August 24th, 2010

Of Mosques, Mormons, and Mob Mentality


photo credit: cschwa17

On September 11, a group of individuals united by their faith brutally killed a large number of innocent people. Years later, other members of the religion to which these murderers belonged attempted to build a religious center nearby. Politicians did not protest, the media did not hype the construction of the building to manufacture controversy, and the nation remained largely ignorant of the religious edifice. If this sounds at odds with what America has witnessed in the past few days, that’s because it is.

The aforementioned scenario refers not to the wrongly-named “Ground Zero Mosque”, but to a couple of chapels outside of Cedar City, Utah, belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The September 11th mentioned above was in 1857, when 50 to 60 armed members of the local militia, who were also Mormons, attacked and killed around 120 emigrants heading to California by wagon. Today, there stands within just a few miles of that scene two LDS chapels housing five separate congregations.

Perhaps another example is in order. On August 6, 1945, the United States government extinguished the lives of over 70,000 Japanese, and injured at least the same number, through the use of the newly-engineered atomic bomb. Hiroshima was extraordinarily scarred, the lives of thousands of innocent individuals snuffed out in seconds. Today, however, the United States government operates three ammunition depots within the Hiroshima Prefecture, and a military base less than two dozen miles away.

The above examples are offered in an attempt to rebut, through indirect reference to the golden rule, the public outcry that has saturated America’s airwaves in the past few days. Mormons, especially—we who have been collectively targeted by mob rule and coercive government action—should keenly understand and sympathize with those of other faiths who are placed in a similar situation.

But we generally don’t. Why not?

Fundamentally, the issue of the proposed Islamic community center boils down to property rights. Either individuals are free to purchase and use their own property as they see fit (provided they do no harm to others), or they’re not. Opponents of the project superficially acknowledge this argument, but qualify it with a litany of conditions: they should be sensitive to the families of the 9/11 victims; they have their property rights and freedom of religion, but should exercise them elsewhere; their selected location is too close to “ground zero”; and the construction of this mosque will be seen as a victory for Islam right in the very location where some of its adherents forced America to its knees.

Yawn.

These qualifiers are simply subtle demonstrations that the person using them in no way respects property rights, nor the freedom of religion. Worse still, members of the LDS Church who espouse such intellectually hollow rhetoric place themselves (perhaps unknowingly) in an awkward situation divorced from their own history. We, too, have been castigated in the public square for the actions of others who claim our religion as their own. We believe that man will punished for his own sins, but want to tie the sins of others to an entire religion in an attempt to deny them their pursuit of happiness. We claim “the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may,” and yet, we don’t.

Some have expressed concerns about the impact of allowing an advocate for Sharia law to have such a strong foothold in New York City, and the potential political implications such a large community center would have. Again, though, this fear (or any of its derivations) reeks with hypocrisy when vocalized by Latter-day Saints. One of the primary rallying cries for the anti-Mormon mobs was in regards to the significant political power the Mormons wielded through their unified votes, and the mixture of religion and politics in the theo-democratic institutions with which Joseph Smith experimented. The Prophet was mayor of his city, commanded a powerful militia, spearheaded institutions that combined religious and political power into one, and even sought out the highest political office in the United States government! Any one of these actions alone would have fed sufficient controversy to the opposing mob, but their combination ultimately proved fatal for the man who restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth. We Mormons of all people, then, should immediately, sincerely, and vocally reject any sort of similar uproar targeted at others.

If we Mormons have learned anything from our history, it’s that a group of individuals whipped into a fanatic frenzy based on hearsay, emotional appeals, and populist rhetoric can quickly transform into a mob bent on alienation, persecution, and even destruction. Having been subjected to an extermination order, forceful ejections from property, pillage, plunder, and a deprivation of every comfort imaginable, our Latter-day Saint ancestors would surely be appalled at the degree to which many of their posterity are exhibiting some of the same characteristics in reference to those of another faith.

We who have historically suffered such persecution should be among the most ardent defenders of individual liberty, private property, freedom of religion, and freedom of association. We should be passing this latest litmus test with flying colors, boldly standing up for the oppressed minority now targeted by mob mentality, expressing sympathy and support—not necessarily for this specific project in its specific location, but for the right its organizers have to pursue it, and the freedom that should accompany such a right.

That we have collectively failed in this regard is a stain on our much-revered, Moroni-inspired Title of Liberty, and a lost opportunity to prove that we have learned from our past. Where once we were the victims of the mob, now we are part of it.

140 Responses to “Of Mosques, Mormons, and Mob Mentality”

  1. vontrapp
    August 24, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    I don’t know that the title of liberty is “much-revered” these days, excepting by a relative few.

  2. Tim Harper
    August 24, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    Bravo!

  3. E L Frederick
    August 24, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Bullcrap.

    When were the chapels near the moutain meadows massacre built? Was it within a decade of the massacre?

    I have no problem letting the Muslims worship as they please, but they can build the mosque elsewhere. It’s not an 11th AOF issue.

    We have had issues of zoning rights for our temples, and have had to build temples in other locations due to issues with non-LDS people. I have no problem what so ever with having the Muslims move the mosque to another location.

    If it has been LDS missionaries and not Muslims who had crashed planes into the WTC, I would oppose our right to build a temple in the area too.

  4. Connor
    August 24, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    E L: I note that you’re commenting from a military IP address. That might explain your use of language, which I’ve edited. Feel free to participate in the discussion, but keep it family-friendly.

  5. E L Frederick
    August 24, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children”

    We lost 2,995 of our husbands, our fathers, our brothers, our friends, our wives, our sisters, and our children in that attack on Sept 11. It was an attack on our God, our religion, and our freedom from a group of people much like the Gadiantion Robbers of the Book of Mormon.

    It personally feel it is an insult to the honored dead of that day, and all of the men and women who had died since trying to defeat this enemy to have a mosque built near that site.

    Like Gettysburg:

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

    You can wrap it up in “tolerance” and try and sell this mosque as something other than the insult it is, but the simple fact is that it is purposely being proposed as a “provocation”.

  6. brennan
    August 24, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    EL, Do you live there?

    Because if not, what gives you the right to object to this anyway?

    Should we have american citizens question you anytime you want to make a purchase. maybe protest the next location of your home cuz I dont like the book you read at night. Ignorance is bliss I guess………

  7. Cor
    August 24, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    With temples at Palmyra, Nauvoo, Winter Quarters, soon at Liberty, and eventually at Far West…the ultimate victory over mob rule has been achieved with truth, perseverance, and humility.

  8. E L Frederick
    August 24, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Because if not, what gives you the right to object to this anyway?

    MY Blood, MY Sweat, MY Tears in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Protesting over a book I read at night, is not the same as protesting the location due the 2,995 who gave their lives to 19 cowardly jihadist.

    I suppose your willfull ignorance of the facts is bliss….

  9. E L Frederick
    August 24, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    The Muslims are not being told they can’t build a mosque, that would be an 11th AOF issue. They are being told “not here”.

    Why is that an issue? Why is it so important to have the mosque RIGHT THERE?

    We’ve changed our plans to build temples… so what’s the big deal about the Muslims being told the same thing? Why is that intolerance? Why is that such an issue that it “is a stain on our much-revered, Moroni-inspired Title of Liberty”.

    That hardly seems to be the big deal you are making it out to be.

  10. Martin
    August 24, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Well, the chapels built after the Mountain Meadows Massacre would be more like al Qaida shooting down airplanes over Afghanistan and then building a mosque there…. Not at all similar to 9/11/2001.

    You actually bring up some good points on how the mobs were justified for killing Joseph Smith. I mean, I’d be afraid of a bigamist theocrat whose cult-like following was taking over my country.

    Muslims most definitely are the victims of unjust prejudice and discrimination here, but I feel like this article is a great argument for the abolition of religion altogether. We could use a little less irrational, magical thinking that causes even the greatest minds to contort truth and logic to fit into their “beliefs” — especially when those contortions cause the deaths of thosands.

  11. Ryan
    August 24, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Martin,

    You want to abolish religion. Your argument for this is that religion is irrational.

    Since your logic is irrational (as it employs several logical fallacies), It must follow that you will now voluntarily abolish yourself in order to satisfy your own perception of justice.

    Good luck with that.

  12. Dave P.
    August 24, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    Of course anyone who still believes the official report on the 9/11 attacks needs to have their own head examined before re-examining what we know now.

    This is just a divide-and-conquer tactic designed to distract everyone away from the real issues, people. Think about the information that the Imam of the proposed “mosque” is receiving a great deal of funds from one of the heads of FOX News.

    Either way, if they want to buy the land to build the “mosque,” that is entirely their right. The outlandish reaction by the Islamophobic idiots out there that’s being milked to keep people’s focus away from the real Gadianton robbers destroying what’s left of our Constitution. Did anyone else notice how this really didn’t catch fire until after the flames of the BP oil spill had begun to die down?

  13. Martin
    August 24, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    And your logic is childish.

    Please, point out my fallacies. Thanks.

  14. Brent Hartman
    August 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Remember the “ground zero” the United States created in the Straight of Hormuz? Perhaps, out of sympathy of of those families who had loved ones lost on Iran Air Flight 655, the U.S. military should refrain from placing U.S. warships in the hallowed waters of Iran’s “ground zero”.

    Anybody remember the “ground zero” created by a couple of radical Christians on April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City? Who’s with me in calling for a ban of any Christian church within a few blocks of the old Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City? Oh, yeah, McVeigh was a veteran as well. We may as well include the military in that ban.

    By the way, thank you, E L Frederick, for doing your part in spreading Islamic “ground zeros” throughout the middle-east, while our government is destroying the Constitution, that you swore to defend, back here at home. Great job!

  15. E L Frederick
    August 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    The nice thing about American freedom is that Brent can show his stupidity by denigrating the people who provide the free air that he is currently breathing.

  16. Bryan Hyde
    August 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    E.L., I don’t mean any disrespect, but your sense of self-importance in providing the “free air” that we breathe is way overblown. Just because our military fights doesn’t automatically make the fight they’re in a righteous one or one that is necessarily connected to defending our freedoms.

    Only those military actions that are congruent with the defense of the Constitution and its principles could be considered to be associated with our freedoms. Too many of our nation’s recent conflicts have been centered on enforcing the foreign policy edicts of decision makers who are pursuing goals often contrary to Constitutional government.

    If militarism was really the source of freedom, then North Korea should be a bastion of liberty, right?

    Your service to your country is admirable, but it doesn’t give you omniscience or the right to dictate what points of view others may hold.

  17. Jeffrey T
    August 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Well said, Bryan.

    I am less safe and less free because of the war the U.S. is currently fighting overseas. Militarism and foreign intervention jeopardize domestic liberty and security.

  18. Brent Hartman
    August 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    LOL! How exactly is killing Afghans and Iraqis keeping me free? I know that’s what George “The Constitution is just a g-ddamned piece of paper” Bush, was trying to sell, but I’m just not buying it.

    Frankly, if I’m relying on our military to protect my freedoms, I’m a little worried. It’s been nearly a decade, and after a TRILLION dollars of taxpayer money, you guys can’t even defeat a ragtag militia that doesn’t even have a navy, air force, or tanks. Once again, great job!

    I might be stupid for not supporting the foreign policy of the “New World Order”, but at least I’m not governed by Islamophobia. After all, how many Americans have Islamic terrorist killed in the past 50 years? Drunk drivers have killed more Americans in the past year than Islamic terrorist have killed in the past half-century. Some threat.

    Like I said, I’m more worried about the enemies within our government than I am about some goat herder in Afghanistan. The fact is, our own military leaders have planned terrorist attacks against Americans. For proof, just read this document that was signed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling for false flag terror attacks to get us into a war with Cuba. Here’s a link to the declassified document:

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/northwoods.pdf

    I understand why our leaders need these Islamic scapegoats. If we weren’t distracted by Islamic terrorist, we might start noticing the terrorist closer to home.

  19. Clif Brown
    August 24, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Wow. It’s getting a little rough in here…

    Connor, great post. I admire your consistency in your principles.

    Consistency (or rather the lack thereof) is why I have such little tolerance for most Tea Partiers. It’s the tea party crowd that loves to loves to portray themselves as the defenders of the constitution – until an issue like this one comes up. Then all their constitutional principles go right out the window.

    This issue of the New York mosque is far from the only such example.

    Perhaps if more Tea Partiers were as consistent in their principles as you are, I might take them a little more seriously.

  20. C Perkins
    August 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Well said. I appreciate your perspective. However, you made one significant mistake–a mistake that you apparently think is wrong, as can be implied by how you introduced the topic. The key phrase is false stereotyping (i.e. false generalization). You decry judgment of an entire religion by the acts of a few of its members, but you yourself are (falsely) lumping all members of the Church into one category when you say “we generally don’t “ sympathize with others and “we don’t” let others worship as they please.
    Mit Romney and Harry Reid are public figures that are also members of the Church. But they do not represent the church: not officially, not unofficially, nor do they embody what makes a typical Mormon. Even if other public “LDS” figures and/or media comment on the issue, they likewise in no way represent “we” the members of the church. This really is a matter of psychology and sociology, but even if it were possible or appropriate to group us all together as a group of religious members, last I checked, “we” are led by a prophet of God, Pres. Monson (which, BTW, I think IS a reasonable generalization). I really doubt that he or any one of the General Authorities will take a stand on the issue. But even if they did, it would still be wrong to lump all of us together in our opinion of the mosque issue.

  21. Connor
    August 24, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    I’m not sure I agree with your point. I opposed, in this article, the taking of a minority action to apply it to the majority or to the whole.

    In the case of my fellow Latter-day Saints, though, I’m making an observation that, from all the commentary I’ve seen thus far from various sources, which has not been just a little, proves generally true. In other words, it was a small minority of Muslims and Mormons whose violent actions are used to denigrate an entire religion, whereas it is, generally, a majority of Mormons who are opposing the proposed project and using some of the rhetoric I’ve described above.

  22. Jim Davis
    August 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    Well put Connor! I am also impressed with many of the comments made here as well. This post is consistent with an article written by Ron Paul titled, “Ron Paul to Sunshine Patriots: Stop Your Demagogy About The NYC Mosque!“. Here are a few excerpts from this article:

    The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place because all the suicide bombers loved to play soccer…

    It is repeatedly said that 64% of the people, after listening to the political demagogues, don’t want the mosque to be built. What would we do if 75% of the people insist that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City? The point being is that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as well as individual dictators. Statistics of support is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society—protecting liberty.

    A relevant video referring to this issue and Ron Paul’s statements can be seen here.

  23. C Perkins
    August 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    Connor, I see that you are indeed opposed to incorrectly categorizing large groups. I agree with what you shared and I like how you’ve expressed most points. I have no problem with the ideas you expressed as a whole.

    Perhaps you read more and discuss the issue with more Latter-day Saints than I do. But my point is that I really doubt that the “commentary [you've] seen” is a significant portion of the nearly 14 million members of the church. I do not know you and have read your blog only once before, but the little I’ve read of your opinion shows that you are open minded and can perceive the subtleties of an issue. I am thus surprised that you don’t agree with my point and even restate that you think your small view of LDS membership justifies attributing a particular opinion to the “majority of Mormons”. Maybe if you said something like “generally all the members that I’ve (meaning you) talked with or read commentary of…”. Or perhaps a more objective phrase like “most of the nearly ## commentary of LDS members that I’ve read online…” At least this would indicate what small sub-category of Latter-day Saints you are talking about.

    Even if your assumption is correct and were it somehow possible to compile and count the opinions of every LDS member… I’ll state it more directly… you are in no position as an individual blogger to categorize the “majority of Mormons”.

  24. mormonlibertarian
    August 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    There is nobody in my ward with whom I (or my family members) can safely discuss this issue. One of our family’s closest friends recently sent around an inflammatory e-mail which shocked our family about this “Ground Zero Mosque”. Not because we saw ‘danger’ in a “mosque” (which is more than likely a community center), but because of the vitriol contained in the original anti-Muslim message. The e-mail was sent to dozens of e-mail addresses within the ward. The same person posted it on facebook, where other ward members immediately saw it and approved.
    The “hate” in the message seemed so obvious to me, but nobody else noticed it. I had thought I had a good communication with this person. We have realized as families that our politics aren’t exactly the same; I knew that this person and other members of that family had a fear of “Jihad” and a deep love of Glenn Beck, but beyond that we agreed on many things. I thought it was an odd thing to be so fearful of another religion, even an extreme faction within another religion.
    This recent experience has frightened me. I realize that we are very outnumbered, from comments collected here and there, by other LDS in this area in our present political values. The last time our home teacher visited he was seriously concerned that our present president was too peaceful in his outlook towards the middle east. Our family members all looked at each other cautiously but we said nothing. This home teacher is a ‘salt of the earth’ person. Another person with whom we thought we shared basic values. I see serious schisms developing within the church as a result of this, and it gives me a feeling of dread.
    The feeling of isolation is real. Our entire family has agreed that it isn’t ‘safe’ to discuss this outside the home.
    Thank you, Connor, for doing a good job.

    To the serviceman on here (I assume you are male), I regularly put servicepeople on the temple prayer roll; I believe righteous people serving in the military can and will be protected. Praying for individual members of the military does not imply that I believe leaders for whom I did not vote are making righteous decisions with regards to where members of the military are sent, etc.

    Has anyone else ever felt “chilled” by the correlation between Mountain Meadows Massacre on September 11 and 9/11?

    I have. I wonder a lot about that.

  25. Blaine
    August 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    I am torn on this mosque issue.

    Do I want to see Sharia law accommodated in the US? No!

    Do I want to see mosques built wherein terrorist recruiting may be done? No!

    Do I want to see a mosque built as a symbol of victory for tragic terrorist attacks of 2001? No!

    Do I support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic? Yes!

    I must, therefore, support Islam’s right to build a mosque anywhere the LDS, Catholic, or Protestant churches should be permitted to build a religious edifice.

  26. Doug B
    August 24, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Hmm. On the surface the comparisons espoused in this commentary appear to be similar. But are they? The immediate and living families of the slain are suffering and pained by the recent loss and memories of their spouse and children murdered in the New York Towers. These families are exhausting their own savings and expressing their free speech to persuade the Islamic leaders to show some compassion by finding another location to avoid the appearance of keeping open fresh wounds of the children of the lost parents and siblings. The commentary made no mention of any opposition to the LDS chapels of worship built in opposition to the raw wounds of the living family members slain in those tragic murders.

    There have been several occasions, based on public and religious opposition alone, where the property chosen by LDS leaders to build Mormon Temples have been cancelled and relocated to appease and compromise because of the public outcry or community opposition.

    Does free speech conflict with religious freedom? No. The misleading premise of the article is that those who oppose the building of the Mosque next to the 911 tower massacre are somehow rejecting or suppressing the First Amendment securing freedom of religion and the Fifth Amendment right of to own property. Not true. Those in opposition to the construction of the Mosque in that location are merely pleading their First Amendment constitutional right of freedom of speech and assemblage.

