland writes.

His best point is that people getting all jazzed up over this crowds out the real problems this country is facing and the discussion that needs to go on around those.

36 Howell Scott August 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Larry,

I would agree with you on some points and disagree with you on other points. Are there those, including politians, who are trying to use legal process via the government to stop this project? Yes. I have written on my blog that this type of government intervention is wrong. Some, like Newt Gingrich, who wants to give rights to Muslims in this country only when Christians and Jews in Saudi Arabia are allowed to build churches and synagogues, is not only wrong-headed, but violates conservative prinicples. If the property in question, which is near Ground Zero, is zoned for the building of a mosque, then I believe that the Muslims have a legal and constitutional right to build at that location. I’m not sure you will get much disagreement from anyone here on the legal point.

However, that does not mean that anyone must be forced to like, support, endorse, or condone the building of the mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. That politicians on both sides of this issue, including President Obama, who clumsily commented on the matter last Friday, will use this as a political football from now until the elections in November. This has been, from almost the very beginning, a political issue and not an issue of religious freedom or historic Baptist principles, IMO.
Finally, as to the holiness or sacredness of the location, I agree that it is not holy in the Biblical sense of that word. I would direct your attention to two articles by Charles Krauthammer that might be helpful,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/12/AR2010081204996.html and
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/19/AR2010081904769.html

37 Daniel Spratlin August 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm

“As you asked about ad hominem I’ll have to ask if you know what equivocate means.  I did not use one word in two different ways nor was I deliberately unclear in what I was saying. I simply cited the Biblical evidence that supports the value of human life – showing that it stops well short of canonizing a piece of real estate because human beings died there.”

You said in response to my claim that man is made in God’s image “Which is why God instituted capital punishment for murder.” I took this to be sarcastic as in “If that were true then why capital punishment?” Hence the reason I mentioned equivocation as I thought you were equivocating what God commands people to do with what God gives the state the right to do. If this wasn’t your intention I apologize. Text is sometimes not suitable in sensing intent.

“No the ‘sacredness’ of ‘ground zero’ is the hinge on which this whole door swings.  Its the first thing you hear when people are arguing against it.  It has to be – because apart from that emotional appeal, there are no legal grounds for opposition.  They are legally completely within their rights to do as they please with this piece of property.”

There are certainly legal grounds. (1) The people wish it and therefore have the power to make it legal/illegal, (2) such a project is considered sufficiently inflammatory so as to disturb the peace, (3) we tell people all the time what they can and cannot do with their property. They aren’t autonomous.

“Argumentum ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine a speaker’s argument by attacking the speaker instead of addressing the argument.  For example: you don’t like what the Imam said so his desire to build a building in Manhattan is by definition wrong.”

It would be an ad hominem if I attacked the speaker. I attacked the speaker’s position as evidenced in his own words. This is called “using testimony” and certainly not fallacious. If I’d said “He’s wrong because he has a beard” then I’d be committing an ad hominem fallacy.

My original charge was your use of a tu quoque fallacy in that you argued since some conservatives are inconsistent in their position that there position itself is wrong.

“Attributing to a piece of real estate one of the attributes of God is a pretty clear cut issue to me.  God tells us what is and is not holy and He’s said nothing about ‘ground zero’.”

Nor does God tell us through Paul to not get drunk off of beer. Only wine is mentioned.

You’re going to have a hard time convincing me that the site where 3,000 innocent people made in God’s image were murdered is not somehow significant or deserving of our protection.

Otherwise I say let’s just build a really big Walmart there and sell “I survived 9/11” t-shirts. Or maybe a Nazi memorabilia stand near Auschwitz?

38 Tikatu August 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm

This thread reprints the history of St. Nicholas Hellenic Orthodox Church’s struggle to rebuild after its destruction by the fall of the South Tower.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3426

Why is this not being discussed in light of the Islamic Center? My opinion: This is a tiny church without deep pockets, and one that will likely not bring in the tourists and money that a 13-story Islamic center and mosque would.

.

Previous post:

Next post: