The (Not) Mosque (Not) at Ground Zero

Posted Monday, August 16, 2010, at 12:35 AM
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    Hey Micheal - since I have had my recent "Come to Jesus" moment, and come to grips with the fact that America is not Christian nation, I really see no reason to stop the Muslim Cultural Center.

    When Paul (the Apostle) traveled to Greece, he took note of all the different gods, religions and philosophies. Paul eagerly sought opportunities to debate the great thinkers and proclaim the Gospel of Christ.

    What I find curious is this: Why is it that the left seems to have unending patience, tolerance and understanding of Islam compared to Christianity?

    No need to answer my learned friend, I know the answer.

    Barack Obama and Sarah Palin both claim to be Christians, but you and I know what is what, don't we? We see our President bend over repeatedly for anything Islamic or Muslim.

    Since there is so much talk about bridge building, do you support Greg Gutfeld's idea to put a gay bar next door that caters to gay Muslims? Maybe a Hooters would be nice next door to the "cultural center".

    Islam does not scare you Michael because you know it is a fraud. Christianity scares you because you know it's true. Just as Sarah Palin scares you because you know, down inside, that the woman has the stones to carry a true message of the Republic of the United States. Setting her up as some sort of "boogie man" is the lefts last resort to discredit what they fear.

    I think you know that Palin's message resonates with many, and just as the left tried to smear Reagan when he began his national political career, the attacks ultimately backfired, and it will again.

    I am givin' you the raspberries here only 'cuss I like ya.

    You mentioned "fear mongering" several times. I don't think it is fear mongering to expose the reality of Islam. This is no religion of peace. This is a religion that treats women as cattle. That fact alone should have true leftists standing against the building of a monument to a bunch of chauvinist pigs.

    How do you adjudicate this with modern liberal thought?

    This is what always leads me to think that you libs have some sort of "death wish" for America. I don't wish to be too harsh, but it seems at times that libs will support anything, or anyone that wishes America ill.

    -- Posted by sameldridge on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 1:53 AM
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    Actually Sam I fear no religion. I understand all of them. I have studied all of them. The two largest religions in the world are Christianity and Islam. Both are seen as warring religions. Is it the absolute truth about both religions? Far from it.

    But that doesn't stop people from making that claim. There are for more peace loving Christians than the warmongering Christians. The problem is that we really only hear from the warmongering Christians because they are louder.

    Just as there are for more peace loving Muslims than the warmongering Muslims. But as with Christianity the warmongering Muslims are much louder that peace loving Muslims.

    It's a sad fact of life that human beings, for whatever reason, need war in their life. I can't explain it, no one can explain it really.

    I feel sorry for you Sam. I am sorry that you have let your fear of another religion so overcome you that you would cast an entire people in an evil light because of a few. Islam and Christianity share the same God, their prophets are just different. The two religions are a lot closer than either religion wants to admit.

    But in the end the hatred or fear of another religion has no bearing on the Muslim Center. We still have a Constitution in this country and it guarantees Freedom of Religion. They are building this center a few blocks away from Ground Zero, not at the site.

    President Obama "bends over" as you so eloquently put it because he is attempting to build bridges between our country and the Middle East. We have seen what years of war and yelling at each other across the oceans have accomplished, diddly. He is taking a new tact and hopefully it will work.

    What is it that Sarah Palin is preaching exactly? That you can quit a public office whenever you want and not see any consequences? That you can trash an entire segment of the American population because they aren't like you? That you can use your children as political fodder but the second that someone else picks up on that the kids are suddenly off limits? How about that you can absolutely lie about what's in a bill that you have never seen, get caught in that lie, and still be credible?

    You say she claims to be a Christian but I really have never seen her exhibit the values of Christ.

    It's fine, though, Sam. We have an ideological difference. I want to see this country actually stay to it's original promise of accepting everyone, you want to treat an entire religion as a war religion based on your fear and misunderstanding of them.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 9:58 AM
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    I don't think the issue is really whether there is a legal right to build a Mosque wherever one wants to, I'm pretty sure we can all agree that whomever has the right to do pretty much whatever they want to with their land. The issue here seems to be more of a personal morality than constitutionality. As the wise Henry Desalvo said: "This isn't about rules, it's about manners. Now there's no rule that says that I cant come over here and **** on your entree. But I don't do it. Why? Because it's not good manners."

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 11:13 AM
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    Was McVeigh acting in what he saw was the Glory of God that he was a warrior for his religion? And did millions of people support him and cheer for him in the streets?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 11:41 AM
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    Another question I meant to add, where those three churches build after the bombing, or were they there before? Did you account for churches that were there prior to the event? I guess that's two questions.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 11:42 AM
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    Interesting information, I'm not sure that it applies to my question directly but thanks for the info.

    On a personal note, I've always wanted to ask you if you were a bigot when you were a right winger? You don't have to answer just something I'm curious about.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 1:35 PM
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    But I am a Conbot as you and Loud were fond of pointing out, that is not my argument so how does that fit in with your world view and exempt you from having to back up your argument while you complain that others must.

    I like how you throw up an unthoughtful remark and your defense of it is that you shouldn't have to defend it.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 1:52 PM
  • All Christian churches should be banned in Oklahoma city because of Timothy McVeigh's (right wing Christian Zealot) killing of several Americans using your same logic. This is America. We have freedom of religion! Would a new mosque be tolerated in McCook? Probably about as well as bringing in fine black college athletes to play for the McCook college football team in the 60s. Avoid them because they are different.

    -- Posted by BuffRoam on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 2:59 PM
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    SW, Reformed's post refers directly to your question. You had asked if any of the churches in Oklahoma City were built after the bombing or there before.

    Reformed stated that the people that own and run the mosque that is two blocks further up the street were moving to a new place. The mosque in question was built before 9/11, therefore using your suggested logic no one should have a problem with the Muslim Center because it was there prior to 9/11 they are just moving to a new site.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 5:48 PM
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    This article sums up the false controversy being played over and over in the news media about the center.

    Apparently Americans don't care for strip clubs, bars and OTBs (not to mention another mosque) from being built in the same area as Ground Zero, but apparently this center just takes the cake.

    Or more precisely politicians are once again using 9/11 and Ground Zero for their own political gains.

    At least one news outlet is reporting on the site and using the specific (and correct) locations.

    It's a good rundown of how the misplacement of the actual location can actually steer a story.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 7:59 PM
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    It's a grand old bipartisan hate fest with the building of the Islamic Center. Harry Reid (ie Satan to Conservatives) recently had this to say about the center:

    "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else,"

    Sorry Senator but the second part completely negates the first. If you think that a religious building should be built someplace other than where it is planned and support it being moved then no you do not in fact respect the first amendment.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 8:09 PM

    Off topic of Obama support of Muslim center at Ground Zero where Muslim extremists killed more Americans than Japanese killed in Pearl Harbor sneak attack that put America into World War 2.

    This is a story that illustrates Obama lack of concern with border issues.

    Put this on wrong section first time. Sorry for duplication.

    -- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 4:55 AM
  • -- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 4:57 AM
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    Outside of the Fred Phelps, what do BTK and Tim McVeigh have to do with Christianity? Did their faith lead them to commit those acts, were they acting in the name of God? Right on with the nutball Phelps comment but I think you are stretching a bit thin there.

    So is Harry Reid now a conbot?!?!?!?!

    An open question: Just because someone has the right to do something, does it make it right for them to do so?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 9:10 AM
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    I have an analogy I'd like your input on, since you say you can't be in support of the constitution and personally feel putting building a new mosque a couple of blocks away from Ground Zero is a bad idea.

    If the constitution allows people to own and carry firearms, why did you throw such a fit when the silly tea party people were walking around with bared arms, showing how tough they were? Doesn't the constitution allow them to do so and weren't you by your logic about Reid, negating their right to do so by saying they shouldn't. Which I agreed was pretty stupid publicity stunt.

    I haven't seen any rational people suggesting that they don't have the right to build a mosque, has there been a big push saying they don't have the legal right to do so by anyone that I've missed?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 10:08 AM
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    I disagree, who was hurt at the tea party rally? How is that an issue of public safety? Are you not making an overly generalized and unwarranted fearful assumption about gun owners and tea party members? I am trying to make a point about how one can support rights but disagree with the expression of those rights.

    But if you can't see that as an apt analogy how about one about religion. Why do you not crow your support for Fred Phelps, after all he is only expressing his constitutionally protection freedoms of religion and expression?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 11:59 AM
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    How can you say that people must be concerned about their safety from a group of people who have not shown they are unsafe in one case but not the other? True people shoot and kill others valid point, but on the other hand do not Muslims kill and threaten people daily as well? If all people who have guns must be a threat, why then are not all Muslims? You can't have it both ways. Personally I agree that there is no threat from the majority of Muslims just as I would hope you would agree there is no threat from the majority of gun owners.

    I'm glad you are happy that Phelps pickets funerals, and think he is in the right to do so. I tend to disagree that it is the right thing to do, but I understand he has the right to do so. At least you are being consistent, I just hope to never see you complain about the choices other people make, because it is within thier right to do so.


    I'm sorry you were so incapable of independent thought you listened to all the drivel of idiots. I just have some concern that you may have just switched teams not thought process.

    Do you believe, like Guillermo, that Phelps is doing the correct thing by picketting funerals?

    The question I have never heard answered by anyone on the left isn't whether they have the right to build a mosque but that it is THE right thing to do, outside of Bloomberg that is.

    Another question: Because I don't think it is the right thing to do for Phelps to picket funerals does that make me an anti-Christian bigot?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 1:09 PM
  • Bottom line is that they have the right to build it which isn't even really being debated. They are being asked to move it from that location by people opposed to it. Those people have the right to ask that they not build there. They even have the right to protest it being built. So everybody is within their rights. Making accusations without concrete evidence, that attack a person's character or reputation on either side is pushing the limits of your rights due to libel and slander laws.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 1:24 PM
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    Of course I'm twisting what he said about Phelps, but I'm doing it for emphasis because he refuses to answer my question. If you read my post you would see I agree that he has a constitutional right to do so, I believe that morally it is the wrong thing to do. That is really the only question I see with this debate. What I want is an honest answer from you and others on the left as to what you believe in this case morally not constitutionally. Leftists say time and again religion isn't the only basis for morality, but when a moral issue comes up they only attack them on religious grounds.

    Because you used to be a bigot when you were a right winger, do you now think anyone who is conservative is stupid, blind, and bigotted?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 1:44 PM
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    "If your position was that all Christians should be judged because of the actions of Phelps, and that churches shouldn't be built because of the things done by Phelps and others, then yes, you would be an anti-Christian bigot."

    Be careful reformedrightwinger, or Guillermo will soon lable you a conbot, didn't you know all of Christianity is to blame for the bad eggs. Not any other group just Christians and conservatives.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 1:47 PM
  • RRW,

    Whether it is a community center with a mosque or a mosque with a community center does not matter because it is mosque that is disputed. It also sounds like they will use the community center as a way of promoting Muslim beliefs which is also their right to do but does not sit well with the people who lost loved ones on 9/11 because of the several extreme Muslims that declared Jihad on them and all of America. There is the Imam that is allegedly linked to the project and he refuses to denounce terrorist groups which does not help their cause. They don't have access to Ground Zero but by their own admission they want it as close as they can get to Ground Zero to "heal tensions". Except they are creating even more tension. They would have to be asleep at the wheel to not realize they have made tensions worse and with victims' families as well. I think pushing the project at this location shows a lack of commitment to healing any tensions. When I first heard that, I thought for sure they would just move the project since they said their intent was to heal tensions but we're still here and I haven't seen any movement towards an alternative sight.

    I know the NY Governor offered to help them find an alternate site on state lands which I'm fine with but the ACLU seems to have problems with such things, that is if the ACLU are consistent with their interpretation of "separation of church and state". Maybe they've already commented on it, I'll have to look. The ACLU has been in court so many times though that governments now know how to achieve an end that is desirable to their community while killing any potential ACLU cases.


    I'm getting so tired of people saying America is creating terrorists because we do this or we do that. If that's how you want to look at it, America creates terrorists by its very existence and freedoms and liberties that are inherent in that existence. We strengthen the teachings of crazy radical terrorist teachers abroad by defending those freedoms against terrorists. Every day we refuse to bend to their will and the radical religious doctrines they believe in then we help recruit terrorists. They will continue to do this until everyone is either dead or converted to their beliefs and even if they got to that point the terrorism would not stop because they would be implementing their strict Sharia law which is a perfect law for a society run by a bunch of terrorists. The best way to prevent the recruitment of a terrorist is to catch the recruiters. If this issue and America's reaction to it is all a person needs to become a terrorist than that person was bound to become one anyway. I can just see the junior terrorist now... "Americans don't like a mosque/community center being built by Ground Zero?"... "Those infidels, I wage Jihad on those meanies, sign me up Usama". Yep, I'm sure that's the straw that broke the camel's back for them, for sure.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 6:40 PM
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    @McCook1 I would actually guess the US indiscriminately bombing the crap out of them directly after 9/11 angered them quite a bit. Wait, perhaps it was the US arming Sadam, Osama, ect before we decided we were against them? When we armed them for our own desires and they began commiting genocide against there own people that probably didn't make them that happy.

    The US in the middle east isn't protecting anything in the US. The only thing we are doing over there is losing American lives. The best part about the whole thing is we invaded another nation without any kind of provocation. I find it curious the UN isn't bringing up many people in the previous administration on war crimes. The US having committed torture ect.

    Let them put there mosque wherever they want. I find it interesting that people quip about this but within our town you can't have a liquor store within X number of feet within a church. Nor can you sell hard liquor on Sunday. I'm curious why people aren't more up in arms about this? As these are for more constrictive views based on religion than a simple mosque.

    -- Posted by Damu on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 8:41 PM
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    @Molly I'm not sure if you watch South Park (If you don't you really should it's easily one of the smartest satirical shows on tv) but they actually had an entire episode censored because it was about Muhammad. My query is why didn't this raise the kind of outrage we are seeing with this? America being based on free speech and all the soldiers fighting for our right to it you would have thunk this would have struck closer to home.

    -- Posted by Damu on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 8:43 PM
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    "Off topic of Obama support of Muslim center at Ground Zero where Muslim extremists killed more Americans than Japanese killed in Pearl Harbor sneak attack that put America into World War 2."

    Wallis, I know you can't control yourself when it comes to lying and fearmongering but this is low, even for you. You are an educated man, so it really surprises me that despite the facts of what's going on and where the center is to be built, you would still claim that it is being built at Ground Zero and then evoke 9/11 in the same sentence. I don't really know why you continue to lie about things. You are a smart man but you continually get caught in your lies.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 12:15 PM
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    On the question of terrorism, I would say that all the posts that have appeared on this blog in opposition to the site of the planned Muslim Center pretty much proves that terrorism is working. All of your objections are based on fear and hatred of a very small group of Muslims that terrorized our country. Now you throw the Constitution out the window so that you can protest the building. Nothing else that has been built in this area has been opposed, yet this is.

    SW the difference is pretty simple even if you refuse to accept it. It only takes one nutjob at those rallies to fire his gun into a crowd of people injuring many and killing many. The last time I checked public buildings can't kill people. The two examples are not even comparable. One is about public safety (yes they have the constitutional right to bear arms but in a heated debate where emotions and misunderstandings run high should they?) the other is about fear and hatred of a group of people based on misguided, ignorant, and plan hatred. If the the right to bear arms is not questionable then how is freedom of religion.

    To the other, I have heard this argument before and it holds little water. By protesting this building and suggesting that the site be moved we are violating their freedom of religion.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 12:26 PM
  • Molly,

    The extremist Muslim terrorists want America either off the map or compliant with their ways and their desire for our compliance with their ways means we are defending all of our freedoms.

    I haven't made any suggestion to legislate by emotions or bible verses so your point is moot.

    We are marked because we don't believe as they do and every religion in this country is protected equally. You think a group of American citizens protesting a mosque near Ground Zero is going to make terrorists start multiplying? Try putting a Christian Church/Community Center within 20 miles of Mecca and see how tolerant they are of other religions. That doesn't inspire me to commit acts of terrorism against them though.

    At some point people have to recognize individual responsibility and realize there are just bad people out there who want to do us harm and they must be stopped. The idea that we can prevent any recruitment of terrorism

    "But you skirt the point, I'm not that dumb."

    I addressed a very specific point that you made about this notion that this is going to recruit terrorists who presumably, would have never been against us anyway. So I don't see how that's skirting around anything. Although it begs the question... Just how dumb are you then? I'm only kidding but you walked into that one.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 12:59 PM
  • Damu,

    Let me get this straight... We should be worried about recruiting terrorists because of our reaction to already being attacked by terrorists? Hmmm, seems to me they already had enough hate to attack us without any invasions, mosque debates or going after terrorists. To say we are bombing indiscriminately is on the same level as calling our troops baby killers. They are not just going around and saying, "hey, that looks like a good place to drop a bomb". They are using the best intelligence they have available to select targets associated with terrorists and their operations. We have captured and killed many terrorists while we've been over there and we've got some of their top leaders too so I would hardly say that all we are doing is losing US lives. Our problem before was that we only used Usama and the Afghans for our sole purpose but we did not offer them the aid and support to rebuild their country into a modern nation. We got what we wanted and we were out of there with no regard for the mess that was left. That was the mistake we made.

    In my town of McCook, we have a church that moved in next to a liquor store and the liquor store is open on Sundays so I guess we have nothing to be up in arms about here, in that regard.


    "Now you throw the Constitution out the window so that you can protest the building."

    I can't even believe you of all people could make such a contradictory statement. The Constitution is what gives people the right to protest, you know this.

    "By protesting this building and suggesting that the site be moved we are violating their freedom of religion."

    Freedom of religion in the First Amendment is meant to prevent government from interfering with that right whether it be freedom of religion or freedom of speech. People are still free to protest anything with their first amendment rights. I can't believe you of all people would misinterpret the First Amendment this way. You have specifically told people who accuse you of violating their first amendment right to free speech that it's impossible for you to do that because it's only meant to prevent government from violating that right. Well Mike, freedom of religion and freedom of speech work the same way in that regard, I can't violate a person's freedom of speech anymore than I can violate their freedom of religion because I'm not the government using my power to violate their first amendment rights. You need to go back and study because you seem to have forgotten how the First Amendment works.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 1:28 PM
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    @McCook1 Since I live in the same town as you I know of the church at the Old Hinky Dinky as well. That liquor store location is grand fathered in because it existed before the church was constructed.

    Also, on the video wiki leaks posted a while a back it kind of looked like they were indiscriminately gunning down a number of Reuters reporters and an entire van of civilians.

    -- Posted by Damu on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 1:36 PM
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    The reason you didn't understand my analogy is that we were making too different points. I am not questioning the legal right to build a mosque anywhere, just as I was not questioning the legal right to bear arms. I was questioning the moral right and common sense in doing so. A question no one has answered. You just interpret part of my post then go off on a tangent without answering the question.

    Yes I was being dishonest, if you read my response to reformedrightwinger I said as much. I wasn't trying to be suble and twist your argument I was trying to be over the top to show that you weren't answering my question. I thought it was pretty clear. However that terrible leap in logic is no different than regularly happens when you or others post the most extreme examples of Christians and apply them to all. I'm sorry you can't see that.

    The point I have tried to make, again, is the difference between a legal right and a moral right. The analogy of the guns/religion is fine if you would try to look at it from a different perspective. Stop comparing religion and guns, compare freedom and freedom. Again, I am not arguing anything religious just about freedom and responsibility in general.

    I'm sorry if I misconstrued your argument about guns at protests. When you said they were a public safety issue, I thought you meant you believed they were safety issue, not that the argument could be made they are a safety issue. Of course the argument can be made it is a safety issue. Why can you not see that some of those people who don't want a mosque there also see it as a safety issue. It doesn't mean they are right but that is the argument. The argument isn't that Muslims shouldn't have freedom to express religion, the argument is the Cordoba group shouldn't build a mosque there.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 1:38 PM
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    Think about this for a second:

    "It only takes one nutjob at those rallies to fire his gun into a crowd of people injuring many and killing many."

    How many Muslim nutjobs did it take to kill 3000 people? True more than one, but I don't think one nutjob with a gun could probably kill 3000 at a rally. And before anyone freaks out, I don't think all Muslims are terrorists, but it only takes one do do damage.

    As I tried to explain to Guillermo, we are looking at different aspects of the argument, I was trying to make a point about freedom vs. freedom and you are reading an argument about guns vs. religion. Obviously I failed at getting my point accross but I would like you to try to look at it a different way rather than keep making critiques based on an argument I didn't try to make in the first place.

    Why were you so upset at tea party ralliers with guns anyway, they were just expressing their freedoms like the Cordoba group wants to?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 1:44 PM
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    @Mccook Also, when we go to attach a nation that the terrorists weren't even from I'm going to say that yes. We are definitely breeding more terrorists with are actions. Check the 9/11 report the terrorists that attacked us were Saudi Arabian if memory serves me correct, and had nothing to do with Iraq.

    -- Posted by Damu on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 1:51 PM
  • -- Posted by Damu on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 2:05 PM
  • @McCook1 Since I live in the same town as you I know of the church at the Old Hinky Dinky as well. That liquor store location is grand fathered in because it existed before the church was constructed.

    Yes a prime retail location was taken off of the tax roles and turned into a non-profit property to create the "paper or plastic" church. Why did McCook need another "Christian" church. There were several in town already and according to Sam all Christians think alike!

    -- Posted by BuffRoam on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 2:11 PM
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    I used to work at the old Hinky Dinky. Still have my nametag. I miss that store. I love telling people that I worked at a Hinky Dinky, because their reaction is always the same, "A Hinky what?"

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 2:31 PM
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    Yeah Kevin Siebrant used to playfully harass me all the time when I went there. Many fond memories of the place when I was much younger.

    -- Posted by Damu on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 2:33 PM
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    I told you why I had a problem with it. I am not really sure how you missed that. I never freaked out about it, though, that's a gross mischaracterization (which seems be prevalent around here lately).

    I believe my arguments at the time was that a church was allowing a man to brandish a gun on their property. My other argument was that if someone had shown up at a speech given by then President Bush with a gun (as they did at an Arizona speech with Obama), the talking heads, Fox News, and all of right wing radio would have been calling for that man's head. He probably would have even been escorted to another location.

    It has nothing to to with the right it has to do with these people (specifically in the Obama speech case) were extremely close to the President. At any other time in our history that man would have been escorted away, today is allowed to stay and anyone who is uncomfortable with that is told to shut up.

    Your freedom v freedom point would be valid if you weren't completely ignoring the public safety part of the equation. You have told both me and GI that we are only looking at it a specific way and yet you refuse to look at it our way. Where a building is put will not pose a public safety issue, someone brandishing a gun just because clearly does.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 2:38 PM
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    Having your comments removed off a website because you violate the terms of service of that site and telling a group they can't put their center where they want (even if that group continues to tell the other group they can't put their building in a spot where the group isn't even putting it) because of religious differences are two totally completely different things.

    But fine let's go with your argument.

    I'm sure that you know of the Westboro Church group, as they have been mentioned time and time again on this site. What they do is absolutely disgusting. They protest the funerals of our fallen soldiers because of their misreading of Bible. Yet they can't be arrested, they can't even be asked to move because they are actually protected by the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion.

    As far as the Muslim Center goes, yes the governor of New York and mayor of New York City have both come out against this center and have even offered to help pay the group to find a new site. So, actually, yes their Freedom of Religion is being violated.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 2:47 PM
  • Thank you Michael. Well said.

    Timothy McVeigh said he was raised Roman Catholic and although didn't agree with the entire religion, still considered himself that. He killed 168 people. If they want to build a Catholic church near the place of the bombing, would people be in an uproar? No, because they believe Jesus is the savior and everyone else is wrong. It is purely hypocritical. I love how you point out what the Constitution states about freedom of religion, and yet most Christian Conservatives only see what they want to see in the Constitution and nothing more and nothing less. Again, purely hypocritical.

    @sameldridge: Islam does not scare me. Christianity is what scares me. Why? Because I live in an area that is ran by Christians and I am reminded everyday by the hatred Christians feel for everyone that believes differently (LGBT groups, other religions, etc). I have a friend that is Muslim and I accept his religion and he accepts my lack of religion. I'd have to say I'd rather be friends with a Muslim that accepts the idea of Atheism over a Christian who tries to convert me. History has a way of repeating itself, and I hope to be alive the day that Christianity dies.

    -- Posted by brandnewrx on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 2:56 PM
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    I hate to say it Molly but I am pretty much convinced the next group to face the intolerances are either going to be the Muslims (forms of it can clearly be seen today) or Mexicans (not everyone that comes across the border is Mexican but that doesn't stop some from claiming that they are anyways).

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 4:27 PM
  • Ironically, the Mexican population contains many very devoted Christians. Apparently the Christian bond stops at the border.

    -- Posted by BuffRoam on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 4:34 PM
  • Pope John Paul had a huge turnout in Mexico City.

    -- Posted by BuffRoam on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 4:37 PM
  • Damu,

    Umm... the grandfather clause would only be applicable if the liquor store AND the church were already in that same location. The fact is that anywhere that would have that law, the law would work like this: a church can move next to a liquor store but a liquor store can't move next to a church. Seems to me though, that if it was such a religious issue of the day then a church wouldn't move next to a liquor store. It's an antiquated issue just like Sunday liquor sales and that's why the Sunday liquor sales law was repealed several years ago in McCook and fast tracked to go into effect just in time for Christmas, no less.

    I have greater faith in our military than to believe they just "got a hair" so to speak and decided to shoot randomly at people they had no reason to suspect was a danger to them. Whether that sense of danger was warranted after the fact or not, could go either way. I've never been in combat but I'm sure it's very stressful and everyone is on edge but I do not believe an entire group of soldiers would knowingly shoot civilians. We have had some rogue soldiers that have gone way too far and they need to be dealt with and punished harshly but I would not make such a general statement to affiliate our entire mission over there with the criminal acts of a few.


    You're just grasping at straws now. You didn't say the Governor or the Mayor. You said "we" are violating their rights which does not indicate you meant the Governor and Mayor. Unless the Governor or Mayor force them to take that offer then their right has not been violated.

    I'm with the overwhelming majority of Americans about how disgusting the Westboro Church is but yes, they do have the right to carry out their disgusting acts. But we also have the right to counter-protest them as I did with the Patriot Guard at the funeral of Randy Matheny here in McCook. He deserved respect and his family deserved the opportunity to mourn in peace but the Westboro Wackos showed up to ruin that and the Patriot Guard was lined up right in front of the Wackos with rows of American flags to block the protesters and their signs from the view of the family and we sang patriotic songs to drown out their hateful rants. We didn't want their message getting through to the families so we exercised our First Amendment right to protest their protest. Now, were we violating their First Amendment rights because we didn't want them to be heard with their radical message? I think not, because a group of protesters cannot violate the first amendment rights of anyone when they are simply exercising their own first amendment rights. The protesters are exercising their right to protest the location of this project and the people behind the mosque are expressing their right to build it. Neither side is violating anybody's rights.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 4:44 PM
  • *

    @Mccook1 I was there as well and although I also agree with Westboros right to protest. I greatly appreciated what you guys did for Randy that day.

    -- Posted by Damu on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 4:56 PM
  • Molly,

    I never said we were defending our freedoms from Muslims in New York. Peaceful, law-abiding Muslims are not the problem. Extremist Muslim terrorists are the problem and they are the ones we need to defend our freedoms against. I only referred to that fringe as a threat to our freedoms.

    I believe we do still need to go after terrorists wherever we can get to them. However, I think it should be done as individual counter-terrorism missions. Right now, we have a mess in Iraq and Afghanistan and we can't just leave those countries in shambles or we'll repeat the same mistake we made with Afghanistan and tyrants will rule again. We need to get them stabilized, up and running on their own two feet and get out. I do think we should maintain small bases like we do in Germany for tactical and support reasons and Embassies for diplomacy as we would in so many other countries.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 5:01 PM
  • Molly,

    If Afghanistan can't take care of its own affairs with a stable government of its own then it is destined to become run by the Taliban or possibly a worse group that sprouts up. That is what happened when we left there the last time. We left with a weak government in place and did nothing to help them with things like health facilities, basic utility infrastructure and educational facilities. Then the government was later taken over by tyrants and thugs.

    If we leave Afhanistan better than we found it then we will win support but if we leave it a mess like we did last time then they will be hard pressed to evere believe that we have changed. We went in there before because we wanted to defeat Soviets then left when the Soviets were gone, leaving the country a mess. Now we went in there to defeat terrorism and the Taliban, even if we wiped out all terrorists and the Taliban, we cannot leave without helping that country to progress beyond where they were before we arrived. Otherwise, they will think we're still the same as we were before, not caring about them at all and only our own interests.

    Many of the Afghan people provided vital information on terrorists, combat assistance and guides to assist our troops. They deserve our help to bring their country into the 21st century and all the benefits that go along with it. If Afghanistan's government takes an strong and active stance against terrorism and has facilities and infrastructure to enrich their country and society then we win. I think that is very possible if we commit to it. I believe a strong relationship between the Afghan people and America is also an important first step in greater rights for women and similiar freedoms we enjoy in this country.


    Exactly right. Your example reminds me of a Boston Legal episode I saw one time, but I digress. Glad we agree.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 6:45 PM
  • *

    Looks as if President Obama is stayed true to his word of ending the combat mission in Iraq by August 31, 2010 as the last of the Styker Brigade exited Iraq today into Kuwait.

    He said all the way back in February or 2009 that by August 31st of this year between 35,000 to 50,000 troops would be left as trainers and advisers and he met that goal. No doubt he will get no credit for it.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 9:27 PM
  • Funny you should mention it. It just made breaking news that 56,000 troops will be left in Iraq after the latest troop withdrawal. Looks like he's getting credit to me. I do hope that when knowledge of terrorist locations come to our attention that they will be pursued and if the Iraqis need our help, I hope we make ourselves available to assist in their operations when they request it.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 10:22 PM
  • -- Posted by Damu on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 10:32 AM
  • *

    They are letting fear run their mind and hate run their heart. When that happens they are gullible to any lies and misinformation that is put in front of them.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 10:36 AM
  • *

    Why would you mindlessly assimilate information. Obviously any kind of "Thought" would tell you that the major media networks are all corporate owned, thus pushing agendas of there own.

    With the freedom of the internet, there is NO EXCUSE to not fact check something you are told that is allegedly factual by anybody.