    “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.”

    I respect the right of Muslims to build their Mosque on the property they choose to build it on within the confines of the zoning, laws, and ordinances of that Community. I empathize and support the families who are suffering from their loss to exercise their right to persuade the leaders to relocate the proposed Mosque. I mourn with them for the loss their loved ones and their living children. We have Rights and we have Laws. We also have Reason.

    I respectfully disagree with the commentary summation. This sacred constitution of ours allows for the rights and expressions of both sides. This is Moroni’s inspired Title of Liberty.

  27. Brent Hartman
    August 24, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    This is from an article on LDS.org

    As early as 1855, at a time when Christian literature generally ridiculed Muhammad as the Antichrist and the archenemy of Western civilization, Elders George A. Smith (1817–75) and Parley P. Pratt (1807–57) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles delivered lengthy sermons demonstrating an accurate and balanced understanding of Islamic history and speaking highly of Muhammad’s leadership. Elder Smith observed that Muhammad was “descended from Abraham and was no doubt raised up by God on purpose” to preach against idolatry. He sympathized with the plight of Muslims, who, like Latter-day Saints, found it difficult “to get an honest history” written about them. Speaking next, Elder Pratt went on to express his admiration for Muhammad’s teachings, asserting that “upon the whole, … [Muslims] have better morals and better institutions than many Christian nations.”

    Here’s a link to the full article:

    http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=bbaba1615ac0c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

  28. Dave P.
    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    Reading the latest comments have reminded me of Moroni’s warnings to all people and all churches (including ours) at the end of Mormon 8.

    35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
    36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
    37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
    38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?

  29. RLP
    August 25, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    I prefer not to live under Sharia Law, but rather, to live in a Constitutional Republic. Islam is not a religion, but a totalitarian/cultish hate-based government. It is completely contrary to Liberty and Freedom and certainly does not allow for religious freedom of any kind.

    The proposed mosque is another conquest, just like the ones built on the temple site in Jerusalem or the one built in Cordoba, Spain. And BTW, there are already 100 other mosques in NYC.

    Those former Muslims who desire to become baptized as Latter-day Saints and disciples of Christ, require Apostolic permission to do so and then have to live as secret Latter-day Saints or be given a mercy-killing by Muslim relatives for becoming a Muslim apostate, once they are discovered as having left that “religion”.

    Do you really want our already eroded Liberty and Freedom replaced with Sharia Law? I do not.

  30. Kelly W.
    August 25, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    All of the above comments are worthless to me because I know of the false-flag nature of the 9/11 attacks. Muslims were NOT the ones behind 9/11.

  31. Jim Davis
    August 25, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    @RLP

    Let’s not speak in ignorance. First of all, allowing Muslims the freedom to worship wherever they want isn’t going to lead to the overthrow of our liberty, Constitution, or Republic.

    Secondly, I have personally taught hundreds of Muslims and baptized half a dozen or so into the LDS Church- no apostolic permission required. In fact, most Muslims I’ve met are more Christ-like than most “Christians” I’ve met.

  32. Julie
    August 25, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    I agree with this article and I would personally like to Thank you Conner for writing this!! We can’t blame the entire Muslim community for the actions of those few! And all those who disagree obviously you need to go back to Sunday school lessons our church is about accepting everyone and being Christ like, God loves all his children and so should we! If you have an issue refer to D&C 64: 9-11 note that the chapters are 9/11 and the day the revelation received was on September 11th. Those who argue against this and say bad things about the Muslims you are no better than the people who persecuted us Latter Day Saints!

  33. rmwarnick
    August 25, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    This is a completely phony issue. If Cordoba House is a “mosque,” then by the same definition the Pentagon is also a “mosque.

  34. Dave P.
    August 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    @RLP

    I’d like to live in a Constitutional Republic too. God knows we haven’t been one since Abraham Lincoln overthrew it by forcing the States back together under gunpoint and slaughtering hundreds and thousands of people. If you find one out there worth living in, please let me know.

  35. RLP
    August 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    You might find this of interest. It was made “public” back in 1991 –
    http://www.homelandsecurityus.com/PDF/GovtExM.pdf

  36. Aaron P
    August 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    E L,

    I’m surprised that you claim that this is not an 11th AOF issue just because we’re not telling them how to worship, only where to do so. I think you need to brush up on your Articles of Faith.

    “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

    Disregard that they have a legal right to build there, we still believe in allowing them to worship however and wherever they want.

  37. mormonlibertarian
    August 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    I have a feeling this could turn into an argument really quickly.
    The fact is that Muslims are still having large families, and other “Caucasians” and Asians in “developed” countries are not.
    The fact is that a person is either ‘fearful’ of Islam and Islamic people or not.
    The fact is that there are SO many other things that are much, much scarier going on.
    The fact is that this recent “scare” over the ‘mosque’ seems very much to be a ‘set-up’.
    It feels like a ‘false flag’, much as some of us on here believe 9/11 was a ‘false flag’–

    I have never understood why anyone would be afraid of any religion. I have experienced people who are afraid of the LDS religion and believe we are ‘dangerous’, and being around those people is a bit frightening to me, because I am not sure what they would do to protect themselves from Mormonism?
    I just feel wary.
    I don’t believe we are even to fear satan, so why would we fear any religion.

    I have experienced religious extremism (though not in Islam); I do not doubt that it exists; I am sure it exists among those who call themselves Mormons, as well.

    I guess I just wonder what happens inside a person when that person becomes fearful of a religion, another religion.

    I have seen it in friends I thought I could trust. They have become involved in this big ‘movement’–where people in Europe talk about how Islam has taken over.

    Well, yes, the Muslims are still having children; the ‘old’ Europeans aren’t–

    so, naturally, the Muslim population will outpace that of the ‘old’ Europeans.

    I guess a person either sees this one way or another way–

    Trying to convince someone who is much more concerned about intrigue among those who move in a ‘shadow government’ within and without the U.S. government and who twist and tangle things to get what they want–

    that Islam is the big danger . . . is not likely to happen.

    Trying to convince someone who doesn’t see beyond the left/right/republican/democrat paradigm that something else is going on here and that Muslims are not to be feared–

    is not likely to happen.

    The fact is that our own church has mission statements all over the place.

    The fact is that there are those ‘in the world’ who fear LDS will take over the world. There are those who say we plan to do it, that our plea for Jesus to return and our work at building temples is a threat to the rest of the world, Christian and otherwise.

    If someone wanted to make a big deal out of it, they could. Right now, luckily for us, nobody is doing it.

    But back in Illinois/Missouri in the 1840s that is exactly what happened, and my ancestors were driven out. The ‘original’ settlers were terrified of Mormons and saw my ancestors as enough of a threat that some of them were killed (my ancestors)–

    so, for me . . . this fear of someone else’s religion is the truly scary thing–

    I think I had better stop before I say something that will really cause contention.

  38. RLP
    August 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a gospel of love, and not of hate and does not promote killing those who become apostates.

    However it is so written and encouraged in the Qur’an – http://newstime.co.nz/apostates-from-islam-face-death-to-quran-489-ahadith-sahih-bukhari.html

    As infidels, we are also targets, unless we “convert”.

    See also http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/012-apostasy.htm

  39. Shaun Knapp
    August 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Way to be Connor, bringing up LDS history and putting into the face of those who would rather separate themselves from it and the parallels.

    I was very dismayed to see there is such a stupid protest going on against this Mosque last night on a newsclip. I thought American’s were becoming more enlightened than this, not so prone to continued manipulation, easily whipped up into a frenzy that gives continued credence to the warfare state of American Empire building in the Middle East.

  40. Jim Davis
    August 25, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    I could be wrong RLP (and I hope I am) but it appears like you’re advocating that just because a few Muslim extremists stretch Islamic teachings to mean it’s ok to kill non-believers that the whole Muslim religion is automatically a gospel of hate and religious freedom shouldn’t not apply to them.

    People can believe whatever they want as long as that belief doesn’t lead to an actual violation of someone else’s rights and liberties.

    We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul (D&C 134:4).

    I find it ironic that you accuse the religion of Islam to be one of hate and yet your comments are rooted in the same hate and intolerance you’re attempting to criticize.

  41. RLP
    August 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Sharia law and the Qur’an dictate nothing less than intolerance of others and destruction of the infidel (which happens to include us). Do we take what is written there literally or figuratively?

    I take what is written there literally.

    Islam is antithetical to Freedom and Liberty. Again, it is not a religion, but a totalitarian cult-like government. Understand that principle.

    Can our missionaries promote the Gospel in Muslim countries today? Can we build churches or temples in those countries today? Can we even carry the scriptures in those countries today? So far as I know, the answer is “No”.

  42. Eric Checketts
    August 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    E.L., to you and all other soldiers who are fighting with the belief that your efforts are furthering the cause of freedom, I say that I respect the intent of your heart. I believe that you sincerely believe that the billions of dollars and thousands of lives being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan are protecting our liberties.

    But, as the years (and our freedoms, here at home) go by, I find myself more and more unable to stomach the ignorantly naive assumption that just because our military is engaged in battle, then they are therefore fighting for our freedom.

    As somewhat of a side note, I also find myself more and more unable to stomach the suggestion that Al Qaida is the Secret Combination that Moroni warned us about in Ether, chapter 8. President Benson, President McKay, and J. Reuben Clark made it pretty clear who that secret combination is. Unfortunately nobody wanted to listen then, and we are paying the price now.

