Saturday, July 31, 2010
Church to burn copies of Koran to mark 9/11
This seems to me a reasonable comment on the Islamic connection to the 9/11 events. The view that Islam is the Devil's mockery of Christianity also seems theologically defensible to me
A FLORIDA church was yesterday promoting an event where it will burn copies of the Koran to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the U.S. In the announcement on its Facebook page, The Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Florida, asked other religious groups to join in standing "against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!"
The Facebook event has received more than 1,500 "Like" recommendations by users, but had also been attacked with a number of threatening messages posted on the page and corresponding anti-Islam rants.
The church's pastor, Terry Jones - who has written a book titled "Islam is of The Devil" and sells T-shirts bearing the same message - defended the controversial event. "Islam and Sharia law was responsible for 9/11," Jones told Agence France-Presse. "We will burn Korans because we think it's time for Christians, for churches, for politicians to stand up and say no; Islam and Sharia law is not welcome in the U.S. "We've got many death threats from jihad groups, but we cannot react by fear and we cannot compromise our beliefs. Somebody must stand up."
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) called for the church to cancel the event, The Christian Post reported. "It sounds like the proposed Koran burning is rooted in revenge," NAE president Leith Anderson said. "Yet the Bible says that Christians should ‘make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.'"
Mainstream Muslim groups also denounced the move and lamented the sentiments promoted by the Gainesville church.
"Unfortunately in [Florida] and nationwide, Islamophobia are actually on the rise," Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spokesman Ramsey Kilic told AFP. "I'm more afraid of those who have anti-Muslim sentiments and may think this is a legitimate action and may want to attack a mosque or attack a Muslim on the street," he added.
However, Kilic said, "we are not taking any action to avoid this... we don't want to give attention to this, because that's what they want."
The proposed NYC mosque
A letter to Mayor Bloomberg
Your Honor: In regard to the proposal to build an Islamic center at the site of the 9/11/01 terrorist attack in Manhattan, I commend you for saying: "Everything the United States stands for and New York stands for is tolerance and openness, and I think it's a great message for the world..." But I would urge you to question whether this project truly represents that idea - or whether it undermines it.
Start with this: Before this project is approved, surely New Yorkers and other Americans should know who will be picking up the more than $100 million tab. Would you not be distressed were it later to be revealed that funds had been contributed by people who also finance terrorism?
You'll recall that, after the 9/11 attacks, your predecessor, Mayor Rudy Giuliani turned down a $10 million check from a Saudi prince who had said that America shares blame for the atrocity. Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the Islamic center project, has said that U.S. policies "were an accessory to the crime that happened." How is that different?
By the way, the Saudi royal family embraces Wahhabism, an interpretation of Islam that cannot be said to value "tolerance and openness." Among other things, in Saudi Arabia non-Muslim houses of worship are prohibited and "infidels" - people like you and me - may not set foot in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina upon pain of death. Newt Gingrich has called on Abdul Rauf to state clearly that he disagrees with such policies. Is that not a reasonable request?
I have an additional suggestion: If this project -- also called the "Cordoba Initiative"-- is really to "symbolize interfaith cooperation," if it's really to be an "inter-religious center," a 13-story home for "multi-faith collaboration," should it not contain a synagogue and a church as well as a mosque?
I would recommend putting each on a different floor. On the highest floor, let's put the church - since Christians founded this great nation of ours. One floor down, let's put a synagogue, since Jews were among the earliest immigrants to find religious freedom in America. And one floor further down, we'd have the mosque, a place for a newer generation of immigrants to gather and worship freely.
Here's my guess: If you propose this to Abdul Rauf, emphasizing, as you have in the past, the First Amendment rule that the government "shouldn't be in the business of picking" one religion over another, he will nonetheless refuse. He will offer all sorts of explanations but the truth, I suspect, is that he believes that Islam is not "one of the world's great religions" but rather the only true religion, that others are false and wicked. He will find it blasphemous that you want this center to give equal status to Christianity and Judaism.
