The Ground Zero of Our Madness

In just a few weeks we will be observing the 9th anniversary of the deadliest attack ever to take place on American shores. We will stare solemnly at the gaping hole of Ground Zero, and the hole will stare back at us, until it becomes clear that we are the hole, and the hole is us – politically paralyzed into stagnation; broken, sad and empty.

The crater in Lower Manhattan has become a permanent aching void, but nature abhors a vacuum and so from its empty depths something must arise. In a near-decade that “something” could have taken the form of a park, or a memorial, or a glistening new tower, and the construction of a mosque two blocks thence would have been nothing more than a reinforcement of the notion of American Exceptionalism and what Madeline Albright called The Indispensable Nation, and the narrative would have been a stirring one:

“. . . brought to her knees, Can-Do America has rebuilt and moved on; a proposed mosque two blocks from the new construction only emphasizes her broad shoulders, her self-assurance, her commitment to liberty; it demonstrates to the world the strength that America draws from her own character and constitution, and from knowing who she is . . .

All of that would have been a psychological victory over the spectre of terrorism; it would loom large in the minds of the world and a mosque built in its shadows would only be a mosque, unremarkable in a nation dedicated to freedom of religion.

But because such a narrative does not exist, the American psyche is at a disadvantage, and what should only be a mosque becomes nothing less than a psyops victory for terrorism, a demonstration of divine blessing upon a damnable means of movement: America cannot fill its hole within a decade, but we will raise a mosque in a year!

If Americans can see the psychological victory implicit in such a development, then terrorists–and those who mean no good for the nation–can see it, too. Only the disingenuous politicians and pundits, nobly pooh-poohing the concerns of over 60% of the nation, and labeling them as mere “bigots,” seem unable to see what is before them. People with legitimate concerns about the appropriateness of a mosque being built near a wound so unhealed are being castigated in shrill tones by those who–without a doubt–understood why it was inappropriate for Polish Carmelite Nuns to build a Catholic monastery on the edge of Auschwitz, and applauded Pope John Paul II’s sensitivity in asking the nuns to move.

And this is where our madness is showing. The very people who have no truck with Nativity Scenes in public places at Christmastime are now lecturing the nation about Freedom of Religion. Somehow they want us to believe that a temporary creche displayed in a public space is an insensitive yearly threat to the nation, but that a permanent religious structure looming over our most public failed recovery is neither insensitive nor a threat to our national psyche.

The furor over the Ground Zero Mosque has nothing to do with bigotry – that is just the easy charge some people make whenever they wish to avoid debate and silence opposing viewpoints, even as they proclaim their own flamboyant “openness.” It is not about public space or private enterprise, either. It is about what squabbling, divided and overwrought America’s own inability to rebuild herself portends for her future, and for her whole understanding of herself as a nation.

An exceptional nation leads; it takes a hit, sews the wound and marches on. An indispensable nation dares not dither or it cannot overcome.

Strength or weakness is born in the mind; since 9/11, the American psyche–as manifested in her politics and her popular culture–has been reeling with self-doubt; it has staggered and scattered and turned on itself in a reckless, endlessly divisive attempt to find its bearings. The instinct to preserve the “exceptional” past is battling the urge to ask, “yes, we can, but should we be so indispensable, after all,” and that conflict has infected the whole body, from Ground Zero, to DC, to Arizona, to San Francisco.

A nation on its back with a paralyzing fever is a nation that needs to treat itself with the disinfectant of its own creed, which is its Constitution, and the Constitution guarantees liberty and freedom of worship. But any anti-infectant needs to be taken with care, or it can do more harm than good, upsetting balances and further weakening the vulnerable patient.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

There is a spirit arising from Ground Zero; it is an untethered ghost of American certainties and illusions and it seeks grounding in a solid but safe human understanding, touched with just a little affirmation of its goodness. If it cannot find it within the game-playing rhetoric of political opportunism and elite hectoring, it will gather into its sorrow all of our national lunacy, and will whirl and rise, and whirl and rise, shadowing the mosque that arises nearby.

De Chardin also wrote: “Everything that rises, must converge.”

Our wrecked psyche is peering, wide-eyed and with hands a-tremble, over the edges of an abyss, and the abyss is peering back.

Which is precisely why this mosque needs to be built in New York, but not at the periphery of an unhealed Ground Zero.

Sensitivity is a two-way street or it is wholly an illusion.

UPDATE:
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church Will Not ReBuild:

Greek Orthodox leaders trying to rebuild the only church destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks expressed shock this week after learning, via Fox News, that government officials had killed a deal to relocate the church.

UPDATE II:
I like Kathryn Jean Lopez’ take in the NY Times:

I’m a Catholic who sees threats to religious liberty increasing here at home — largely by judicial legislative fiat — and I’m earnest about ensuring its protection for us all.

But I also think that to build an Islamic center near ground zero is an imprudent move. If Islam had a pope, he might advise the Cordoba House developers as much, just as the late Pope John Paul advised Polish sisters not to build a convent at Auschwitz (my friend Bill McGurn wrote well about this in The Wall Street Journal). It is not a surrender of freedom to be sensitive. It is, in fact, a reverent exercise of freedom.

UPDATE III:
Archbishop Timothy Dolan tactfully offers any assistance he can give

Related:
Saudi Funding a possibility?
Is all of this controversy due to a lack of statemanship?
Is there no one left to investigate?
Do we really want to open this can of worms?
I thought he was just a stupid moron nazi panderer?
Which is it, Nancy?
Investigate Dean?
Are questions allowed?
Is the site too raw?
Some pols not playing football with this?
No Regrets?
Really?
Like Some Audio?
Have we Forgotten How to Be Big?
Parsing the Pander?
“hallowed ground” or not?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://www.noodlingonit.com Kris, in New England

    The comments are bigoted and extreme.

    Marion – that’s a very broad statement. Speaking for myself if you read my comment at #75 you’ll see nothing bigoted or extreme about it.

    That’s the problem with this issue. If you support the building of this mosque – then anyone who objects is a racist.

    And this just flat-out a total lie.

  • Greg

    If what the New York city council did was not an act of anti-Christianity, I don’t know what is. Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church had been trying to get the ok from the city to rebuild its Church which was destroyed when the Twin Towers fell upon it. It was a New York landmark since 1916. The parish had waited NINE YEARS already to receive city council approval. But the mosque was approved in little over a year. Double standard?

  • http://westernchauvinist.blogspot.com Western Chauvinist

    There are two truths here, of which the Anchoress’ point about the loss of cultural confidence in America is one. The other is the culture clash between Americanism and Islamism, which is just starting to heat up in my opinion, because many westerners are just recently becoming aware of the incompatibility between the two ideologies.

    To be sure, there are still some westerners in America who don’t see the threat (about 29%) and seem to find only Christian assertions of identity as dangerous to civil society, such as a cross off a desert highway commemorating dead servicemen or a tiny cross on the Los Angeles county seal (the city of angels, ironically). Interestingly, these same people, predominantly on the Left, tend to discredit the reasons Muslims give for hating the West – namely our liberality – and yet, are vulnerable to believing credulous claims of “bridge-building” by transparently aggressive, hostile, militant flag-planting on conquered territory at Ground Zero.

    These are the fruits of the Left: the utter historical ignorance of America’s founding principles, of the contributions of Jewish and Christian ideals to the American idea; the near complete Biblical illiteracy which allowed Obama to get away with claiming ostensible justification for slavery and stoning of one’s children “found” in the Old Testament without disqualifying himself from winning the presidency (look it up on YouTube); the notion that everyone has good intentions apart from sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted conservative Christians the Left has successfully smeared as such; the loss of national identity, because, despite living in the most prosperous, liberal (in the “free” sense), tolerant and self-giving nation ever known to man, “nationalism” is *bad*; and the resultant idea that America should absorb all the wretched refuse from the narco-state on its border, but should not, under any circumstances, export her values, as that would be *imperialism*.