  43. Eric Checketts
    August 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    I believe that there are times when war is necessary. I do NOT, however, believe in pre-emptive war. I also do not believe in military action when Congress has not properly declared war.

  44. mark
    August 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    Freedom of religion is the law of the land so I cannot get upset over an Islamic mosque. But if I were “King of the United States” there would be no Islamic mosques or Jewish temples or LDS temples. But ya know what? Im not “King of the US. The US Constitution gives those rights to everyone.

  45. mormonlibertarian
    August 26, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    RLP, you do have very strong feelings about this.

    I suspect that if we were to discuss this face-to-face, we would have to agree to disagree.

    I doubt very much I could persuade you to think about anything *I* believe.

    And you do not persuade me.

    I am aware that there are those in the LDS community who think that Mormon fundamentalists are frightening, too–some who claim that they believe in “blood atonement”–

    I have never met a fundamentalist; amazingly, possibly because of where I have lived, I have not had dealings with people who left the Mormon church in the early 1900s–(or late 1800s) and have not come back, those who practice polygamy, etc.

    But I do know that many claim they are as extreme as some Muslims.

    I would rather judge, if I ever do meet them, for myself.

    Some of *our* scriptures could be interpreted the same way, but you either believe that, or you do not.

    There are anti-Mormons who believe that some of our scriptures are very violent. I don’t see it, personally, but I’ve had it pointed out to me by disgruntled Christians.

    I had a minister of another religion (Christian) in my home, and he pointed it out to me; I just didn’t see the scripture that way–

    so . . . it is a personal thing, I suppose. There are people who see things differently. In the meantime, all the Muslims I have known are really nice people–

    Eric Checketts, I like your words–from #42.

  46. Myke Weber
    August 26, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Nobody seems to be considering this situation in light of 2 Nephi 1:6-7. Boy oh boy, we sure tend to list toward straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  47. mormonlibertarian
    August 26, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    that’s a good scripture for this situation. Very good.

  48. JoAnn
    August 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    I don’t agree about the similarities. Bombing Japan was part of a declared war and done with the hope of saving human lives in the end since the Japanese soldiers were trained to fight to the death, taking as many of the enemy as possible. The Mountain meadow massacres were a result of panicked psychotic leaders and the churches were built decades later in business as usual. 911 was done out of pure maliciousness and hatred of America where with Japan, THEY attacked first. The proposed mosque is being built in a business center with no populations of muslims nearby. The leader in building it basically has said America was asking for it (911) The mosque and it’s proposed site seems to me to be more of a celebration of 911, and a thumbing of their nose at America. “See, we can give you a black eye and then squat on it.” If they really wanted to reach out in a healing, they would move the mosque.

  49. Aaron Bradley
    August 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Connor, great post, it is thought provoking in an introspective way… pretty poigniant arguments back and forth too! WOW.

  50. mormonlibertarian
    August 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    JoAnn, that depends upon which version of history a person has read and believes, concerning Japan.
    If you accept the textbook version of pre-WWII and the bombing at Pearl Harbor, then you might accept that the atomic bomb was well-done. Might. Actually, even if the bombing of Pearl Harbor was open aggression by the Japanese against Americans, the greatest ‘theatre’ of war at that time was in Europe, so joining the war to fight Japan, when most of the fighting was taking place in Europe doesn’t make that much sense.
    Japan was aggressing on Asia, of course, but if you have not lived in Japan, you would not understand why. According to my information, what Japan was doing was empire-building and was no different from what American business/government agencies have been doing in this hemisphere and other parts of the world, in order to gain resources and become wealthy. Japan had fewer resources than any other Asian country, and she had a burgeoning population at that time.
    You have accepted what I call the sanitized version of American entanglements with Japan.
    If you accept that FDR knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor and allowed the ships to remain there in order to be bombed by Japan, that actually FDR and the Pentagon knew about the attacks in advance and could have prevented the loss of American lives . . .–
    if you believe that version, then everything is different. There was no militant population in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki; in fact, those were, until WWII, the Japanese centers for Christianity, so why were Americans attacking Japanese Christians? There are many unanswered questions, some of which we can speculate and some of which historians are not just beginning to find new documents, etc.–that show that it wasn’t a straightforward “bad Japan had to be stopped” situation, at all. Quite to the contrary. Japan was foolish enough to allow themselves to be used as a “false flag” against the U.S. and has paid for it in two ways: they have become one of the greatest industrialized societies (if that is a plus; they now have a seriously diminishing population) in history, and the second, sadder one, so much cancer and loss of life from those atomic attacks.
    I do not accept the sanitized version of history that my government wanted me to believe. So I have a different perspective on it.

    IF you have lived in Japan and studied this extensively in a personal way and still believe what you have written, the . . . that is amazing. And I apologize for any offense.
    I have lived in Japan, and I have interviewed people from WWII, who saw it, knew what was happening (on boths sides), and I don’t accept the sanitized story.
    But no offense.
    Also, just as I don’t accept the sanitized (or what I call that) story about Japan, I do not accept that it was Muslims who planned the attack on the World Trade Center. Some Muslims may certainly have been hired to carry it through, so that Muslims could be blamed, and, yes, there are people who will do that to their own people, but I do believe that others, no Islamic at all, conceived the plan and hired the thugs.
    We could discuss this all day and not see each others’ viewpoints, though–
    I also believe the proposed ‘mosque’, which is not a mosque is a false flag operation. I believe that it was conceived for the very purpose of dividing Americans. And I believe that it was not conceived by Muslims.
    But Muslims will be blamed, because, besides a few radicals who plant bombs here and there, they are by and large a peaceful people who in their countries hold less political power than many non-Islamic countries/peoples.

  51. mormonlibertarian
    August 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Oh, and by the way, Hirohito (emperor of Japan) had already agreed to an unconditional surrender before the atomic bombs were dropped.

  52. JoAnn
    August 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I do agree whole-heartedly that one cannot blame all of the people for the actions of a few. I have a Japanese daughter-in-law and soon a muslim niece-in-law and I love them both. However what you write suggests a tendency to go with the blame America for everything crowd. Some of it suggest a slight tendency toward a belief in conspiracys. One doesn’t have to blame all people muslim to believe that they’ve be en saddled with evil and paranoid leaders. And the followers tend to want to believe in their leaders, one only has to look at nazi Germany and communist Russia where people were encouraged and rewarded to turn in their neighbors and families for seditious behavior. Many, not all, muslim countries are encourraging their people to terrorize the west. Now they are gradually moving Sharia law there, currently you can find it in much of France.l

    That’s not to say there aren’t conspiracies in the west, but I think they mostly are focused on socializing America, giving more power to the government all the time, not to increase anything against the muslims. I may ask my daughter-in-law about how people feel about Nagasaki etc, it just hasn’t been the important thing in our relationship.

  53. mormonlibertarian
    August 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    As for your last paragraph, no the Japanese people do not like to talk about Nagasaki and Hiroshima; you may not find that she knows much about it. Most of those who suffered were, actually and sadly, shunned–a little piece of sad information about the Japanese national personality.
    Well, as an LDS I don’t see how anyone can not believe in conspiracies.
    And, as an American, I do not trust government leaders here any more than any other place. I used to, and then I had a change of life and heart, and I see things very differently now. There is no way around it; it is what it is. I almost wish I could go back to feeling good about being an American; life was so much nicer then.
    You are correct; we just don’t see things the same way. Though I believe that there are individual military members who are righteous, and I do pray for those I know, I believe that America is terrorizing the middle east (and other places). Yes, I do believe that America is one of the main players in a massive world shadow government.
    But, then my title says it all: Mormon libertarian

    Libertarians do not believe in empire/overseas expansion, and even if one does not believe in conspiracies (though I do shake my head as to how people who read the Book of Mormon cannot believe in them, especially in the governments of the ‘promised land’), it is very easy to see that American-based (and European/Asian) corporations have taken over the ‘third world’–
    even those who do not believe in conspiracies can see that–

    Yes, as an American, I do suppose I feel that it is my responsibility to hold *my* government accountable first, but I do happen to believe that America is to blame for much of what is happening in the world–not entirely, and I do not withhold blame from other nations; there are definitely evil and conspiring men in Japan (and were during WWII)–

    but I believe that, as the most powerful nation in the world, America has had more potential for harm, and evil men have taken advantage of that.

    Most of my Japanese friends who are LDS are quite conciliatory towards Americans and would never say anything critical about *us*, even if they knew it to say.

    I think socialism is silly, but I think it is more a divisive tool than a grave danger. In MY opinion the gravest danger of all is not to know what is happening in the governments of the world, what is really happening, not just what is reported on the mainstream media, which I do not trust.

    I could claim that I am following the counsel in D&C 88 very literally about studying the perplexities of the nations. Aside from the fact that the idle shall not eat the bread of the worker (which could be taken to mean a number of things) and that consecration was highly recommended by the Lord to the early saints–I haven’t seen as many warnings about socialism in latter-day scriptures as about conspiracies, so I tend to follow that.
    I do not subscribe to government socialism, though–

    I was just informed by a family member that Glenn Beck, whom I do not follow and to whom I do not listen, calls himself a ‘libertarian’, so I need to be careful.

    So, I will be careful. I am not a Glenn Beck-type libertarian.

    I have found, as a libertarian that once someone says the word “conspiracy” (something like, “You must believe in conspiracies”) a person who mentions something that involves conspiracy is immediately marginalized. It is a very effective tool in politics, to diminish the effectiveness of communication.