    -- Posted by Damu on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 10:48 AM
  • I've never been big on artificial timelines. If we're needed, we stay and if we're not then we go. Obama seems to be willing to defer on military matters so maybe he'll be smart and maintain a tactical presence there.

    This is news to me. The facility in New York is going to be for multi-denominational worship across all religions?

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 11:27 AM
  • G.I.,

    I don't know what else to call it He claims to be keeping promises but when it comes to promises on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, it's good to know that his promises prior to that don't count. Although, I don't hear him talking about how he "inherited" that final troop withdrawal timeline from the Bush administration. I mean, after all, it's not Obama's fault the troops will be gone by then, because Bush was the one who negotiated the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement when he was in office.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 12:09 PM
  • G.I.,

    He promised to have combat troops out within 16 months of his presidency then he said "he would refine" that based on advisement from the military (smart choice) then he said the date was firm. Then in 2009, he changes the date. He went out of his way to let it be known the troop withdrawal would be on a 16 month timeline as a firm date. Then he got elected and he didn't have to worry about being honest anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of him taking the advisement of the military, as I'm sure he did when he "refined" the withdrawal date. However, in keeping this promise, he broke his prior promise of 16 months. It's a few months difference but he made it clear in no uncertain terms that the 16 month deadline was firm. Therefore, the kept/broken promise record is a wash on this one. He broke the original promise and he kept the revised promise.

    If he hadn't gone out of his way to say the 16 month date was firm and thereby trying to make people believe that military advisement wouldn't change that, then it wouldn't be worth mentioning. Except, he was adamant about not pushing back that deadline.

    I'm just glad he broke the first promise and used a bit more sound judgement this time.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 6:52 PM
  • Technically, he can withdraw every last troop whenever he wants all on his own but he is sticking with the timeline negotiated by the Bush administration. Wise move, in my opinion.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 7:01 PM
  • *

    You know it really is amazing how some of the people that claim to be opposed to the building of the Muslim Center can overlook or just ignore other mosques and their locations but not this one. The other mosque two blocks up doesn't bother them. Heck the mosque IN the Pentagon doesn't even bother them. But this Muslim Center? Look out.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 6:12 AM
  • *

    It's odd how Fox News distrusts Muslims so much despite their largest minority owner is not only a Muslim but a member of the ruling Saudi family, the country where the largest percentage of the attackers on 9/11 came from.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 11:20 AM
  • G.I.,

    Paragraph 2 is only applicable to the cities, villages and localities. Paragraph 3 still allows combat troops in Iraq but outside of cities, villages and localities. That's not a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, only for withdrawal from the cities, villages and localities. It also mentions agreed to facilities where combat forces may be stationed after June, 2009 but that those facilities can't be inside a city, village or locality.

    In order to say he kept a promise on the withdrawal of combat troops, we also have to look at all promises he made about pulling out combat troops. He made it very clear during the campaign that the 16 month deadline was a firm deadline that would not be changed based on advice from the military. It turns out this was not true. I would not support an artificial deadline without the advisement of our military which is what his firm 16 month deadline would have required. However, he made a promise to withdraw in 16 months and made it perfectly clear that was a firm date. He did not keep that promise so that is a broken promise. He did take advisement of the military and pushed back that deadline and made a new promise of having combat troops out by Aug 31, 2010 and that is a kept promise.

    I don't have to agree or disagree with his policy to point a promise kept or a promise broken. I'm just stating that he kept a promise but broke an earlier promise. A promise is a promise regardless of when it's made whether it's during the campaign or after he took office. I'm simply pointing out where he kept one promise and broke another.

    Mike was concerned Obama wouldn't get credit for keeping his promise on combat troop withdrawal by Aug 31, 2010 but I give him full credit for keeping that promise. However, if we want to give him credit for keeping a promise for combat troop withdrawal, we can't ignore the promise for combat troop withdrawal which he campaigned on to get elected and that is a promise he broke. Just pointing out the facts, is all.

    He was a United States Senator and had information to classified information and I'm sure Bush would not have barred him from receiving any information that he had available. You can say what you want about Bush but he went out of his way to make sure that Obama had every opportunity for a smooth transition and definitely wouldn't hold back information that would support a more prudent withdrawal policy. Even though, Obama constantly criticized Bush for taking the position that artificial timelines, without assessment from the military, was a bad idea. Then Obama followed the same position Bush took about being more prudent in a withdrawal policy. With him being a Senator/Presidential candidate receiving security briefings, I think he knew better but was just playing to his base to keep his supporters motivated. It's the same way politics has been played for generations so no change there.

    The timetable of the Bush administration I'm referring to, is the final withdrawal deadline at the end of 2011. The Status of Forces agreement above is a timeline Obama has to follow because it's a legally binding agreement between the U.S. and Iraq. He can always withdraw troops sooner than the agreement but he can't wait until after the final deadline for complete withdrawal. It also means that he had to have U.S. troops out of the cities, villages and localities by June 30, 2009 or else he would be in violation of that agreement.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 1:23 PM
  • Mike,

    The place of worship or meditation in the Pentagon is not a mosque. A mosque is "a building used for public worship by Muslims" and its not just for Muslims. You could be technical and refer to it as chapel which is "1 : a subordinate or private place of worship: as a : a place of worship serving a residence or institution b : a small house of worship usually associated with a main church c : a room or recess in a church for meditation and prayer or small religious services" but chapels are typically associated with Christianity and it's not just for Christians worship either.

    It is simply a place of worship for all faiths and a place of meditation for those without a faith. A mosque or church would not be allowed in the pentagon because of separation of church and state. Since they allow all faiths and even an atheist can go there and meditate with no affiliation to any religion, there is no establishment of religion or abolishment thereof because of the fact that it's not a church or a mosque or any other institution for a specific religion, unlike the mosque proposed near Ground Zero.

    Many people probably didn't know about the other mosque but I'm not aware of that mosque planning a huge project in their location. I may have misheard but I thought I heard a report on some people opposing mosques in their local communities. This whole thing is just spiralling out of control. This could all be resolved by the few developers wanting to push this project but they refuse and their stated goal of healing is becoming more and more questionable the longer they let this go on. The longer this goes on the more divided and heated the debate will become. If they wanted to heal tensions then they would show compassion and build elsewhere. What better way to heal those tensions than to do something that technically they don't have to do (move the location) and thus showing their willingness to address people's concerns with compassion for so many of the families. They have plenty of people willing to go above and beyond to help them find a new location, so lack of opportunity is no excuse.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 1:47 PM
  • *

    That's real classy McCook putting the blame on the people wanting to foster healing instead of the liars and pushers of hate and ignorance for making this an issue in the first place.

    As for the Pentagon, I was incorrect it is not a Mosque in and of itself, but Muslims do have a place to practice their religion in a building that was attacked by Muslims. If you take the same rhetoric being used against the Center in New York and applied it to the Pentagon you see how it just doesn't make sense.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 2:10 PM
  • *

    I almost let one part of what you said slip McCook but fortunately for you I caught myself.

    You said in your last post: "A mosque is 'a building used for public worship by Muslims'"

    Well guess what, there is no Mosque being built at the planned Muslim Center in New York. A prayer room is being built at the top. By the definition you gave there is no Mosque being built at that site.

    Pretty much invalidates the arguments doesn't it?

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 2:18 PM
  • A mosque does not allow all-faith worship anymore than a synagogue or church. Establishing a place that allows all-faith worship is something that I'm sure, enrages terrorists because it is for the worship of every religion. There's a big difference there.

    "A prayer room is being built at the top. By the definition you gave there is no Mosque being built at that site."

    Great, I've always wanted to go to New York. I guess when it's builit, I can go in and ask where the "prayer room" is so that I can pray to Yeshua for the strength to stop the spread of the false prophet Muhammed's teachings. Oh, I'm sure they'd point it out to me with nothing but enthusiasm.

    If the prayer room is for Muslim worship (prayer is worship, after all) then it is still a building for public worship by Muslims because it would be for Muslim worship only. Just because a part of it is for a community center doesn't mean a part of it isn't a mosque. That's like saying that a gift shop in a hotel is actually a hotel not a gift shop. A gift shop can be a building on its own or part of a building just like a chapel or mosque. If you don't consider it a mosque, it would kill the freedom of religion argument but I consider that argument invalid since we're talking about individual protesters and because there is a complete lack of action by the government to disallow the project so there are no violations anyway.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 3:41 PM
  • I will go on the record as saying, if they build a place that allows all faiths to share the same worship space as everyone else with equal access for all faiths to practice according to each person's faith, then I would not oppose it going in near Ground Zero because that would be a great showing of how, in America, all our faiths can co-exist. I think the place of worship in the Pentagon is a great example of the co-existence of differing faiths and a testament to our resolve to continue practicing or not practicing our faith as we determine as individuals and not be intimidated by terrorists with an extremist goal to force their ways upon us by force.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 3:50 PM
  • *

    So basically you are now changing your definition of a Mosque so that you can call the room in the Center a Mosque. Duly noted. Thanks McCook.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 4:18 PM
  • G.I.,

    "Or, in other words who cares?"

    Obviously, Mike cares. I was simply responding to his concern about Obama not getting credit for keeping a promise. If people only want to keep track of the promises he's kept than you don't get an accurate reflection of what really happened if you ignore the promise he broke. I stated that I'm glad he broke his original campaign promise. I'd be happy if he would have broken a few more so don't misunderstand me when I point out a broken promise. I'm not criticizing his decision that led to him breaking that promise. The whole point was about him getting credit for keeping his promises, which he deserves but we also have to point out when he breaks his promises, which he deserves. That's what accountability is all about.


    How has it changed? It's going to be a building and it's going to be used for public worship by Muslims. So, how does it not fit the definition? Churches sometimes double as community centers but they're still considered churches.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 4:50 PM
  • G.I.,

    "1) this is not being expressed outside of the McCook Gazette (at least not with any seriousness)"

    I'm sure that's true. I can only speak for my own opinions though.

    It's not them praying inside that has people upset. It's the symbolism of a grand building for a Muslim faith that spawned a fringe group with a religious motivation to commit a holy war on their country and their loved ones. It's a constant reminder of that. When family members see a large building dedicated to the Muslim faith, their first thought is not going to be, "not all Muslims are extremists". It will be "my loved one was killed by Muslim extremists who want Islam or death for everyone and now I can be reminded of that everytime I come down here". They understand that most Muslims are nothing like the extremists but they've gone through something that was put in motion because of people with extremist views of that Muslim faith. It's a psychological thing, not a prejudice. People often associate their worst experiences to a broad but specific group of people. How many black people have a initially negative view of white people because they have been the victims of racism by white people? Most white people are not like that and they understand that but their mind will associate their worst experiences first. An atheist who was a Christian and had a pushy or judgmental pastor will associate anything Christian with their worst experience of that pastor. It's not prejudice, it's psychological.

    The developers could be sympathetic to those feelings but seem set on this specific location. The ball is and always has been in their court. Nobody, that I have been hearing of anyway, has been saying they don't have the right to build there. They are just asking the developers to move it because if they don't move it then there is nothing anyone can do about it. Those opposed to it, understand this.

    We are agreed on accountability and the ridiculousness of the Obama as a Muslim thing. I thought this was put to bed 2 years ago but someone thought they should do a poll on it and drudge it up all over again. What's next? Are they going to do a poll about how many people think he's not an American citizen and ignite that can of worms all over again? That poll is what started all of this up again and the media just flew to it like flies to honey.

    I agree this is just a meaningless issue that shifts focus away from legitimate issues regarding the President such as 9.5% unemployment, millions of net job losses in the last 19 months and home-lending reforms that made the loan process more difficult to understand for homebuyers. There's plenty on the list, why concern ourselves with baseless junk like that?

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 6:38 PM
  • *

    Okay McCook let me try this a little clearer. In one post you stated that what was in the Pentagon could not be a mosque because in part it was not a building. When I pointed out that the room in the Center could not, under your definition, be a mosque because it was a room and not a building, you changed your own definition so that you could still call the room a mosque.

    Basically, by your definition it isn't a mosque in the Pentagon but it is in the Center. Even though it can't be a mosque in the Pentagon because it isn't a building, but in the Center the building part really doesn't matter.

    Can you understand the confusion that is created when you change the definition to fit what you want to say.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 9:36 PM
  • *

    My question is, if it is such a big deal that MAYBE Obama is a Muslim then why is not a big deal that the one network pushing that narrative the hardest is partly owned by a Muslim from the ruling class of a country where most of the terrorists on 9/11 were from?

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 9:38 PM
  • The Pentagon does not have a mosque because it's not for Muslims only, it's for everyone to worship according to their faith. The mosque in NY is not for worship by all religions, it's only for worship by Muslims, that is the difference between the 2 locations. Of course, they're both buildings.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Sun, Aug 22, 2010, at 5:56 PM
  • *

    You're missing your own point McCook. You were pretty steadfast in declaring what is in the Pentagon not a mosque partly because it was not a building, but a room. It was in your own definition.

    Then when the topic changed to the planned room in the Muslim Center you declared that it would be a mosque because it was a place were only Muslims were allowed to pray.

    You are using to different definitions for two rooms.

    Using your original definition the room in the planned Muslim Center cannot be a mosque because it is not a building but a room.

    I actually googled and yahooed mosque in Pentagon and the only thing that the websites can agree on is to not agree on whether there is or is not a mosque in the Pentagon.

    I guess it depends on what you think the definition of mosque is but right now McCook you are using two different ones.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Aug 22, 2010, at 8:32 PM
  • *

    I can't agree with you and the article more Molly. I would add that moderate Muslims are also taking notice to all of this as well.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 2:37 PM
  • *

    This certainly does not help their cause. A black man walks into a crowd protesting the Muslim Center site (even though they are protesting at the wrong place) and is immediately accosted by several protestors, including a man calling him a coward (actually I would say that man was very brave. I don't know if this can be attributed to racism or anti-Muslim attitudes or both. One thing for sure, it is ignorance on all their parts.

    Even though the man repeatedly says that he is not Muslim it doesn't stop several protestors from getting in his face.

    The world is watching and I don't like what they are seeing.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 4:25 PM
  • Mike,

    "You were pretty steadfast in declaring what is in the Pentagon not a mosque partly because it was not a building, but a room."

    Go back and tell me exactly where I said that. I gave a definition and you focused on a part of that definition, assuming I took a position I never took. The difference is because it is used solely for Muslim worship as I have stated repeatedly and as you repeatedly ignore.

    I started it out with a very clear point as it related to the definition. My very first comment on the definitoin was this: "The place of worship or meditation in the Pentagon is not a mosque. A mosque is "a building used for public worship by Muslims" and its not just for Muslims" Note that I stated the definition and made the very specific distinction based on the definition that "it's not just for Muslims". Nowhere in my posts do I say that it is not a mosque because it is a room. You made up this position in your own mind and assigned that position to me and it's really getting tiring to see you repeat the same false notion of my position. I don't know how I can have a rational conversation with you when you make up positions that I never took.


    It doesn't change definitions based on who is in it at the time because some common sense has to be applied to the definition. A building for Muslim worship is a very simple definition. By definition the building is for public worship by Muslims, not Christians, not Buddhists or any other religion, just Muslim worship. If a building is meant to be used for worship outside the Muslim faith as well, then it is not a mosque.

