Sunday, August 22, 2010

Church and State: Mosque and Church

As do many others I have strong opinions about the building of a mosque near Ground Zero.  I have read the various arguments for and against; not surprisingly they ran the gamut on the political and the religious spectrum of viewpoint.

I have a pastor friend who served in NYC before, during and after 9/11.  For some years he lived in an apartment overlooking Ground Zero.  We visited there and saw the site just a few months after the attack.  His view is that the mosque should not be built.  I trust his judgment enough to defer on his wisdom alone.

There are other voices, of course.  One of my friends insists that it is a matter of first amendment issues - religious liberty trumps our "bias" against Islam - he thinks; and he makes a good case.  It would be a stronger case if Islam had no mosques in Manhattan or they were being discriminated against, or persecuted here in America as Jews or Christians are treated in Muslim countries.

When I learned of this news story, I was suddenly reminded that political posturing is often just so much noise.  How does this religious liberty issue fail to make the national news until now? 

I realize I do not know the whole story about this conflict;  but apparently there is no urgency.  So my remedy for the controversy about the mosque is to delay it for several years, appoint some committees to study this issue, maybe have some Congressional hearings, appoint a Presidential Commission.  Surely the Greek Orthodox deserves to be built (actually re-built) first.  Perhaps we could wait until the War on Terror has been won or at least until Islam publicly and profusely apologizes for its militant "wing."  I am confident that Islam ("a religion of peace") will not mind demonstrating patience.

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