Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mosque near ground zero: from a Catholic viewpoint

As everyone knows by now, there are plans to build a giant mosque and Islamic community centre near Ground Zero, where two hijacked jumbo jets destroyed the twin World Trade Center towers. I want to analyze this issue from a somewhat Catholic perspective.

First of all, this is legal and I believe that's a good thing. Since religious freedom is guaranteed in the United States, there cannot be a ban placed on building a mosque anywhere as long as it's legal to do so. The plans for this building place it in a legal area. As far as I know, there is no legal basis for rejecting this large structure.

I am not arguing from this point of view. Legally, this is acceptable.

What about from a moral point of view? The Catholic Church is usually at the forefront of demanding religious liberty. For example, in Switzerland, the Catholic Church voted against a ban on Muslim minarets. The Church seeks religious freedom for Christians in Muslim places such as Saudi Arabia. It would be logically inconsistent to ask for such things which voting to deny them to Muslims.

The Church believes in religious freedom, unlike other religions like Islam. The Church believes that if everyone is exposed to the Gospel, conversion of hearts will soon follow. The Church does not fear religious freedom because it presents the truth and ultimately the truth prevails. However, many Muslim countries are hostile toward Christianity and some outright ban its practice. Similarly, atheist countries like North Korea and Soviet Russia banned all forms of religion.

So, from the perspective of religious freedom, the Church says Muslims are allowed to build a mosque wherever it is legal and desirous to do so. In a letter, Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan wrote: "What is not acceptable is to prejudge any group, or to let fear and bias trump the towering American (and for us Catholics, the religious) virtues of hospitality, welcome, and religious freedom."

He went on to say: "Yes, it is acceptable to ask questions about security, safety, the background and history of the groups hoping to build and buy," Archbishop Dolan wrote. "What is not acceptable is to prejudge any group, or to let fear and bias trump the towering American (and for us Catholics, the religious) virtues of hospitality, welcome, and religious freedom."

Dolan continued by noting that both the current and former popes advocated the Muslim right to build a mosque in Rome.

Therefore, it is safe to say that from a Catholic point of view, such a construction would not seem "immoral" or wrong. It comes down to "do unto others".

Having said all that, I still question the entire idea from a prudential point of view. Who decided to build a mosque so close to ground zero, at a location which was actually damaged by the attack? This is no small building. It will cost $100 million to build. Where there, why now?

There is widespread opposition to the building of this mosque and cultural centre with around seventy percent of Americans against it. It is obviously being built on a very sensitive area. So even with these considerations, why didn't those building this structure consider a different location?

To me there is poor judgment here and I cannot understand the motivation. Imagine if there was an attack in Northern Ireland where a group of extremist Catholics entered into a protestant area, and detonated fifty bombs simultaneously, killing one thousand people. Then nine years later, with the destroyed area still in ruin, the Catholic Church decides to build a $100 million Church and cultural centre. This would seem very insulting and a form of triumphalism. Even if the extremist group was all excommunicated from the Church and publicly distanced from it, it would still seem insensitive. Almost like raising a flag after a war. And how about if 70% of Northern Irelanders were against such a structure? I think from a purely prudential point of view, such a construction project would be rightfully considered a poor choice.

Muslims and all other religious people should have the right to build a place of worship wherever they want if it is legal. However, everyone also has the right to act logically when making decisions.

4 comments:

  1. The Victory Mosque is just the visible tip of a very large iceberg. Beneath the surface of Western societies, 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.

    ReplyDelete
  2. PIAPS HAS OBVIOUSLY INSTRUCTED THE ROMAN POPE TO HAVE HIS SURROGATE IN NEW YORK INTERVENE IN THE GROUND ZERO ISLAMOFASCIST MOSQUE CONTROVERSY!!!!!!!!:

    The archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, says he would be "honored" to serve as a mediator in the ever- growing controversy over the proposed mosque hard by Ground Zero."If I can be a part, say but the word," Dolan said during an impromptu news conference.

    HOW CAN POPERY “MEDIATE” AN ISSUE WHEN THEY HAVE ALREADY PREDETERMINED THEIR ANTI-AMERICA POSITION?!?!?!?!

    PAM GELLER, DON’T FALL FOR THIS JESUITICAL PLOY!!!!!!

    IT IS NOW CLEAR TO EVEN THE CASUAL OBSERVER, THAT PIAPS IS MAKING EARLY MOVES TO ESTABLISH HER ONE-WORLD RELIGION!!!!!

    THIS WAS INDICATED BY EMMINENT SCHOLAR DR. TIM LAHAYE AS WELL!!!!!!

    WE KNOW THAT SAINT PATRICK’S TEMPLE IS ONLY 1.5 MILES AWAY FROM THE UNITED NATIONS, TO WHERE PIAPS WILL DISPATCH CLINTOON IN THE FINAL TRIBULATION PERIOD!!!!!!

    THIS MINISTRY URGES OUR NEW YORK READERS TO PRINTOUT THE MORNING AFTER TO PASS OUT TO THOSE DOING THE WORK OF FREEDOM IN PROTESTING AND DEMONSTRATING TO UPHOLD THE DIGNITY OF GROUND ZERO!!!!!

    HEY, POPE!!!! HEY, PIAPS!!!!

    YOU ARE BOTH EXPOSED!!!!!

    AMERICA------YEAH!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Everyone is talking about the mosque going up, but almost no one is talking about the Greek Orthodox Church destroyed in the attack that has been prevented from rebuilding. I have nothing against the mosque, but the Greek Orthodox faithful deserve to rebuild St Nicholas parish destroyed by Islamic terrorism.

    ReplyDelete
  4. PIAPS HAS OBVIOUSLY INSTRUCTED THE ROMAN POPE TO HAVE HIS SURROGATE IN NEW YORK INTERVENE IN THE GROUND ZERO ISLAMOFASCIST MOSQUE CONTROVERSY!!!!!!!!:

    The archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, says he would be "honored" to serve as a mediator in the ever- growing controversy over the proposed mosque hard by Ground Zero."If I can be a part, say but the word," Dolan said during an impromptu news conference.

    HOW CAN POPERY “MEDIATE” AN ISSUE WHEN THEY HAVE ALREADY PREDETERMINED THEIR ANTI-AMERICA POSITION?!?!?!?!

    PAM GELLER, DON’T FALL FOR THIS JESUITICAL PLOY!!!!!!

    IT IS NOW CLEAR TO EVEN THE CASUAL OBSERVER, THAT PIAPS IS MAKING EARLY MOVES TO ESTABLISH HER ONE-WORLD RELIGION!!!!!

    THIS WAS INDICATED BY EMMINENT SCHOLAR DR. TIM LAHAYE AS WELL!!!!!!

    WE KNOW THAT SAINT PATRICK’S TEMPLE IS ONLY 1.5 MILES AWAY FROM THE UNITED NATIONS, TO WHERE PIAPS WILL DISPATCH CLINTOON IN THE FINAL TRIBULATION PERIOD!!!!!!

    THIS MINISTRY URGES OUR NEW YORK READERS TO PRINTOUT THE MORNING AFTER TO PASS OUT TO THOSE DOING THE WORK OF FREEDOM IN PROTESTING AND DEMONSTRATING TO UPHOLD THE DIGNITY OF GROUND ZERO!!!!!

    HEY, POPE!!!! HEY, PIAPS!!!!

    YOU ARE BOTH EXPOSED!!!!!

    AMERICA------YEAH!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete