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July 21, 2010 - 9:48am

Today's Poll: What do you think of the proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Jeff Allen
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I think it is distasteful, inappropriate, and offensive to those who lost loved ones there, however freedom of religious expression is foundational to our country and must be defended. I wish the builders of the mosque used better judgement, however with true freedom comes not only your ability to express yourself, but the responsibility to defend that freedom for those with whom you disagree.
Dave Olsen
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That was well said Jeff. I agree completely
Pamela Dayton
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Blaming a religion for the actions of a murderer is also inappropriate.
Lori Silvernail
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Does anyone know who actually owns the land the mosque would be built on? My money is on a foreigner, so opinions won't matter in the end anyways. My personal opinion is that a meditation garden would suffice for ANY religion.
Jason Murray
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its amazing to see the intolerance just in this area alone. no wonder stuff like that happens
Jeff Allen
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Jason, what do you mean by "no wonder stuff like that happens"?
Charlie Mallow
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I have to side with Pamela on this one. You are going down a slippery slope fighting this one.
Bea McManis
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Lorie, the guy on TV the other morning explained that it isn't a mosque but a community center. He hoped that would be a center where those who lost loved ones could come and be with those who mourn with them. There is hope that there could be understanding between those who suffered a loss and those who are blamed by association.
Jason Tucker
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Innocent Muslims were murdered in the 9/11 attack as well. Gotta wonder what their loved ones think about this absurd debate.
Jason Murray
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jeff what i mean is the intolerance in this "free" country is what leads to these terrorist attacks. whats the difference between a mosque and a Jewish temple or a catholic church. i hope everybody whose is against this would be against that too or are you just hypocritical bastards
C. M. Barons
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The official death toll for the 9/11 attack on New York is 2,751. Who knows the religious affiliations of those dead. Pentacostal or Pagan, it doesn't matter to anyone who will visit ground zero to pay homage to innocent lives lost. It is no one's business to guess. The politicians and religious pragmatists who view an Islamic Center at ground zero as a conciliatory gesture are inventing a martyr who does not exist. A simple marker with all the names of the dead, thank you, will suffice. There is no call to turn hallowed ground into an ideological battle ground.
George Richardson
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What about the Constitution? What if the soldiers in Iraq want to build a Christian Church? Is that inappropriate too? It sure as hell is, but I'll bet few believe it is. Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom for your religion only. Frankly, it's all a bad joke anyway.
Jason Murray
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george there is no freedom of religion in iraq big difference
Jason Tucker
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Its also worth pointing out that the location of the proposed mosque and community center is a full 2 blocks away from the actual WTC site. It's not like they're planning to put this at the WTC itself. Perhaps we need an official designation of where the "hallowed ground" begins and ends...
Dave Olsen
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Ah, yes more "collapse of complex societies" fodder
George Richardson
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First (1st) Jason, I don't think a Christian Church would have as much opposition in Iraq as a potential Mosque has here. Second (2nd) Jason, the official designation for some, is anywhere. All religions are nonsense anyway, just try to live a decent life and treat everyone like a family member. That's all any religion strives for, it's the Jesus leeches that have perverted it into a social, political and economically divisive entity that was never meant to be. That's my view from the left. I like it better than what I see from the right. Maybe I'm not old and jaded enough yet, I hope I never am.
John Roach
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George, There are Christian churches in Iraq. Not many, but they are there.
Gabor Deutsch
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Howard B. Owens
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When I lived in San Diego I got to know quite a few Chaldeans (Christians from Iraq). They were quite entrepreneurial and owned a lot of businesses, providing jobs for members of their own community (mostly liquor and convenience stores). At the time, El Cajon had the second largest Chaldean community in the U.S., second only to Detroit. I had the pleasure of lunch at their members-only social club once. As a free-lance writer, I did a cover story for the San Diego Business Journal on this community of entrepreneurs. The picture on the cover was of three small business owners in front of one of their stores -- the largest grocery store in Ocean Beach. Now keep in mind, this was two or three years before 9/11. The publisher was deluged with angry e-mails and phone calls about from readers and the publishers friends who were upset that his paper would put Iranians/Muslims on the cover of a special section. Siding with the complainers, the Publisher threatened to fire one of the editors over it -- who eventually did quit over the incident -- and when word of that leaked out, the whole thing became a bigger controversial mess. It irritated the hell out of me because these were local Christian businessmen who were doing a lot for both their close-knit community and the community as a whole. They didn't deserve to be dragged through the mud like that just because they participated in that story.
Jeff Allen
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Jason, you said that " intolerance in this "free" country is what leads to these terrorist attacks". That is not true. What lead to these attacks is a strict adherence to the jihadist point of view of Islam. Our guilt is not our intolerence, our guilt is our free expression of our faith(infidels to them), our wealth, and our prosperity.
Frank Bartholomew
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My own feelings on this issue are, some fanatical wing of a religion started a war with our country, or jihad as they call it. To me it means the same as the attack on Pearl Harbor. You don't see a statue of Hirohito any where on the island do you. Look at what happened to the Japanese Americans after the attack. Regardless of what type of Islam was responsible for 9/11, it is my opinion that no mosque be put any where near that site. I for one would sacrifice all religous rights if it helped to prevent another attack. I know you shouldn't blame all muslims for the actions of some, but realisticly, many of the 9/11 terrorist were Saudis, so that in itself demonstrates to me anyway, you let our gaurd down when it comes to muslims, it will cost dearly. If I had my way, I would outlaw that religion in this country, and if you don't like it , move to Mecca. While we're at it, why don't we build a Nazi shrine at Normandy
Billie Owens
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Jason asked why his post to Frank was deleted. His query was posted twice, I deleted the duplicate but somehow both got deleted. Sorry, Jason Murray. Anyway, you asked why your post was deleted and it is simply because you launched into a personal attack, which is not allowed. You can preach, cajole, annoy, bemuse, inform, etc., but you must stick to ideas, positions, facts, opinions - in other words don't call people names and get personal with your temper.
Billie Owens
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Jason Murray, I just deleted your response post because in it you reiterate your personal attacks in order to defend them. That partially restates what got your comment deleted in the first place.
Jason Murray
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ok lets try this i was upset because in my own personal opinion i feel franks comment was racist. im not saying he is racist but that comment was. funny you dont think his post was a personal attack. im sure a muslim would think its pretty personal. how about i post this at a nearby islamic center and we get there opinion on it or even better yet how about "build bridges between cultures" the global education committee at genesee community college. im sure they would love it. see this is the type of intolerance i was talking about in my first post hope that better in now way did i attack anybody just stated my idea, position, and opinion
Howard B. Owens
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I think the best response to Frank is a quote from Patrick Henry: "Give me liberty, or give me death." People have fought and died to ensure religious freedom in this country.
Jason Murray
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couldnt of put it better myself. our soldiers are still dieing everyday for our freedom
Chris Charvella
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I'm just getting here, so I didn't see anything of Jason's, but somebody's going to have to explain to me why Frank's 'move to Mecca' post is still up. Bigoted doesn't even begin to describe what's going on in that diatribe. Also: Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. -Benjamin Franklin-
Howard B. Owens
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Chris, there's no rule against bigoted. While I can imagine -- though I won't state the words -- statements insulting other races or religions, Frank's statement doesn't rise to that level of offense in my mind. If Frank wants to be associated with that expression of belief, then that's his choice. We delete posts for insulting individuals, especially other members of the site, and otherwise private individuals (people in the public eye need to have a little thicker skin). Frank may be expressing a rather narrow minded view toward religion, but he isn't attacking individuals. His view is as much political as it is cultural. Should I disallow all political views I find distasteful? I'd also take issue with the idea that what Frank said is racist. Islam is not a race. It's a religion. Religion is a choice. You can choose to be a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddist or even Jewish. You can't choose to be black or Native American or a Jew. Outright racism is something we won't tolerate, but it gets a lot more murky when discussing a matter of religious choice. I see Frank statement more as something to argue against rather than pretend such views don't exist. I almost put up the Patrick Henry quote as soon as I saw his post. It was the first thing that popped into my mind. In hindsight, wish I had. It might have changed the tone of the subsequent posts. When people make statements like his, it can equally be seen as an opportunity to respond with a reasoned response in favor of liberty and freedom, rather then pretending such views don't exist. I find it frightening that there are people who argue that some religions shouldn't be tolerated, or that maybe our press is just a little too free, or some political views shouldn't be tolerated. The threat to freedom of such attitudes is much more dangerous if we ignore them or pretend they don't matter or just look the other way. It's better to let them hang out there and make a reasoned argument against them and remind people how important freedom is. Of course, all of these sorts of issues are judgment calls. Others may disagree with my decision(s), and I may not always be consistent or right (being human), but that's my view, and like it or not, I trust that answers your question, Chris.
Frank Bartholomew
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Jason, If you didn't notice, let me remind you, I used the term "my opinion", and the last time I checked, US citizens have that right.
Howard B. Owens
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But you would deny, Frank, the right of others to have an opinion? Some U.S. citizens are of the opinion that Mohammed is the prophet. Don't they have the right to that opinion?
Frank Bartholomew
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Chris, it was all opinioned based, get over it. I can't wait to hear what some of you will say when the Iranians share one of their nukes with this "religion" and they take out a large metro area. I don't give a damn what our writers of the constitution said, there is no freedom in fear.As far as I'm concerned, if the Israelis don't take out the Iranian nuke sites, there is certain to be an attack, maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will happen, and just like 9/11, everyone is going to be all up in arms as to why our government let this happen, we are the government,and God forbid this ever happens, but if it does,will all who label me a bigot, be willing to maintain that position in an open forum? And you can post my comment any where you like Jason, I don't agree with any religion that claims me to an infidel because I disagree with their beleifs.If that is bigotry,then I plead guilty as charged.
Frank Bartholomew
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Howard, The fanatical wing of this religion wants to see dead Americans. Can you identify which ones they are? They call Americans the great satan. If these people exist in this country, they should be charged with treason and put to death if found guilty. In this country they at least would be afforded rights, the victims of 9/11 never got that chance. And again,in my opinion, building a mosque anywhere near that site would be rubbing the victims families noses in it. Lets build a U.S.nucular warhead factory in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. What on earth would ever posess anyone to even consider this. I can hear Bin Ladens laughter from here.
Frank Bartholomew
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This just in from somewhere in the mountains of Pakistan. One fanactical muslim says to another, What do Americans do after we murder almost 3,000 of their people,fanactical muslim #2; I don't know,what do they do? they build a mosque right next door,hahahahahahahahah
Howard B. Owens
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John, ever hear of the Inquisition? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition Or when they burned "witches" at the stake in Salem? Remember the bombings of abortion clinics? No religion is immune from its fanatics. That's precisely why the Founders insisted on religion freedom, to protect us from the fanatics taking over. The minute we deny religion freedom to Muslims, we become just like Bin Laden.
Bea McManis
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Frank, I had an ancestor hung in Boston for being a Quaker. http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/religion/p/p_mary_dyer.htm I agree with Howard, once we go down that slope, we become just like Bin Laden.
Jason Murray
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hey frank how many people were killed because they didnt believe in the christian god or jesus. please tell me whats the difference
Frank Bartholomew
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Jason, So you condone terrorism? I'm not defending any religous persuasions,and now you're making excuses for murder. WHAT IS YOUR POINT.
Howard B. Owens
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Frank, there's a difference between defending freedom and condoning terrorism. If you don't stand for freedom, then what good does it do to stand against terrorism?
Frank Bartholomew
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Bea, All I'm saying is that if we don't watch our backs, and as uncomfortable as we may feel about what methods may need to be employed to protect our nation, it should be considered. Just remember the immediate reaction after 9/11, many were blaming the govt. how did they let this happen and so on. Now that some time has passed, everyone wants to extend olive branches. These people want us dead, they hate all we stand for. Are you or anyone else criticizing me for feeling the same way towards them. I didn't attack and murder, nor did I support any group that attacked and murdered thousands of innocent people, they did this,so my hatred of them is just a little more justifiable than there hatred of my being an American. I am speaking of the radical extremist, but again, I ask, can you identify who is who. Let me put it this way, when I offer an olive branch in one hand, I damn sure want a shotgun in the other, kinda like to error on the side of caution. If these people are left unchecked, their next act may make 9/11 look like a fender bender. If fire isn't fought with fire, only one gets burned, I would prefer it not be me.