Churches Not Considered Desirable Or Necessary
This would certainly seem ripe for appeal
Have you heard the joke, “if con is the opposite of pro, then congress is the opposite of progress?” While there might be several examples supporting the truth of this statement, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person’s Act (“RPUIPA”), passed by Congress, is not one of them.
RLUIPA is an example of Congress actually doing well by churches and protecting them from overzealous zoning officials. Churches were being pushed out of cities and counties. For example, they were being told they could not locate in the business district because church use was supposedly inconsistent with generating a revenue stream for the city. But on the other hand, churches were also told they could not locate in residential areas on the theory that church use caused traffic and noise issues so it was inconsistent with residential use as well. Churches had a real uphill battle on their hands just to locate within any part of urban and suburban areas.
To make matters worse, cities could discriminate against churches under the guise of a bogus safety issue that for some reason, only applied to churches and not other similar uses. Something had to be done to rein in this seemingly unstoppable power of zoning officials to hinder church property use.
So Congress stepped up and provided churches with meaningful protection against these overzealous zoning officials by passing RLUIPA. This federal law prohibits towns and counties from treating churches differently than other similar uses. It protects churches from ordinances that substantially burden their beliefs and practices.
But a recent decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of appeals in River of Life Kingdom Ministries v. Village of Hazel Crest, Illinois, threatens to gut the protections of RLUIPA. In this case, the River of Life church bought a building in a commercial district to hold its church services. When the church bought the property, the following uses were automatically permitted: art galleries, gymnasiums, meeting halls, lounges and taverns, along with several other uses. In addition, the following uses were allowed with a permit: museums, day care centers, schools of any kind, community centers, and live entertainment venues.
But, the city prohibited any and all church use in the district! What possible reason could the city have for prohibiting a church, which teaches moral values to the citizenry, while allowing community centers and live entertainment venues?
So the church filed a lawsuit claiming that the town’s actions violated their constitutional rights, as well as their rights under RLUIPA. But the Seventh Circuit ruled against the church. In so doing, the Seventh Circuit effectively eliminated the protections of RLUIPA. We will delve deeper into the court’s reasons in future blogs, but for now, I would like to point out this quote from the court: “Commerce and industry must be recognized for what they are, necessary and desirable elements of the community….” See 2010 WL 2630602, *5 (C.A. 7 (Ill.)).
According to the court, the town was justified in discriminating against the city because “commerce and industry” are “necessary and desirable elements of the community”. But what about the church? Is not the work of the church necessary and desirable for the community? Of course it is. But to certain government officials who only understand the value of the dollar, providing moral direction and the other benefits of churches is worthless.
Maybe there will come a day when we remember that churches are also beneficial – and even necessary – to communities.
Why big families 'bring lots of happiness'
Comment from Australia
SIZE does matter for many Australians aged over 30 who say the more children they have, the happier they are.
Proving that the bigger is better theory is correct - at least when it comes to family - the AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, released today, found 40 per cent of people aged over 30 with four or more children were very satisfied with their life overall.
This compares to 28 per cent of people aged over 30 with one child and 27 per cent with no children.
Australian Institute of Social Research executive director John Spoehr said the findings reflected the rewards of having children. "I think there's a lot of pressure initially, but when you look at the whole picture, having kids brings an immense joy to your life, it balances everything out," he said.
Australians are also among the most content in the world, according to the findings, finishing equal third with the US and Sweden, in a comparison of life satisfaction levels in OECD countries.
Australians had an average score of 7.9 out of 10, behind only Ireland, Norway and Denmark (equal first) and Finland and Canada (equal second).
"Australia fared very well in the Global Financial Crisis," Mr Spoehr said. "That's why we'd rank pretty highly in the happiness stakes."
Other results showed more men were satisfied with their relationships than women and people who did not own their own home had lower overall life satisfaction.
Adelaide's Peter Newall and wife Narissa agreed having four children - sons Riley, 6, Cooper, 5, and 18-month-old twins Poppy and Lyla, made for a "fun, happy" brood.
"It's definitely a bit of a juggling act and by the end of a long day we're all very tired," he said. "But I wouldn't change it for the world. Having four children is wonderful."
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.