    If someone has people come over and pray a Muslim prayer in their house on the weekends or an employer allows Muslim prayers throughout the day at their office that doesn't mean that their place is transformed into a mosque. The definition is a simple definition because they probably didn't plan on its definition being twisted in a debate. I'm sure they used common sense when writing it and common sense should be used to understand it. If a 4H building is used for an evangelical worship service, that does not make the 4H building a church. It's still just a regular old 4H building. I know you're trying to win on semantics but come on, really? Semantics is what we've come down to? It's not that "deep" of a definition and I think that's obvious even to you.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 7:32 PM
  • *

    Oh joy more personal attacks. I'm just going by your own words McCook. Your original argument was about a physical building being built at the site that would be a Mosque. When it came to light that it was going to be a room at the top of the building but not a true building in and of itself you still said that it was Mosque because on Muslims could go int. The same thing happens in the Pentagon. By the given definition a room that is used for worship (prayer) by Muslims is a Mosque. In the Pentagon Muslims go in and pray by themselves therefor it is called a Mosque during those times.

    I am being rationale there is no reason to become hateful and attacking just because SW is. I hold you to a higher standard.

    You also said in an earlier post that if the Center was being built for interfaith purposes you would not be opposed to it. Well here you McCook from the planning group themselves:

    Among other things they will be offering is a 9/11 Memorial (I'd say that's pretty outstanding for them to do) and quiet contemplation space for all. That should fit your criteria of being interfaith.

    They are going to have a Mosque but as they plainly state on their website that it will operated separately from the Center. When it comes to the Cordoba House this little phrase: "Cordoba House will be a center for multifaith dialogue"

    So now knowing that facts behind Park51 do you now support the building of this Center?

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 8:15 PM
  • *

    Something that stands out (and really is not the surprising) is that a year ago when the planning of Park51 first got under way, the wife of the planner appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show. The host that night was Laura Ingraham. She loved the idea of the center and had no problems with the location. Fast forward a year and now Laura is one of its biggest opponents.

    What's changed in that year? An election is about to occur and Republicans are trying to make this an election issue and Fox News can not be seen supporting Park51. That's my opinion, of course.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Aug 24, 2010, at 10:29 AM
  • Mike,

    "Your original argument was about a physical building being built at the site that would be a Mosque."

    Well yeah, you kinda need a building of some sort to have a mosque. It's kinda hard to have a mosque with just the ground between your feet and the air surrounding you. That's just common sense but not any major part of my argument and it certainly has nothing to do with the whole "room argument" that you said I made which I never did. If I did make such an argument then you would have pointed out exactly where I said that but that argument never came from me and therefore your evidence that I took that position does not exist.

    What is the "personal" attack you are referring to and where do you come up with justifying the use of the terms "hateful" and "attacking" from that post? When you not only misrepresent what I say but blatantly make up positions I never took then I will defend myself against this and if you think that is an attack then maybe you're just a little too sensitive about being called out for making things up.

    How can I have a rational conversation with anyone who argues against a position I never took? It's like you're fighting this argument in your own mind and making up what you think the other side is going to say when you respond and just disregard the actual argument taken by the person you're actually responding to.

    Let's take a look at what I actually said. I said, if they build a place that allows ALL FAITHS to share the SAME worship space as EVERYONE ELSE with EQUAL access for all faiths to practice according to each person's faith that I would support it. They have a mosque and they have a "quiet contemplation place" for everyone else. If you have a mosque for Muslim worship only and shuffle everyone else into the "quiet contemplation place" then you're not sharing the same place for worship. You are designating a space specifically for Muslim worship and another place for everyone else plus Muslims can use it too since it is their facility after all.

    So Muslims have access to two areas of worship and everyone else has one, and that's only if we're assuming that worship services are to be allowed there like what is allowed in the Pentagon. Their quiet contemplation place may not end up being a place of worship at all even in that regard but just a place where people can shut up and keep their faith to themselves. Quiet contemplation doesn't even sound like they're promoting that space for worship services by all faiths. Then Muslims have their own specially designated place of worship for them and them alone which would be the mosque. That's not equal access for all faiths to the same worship space and it's not what I said I would support. There is a difference between multi-faith worship and multi-faith dialogue.

    Trying to say it's operated separately is a quite obvious political ploy to try making it appear like they're saying something they're not. It's vague, it doesn't exclude or include any activities of one side to the other and vague statements are easier to defend. The center AND the mosque are all being pitched as one project and the same people seeking funding for the center will simultaneously be seeking funding for the mosque as part of that project. Of course the mosque would be operated separately because they would be in charge of worship services and the center would be in charge of whatever "multi-faith dialogue" activities they are operating. They are just separate departments of the same facility but being pushed by the same people with the project developers seeking money for both the center and the mosque and the memorial and the conference rooms and the bathrooms. Operated separately? They underestimate people's intelligence.

    Bottom line, I said I would support it if they were using it for multi-faith worship in the same area. Since they are not doing that, my position has not changed. Multi-faith dialogue is not multi-faith worship.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Tue, Aug 24, 2010, at 6:50 PM
  • G.I.

    A building for "Christian" worship is a church. A building for "Jewish" worship is a synagogue and a building for "Muslim" worship is a mosque. A place for "multi-faith" worship can either be described as a chapel which is often mischaracterized as solely Christian which is not the case or as simply a place of worship.

    When Christians use it, it's a chapel or place of worship. When Jews use it, it's a chapel or place of worship. When Muslims use it, it's a chapel or place of worship. It has its own definition already. Chapels are defined the way they are because they are open to anyone of any faith to worship any way they choose just like in the hospital. Chapels don't "become" mosques or churches or synagogues or anything else, they are chapels because they are serving as a place of worship to an institution like the Pentagon or a hospital. They're called chapels because it represents that it is for "multi-faith" worship, not for one specific religion like mosques, synagogues or churches.

    If a kid is selling lemonade and cookies on the street corner in their playhouse. Their playhouse does not "become" a restaurant, it's still just a playhouse. It's the same way here. It's just a common sense approach.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Tue, Aug 24, 2010, at 7:07 PM
  • *

    "Bottom line, I said I would support it if they were using it for multi-faith worship in the same area. Since they are not doing that, my position has not changed. Multi-faith dialogue is not multi-faith worship."

    That's pretty much what I expected. But that's not exactly what you said. What you said was:

    "The facility in New York is going to be for multi-denominational worship across all religions?"

    You didn't specify anything past the actual facility and since they will have a room where all people of all faiths can go. They call it a contemplation room but anyone is free to go in there if they so choose. So actually your claim that they are not doing that is factually wrong.

    It's okay though. I knew you weren't serious when you first said it you were just trying to "shout" down a fellow poster by offering a compromise. The reality is, apparently, that no matter what they say will be in this building you will not believe. While you don't call them liars you accuse them of political tricks. Maybe your claim of supporting it if it offered what they actually offer was also a political ploy.

    The fact is that they are offering a room where all faiths are free to go and contemplate (worship). You had originally stated you would support the project if they did. When faced with the facts you not only recanted your earlier statement you questioned whether or not the planners were being serious.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Aug 24, 2010, at 9:59 PM
  • *

    Actually Merriam-Webster mentions nothing about a chapel being a multi-faith establishment. In face if specifically mentions Christianity in one of the definitions but no other religion. Most of the definitions fit the Christian faith but not others.

    But at this point it's all just semantics. Your going to believe in how you define it we are going to believe in how we define it. Just more division over trivial matters.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Aug 24, 2010, at 10:03 PM
  • Mike,

    "You didn't specify anything past the actual facility and since they will have a room where all people of all faiths can go."

    When I made the statement I was quite clear and followed it up with the context of the way the Pentagon wass a great example of what I was referring to. The Pentagon does not have a church for Christians and a "contemplation place" for everyone who is not a Christian. That is division like what is proposed by the developers. If everyone shared the same worship space then Christians, Jews and every other religion would be using the area where the Mosque is planned for Muslim worship. It's not the same space, it's a separate space. Nice try though. By the way, let me know when mass starts in the "contemplation" room. I supported the Pentagon for the very specific reason that the worship space in that building is shared by everyone. I wanted to make it clear that I would also support this project if the worship space in that building was shared by everyone. However, the worship space is not shared by everyone because they established a mosque which is a worship space off limits to worship by other religions. This project is still in contrast to what I said I support. If you don't understand that very important aspect of it then I suppose you'll have to continue trying to miscontrue my positions, as has been your practice recently.

    Chapel has several definitions and while some definitions may be associated with a a church. The definition that applies to the Pentagon is the definition that states "a place of worship serving a residence or institution". It does not have to say multi-faith because it is not limited by its definition to public worship for one faith like the definition of a mosque is limited to one religion.


    "Haha, welcome to graduate level semantics"

    Semantics, I thought you said this wasn't semantics? Look up restaurant though, you'll find, using your logic of semantics that it would be a restaurant and by law would then be subject to all the laws that "restaurants" are subject to. I joke about that but, in reality, I did remember hearing about someone (can't remember if it was a politician or just some local nut) using your way of overexamining definitions and actually proposing to regulate lemonade stands just like any other serving beverages for profit. Needless to say the parents were pretty sour about that idea.

    I decided to look for the story, not sure if this is the one I'm thinking of but it goes to show how you can take things too far by overexamining a definition. I'd sure hate to run into that inspector though. If she'll go after little girls, imagine how badly she'd hound a grown adult.

    "I suppose the bigger point here is that if you, or others, call the space in the Pentagon a chapel, and if I, or others, call the space in the Pentagon a Mosque/Church/Synagogue it is largely irrelevant"

    It is largely irrelevant except to the extent that this was your argument for why it was ok to have a mosque near ground zero since you thought the Pentagon had the same thing by stretching the definition of mosque. Everything ties back into that discussion when it comes to relevance.

    I don't know what the Fox News thing was about. I'm assuming it's just a rant against them since I haven't used them or Laura Ingraham as a basis of my position so that's really irrelevant to me. I get my news from several sources just like many people I know so, one station does not a position make.

    "Good in the sense that it might work; not good in the sense that it doesn't help the country, our people, our effort in Afghanistan, or our world image in any way at all."

    It only hurts the country or our people because it increases tensions which is the opposite of what they say they want to do but still persist in increasing those tensions when they can single-handedly put an end to those increased tensions. It's a lot harder to get millions of people to "just drop it". The ball is in their court on that one. Whether its built or not will hardly have a measurable effect on our efforts in Afghanistan. They're going to care more about running water, schools and food than how Americans react to where somebody wants to build a mosque all the way over in America. It's as foolish as thinking that this is going to be a political tool when millions more Americans have lost their jobs with no hope in sight during the last 2 years. That's going to be more important to them than a mosque. Our world image is becoming that of the "nation of infinite apologies", we're So Outta Luck there anyway. I suppose the President can add it to his next round of international apology tours. Not to mention, people's perceptions are pretty well established by now. It's too late to change that so it's really a moot point at this stage of the game.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 5:58 PM
  • *

    McCook, now you are throwing even more things they have to offer for you to support it? Just admit McCook that you will never support this center no matter what they say or do. I didn't really buy your earlier statement and you keep proving that you never meant it.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 6:24 PM
  • It's the same as what I stated earlier, Mike. You obviously just didn't understand what my statement meant. I apoligize for trying to clarify anything for you, I should know better than to think that clarification is a welcome idea for you.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 7:38 PM
  • *

    No it's clear what your earlier statement was. No matter how much you want to change what you said or add qualifiers now to it. You originally said that "The facility in New York is going to be for multi-denominational worship across all religions?" You said nothing about the actual room where the Mosque is going to be. Then when I asked you that since a part of the facility was indeed going to be multi-denominational you came back and claimed you were talking about the area where the mosque room was going to be, even though you clearly did not say that from the beginning.

    Once I showed that yes you had gone back on your word you decided to go with what your second statement was which was specifying the mosque. In the end you did in fact say that if the facility (and here I believe everyone took your meaning of facility to mean all of Park51) offered a place for multi-denominations you would support it.

    Just say it McCook you don't support this building period.

    Let me just say one more thing McCook. Clarifying at statement means explaining in detail what you said, not adding or subtracting what you had said and then blaming other people for not understanding in the first place.

    "It only hurts the country or our people because it increases tensions which is the opposite of what they say they want to do but still persist in increasing those tensions when they can single-handedly put an end to those increased tensions."

    So once again you are placing full blame on the builders in this case and letting the people that are protesting off the hook. There are two sides to this case McCook, but you are only focused on the planners of Park51. This actually goes right along with the Laura Ingraham "rant" that you for some reason don't understand. A year ago, when the plan went into place no one rose their voice in opposition. Laura Ingraham, filling in for Bill O'Reilly, hosted the planners wife and applauded Park51 and said she didn't see anyone being against this. Fast forward a year and she has not only recanted what she says, she denies saying it (even though it's in the archives) and now she is fully against it. I don't know what you don't understand about that.

    "Not to mention, people's perceptions are pretty well established by now. It's too late to change that so it's really a moot point at this stage of the game."

    Well look here, McCook has solved our foreign policy. Don't make any attempts at any crossroads just keep doing what we've been doing. Brilliant.

    "It's as foolish as thinking that this is going to be a political tool when millions more Americans have lost their jobs with no hope in sight during the last 2 years."

    Well then you might want to tell the Republicans already campaigning on it about that. They are liable to lose the election since you say it doesn't matter. What are they thinking?

    "They're going to care more about running water, schools and food than how Americans react to where somebody wants to build a mosque all the way over in America."

    I know you are running on a theme here about how their minds are already made up about us so why bother, but if you honestly think Muslims all around the world aren't taking notice of this (not to mention the cab driver who was stabbed after answering a question about whether his faith was Muslim or not) you are absolutely (to use the word you so eloquently used) foolish.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 9:26 PM
  • *

    @McCook Sorry I missed this earlier. The grand father clause applies because you can build a church wherever you want. A liquor store however can not be built within X feet of a church, hence it being grand fathered in. The church doesn't care because it's prime advertising space to pull in more parishioners. While at the same time as Buff said taking a large chunk out of main street business space.

    -- Posted by Damu on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 7:03 PM
  • *

    I thought I had remembered the church making a big stink about the liquor store and wanting them to move when the church bought the property. The owner of the liquor store stated that he was not going to be told where his store could or could not be because his business was already there.

    I sure do miss Hinky Dinky though.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 6:34 AM
  • *

    By the way, can we stop with the analogies and comparisons now? They have gotten way out of hand.

    The simple fact is that a year ago when Park51 first took shape (at the same site) no one had an issue with it, fast forward to an election year and it has become an election issue. It's yet another thing that some Republicans are going to use to scare voters into voting for them. In some cases it will work, in others it won't.

    There is no issue where it is going to be built. It is not at Ground Zero, it is not next to Ground Zero, it is not even in eye sight of Ground Zero. We are the ones that are destroying that hallowed ground by building a skyscraper on the site that thousands of people died.

    The worst example of an analogy or comparison I have had heard or seen so far is the suggestion that we go build a cultural center at the site of Mecca. The two are not even the same and that example is just insensitive to Muslims. Then again when you believe that we are war with an entire religion instead of a minority cult of a religion it would make sense.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 6:45 AM
  • *

    Unless a certain news organization, the talking heads, and the politicians looking for easy votes tamp down the rhetoric this is only going to get worse before it gets better.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Aug 29, 2010, at 4:15 PM
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