    So, I am not sure if there is anything more I can say. Yes, I do believe in many conspiracies.

    And that is the end of the discussion. Since I am now known to be a ‘conspiracy nut or kook’–

    :)

    As for as Islam is concerned, I am not very afraid of it. Abortion is legal in most European countries, and if Europeans and had encouraged the devaluing of life in that way, they would not know have to deal with radical Islam.
    The populations of Europe have declined in part due to spiritual decline through Europe, and Islam has moved in. That is all.
    Where there are evil men enforcing such things on their own people, they will be dealt with by the Lord.
    I don’t often see Christians in America deriding the Europeans for their easy abortion laws or their many social and political structures that have caused the demise of the family in Christian Europe.
    So, I am a little wary of all the speech about the dangers of Islam, while realizing that, certainly those abuses probably do exist.
    I think there needs to be equal concern for the corruption in all cultures.
    Singling out Islam seems, to be, to be a red flag.
    That’s all.

  54. JoAnn
    August 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    M-L
    I appreciate the great deal of thought you’ve put into your beliefs and your care to express so as not to offend. You’ve definitely got more experience of the world than I.

    While it’s true that America’s overseas excursions have been taken advantage of the greedy, that’ll be true no matter what is done anywhere, I think most of what America has done overseas has been, for the average American citizen, from a desire to bring freedom to the world, and I think that it’s been fear of that freedom by the leaders that has been a part of the criticism leveled by those countries. With freedom comes a curtailing of opportunities to seize power and money and for those who are the blood thirsty type of psychopath, less war and executions to savor. Granted, Americans probably had their noses in the air while bringing this freedom, justifiably proud of their country, others took it wrong. Some appreciated it, but now the grumbling is overtaking the appreciation.
    Earlier today, I saw on tv where one official said that if we think islam is violent, remember the crusades. An opposing official, said well, before the crusades, the arabs and Islam had conquered 2/3 of the christian world and HE got in trouble for saying that. A few minutes ago, a taliban spokesman in Pakistan said that if any overseas workers came in, they would not be wecome. It’s ALL irrational, to my mind.

    I like Glenn Beck (cue the boos) If you’ve never watched him, take in one or two of his shows before criticizing him. He’s under attack because he has common sense (this from Pelosi who’s statement of her beliefs were something like “I love the Word, because the Word…. is the Word. The Word is beautiful and there’s nothing like…. the Word.” Totally inarticulate. Glenn has narrowed his show to two things 1. Restoring honor and 2. Detailed history of America that’s been dropped from textbooks, eg the writer of civil rights amendment was a Republican pres. Eisenhower. Johnson who has been given credit for it opposed it initially. Now there’s a conspiracy for you. Anyway, started to ramble, so will sign off.
    But I think you would like Glen Beck, he’s criticized European social structure a lot and shows how we’re following in their footsteps

  55. Brent Hartman
    August 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    JoAnn,

    You said, “With freedom comes a curtailing of opportunities to seize power and money and for those who are the blood thirsty type of psychopath, less war and executions to savor.”

    I guess that explains the erosion of freedoms in our country.

  56. JoAnn
    August 26, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    Brent:

    LOL

  57. Jim Davis
    August 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    JoAnn said:

    Bombing Japan was part of a declared war and done with the hope of saving human lives in the end since the Japanese soldiers were trained to fight to the death, taking as many of the enemy as possible.

    It’s difficult for many to come to an agreement about whether or not Japan was truly defeated before we dropped A-Bombs on them. I believe they were defeated. They had no more navy or air force to fight us with. Their leaders, apparently, were ready to surrender. Another interesting point to make is that whenever the Nephites (during their righteous eras) were at war with the Lamanites they drove the enemy out of their own land. It wasn’t necessary or justified to them to conquer the Lamanites to claim victory. In our fight against Japan (and every other enemy we fight now) we were on the offense until we overthrew their government.

    All this is besides the main point I’m getting to though. I don’t believe that killing innocent people is ever justified. Whether doing so was “in hopes of saving human lives” doesn’t justify the fact that innocent lives were intentionally extinguished to obtain that goal. Many people have adopted a false and foolish philosophy that “questionable means justify a good end”. Please read what the New Testament Paul and Elder F. Burton Howard has said about this fallacy here.

  58. Dave P.
    August 26, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    mark,

    I just wish to correct your statement, but don’t worry because a lot of people think of it the same way: The Constitution does not “grant” us anything. The Bill of Rights is part of a piece paper that enshrines and enumerates natural rights that come from God. When you think about how every part of the Bill of Rights ties back into free agency, you’ll soon realize that those rights couldn’t come from anywhere else.

  59. Phillip
    August 27, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    I think the issue is what does a Mosque mean to them (Muslims.) Their end game is not to coexist with Christianity, but to install a World Caliphate that lives under the Political Rule of the Grand Imam. They want to evangelize everybody by the word or the sword.
    We Christians are happy to coexist with other religions. They are not.
    To us, the mosque might mean something, but what does it mean to them?
    When Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 637, the first thing they did was to build the Dome of the Rock and a few decades after, the Al Aqsa Mosque. It was a symbol of the defeat of the infidels and their expulsion from the Holy Land. They picked the sites that were the symbols of Christianity and Judaism. They built their mosque and the Dome right on top of the ruins of Salomon’s Temple as a sign of victory. When the Moors conquered Southern Spain and founded the Cordoba Caliphate, the Emir ar-Rahman refashioned a Cathedral as a Mosque, to symbolize a new rule of Islam in the region that had been prominently Catholic in the past.
    It is all about meaning. I am telling you, this mosque means something completely different to the Islamic world than a church would mean to Christians.

  60. Brent Hartman
    August 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Phillip-”We Christians are happy to coexist with other religions.”

    That’s a pretty tough sell after the vile and hateful comments I’ve seen coming from “Christians” the past couple of weeks.

  61. Clumpy
    August 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    “We Christians are a tolerant, loving people! It’s the Muslims who aren’t! GET THEM!”

    Seriously, I have no idea why Muslims might be angry with us lately, considering that we do an admirable job of killing some order of degree more Muslims than we ever lose every time some wingnut Jihadist group picks off some of our citizens (Muslims included, I might add, on the “U.S. citizens” category – these are Americans building the community center). We don’t even differentiate between countries – if they’re strange-looking and wear unfamiliar head coverings they’re already on our watch list.

  62. Sheri
    August 28, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Hi Connor,

    I just came across your blog – quite a collection of thoughts and ideas you have here. Thank you for speaking your truth and staying to true to who you are and not simply following blindly. Perhaps it’s on here somewhere and I haven’t found it yet, but what are your thoughts on the church’s involvement in the politics of gay marriage?
    Keep up the good work.

    Sheri Lawson

  63. Clumpy
    August 29, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Hi Sheri :). You should find a pretty comprehensive treatment of what you’re looking for at this link:

    http://www.connorboyack.com/blog/religion-and-politics-the-lds-church-and-proposition-8

  64. amazed
    August 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    Hmmmm sounds like more retaric to me. if we didn’t have a muslim president, who abolished the national day of prayer, and bowed to a muslim king and so on and so forth, maybe people wouldn’t be so up in arms about this mosque. they should not build it there, who cares about any other examples? the guy who is going to build it supports extremest organizations. Do you follow the prophet and Christ’s teachings or not? letter of the law or spirit of the law? Who cares what their religion is? They are insensitive, end of story.

  65. Clumpy
    August 30, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    Amazed, I had a hilarious response but I realized starting a dialogue may be more beneficial and I’m trying not to be cruel to strangers anymore. Do you have any backing for that whole Obama Muslim thing? Even if Obama were Muslim (which he isn’t), would that change the rights of these American citizens to use their property for whatever purpose they wish, even a community center?

    Furthermore, Obama still issued a proclamation in support of the National Day of Prayer despite U.S. District Court rulings that it was unconstitutional. He never had any plan to abolish this holiday, which frankly doesn’t really affect anybody’s freedom of religion (or to pray) one way or the other anyway. I’ve seen Obama’s “bow,” and it’s the same sort of curt little bow anybody might do as a show of goodwill. I submit that if the proposed community center plans didn’t exist, the people who are REALLY angry about the mosque would find something else to freak out about, probably something else which seems strange or foreign.

    This Ground Zero mosque that isn’t a mosque and isn’t at Ground Zero was never a problem with the conservative establishment until they suddenly needed another red herring issue, and it’s got well-meaning people in hysterics who really ought to be looking elsewhere.

    Finally, Feisal Abdul Rauf is an American citizen, has been for something like four decades. He has the same rights as you or I. You seem to be motivated only by hysteria but I’d love to be convinced otherwise.

  66. Clumpy
    August 30, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    I really should have used more paragraphs in my response – it really jumps around from topic to topic. My apologies for possibly being difficult to follow.

  67. Sheri
    August 30, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    After reading more of the comments here I have hope for the Mormon Church. I appreciate that some of you do see the Constitution as a document that gives all citizens equal rights, including those who want to build a Mosque in an old Burlington Coat Factory in downtown Manhattan. After the awful persecution the Mormons faced in their early years no Mormon should ever have a goal of taking rights away from any minority or group of people based on religions intolerance. You cannot pick and choose who benefits from the Constitution. We have all been commanded to Love our neighbors as ourselves, and do unto others as we would have done unto us.

  68. a concerned mommy
    August 30, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    I think we’re demonizing those who oppose this too much. They don’t want to take away rights or change laws or undermine the first amendment. They are voicing their opinion that a mosque at ground zero (Yes- It is ground zero because the building was badly damaged in the attack too) is rude and insensitive, not that it should be made illegal or forced out by government decree, because it shouldn’t be.

