August 17, 2010

Please help me understand

So the First Amendment protects freedom of religion. I looked it up:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It doesn't say that a religious group can build their houses of worship anywhere they like. I fail to see how Muslims' freedom of religion is in any way compromised because they can not build a mosque next to Ground Zero. Nobody of any weight has ever as much as hinted that their status as a religious community ought to be taken away from them, although it comes across as quite a good idea, but nobody can build everything he wants everywhere. There are the rights of others to observe, aren't they? What about construction noise, disruption, water runoff, loss of light? A brothel next to a school? Are there no health codes, local ordinances, nuisance laws which may prohibit these conditions?

Any Americans out there to help me understand?

Edited August 18, 2010, 22:20.

Here are the comments I received. Thank you all for helping me to understand this weired bit of politics better!
Blogger beakerkin said...

The first amendment is viewed as sacred and one of the founding principles is freedom of religion. To the best of my knowledge I do not remember a zoning requirement for a house of worship. Topless bars and so forth may be zoned into special districts.

Mosque Proponents fall into one of three groups

1) Extreme civil libertarians like Bloomberg and Nadler.

2) Communists like the Duck who want to rub Americas nose in the dirt no matter what.

3) Muslims will a mixture of a persecution complex, genuine ignorance over the significance of 9-11 and those with dreadful taste..

18 August, 2010 01:39

Delete
Blogger Alligator said...

Nora, I can't help you understand because I don';t understand. The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, destroyed on 9/11 by one of the falling towers is still struggling to rebuild. The Greek Archdioceses has accused New York officials of turning their back on them while giving the Muslim Mosque the green light to go ahead. Talks with the New York Port Authority have stalled and authority officials say they will not be revived. The same government officials who are facilitating the mosque, regularly put zoning roadblocks in the way of Christian and Jewish congregations to build or expand their facilities. As far as the claim that we are somehow denying Muslims their rights, they have hundreds of mosques and prayer rooms in New York. The argument is a red herring. This is about sensitivity to victims.

Americans agree that building the mosque may be legal but this is a sensitive spot. We are constantly told by our officials to be sensitive to Muslims beliefs. Well, what about them being sensitive to our values? I just watched some talking head idiot on TV say that opponents to the mosque were just being "too emotional" Well, 2,900 people were incinerated and America was thrown in a tumult because 12 adherents of the "religion of peace" hijacked four airliners. I think we have a right to be emotional. Our government officials are either cowards and think appeasement will make Muslims like us or they just are so PC brainwashed they are absolute morons. Either way, they are trying to cuddle and coddle a cobra. When it finally rears up and bites them, they are going to be surprised as hell.

Oh yes, the "moderate" Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who is behind the mosque, it appears that what he says in English and in Arabic are two different things.

Sorry I can't help you understand. The world is turned upside down right now.

18 August, 2010 05:06

Delete
OpenID bruce-church said...

The Constitution and Amendments are brief and don't spell out what they mean. So everyone has an opinion, and often it falls to the Supreme Court to decide. Then people talk about court precedent, usually in slogan form, such as creationism can't be taught in school due to "separation of church and state." Court precedent on zoning laws and houses of worship are not well known, so people are just shooting from the hip when they spout off First Amendment.

18 August, 2010 09:32

Delete
Blogger Joe Conservative said...

Madison, "Memorial & Remonstrance"

Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, "that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence." The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considerd as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.

18 August, 2010 15:13

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Blogger Universal Realist said...

Yes Editrix you are right that the First Amendment has nothing to do with where a place of religious worship can be built. First Amendment when it comes to religion is about separation of church and state and the right to practice a religion.

The issue comes in the Fourteenth Amendment in the second sentence (which I underline):

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

See to say American-Muslims who bought a building that they cannot make it a mosque because it’s Islamic technically violates the 14th Amendment. Because there would be no issue if Christians bought the building and turned it into a church or if an American-Muslim wanted to open a grocery store there would be no issues. But to take it away without legal reasons and due process because it’s a particular religion of a citizen or citizens would violate the 14th Amendment and possible the 1st Amendment by default because it religious discrimination. A group trying to stop the mosque there did try to get the building deemed historical but it failed because it didn't meet the requirements.