    I am encouraged that about 70% of Americans get that the GZ mosque is not a legal/constitutional issue, but a moral one. However, I fear many in that 70% underestimate the threats facing western American ideals rooted in Judeo-Christian values. The threats from religious/political/militant Islam, particularly illiberal shariah, which maintains “ordered societies” by such prescriptions as standardized stone size for inflicting the maximum damage on an “adulteress” (who may have been raped) buried up to her neck, while keeping her alive as long as possible, are immense. Those westerners and/or Christians who would submit to shariah to maintain order really don’t understand much about either the west or Christianity.

    The other major threat to Americanism comes from the lawless illiberal Left, which has its own “shariah” in areas such as environmentalism and which rewrites the Constitution to mean whatever it believes it should and denies any moral absolutes.

    This is why I exhort my ideological allies to promote cultural confidence and national identity. It is why I am a western chauvinist and why I descry a mosque at Ground Zero and a Leftist in the Oval Office. You can’t fight something with nothing and one of these ideologies is going to prevail in the coming years. Those who believe in the dignity of humans from conception to natural death (the right to life…), in the necessity of liberty, free enterprise and the sacredness of private property for human flourishing (…liberty and the pursuit of happiness), in the importance of the rule of law and the moral absolutes articulated in the Bible to maintaining an ordered society, need to draw a line in the sand. I can’t think of a better place than Ground Zero.

  • Kathleen

    From its foundation, Islam invaded the Byzantine Empire, and Jerusalem surreendered in the 7th c. to avoid being destroyed “by fire and the sword.” This was aggression, not peace. In the 1100s, the Islamic taxation, aggression, and actual persecution of Christians became so acute that the Emperor of Byzantium requested help from the West: This is called the Crusades. This is why Gen. Eisenhower called his account of WW II _The Last Crusade_. A crusade is a war defending the helpless and persecuted against an aggressor.

    There are two perfectly accepted mosques in the Ground Zero area; there used to be 3, but a poor one was gentrified out. They’re good neighbors. NO ONE OBJECTS! There are Muslim food-cart vendors, college students, secretaries and Wall Street brokers who pray there. Good people. No problem if either could afford to expand.

    Is there a problem if the Saudi government pays for this mosque, as it has in many parts of Europe, notably Athens? No, it’s a charitable thing. Nice of them to help co-religionists.

    Two problems:

    1) The location 3 blocks north of the WTC is awful! Narrow, dark street, lousy parking, and construction/attendance will block traffic badly! However, 3 blocks or so SOUTH of Ground Zero, near the Jewish Museum, not far from the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian and Mother Seton’s shrine-church, is great. It’s just more expensive.

    2) Who will use the center? There are 2 thriving little area mosques now (one Sufi). This is a 13 to 15 floor structure, a vertical version of the Blue or Sulimaniye mosque complexes.

    The subtext is that Imam Rauf expects the area to be flooded quickly with enough Sunni Muslims to justify the expense. That tactless triumphalism does make people nervous, whatever the religion.

    I lived 6 blocks from the WTC on 9/11; my cousin died in the attacks, some of my students were injured. I still work there. It’s very personal, but despite Imam Rauf’s total disregard for New Yorker’s deep emotional responses, he CAN build. But he SHOULD, as a religious leader, build with the concensus of and sensitivity to the community.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Or, instead of building anything, Imam Rauf could donate the money to be used for building the mosque to a charity that supports New Yorkers, especially 9/11 victims; maybe he could even donate it to the congregation of St. Nicholas church.

    Or, he could donate it to the flood victims in Pakistan; it’d be nice of him, and the other 9/11 mosque backers, to help their co-religionists, who need aid much more than they need this mosque.

  • c matt

    Muslims are waging a campaign of infiltration, subversion, sedition and social sabotage, with the objective of destroying our countries and way of life from within.

    I don’t know why they would bother. we seem to be doing a good enough job of destroying ourselves. The impotence regarding a Ground Zero monument is clear evidence that recovery is highly unlikely.

  • Dan Buckley

    Chardin’s oft quoted line might be catchy, but is it true? I am a human being and will be one in eternity after the resurrection of the body; spiritual beings are called angels. I have experiences both physical and spiritual, and both are human, and are not always able to be separated, as is evidenced in Jesus’ weeping.