    They think the selection of that spot is indecent and inhumane toward those affected by 9/11. The vitriol here against the opposers is just as indecent as you say their vitriol is against Muslims. They are not, in general, anti-Muslim, but opposed to the rudeness of this one person who happens to be Muslim. The law gives him the right to be mean and build even if the money to fund it came from terrorists. Nobody disputes that. I’ll defend his rights but dispute his ethics.

  69. Clumpy
    August 30, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    How is the building of this community center (again, not a mosque) to foster goodwill insensitive? We wouldn’t question the rights of Protestants to build a church in an area where the KKK had been threatening and intimidating people. I’m glad we can recognize that the legal and the moral question are two different ones, but opposing this structure only seems to make sense from a viewpoint that Islam itself is the enemy. I don’t believe in catering to the emotional fears of people who refuse to make distinctions between radical groups and millions of American citizens going about their daily lives.

    Meanwhile, a mosque under construction in Tennessee due to overcrowding at the old building is sabotaged when somebody apparently determined to live up to our side of the holy war destroys construction equipment.

  70. Jim Davis
    August 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    @a concerned mommy

    I think we’re demonizing those who oppose this too much. They don’t want to take away rights or change laws or undermine the first amendment.

    While I agree that a lot of us here are overgeneralizing our criticism of the anti-mosque crowd to mean that they are legally opposed to its construction I would also be careful not to defend all critic’s motive’s to be merely ethical. If you read many of the comments here and listen to conservative talk radio you’ll find that plenty of people are legally opposed to the building of this mosque… or community center (whatever you want to call it).

  71. a concerned mommy
    August 30, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    If they do want to take away their legal rights then they are wrong. I personally defend the right to build. But I’m still against the project because I think it’s being built with insensitivity and intolerance- emotional terrorizing.

    All I’m saying is, please don’t demonize the majority of Americans for smelling a rat. Most of them aren’t in the streets trying to take anybody’s rights away.

  72. Sheri
    August 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    @A concerned Mommy. Who is the “rat” you speak of? And how do you come up with “the majority of Americans? Is that based on your particular circle of friends? The slippery slope with denying a Muslim group the right to build on private property is “your group could be next.” Again, we cannot allow one group their constitutional rights and deny others those same rights. What goes around comes around. Personally, I think it is a gesture of good-will to support the Islamic center, and will do more to bridge the hurt because of what extremists did, than hate-filled rhetoric and name calling ever could.

  73. a concerned mommy
    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    The slippery slope with denying a Muslim group the right to build on private property is “your group could be next.”

    Um, yeah… like I said.

    Concerning your rat question, ‘smelling a rat’ means that something doesn’t feel right. And the majority I speak of has shown up in every poll taken recently on this issue. Having a majority doesn’t necessarily make it right, though, and that’s not the argument here.

    And I’m not the one calling names.

  74. Clumpy
    August 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Concerning your rat question, ‘smelling a rat’ means that something doesn’t feel right.

    “Something doesn’t feel right” in what way? I certainly don’t want to call names, but a nameless fear or suspicion regarding a particular group without cause is called bigotry, and it’s up to each one of us to deal with it within ourselves.

    I find this humor article highly relevant: http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-already-knows-everything-he-needs-to-know-abou,17990/

  75. Sheri
    August 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    @…Mommy,
    I wasn’t saying you in particular are name calling, you have been very respectful, and I appreciate that. I am thrilled that you understand the significants of allowing the constitution to cover people of all faiths even if you don’t agree with them.

    Here are some excerpts from an article where the Imam was interviewed. I think it really speaks to the heart of the matter (much better than I can:-)

    “There is no doubt that the election season has had a major impact upon the nature of the discourse,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper. “The question becomes which discourse will dominate, not only in the short term but in the long term.”

    Jewish and Christian leaders have also come out in favor of the plans and in support of interfaith discourse, Abdul Rauf said. “However, there are also those very small, loud and vociferous voices who are beating the drum for the opposite kind of discourse.”

    The proposed center in lower Manhattan has generated fierce opposition from conservative politicians and people who see the project as an offence to the approximately 2,750 people killed when Islamist militant suicide hijackers from al-Qaida slammed planes into the Twin Towers.
    Many conservative candidates and political figures have aligned themselves with the opposition to the $100 million Park51 project — until recently known as Cordoba House — that includes a mosque and Islamic cultural center.

    Some Republicans running for midterm elections around the United States have used the project as a campaign issue after national conservatives Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin announced their opposition. Kevin Calvey, a Republican running for Congress in Oklahoma, said the Muslim leaders associated with the mosque “are clearly terrorist sympathizers.”

    “America was created by people who fled Europe seeking religious freedom and religious liberty. So it is an essential part of the American worldview and creed, that religious liberty is a fundamental protected right,” he told the Abu Dhabi newspaper.

    This fact is something that many in the Muslim world do not sufficiently appreciate about the United States, Abdul Rauf told the paper.

    “I’d like to see them understand that better, recognize that better. And recognize that in that is a value which lies at the very core of the Quranic value,” Rauf told the paper.

    Strong voices in support of the project have emerged from outside the Muslim community. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been steadfast in his support for Park51, while TV talk show host Jon Stewart nightly mocks the opposition.

  76. a concerned mommy
    August 30, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Just for balance, here is an article from a Muslim who opposes the mosque: http://www.hudson-ny.org/1346/mosque-at-ground-zero-muslim-view

  77. Sheri
    August 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    The Taliban are happy about this controversy. They are using it as a recruiting tool for Muslims who used to be peaceful, but now are angry at the way the peaceful religion of Islam is being attacked by US citizens. Those who are outraged by the building of the Mosque and are protesting with angry signs (any in some cases violence) are insighting normally good people to extremism. Any time we fight to push people away for whatever reason, we breed contempt in others and divide human beings even more.

  78. Chris
    August 30, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    Great article!

  79. Brandon
    August 30, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Nice Post, Connor! It can be hard to remember that the constitution does not and should not change based on our personal feelings (I personally don’t feel threatened by Muslims, but many do). I loved Ron Paul’s recent commentary on the issue, pointing out that personal opinions are irrelevant when it comes to constitutional rights, since the most important job of the consitution is to preserve the rights of all, especially against the sometimes oppresive tyranny of the majority.
    While I applaud your consistent opinion on this subject, I have always felt you should’ve applied the same rational to the subject of same-sex marriage. I know it is unrelated to this discussion, but I feel that your arguments articulated in this post are relatable to that issue.

  80. Sheri
    August 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    Brandon, a man after my own heart:-) I don’t get how some people see the constitution so clear on some topics and completely miss the boat on others. Same-sex marriage is as much a constitutional right as is freedom of and from religion.

  81. Brandon
    August 30, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    Thanks, Sheri. I think same-sex marriage is a very hard issue for many, specifically because it violates the religious tenants of the majority of religions. I have a hard time believing that most opponents of same-sex marriage would feel the same way if they happened to be atheists. This comes back to the issue of personal opinions and feelings in regards to the constituiton. It is clear that the majority of voting californians do not want to offer state sanction to same-sex marriages. The real question is whether or not the constitution grants the right to choose one’s marraige partner (Regardless of sex) or not? Connor has very extensively argued against this alleged right (as defined by the california supreme court and the federal court). I think Connor is honest in his opinions and sincerely believes that he is being consistent in his constitutional beliefs. I don’t agree with his analysis on that particular issue, but I do I understand how and why he believes what he does. I just hope he and others can see the same parallels between this mosque issue and the same-sex marriage issue that I see.

  82. Sheri
    August 31, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    Brandon,
    I know the issue of gay marriage is very hard for some – including my three adult active Mormon children. I began to question the church back in 2000 during Prop 22. I had never discriminated against anyone in my life, and I couldn’t believe the church was asking me to do it then.

    Even back then, and again in 2007 when I first learned about Prop 8, I couldn’t understand how gay marriage would hurt me, my marriage, my family or anyone else. I only thought it would help gay people find stability and security in their lives. Really, how does their happiness and fulfillment take away from me? And how does one justify the hurt being inflicted on them in order to supposedly protect the “word” marriage? Is a definition more important than the happiness of human beings?

    I’m on the Speaker’s Bureau for the Orange County, CA Chapter of PFLAG – Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. We go into local colleges and universities to educate students about the true GLBT community and to dispel the myths and stereotypes being perpetuated by all the anti-gay rhetoric out there. The stories I hear of rejection break my heart. Parents that throw their kids out on the street when they find out they are gay. Did you know that the highest teen homeless rate AND suicide rate is in Utah, and 40% are from the GLBT community with Mormon parents who would rather see them on the streets than allow them to be home open and out? To me that is such a tragedy.

    I will continue trying to find ways of waking people up to the harm being done to an entire population of good people because of ignorance. (and I mean that as uneducated on this topic – not mean or uncaring;-) I know that if people would quit objectifying the gay community and see the real live people being rejected by society they would have a change of heart.

    After Judge Walker overturned Prop 8 I felt the wind leave the anti-gay marriage movement. I knew then that their fight was over. Gay marriage will be legal very soon. And I thought to myself, who will they target next . Looks like the Muslims.
    Oy Vey!

  83. Dave P.
    August 31, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    Of course the Constitution says nothing about marriage at all, so the issue falls under the States vis a vis the 10th Amendment. And even then, marriage wasn’t always a legal issue but rather a completely religious one (marriage licenses are only about 150 years old in the US). A recent lewrockwell.com blog post made a very valid point when the author made the statement to a gay couple, “Why are you waiting for the state? Just hold your own private ceremony and be done with it.”

    Respecting peoples’ rights is as important as respecting their agency. Indeed there are consequences, but that is still the path they chose and we’re to love them as children of God either way.

  84. Dave P.
    August 31, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    One more thing. When I think about the general Christian attitude in the US against Muslims in general and how they support invading their countries, I’m reminded of this set of verses from Luke 9.

    51 ¶ And it came to pass, when the time was come that [Jesus] should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
    52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
    53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
    54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
    55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
    56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

    And we can’t forget the classic example of Jesus telling Simon Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:23). Having the Lord call you a fool (as He does several times in the scriptures) should be bad enough, but to be called Satan directly by him could well be the greatest eye-opener to those who are paying attention.

  85. Carissa
    August 31, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    Ironic (to some):

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38795716/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times/

  86. Dave P.
    August 31, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Par for the course, Carissa. Remember the 2008 presidential debate where Ron Paul schooled Rudy Giuliani by explaining that they hate us because we’re over there messing with our lives? Blowback is definitely a concept that’s lost on a lot of people.

  87. Carissa
    August 31, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    A moment not easily forgotten ;)

    I can’t help feeling this current controversy is evidence that our country is in desperate need of an open-minded and honest discussion about the motivations behind 9/11.

  88. Sheri
    August 31, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    Thank you for the link Carissa, it’s very important for people to know and why I’m very happy you posted this article, Connor. Not only are those protesting the Mosque helping to further divide a nation , but they are putting our lives, and out soldiers lives in danger by doing so. They are falling right into the terrorists hands and helping them win.

  89. Dave P.
    August 31, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    “Questioning the events of 9/11 and daring to think that it happened in some way other than how the government told us it did? Tinfoil hat-wearing kooky conspiracy theorist nutjob who may or may not be gay and everything else we can throw at you to completely discredit you without actually looking at the evidence you present!”

    Sadly, that tactic works all too well. Only nowadays is playing the race card beginning to lose a tiny fraction of its effectiveness.

  90. Sheri
    August 31, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Sorry, I probably should be posting this on a different thread, but I’ll say this one last thing then be done with this topic, at least here:-)

    The Constitution doesn’t specifically say anything about marriage, but the Declaration of Independence promises ALL citizens, yes even the “gay” ones, Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the 14th Amendment promises equal protection under the law, yes, even to those darn gay people. If a religion suggests that their followers discriminate against tax paying law abiding citizens based on their (the religion’s) version of what constitutes a God sanctioned marriage – they are completely ignoring the very reason this nation was founded and furthering the idea that we should be a theocracy and not a Democratic Republic. That’s okay if it’s your religion that becomes the ruling order, but the evangelicals have Mormons outnumbered by about 10 X. Think about the ramifications of stripping citizens of their rights and remember, what goes around ALWAYS comes back around.

  91. mormonlibertarian
    August 31, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    Fact #1: There is an official story about what happened on 9/11.

    Fact #2: Scientists, citizens of many different political persuasions question the official story.

    Fact #3: The official story claims that “Muslim extremists” committed 9/11.

    Fact #4: Many well-educated people who have done much research do not believe the official story.

    *I* believe that nobody really knows what happened on 9/11, beyond that there was massive death and destruction.

    *I* believe that, whoever committed the act, the act was used to justify the American government in invading a “Muslim” country in the middle east that had, supposedly, nothing to do with 9/11.

    This is the ‘rat’ *I* “smell”.

    After hundreds of thousands of lives (civilian and American military) have been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan–

    now hundreds of thousands of Americans are upset that a ‘mosque’/community center for Islam is being built near the site of 9/11.

    Therefore, these hundreds of thousands of Americans have accepted the official story.

    I do not accept the official story. Therefore, I find it difficult to understand why feelings would be hurt.

    IF the time comes that it is shown that 9/11 was not actually planned and carried out by Muslims, how will those hundreds of thousands of Americans who are now crying out, “insensitive!” to the building of this mosque (whatever it is) feel?

    I believe that many of my friends who have sent me these messages, crying out for the Muslims to stop building this building–

    can not “see” this.

    I can do nothing about that.

    What *I* sense is that this is a situation that is either being taken advantage of (as was 9/11) to stir people up . . . or that it was planned to stir people up.

    If so, for what?

    More war?

    More than likely.

  92. mormonlibertarian
    August 31, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    those of you who believe the ‘official’ story; please give something like this a chance:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO2yT0uBQbM

    This is not about religion. It is about power. It is about evil and conspiring men who are deceiving an entire nation.

  93. Dave P.
    August 31, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    To add to your #91 comment, mormonlibertarian, distractions like this are incredibly common and are just meant to keep the sheeple busy with the shinys while the Gadiantons execute covert deals that strip us of more of our freedom. More war is just the tip of the iceberg and also used as a distraction at the same time.

  94. mormonlibertarian
    August 31, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Just one question to those of you who believe it is insensitive for this mosque to be built (and not a plot conceived by American warmongers, using the mosque as a front)–

    how will you feel IF you find out someday that Al Qaeda had nothing to do with Muslims/Islam?

    How will *I* feel if I find out that it was a radical Muslim plot, through and through?

    How will *I*, who have opposed the middle eastern wars feel?

    No differently. Enough blood has been spilled in the middle east, innocent blood, that it is time to stop spilling it. The lives of Americans and others that were lost on 9/11 have already been outnumbered by hundreds, if not thousands, in the middle east.

    Time for the death and hatred to stop.

    IF I find out that the official story is accurate, I will feel no differently, because I will not see the point of all the loss of life in Iraq and Afghanistan, because of one group of extremists, Al Qaeda, IF they are truly Muslim in belief.

  95. mormonlibertarian
    August 31, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Thanks, Dave P. It’s nice to know someone read my post.

    *smile*

    And, yes, I agree. Just a distraction. And something to divide *us*, even LDS.

    I have felt so terribly alone in my ward since all this began. I have a friend who is not even speaking to me, and I did not respond to her e-mail, except to talk about our families, friendly talk. But, because I didn’t get ‘mad at the Muslims”, this person is not speaking to me.

  96. Dave P.
    August 31, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    I know how you feel as I’m also likely the only Mormon Ron Paul libertarian in my own ward also. I once hijacked an entire Family Home Evening by getting into a discussion about how the Book of Mormon tells us that waging offensive wars is forbidden and that’s what led to the destruction of the Nephites. It’s sadly ironic on how easily members of the church can submit to the same mob mentality that led to the saints’ persecution during the early days.

  97. Sheri
    August 31, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    I want you to know that many of the comments here are helping to heal my heart. When I left the church over their involvment in the politics of gay marriage, and later over other blatant inconsistencies I found in the doctrine, I was pretty much written off by all my old friends and it caused quite a rift in my family.

    My own children (all still active) are the only ones who have stood by my side, although they follow the prophet and have no interest in what I have to say on the topic of gay marriage or anything political in nature. I also found the website Mormons for Marriage and that gave me hope too. It showed me that there are some active Mormons who disagree with the church’s stance on things, but still remain active. Members who choose not to follow certain instructions just because church leaders tell them it’s the only way to not go astray are few and far between.

    Thank you for giving me hope that there are those within the church who are fighting for a more just and equitable society despite what they are being told by the prophet.

  98. Dave P.
    August 31, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Sheri,

    It’s not very easy on this side either because even disagreeing with the bishop/stake president/president of the church is enough to warrant cries of blasphemy and “not sustaining the leaders” from some Mormons (especially in Utah). But those people are also setting themselves up for an incredibly huge letdown because, while those men are in leadership positions, they’re still men who are capable of making mistakes and even giving bad advice. My approach is to stick with the example of the Savior and to take what’s written in the scriptures over what’s said over the pulpit unless what’s said is prefaced with something to indicate that it’s indeed coming from God.

    The “prophet” isn’t always the prophet, his official title is President of the Church and he’s only a prophet when he needs to be. Joseph Smith even said that those who had to go to him for everything would not be counted among intelligent men. But I fully believe it’s possible to live the gospel without being a member of the church, especially if the church itself is holding people back from doing so. On the gay marriage issue I’ve taken the stance of, “Let them do so if they wish, but that won’t free them from the physical and spiritual consequences.” Isn’t that the point of having free agency anyway?

  99. Sheri
    August 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Dave, your last line says it all to me: Even though I don’t agree that homosexuality is a sin (I see gay people as loved children of God just like everyone else and perhaps stratgic planning by our Creator to help curb overpopulation:-), even if I did believe they were sinners, I would never legislate their rights away because of what I believe. That takes away free-agency, and whose plan was that? Nor will I ever try and legislate away the rights of Mormons to discminate against good, honorable, loving parents who want to see their children married, but can’t because the church deems them unworthy if they are not members in good standing. I’ve had two daughters married in the temple and I waited outside for both:-( But that’s their right – to discriminate against anyone they feel doesn’t meet their standards and I will honor and respect that right even though I disagree.

  100. Dave P.
    August 31, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    The really sad thing is that temple marriages weren’t always that way. Joseph Smith declared that they were to be open to the public so someone obviously decided to change that at some point.

  101. Sheri
    August 31, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Really Dave? I wasn’t aware of that. After reading Fawn Brody’s book No Man Knows My History, I gained a much greater respect for Joseph Smith and felt somehow that when he died, his dream died with him.