Now there are eminent domain laws. Fifth Amendment allows the Federal government to take property for “public use” but they must compensate the owners. States also have eminent domain laws which can take land for public use or the public good. But depending on the circumstances Federal and States can be overruled by the 14th Amendment.

This really comes down to the property owner, he can have a mosque or he can be sensitive to the matter and not have a mosque. From what I understand Muslims have been worshiping there since 2009.

As Gator pointed out the sad thing is that this mosque is two blocks away but yet a church at Ground Zero is being given the run around. A Greek Orthodox Church accused New York officials of turning their backs on the only church destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks,

Problem in America is our hyper PC sensitivity when it comes to Islam. People have no problem challenging or criticizing Christianity or Judaism but when it comes to Islam everybody become mute, of course this wouldn’t have anything to do with acts of violence and threats of violence that are committed by Muslims when they are offended. If there are truly moderate Muslims they need to speak up and challenge the fundamentalist. Moderate Muslims only seem to pop up after a fundamentalist commits an act of violence and tells us non-Muslims that this is not Islam. Hey don’t tell me, tell the Islamic fundamentalist.

18 August, 2010 15:19

10 comments:

beakerkin said...

The first amendment is viewed as sacred and one of the founding principles is freedom of religion. To the best of my knowledge I do not remember a zoning requirement for a house of worship. Topless bars and so forth may be zoned into special districts.

Mosque Proponents fall into one of three groups

1) Extreme civil libertarians like Bloomberg and Nadler.

2) Communists like the Duck who want to rub Americas nose in the dirt no matter what.

3) Muslims will a mixture of a persecution complex, genuine ignorance over the significance of 9-11 and those with dreadful taste..

Alligator said...

Nora, I can't help you understand because I don';t understand. The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, destroyed on 9/11 by one of the falling towers is still struggling to rebuild. The Greek Archdioceses has accused New York officials of turning their back on them while giving the Muslim Mosque the green light to go ahead. Talks with the New York Port Authority have stalled and authority officials say they will not be revived. The same government officials who are facilitating the mosque, regularly put zoning roadblocks in the way of Christian and Jewish congregations to build or expand their facilities. As far as the claim that we are somehow denying Muslims their rights, they have hundreds of mosques and prayer rooms in New York. The argument is a red herring. This is about sensitivity to victims.

Americans agree that building the mosque may be legal but this is a sensitive spot. We are constantly told by our officials to be sensitive to Muslims beliefs. Well, what about them being sensitive to our values? I just watched some talking head idiot on TV say that opponents to the mosque were just being "too emotional" Well, 2,900 people were incinerated and America was thrown in a tumult because 12 adherents of the "religion of peace" hijacked four airliners. I think we have a right to be emotional. Our government officials are either cowards and think appeasement will make Muslims like us or they just are so PC brainwashed they are absolute morons. Either way, they are trying to cuddle and coddle a cobra. When it finally rears up and bites them, they are going to be surprised as hell.

Oh yes, the "moderate" Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who is behind the mosque, it appears that what he says in English and in Arabic are two different things.

Sorry I can't help you understand. The world is turned upside down right now.

bruce-church said...

The Constitution and Amendments are brief and don't spell out what they mean. So everyone has an opinion, and often it falls to the Supreme Court to decide. Then people talk about court precedent, usually in slogan form, such as creationism can't be taught in school due to "separation of church and state." Court precedent on zoning laws and houses of worship are not well known, so people are just shooting from the hip when they spout off First Amendment.

Joe Conservative said...

Madison, "Memorial & Remonstrance"

Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, "that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence." The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considerd as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.

Universal Realist said...