  • baleen

    “Sensitivity is a two-way street or it is wholly an illusion.”

    Is that why Sarah Palin is rabidly defending Dr. Laura’s “right” to yell the N-word over the airwaves?

  • Carl Eppig

    Another point. There are Snopes verified pictures circulating around the internet of devout Muslims praying in front of a mosque on Madison Avenue. At certain times of the year this ties up and stops traffic for a couple of blocks. A similar gathering at the mosque we are discussing, could easily spill over to Ground Zero.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    The Anchoress: And who here has made any sort of blanket statement indicting “all” Muslims?

    Here:

    c matt: Muslims are waging a campaign of infiltration, subversion, sedition and social sabotage, with the objective of destroying our countries and way of life from within.

    Jeff: People ought to object to every new mosque; Islam is, after all, a false religion, and quite a violent one at that.

    An important context is that people have been protesting mosques all over the country. The controversy is a political straw man.

    Kris, in New England: And if there are truly moderate Muslims in this world – where were they in the aftermath? Where were their words of condemnation for the actions of their more radical brethren. They were – silent. Because their faith teaches them that what those hijackers did is right.

    Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    end italics

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    baleen, what’s Sarah Palin got to do with any this?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Or is it just time for the obligatory two-minute hate of Sarah Palin?

  • Jon Meads

    And I thought religion was all about love and forgiveness. The writer makes several logical mistakes.

    (1) We don’t condemn a group of people collectively because of a few extremists. If we did, we would not want any Christian churches for white parishioners built in the South because of our memories of the KKK and certainly no Roman Catholic churches near schools or playgrounds. A Muslim Community Center near Ground Zero is a statement that we are not giving in to the terrorists and that we will maintain our values;

    (2) Innocent American Muslims died alongside our American Christians when the towers went down. Raising objection to the Muslim Community Center is a great disrespect to them. While allowing it and taking pride in our principles of free expression of religion will honor all Americans who died, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist.

    Ms. Scalia needs to stop emoting and start thinking. And, she should learn a bit more about love and forgiveness.

  • http://www.aol.com exhelodrvr

    Or they could use the mosque money to advocate for religious freedom in Saudi Arabia.

  • Joseph

    Do the anti-mosque Catholics know that the First Amendment was the only thing standing in the way of outright suppression of Catholicism during most of American history? I guess that since we’ve assimilated and become accepted we are now joining the Protestant majority in opposing the rights of another unpopular religious minority. Nothing but shameful.

    Oooh…Sharia law….so scary…but wait, don’t Catholics try imposing THEIR religious values and laws on the rest of (unwilling) American society, regarding abortion, contraception, end of life issues, divorce, and gay marriage? Why are we any better than Muslims and Sharia law in this regard? Hypocrites. Remember the violence when state and religious power were wed in recent European history, and the atrocities committed by men in the name of Christian morals.

    Also, I can’t believe the hubris in the opposition to the religious freedoms of moderate Muslims. They worship the same God…are you not afraid of His wrath at your intolerance and hatred to the other children of Abraham?

  • Brian English

    “and certainly no Roman Catholic churches near schools or playgrounds.”

    This wasn’t funny when it was on the Daily Show the other night, so you really should be more selective in the bigoted jokes you steal. And I am pretty certain, Plato, that it is a “logical mistake” to insult a religious group while making a purported plea for religious tolerance.

    “Innocent American Muslims died alongside our American Christians when the towers went down. Raising objection to the Muslim Community Center is a great disrespect to them.”

    So the Muslim woman who lost her mother that day was disrespecting her mother when she wrote in the LA Times that she objected to the Mosque? That doesn’t sound very logical to me.

  • Brian English

    “Or they could use the mosque money to advocate for religious freedom in Saudi Arabia.”

    Now there is a good idea.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Jon, rather than just reflexively accusing mosque opponents of bigotry, you really need to address some of the very real issues which have been raised: the history of Islamic triumphalism, which builds mosques on sites of conquest, the feelings of those who lost friends and family on 9/11, respect for the dead and troubling questions such as—why are the backers of the mosque so intent on forging ahead with it, when it’s obvious that, instead of building bridges, it’s creating yet more conflict and anger? And, surely, Moslems who love America could understand why a mosque at Ground Zero would be offensive to many?

    Go look at some of the anti-mosque arguments addressed here, and try actually addressing them, instead of the offering the usual “You’re all bigots!” response.

  • Father John

    What are the goals of Islam?
    1. Destruction of all Jews.
    2. Theocracy rather than Democracy.
    3. Elimination of all other religions.
    That is only the 3 immediate goals, there are many more. If you continue to allow training centers to be constructed near or on the sites of their accomplishments such as 911, then prepare to either become a muslim or be martyred by one.
    May God forgive you…………..

  • http://www.marionstein.net Marion

    Regarding comment #86. Please provide evidence for your assertion that there is/was a groundbreaking planned for 9/11. As far as I can tell the only “source” for this is Pam Geller’s warped imagination which also brought us “Malcolm X is Obama’s real father” and everything that says otherwise was part of the cover up/plot to get him into the White House, a plan apparently hatched by the left prior to his conception.

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  • http://www.noodlingonit.com Kris, in New England

    Marion at #111 – if you don’t believe what you read why don’t you go look it up and provide your own rebuttal…

    That said, I did your legwork and what I found is 2 sides to the issue of the 9/11 date. It was mentioned by Glenn Beck back in early August; I can’t remember where I first read it but it wasn’t from Pam Geller or Glenn Beck. The supposed Imam of this monstrosity has flatly denied it.

    Which of course he will do to defend his position. Frankly there really is no way to know when the groundbreaking will be as the funds haven’t been raised yet.

  • R.J.

    Admin, I see you have responded to many of the people who oppose your viewpoints on here, while people who use phrases like “The Victory Mosque”, “now a mosque to mark the victory”, etc. aren’t even corrected for muddying up the issue, and resorted to ad hominem attacks.

    To all the people who say “Anywhere in New York would be fine, just not ground zero.” How far away from Ground Zero is appropriate? 911 feet? 911 yards? 911 miles? Or, as SOME on the right are saying, they shouldnt be allowed to build mosques at all in this country. Please, someone give me an answer to how far away from ground zero would be appropriate and acceptable.

  • R.J.

    Also, Father John, #110. If this was indeed going to be a training center, and based on the context clues of your statement, a terrorist training center, then why the hell would they do something that could be so public???

    The reason that the hijackers on 9/11 were able to be successful was because they did the exact opposite. The blended in, they trained in places no one would expect. Why would they change up their game plan and become more public about their training, instead of retreating further underground and away from suspicion. Thanks for the ridiculous assumptions and attacks.

    Admin, this is why many who oppose the attacks are labeled bigots because these are the types of arguments they bring, bigoted, unfounded ridiculousness.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, Kris, I’d heard other commentators, besides Beck, mention the 9/11 date.

    And the funds will be raised. I think Saudi Arabia will see to that.

  • c matt

    “Here:

    c matt: Muslims are waging a campaign of infiltration, subversion, sedition and social sabotage, with the objective of destroying our countries and way of life from within. ”

    Actually, I was not making that statement – I was quoting from someone else above, but because everything was italicized, it did not come out as a quote (should have used the “”marks). But I can understand your mistake Zachriel.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    And Marion, you’re nitpicking. You’re focusing on the date, when you should be focusing on the actual issue itself.

    Even if it turns out that 9/11 isn’t selected as the date for the ground breaking—so what? That still leaves the issues of: why a mosque on this particular site? Is it intended as a sign of Islamic imperialism, as with turning the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople into a mosque, and creating the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem?

    If it’s intended as a gesture of healing, and reconciliation, why are its backers so deaf to the complaints of so many New Yorkers? Why are they so insensitive to the survivors, and the families of those who died on 9/11? Will this mosque be seen as a symbol of victory over the US, by radical Islamists? And why isn’t St. Nicholas church being rebuilt?

    These are serious questions, and, frankly, the “You’re all bigots!” card has been way overplayed. Americans have a right to ask these questions, and not be shouted down as bigots when they do. And, no, let’s not get sidetracked into the pointless, “Pamela Geller is a horrible person!” debate. This has nothing to do with Geller.

  • c matt

    “Oooh…Sharia law….so scary…but wait, don’t Catholics try imposing THEIR religious values and laws on the rest of (unwilling) American society, regarding abortion, contraception, end of life issues, divorce, and gay marriage? Why are we any better than Muslims and Sharia law in this regard? Hypocrites.”

    Yes, we do, by trying to convince our fellow citizens that it is the right thing. It is the promoters of contraception (Griswold), abortion (Roe v. Wade) and gay marriage (Perry v. Schwartzenegger) who foist their views on the rest of the unwilling population by use of the courts. Or have you not been paying attention over the last 40 years or so? Hypocrite indeed.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    R.J., my opinion on this is—anywhere, but Ground Zero.

    New York already has a number of mosques; nobody is demanding that these be closed. Outside of Ground Zero, Moslems—like Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc.,—will have to work out with the local officials, planners, politicos and their own building fund where, and what, they’ll build, and when.

    But not Ground Zero itself, no. There should not be a mosque there, anymore than there should be a Shinto shrine at Pearl Harobor, or a museum dedicated to German glory at Auchswitz. Also, as others have pointed out repeated, Ground Zero is, effectually, a gravesite; there are still human remains being found there. It should not be covered up by a multi-story building, especially one dedicated to the religion the hijackers claimed to be serving on the day they attacked over 3,000 Americans.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    R.J., if I recall rightly, the hijackers were also greatly assisted by our lax immigration policy, that allowed at least some of them to remain in this country longer than they were supposed to, and didn’t bother tracking them down.

  • Neo

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

  • Brian English

    “Please, someone give me an answer to how far away from ground zero would be appropriate and acceptable.”

    Since the Burlington Coat Factory Building that they intend to demolish to build the mosque was actually hit by the landing gear from one of the planes, that is too close. As Bender states above, it can be argued that building is actually part of Ground Zero.

    There is already a mosque about five blocks from Ground Zero. Why not build this one about a mile away?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Brian, seeing as it was hit by some of the landing gear, yes, I’d say it IS Ground Zero!

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  • Lissa

    “And there are those who put up a mosque by way of mischief and infidelity – to disunite the Believers – and in preparation for one who warred against Allah and His Messenger aforetime. They will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good; But Allah doth declare that they are certainly liars.” (The Qur’an, sura 9, verse 107, Yusufali translation)

    I suppose the Qur’an is bigoted against Muslims too, right?

  • Lwdhaercy

    If you were a Muslim family proud that someone in your family fought and died against extremists, how would you feel about this?

    And what about our Muslim allies? The ones that are on our side and are continuing the fight in their own country? Some are working with American GIs right this minute.

  • RickZ

    There is no moderate islam. There may be moderate muslims, but islam looks upon such moderates as being bad muslims as the koran is the immutable word of allah and not following the dictates of the koran to kill Infidels and Jews makes one practically an apostate; in islam, apostasy carries a death sentence.

    islam does not have the Golden Rule nor the 10 Commandments (Ol’ Moe stole some things from Judaism and Christianity to make the claim that islam is an ‘Abrahamic’ faith, which is baloney, as he missed those important precepts). Any outreach/building bridges/etc. is pure bunk from a muslim perspective. Tolerance is to be given to them, but they are not expected to return the favor. Tolerating the intolerant is a crime against nature.

    And any religion which has as a religious tenet encouragement to lie for the good of islam makes any statement issued by this shari’a-loving imam Rauf suspect. When is the imam telling us the truth about financing, ownership of the land or anything else versus giving us a taqiyya fest?

    When the First Ebenezer Baptist Church of Mecca is up and running, replete with gospel singing and shouted halelujias, then maybe I’ll be a little more sanguine about this Victory Mosque with all its triumphalist overtones. In the meantime, this imam can shove it where the sun don’t shine, expect when he sticks his butt up in the air 5 times a day to pray. Well, in the imam’s case, to prey.

  • Leonard

    The Church Militant needs to defend itself as in the days of Charles Martel. I see in most of the comments above that his spirit still lives. We must all join in this Spiritual Warfare against error and the workings of the evil one. I believe the Gospel of John ends with a warning about those who would come later and add to the Gospels. To paraphrase St. Augustine “we conquer men’s souls that they may be fullfilled.” Those under Islamic error must be set free. I believe that Mary holds the key as she has appeared over many Mosques and is revered by Islam. God Bless all Catholic Spiritual Warriors, everywhere!

  • Jeff

    Zachriel,

    You should reread what I said. I did not accuse all Muslims, though indeed I believe they are involved in a dangerous error, but rather Islam itself. Which has propagated itself by violence, an irrefutable fact, since the death of Mohamet.

    If Christianity is true, then Christ is the son of God, in hypostatic union with the logos, and God is a trinity. If this is true, which all Catholics must believe, Islam is wrong, period, and all those who now believe it are in error and ought to be converted. To claim otherwise is to admit a contradiction.

  • Andrew B

    Joseph (in comment #108 above) says two things that cannot go unanswered. First, he says “Sharia…ooh, scary!” Well, yes. Saudi Arabia is having a serious discussion as to how to surgically sever a man’s spinal column in the name of sharia law. That is beyond scary, that is satanic. If Joseph thinks that Catholics voting against pro-abortion policies is in any way similar, he is either lying or deranged.

    He also says “we all worship the same God”. Really? Allah is capricious and unknowable. He does not condescend to share fellowship with Mankind. Allah taught that Jesus was not crucified, did not rise from the dead and is not the Savior. All Allah is interested in is our submission. That is, after all, what “Islam” means. Just because Muslims say we all worship the same god doesn’t make it so. If I say that “there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Barack Obama and John McCain”, would it logically follow that 100% of American voters chose Obama? But it MUST be true…uh…because I said so.

  • R.J.

    Rhinestone Suderman: You’ve spoken such garbage and lies in your other comments that what you say doesn’t mean anything to me…

    First, you say “You’re focusing on the date, when you should be focusing on the actual issue itself.”

    YOU ARE THE ONE THAT BROUGHT UP THE DATE ARGUMENT! Commenters on here also bringing up the date issue isn’t confirmation of the date being true. it’s fear-mongering perpetrated by right-wing political figures to take the focus off of the actual issue itself, and instead instill fear in the hearts of people who listen to them because they know that if they tell people like you that the groundbreaking date will be 9/11, then you’ll shudder in fear.

    You brought up the date argument in this thread, a complete lie continuously perpetrated by you on numerous occasions in this thread. Don’t tell other people they are nitpicking the date. They are pointing out that your arguments about this whole thing are lies. You should really examine what other lies regarding this situation you have been told by those you trust in from the media (mainstream or bloggers) giving you information about this situation. If they told you that the groundbreaking ceremony was going to be 9/11 what other lies are they telling you that are shaping your viewpoint.

    While “anywhere but ground zero” is the new mantra of opponents to the community center, it hasn’t always been. But, it’s what people have settled on because all of the rest of the arguments have continued to fail, such as the “groundbreaking date” argument, the legal arguments (via the Constitution) and the other general silliness.

    You also said, “New York already has a number of mosques; nobody is demanding that these be closed. ” … maybe no one is demanding that these be closed, but a top social conservative is claiming that no mosques should be built period in the United States. ( link )… and that is the sad end point if your proposed outcome of this situation comes.

  • R.J.

    link Why no drama over the fact that Muslims have been praying to Allah OVER the rubble from the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon since 2002.

    [Why that sort of makes my point, that the difference here is that we have not rebuilt. -admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    #134, are you R.J., or are you “Marion?”

    Before you start accusing others of telling lies, you might want to decide what nic you’re actually going to post under. Which one are you?

    I had heard Beck, and some other commentators, I believe, over at Ace of Spades, say the date was going to be 9/11. That was not a lie.

    I also see you’re still avoiding all the points I mentioned in my earlier posts, about Ground Zero being hallowed ground, the history of Islamic imperialism erecting mosques on conquered areas, etc. Instead of calling me a liar, and telling me how wrong I am, why don’t you prove it? Why don’t you offer up some actual arguments, instead of just trying to harangue me, and everyone who disagrees with you, into silence? Do you really think if you just scold us enough we’re going to stop asking questions?