Frank Bartholomew
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Howard, when your dead you don't stand for anything., I don't agree with the sitting duck attitude. Do you honestly believe the constitution would contain the same context now,as when it was written, our forefathers lived in a much simpler, less complex world. And whether anyone likes it or not, all things must change to accomendate new environments. None of us greet change with open arms, but these people hate us with a passion, and thier goal is to kill as many of us as they can. They use our open society as a tool, if we all want to sit back and qoute 200 year old analgies, it won't be long, they will be back, and they will be back with a much more devastating act than 9/11, and the last thing I ever want to say is I told you so. I'm sorry, but that is how I feel, and in no way was it my intention to offend anyone, but I like to take a proactive approach, rather than sit back and get killed with all my rights intact. It would be much like dying with a million dollars in your pocket.
Howard B. Owens
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Frank, I absolutely believe with 100-percent certainty that if the Founders knew of this world as it is now, they'd write the same Constitution and the same Bill of Rights. As the Declaration of Independence says, our rights are unalienable. Our rights are not granted by a piece of paper. They are granted and governed by a higher power. They are immutable. They don't change with the whims of the times.
Frank Bartholomew
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Howard In this instance, I would much rather give up a piece, rather than the whole pie,and make all neccessary preparations to keep the rest
Frank Bartholomew
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Howard, I am very reluctant to go here but,I beleive they do in fact change,through interpretation by the courts.
Jason Murray
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frank your saying all muslims are terrorists. just because the terrorists happen to be muslims doesnt make all muslims terrorists. how many Christians are in jail does that make all Christians criminals if so in your opinion they should all be locked up just for your safety
Howard B. Owens
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Frank, once you've given up a piece, you have given up the whole thing.
Frank Bartholomew
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Jason, The term(s) I used were either,fanatical wing, radical or extremists, are these the people you are speaking for? Jason the only point I am trying to make is this, I can't tell which brand I,m looking at,can you? and what is your point by your non stop comparison with Christians? I don't favor one religion, but as I stated earlier, just because I don't agree with anothers faith,it does not make me an infidel, and in my opinion that belief in itself speaks volumes for this religion. If these radicals are left unchecked, they will strike again, and when they do, as happened after 9/11, many will blame the govt. for not protecting them. You can't have it both ways. And getting back to the point, it would be a slap in the face of victims families to build a mosque anywhere near that site. That is my opinion,and further, I beleive I answered an opinion poll question.
Jason Murray
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frank your not getting my point your grouping all muslims together cuz you cant tell them apart but you can tell Christians apart how about the radical christian extremest arrested in march for planning an attack with weapons of mass destruction http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpps/news/dpgonc-radical-christian-extremist... "If these radicals are left unchecked, they will strike again" sorry frank i used your words there. so like i said in your eyes lets get rid of all of them cuz frank cant tell them apart
Frank Bartholomew
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Howard, You say our rights are gaurenteed by the Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.That may be the case for some, but I am here to say, not for all. And when one challenges their loss of rights, well you will take one hell of beating attempting to prove it.If you don't have the financial resources, your rights will diminish before your very eyes.So,if I appear to be a bigot, or narrow minded, lets just say our system had a lot to do with it.My rights are only gaurenteed if I can afford the cost to fight back, and yet I committed no crime. So to all who think you have all these rights I say this, only if you can afford to keep them. Several years ago, I would have stood side by side with you, but then found out the hard way that I didn't have the resources to fight and regain my so called gaurenteed rights.Someone stold a piece of my pie, and as stated earlier, I have to find a way to protect the rest.
Frank Bartholomew
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Jason , Take a reading comprehension course,I don't hold any religion to be my favorite, I disagree with a religion that says I am any less of a human being for not agreeing with their beliefs. Again Jason, I beleive I used the term fanatical,radical, and extremist, the last time I checked, it was this group who crashed airliners into buildings on American soil, that has been proven, and not alleged, are you anti-Christian, or do you think I'm a bible thumper?
Jason Murray
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am not anti christian or think your a bible thumper as a matter of fact im not anti anything. every person has a right to believe anything they want to regardless of financial backgrounds. so its bs that you have to afford your rights. you have the right to talk the nonsense you are and its completely free. and with proven not alleged. frank it was stopped b4 it could happen. take a look at that groups website i dont think christ wanted his word spread with bullets and last time i checked church attire did not involve camo and an ak-47. but i do love how your defending them with the innocent until proven guilty routine. shouldnt you afford the same to all of the muslims in the us. oh and my reading comp is just fine, yes you did use those terms but u also said since you cant tell the difference between them they should all be treated as such so why cant you hold christians up to your standards

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