ERICA WERNER | 08/13/10 11:28 PM | AP
Obama elevated [Ground Zero Mosque Plans] to a presidential issue Friday without equivocation.
While insisting that the place where the twin towers once stood was indeed “hallowed ground,” Obama said that the proper way to honor it was to apply American values.
“Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect towards those who are different from us – and that way of life, that quintessentially American creed, stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today,” he said.
I agree with President Obama, what better way to remember 9/11 victims than in a house of prayer? I can’t think of a more appropriate addition to Manhattan’s Ground Zero. A lot of people insist that the mosque should be excluded because the terrorists were attendees of their mosques and by association all mosques equal terrorists, and to have this building so close would unhallow the ground. These people are religious exclusionists, their hate blinds them in their quest toward understanding God’s* message of love.
This is about respecting religious choice, respecting the right of all citizens to attend any house of prayer of their choosing. Prayer is key here, atonement through prayer can, of course, happen anywhere but collecting as it would in people gathered for one purpose would make the prayer more amplified, more auspiciously directed towards God’s ear. Isn’t this (Wo)Man-to-God connection the main purpose of hallowed ground?
hopepad08 commented on The Huffington Post Reader’s site: Just in case some Christians have forgotten this: Christianity shares a number of beliefs and practices with other religions, particularly Judaism and Islam. With Judaism and Islam, Christians believe in one God, who created the universe and all that is in it. All believe that this God is active in history, guiding and teaching his people. All three religions, including Christianity, have been called “ethical monotheism”. This term emphasizes the belief in one God, and the fact that following this God commits us to a number of specific ethical rules or principles.
I wholeheartedly concur with hopepad08’s comment – beside the 3 religions that practice monotheism, there are other religions that emphasize the principles of love and forgiveness. Aren’t places of worship the most appropriate buildings to occupy “hallowed ground”? This is exactly what JJK points out below:
“There is another mosque, about a mile north of ground zero, on Allen Street in SoHo (link below). Should it have to move or tone down its own development plans” Or, is a mile “far enough” away?
“If a woman dressed in a burqua or a man dressed in traditional Arab clothing respectfully visits the Ground Zero museum but their presence “offends” others who are visiting the museum, should they be asked to leave?
“If we start by banning this mosque, where do we draw the line the next time? This country is all about tolerance and openness, even at the risk that our tolerance is being taken advantage of. That is bedrock, part of what this nation is all about.”
*Man has given God many names; I use God because I have grown up calling him/her God as per my cultural faith. Please apply your own name for God here to suit your religious persuasion.