    And who is this “top social conservative” who’se demanding no more mosques be built in America? Give us a name, please, or some information on that. If we’re being lied to, tell us exactly what these lies are—-and WHY they’re lies.

    And if what I say doesn’t mean anything to you, why do you go into such a long rant about it? And why don’t you actually go into facts, and real arguments?

    1. Okay, so you think a Ground Zero mosque is a good idea. Can you tell us why, exactly?

    2. What do you know of Islamic history? What do you know, say, about the Hagia Sohpia, in Constantinople? Or the Islamic custom, in India, of raising mosques on razed Hindu temples?

    3. What do you know about the significance of the name, “Cordoba Mosque”? Why do you think they would have chosen that name?

    4. How do you think the survivors of 9/11, and the friends and family members of anyone who died on 9/11, are going to feel, seeing a mosque at the Ground Zero site? Particularly in view of th fact that human remains are still being found there? Should anything at all be built on this site? Is it really Islamophic to say putting a mosque there seems insensitive at best?

    5. What about the majority of New Yorkers, and Americans, who were polled, and shown to be solidly against the Ground Zero mosque? Are they all bigots? What about the construction workers, who say they won’t work on building the mosque, if it goes up? Are they all bigots? Are they all just Islamophobes?

    Please, stop nitpicking and start actually presenting some arguments.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I have been wondering about the mosque at the Pentagon; I’ve been wondering when the same people who stole the cross from the Veteran’s monument in the desert and who go ballistic if a nativity scene goes up on public property will protest this blatant violation of the separation between Church and State?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Also, #134, why is it so terrible to say the mosque should be built anywhere but Ground Zero? Is there some pressing, compelling reason Ground Zero needs a mosque? Especially when St. Nicholas Church remains unrestored? Given the controversy it’s caused, it’s not healing any rifts; it doesn’t seem to be making Americans in general think better of Islam in general. Wouldn’t the money, and effort be better used (as I’ve pointed out in earlier posts) for charities? Wouldn’t Moslems helping out some of the survivors of 9/11, or injured firemen, do more to win public approval and foster tolerance than pushing through a giant mosque that many New Yorkers don’t want?

    (Even if it comes with a swimming pool, and is supposedly a community center—well, New York doesn’t have any shortage of those, and I don’t see why one is necessary at Ground Zero.)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Lissa, #124 (sigh) It’s beginning to look like everything (the Quran included!) will soon be considered bigoted towards Moslems!

    The whole thing is becoming ridiculous.

  • R.J.

    So, because Glenn Beck says it, it must be true? You’re a donkey if you believe that. He uses fear and lies to get followers like you. Show me a legitimate source, show me where Glenn Beck got his information, and where that person got official information about the groundbreaking ceremony.

    I did provide a link, but this comment area is pretty lame. It showed up as post #135… it says “link”…

    “Is there some pressing compelling reason Ground Zero needs a mosque.” Since when does developing real estate ever need to prove that there is a need for a pressing, compelling reason… please, explain to me. The own the property, they bought it when no one else did (and very well could have). That is all that needs to take place. They’ve received all of the zoning permits, they’ve jumped through all of the hoops they’ve needed to jump through. That is all.

  • R.J.

    No need to respond really… debating you is ridiculous because you site Glenn Beck as truth, without even considering he told you wrong information.

    You make ridiculous burdens of proof “is there a pressing, compelling reason for a mosque”

    And you’re a retard, and so it doesn’t matter much anyway. They are building the mosque whether you whine and cry on the internet about it because they have a legal right to do it.

    It’s sad that the Anchoress can make such great points only to have it ripped down and muddied by people spreading lies about the mosque that they heard from Glenn Beck. I really wish the admin would step in and squash such lies, but alas, she has chosen not to and letting rhinestone cowboy do his thing.

    [Since the conversation has devolved into people using the word "retard" and the long comments thread is--once again--messing up my formatting, we'll close this thread. -admin]