Yes Editrix you are right that the First Amendment has nothing to do with where a place of religious worship can be built. First Amendment when it comes to religion is about separation of church and state and the right to practice a religion.

The issue comes in the Fourteenth Amendment in the second sentence (which I underline):

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

See to say American-Muslims who bought a building that they cannot make it a mosque because it’s Islamic technically violates the 14th Amendment. Because there would be no issue if Christians bought the building and turned it into a church or if an American-Muslim wanted to open a grocery store there would be no issues. But to take it away without legal reasons and due process because it’s a particular religion of a citizen or citizens would violate the 14th Amendment and possible the 1st Amendment by default because it religious discrimination. A group trying to stop the mosque there did try to get the building deemed historical but it failed because it didn't meet the requirements.

Now there are eminent domain laws. Fifth Amendment allows the Federal government to take property for “public use” but they must compensate the owners. States also have eminent domain laws which can take land for public use or the public good. But depending on the circumstances Federal and States can be overruled by the 14th Amendment.

This really comes down to the property owner, he can have a mosque or he can be sensitive to the matter and not have a mosque. From what I understand Muslims have been worshiping there since 2009.

As Gator pointed out the sad thing is that this mosque is two blocks away but yet a church at Ground Zero is being given the run around. A Greek Orthodox Church accused New York officials of turning their backs on the only church destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks,

Problem in America is our hyper PC sensitivity when it comes to Islam. People have no problem challenging or criticizing Christianity or Judaism but when it comes to Islam everybody become mute, of course this wouldn’t have anything to do with acts of violence and threats of violence that are committed by Muslims when they are offended. If there are truly moderate Muslims they need to speak up and challenge the fundamentalist. Moderate Muslims only seem to pop up after a fundamentalist commits an act of violence and tells us non-Muslims that this is not Islam. Hey don’t tell me, tell the Islamic fundamentalist.

The_Editrix said...

Thank you all for your helpful comments. I will put them up in the original entry for better visibility. A lot of readers don't bother to click on "comments", something these dont't deserve.

The_Editrix said...

JC, as you are a newcomer here, let me thank you specifically and tell you that you have a most interesting blog.

Ducky's here said...

Somebody please remind Alligator that the reason the Orthodox Church hasn't been approved is a direct result of actions by the church.

Port Authority of New York has bent over backwards and offered them 40 million to replace a structure that was little more than a storefront.

The Orthodox Church has even asked for changes to the BOMB SCREENING facility which should give you an idea of how irrational they have been.

Catch a clue, Alligator, before you start with the standard Glenn Beck lies.

Islam as a pretty long history in that area going back to Little Syria well over a hundred years ago and the plans for this facility pre-date 9-11. However, you seem quite willing to join with those who would cynically use the victims of 9/11 (a friend of my late father was on Flight 11).

The site has passed all legal planning and zoning reviews and all that's holding it up is extra legal noise from the likes of Pam Geller and Robert Spencer. Saying that the mosque, which has passed all citing requirements needs the approval of the likes of Geller is an absolute denial of process. Clowns like Geller and Spencer have no legal standing in this matter.

Ducky's here said...

... in fact it would be quite easy to argue this as an equal protection matter. A synagogue or church having passed all the civil review requirements would not face this extra legal noise and backlash from gutless pols like The Black Bush and Harry Reed.

It's a denial of equal protection, which violates your precious Constitution, Alligator, not that the right is very concerned about that document when they don't see it working in their favor.

fpb said...

Ducky, I am not sure about the rest, but one thing I can tell you is that to say that "Islam has a long history" with south Manhattan "beginning with Little Syria" is vile propaganda of the worst kind. America's Little Syrias, like her Little Armenias, were refugee camps for desperate Eastern Christians escaping Muslim genocide. The fact that the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch has more members and more churches in the United States than in its Syrian homeland should tell its own story. I don't know whether you were being disingenuous or just swallowing someone else's lies, but try and keep your lips clean of bloody lies next time, OK?