  102. Dave P.
    August 31, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    He was indeed right to mention that if the Book of Mormon contained errors, they were the faults of men. Since the 1959 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, there’s been an extra comma in Section 89 that changes the meaning of the sentence and gives the impression that the Lord forbids the eating of meat (which apparently contradicts an earlier statement about eating meat). However, this grammatical error has not been corrected in later editions for the reason that- I hope you’re sitting down- it would give the antis more reasons to bash the church.

  103. Lori
    September 1, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    The Mountain Meadow Massacre is a very sad and unfortunate situation. However, I don’t think you can compare it to 911. I am in no way condoning what happened at Mountain Meadow, However, The pioneers who were killed were passing through an already LDS established area. This wasn’t the place that they lived or wanted to live. Their family members didn’t live there or go there frequently to mourn, or to find peace. Also, the people felt like they were protecting themselves. They had friends and family die at some of the hands of these passing pioneers. It wasn’t just a hate crime or terror attack.

    With 911 It’s not only family members that mourn. This was an attack on America, it affected everyone in our country. Many people go there to pay their respects. Also the Muslims have built Mosques in the past as a symbol of conquer. This just sounds too close to being just that. People at Ground zero will likely hear their calls for prayer. They definitely have the right to worship, and they should, as long as it is peaceful, however if they are the peace loving people they say they are than I think they would respect those that are mourning and build somewhere else.

  104. Dave P.
    September 1, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    Lori,

    If that’s how you feel, then what are your thoughts on the US building military bases in Hiroshima, Okinawa, Iraq, and numerous other “ground zeroes” that caused many times the number of deaths than 9/11?

  105. Carissa
    September 1, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    You know what, let’s pretend that it’s true. The mosque is being built as a symbol of Muslim conquer for extremists around the world to look to.

    The BEST thing we can do is use this opportunity to show the world (and each other) that individual property rights and religious freedom still reign supreme in America. That we refuse to take offense or give in to hatred and divisiveness- which will bring no solution. That the virtues of forgiveness and love for all mankind are embodied in the American way of life and no “symbolic strategy” on the part of our enemies will interfere with our resolve to maintain those ideals.

  106. Clumpy
    September 1, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    Or, for that matter, our continued presence in Iraq, with many hundred times as many civilians killed as in 9/11.

  107. Dave P.
    September 1, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Carissa,

    I know of the perfect phrase to summarize your comment: The best thing we can do is actually act like Christians for once.

  108. Sheri
    September 1, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Dave P. and Carissa, I can’t tell you how much you are restoring my faith in some within the Mormon church. And i also can’t tell you how many times in the past three years I’ve quoted Gandhi: “I like your Christ, I don’t much like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.”

  109. Dave P.
    September 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Sheri,

    I can understand why some people claim a difference between the “Christian” Jesus and the “Mormon” Jesus. Though sometimes I see neither group following Him, so what difference is there in that case?

  110. Sheri
    September 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Dave P. I wasn’t referring to just the Mormon version of Jesus. In fact, I think the Mormon’s version of Jesus is pretty close to what I consider to be the “true” Jesus. Gandhi’s comment I beleive was directed more to the US version of dominionist Christianity where it’s their way or the highway. Where they are trying to turn our country into a Christian theocracy to the exclusion of all other people of faith or who are non-believers all together. We are the melting pot and before long whites will be in the minority and the majority may not be Christians. In order to move toward a more peaceful and compassionate society we must learn to honor and appreciate all peace loving religions and quit trying to eliminate the voices of those who don’t believe like we do. Sorry, that went on too long:-)

  111. Dave P.
    September 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Oh I know what you meant. My last comment was a bit of a tangent since the idea suddenly came to mind and I had to tell someone. XD

  112. Clumpy
    September 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    It’s interesting, Shari. I haven’t heard it called “dominionist” Christianity but I’ve certainly seen it in action – where ones “Christian”ness becomes something to lord over others. I’ve noticed as well that Christians and “concerned parents” who interject themselves into matters of school policy take an extreme stance – 100% agreement, and ONLY their points of view shared – or they’ll whine that they’re being persecuted and that Christianity is under attack.

    Many people do the same thing – they have their pet issues and take anything less than complete concordance as a personal afront to themselves and others like them. It’s the sign of a small, self-absorbed mind, the same mind that might urge us to be “sensitive” to the paranoid fears of the bigoted.

  113. Sheri
    September 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Clumpy, this is a link to my favorite website about Christian Dominionists. She’s a devout Christian who believes like I do that radicals have hijacked Christianity and are using it for power and profit. http://godsownparty.com/blog/

  114. mormonlibertarian
    September 2, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    as with so many political/social “issues” what many of *us* tend to be overlooking (I do it myself, so I’m not pointing fingers) is the collective.

    *I* am not *them*; *they* are not *me*.

    There is no *we*.

    Ultimately, we are each individuals. Individuals gather into groups for “protection” (though often remain unprotected), and usually something/someone comes along and hijacks the group and takes it to a place it was never intended to go, except by the hijackers.

    9/11 didn’t happen to a group, and it didn’t happen by a group.

    There are people “out there” who want *you* to think that. It did not happen TO America. And not one group did it.

    Once that can be realized, the person who realizes it can begin to piece the puzzle together and find the truth.

  115. mormonlibertarian
    September 2, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    but I just realized that because of where *I* am standing and because of what *I* can see–

    I know that others are standing in a different place. Some of the people on this blog see rocky cliffs; some see trees. Some see desert; others see ocean (metaphorically)–

    and now if *you* don’t understand what it is I am saying–

    in other words, what did the “mice” in the twin towers see during the weeks/months leading up to it–

    then *you* might think I’m crazy, but since I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m crazy, if I happen to influence ONE person to think about this, question this, turn of the television–

    and do private research into it . . .

    one person would be enough even if everyone else thinks I’m crazy.

    I spent years trying to convince a family member, and when that family member got it, you can only just imagine how I felt–

    I felt exonerated.

    9/11 was not ‘done’ by Muslims.

  116. Sheri
    September 2, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    mormonlibertarian…can you provide links? (or maybe you did and I didn’t notice.) Does it have anything to do with the Zeitgiest movie? I doubt it because if you believed that you wouldn’t still be Mormon at all (I don’t think.) I’ve always believed that war is manufactured for the rich and powerful. There have been more millionaires and billionaires created over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars than at anytime in history. Pretty dispicable when you think about it. I’m willing to follow along, if you will point me in the right direction…
    Sheri

  117. mormonlibertarian
    September 3, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    no, not Zeitgiest–
    You’re right; war is manufactured–

    I posted a link on #92; you can just go there and click on it; that is a very good place to start.

    I have association with architects and engineers, so this is a source I trust–
    There are SO many; it is overwhelming, I agree.

    I have come to understand a concept or process called co-opting, where someone will agree to a point and then hijack the premise. (Not referring to this discussion or to anyone on here)–
    Zeitgiest does that–

    There are several films that are good, though, and I’ll look for some to link–

  118. mormonlibertarian
    September 4, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    I am finding it hard to link things, though I haven’t given up.

    The fact is that, while MSM incites most Americans over Islam, America (especially the lower and middle classes) are being robbed ‘blind’ by huge corporations and banks.

    It is MUCH easier to manage this, if Americans are diverted by such things as racial and religious issues–

    imagine if 9/11 was a ‘false flag terror’ operation. Such things have been classic ploys by ‘rulers’ for centuries. A group of people who want to make major changes in a society will actually ‘engineer’ some catastrophe and blame it on another group. I am still looking for some links about this; I’ve been studying this for a long time, and it’s hard to go back and find everything.
    Imagine IF an entire network (say, Fox) is being used to deceive a majority of Americans. While those Americans are distracted, they are being, quietly, robbed.

    Here is an example; HOW did this happen?

    What were Americans thinking about when this happened? See all the contents on this page–

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/

    Remember, I’ve been tying this all together for years and years–

    Imagine in Richard Gage (the architect interviewed in the link I posted in #91 (I think it was #91) is correct, and that 9/11 was a false flag operation–

    see how *we*, the American people, have been ‘played’–

    it’s almost more than people can get their minds around, but look at the result–

    in the economy.

  119. Kelly W.
    September 5, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    @mormonlibertarian –

    you say: “imagine if 9/11 was a ‘false flag terror’ operation. Such things have been classic ploys by ‘rulers’ for centuries.”

    Well, if the latest Afghanistan and Iraq Wars were NOT the result of a false flag terror op, then these wars are the EXCEPTION to the past wars that USA has been involved with.

    (Study the Northwoods documents by googling it.)

    The mosque issue is, exactly as you say, a ploy to keep us diverted. We live in a heavily censored society.

    This is why the scriptures always seperate out Wars and Rumors of Wars when they talk about the signs of the times. We need to pay special attention to what those “rumors” of war really are.

  120. Clumpy
    September 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    The very nature of a conspiracy theory is to pull disparate elements together into a seemingly-concrete “whole.” However the premise is misleading – usually the actually theory holds no water. I find it far more likely that Bush and Co. just capitalized on existing tragedy and fear, than to believe that 9/11 was an inside job. I know that people like to believe everything has a conspiracy, but the real tragedies – the erosion of our civil liberties and destructive discourse which led to two wars and countless civilian deaths in countries most of us know little about – was all out in the open.

  121. Dave P.
    September 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Unfortunately it’s hard to believe that many things don’t have a conspiracy behind them because the Book of Mormon states practically outright that those are what fuel the actions of secret combinations.

  122. Kelly W.
    September 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Hi Clumpy, what did you think of those Northwoods Documents?

  123. mormonlibertarian
    September 6, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    this isn’t about what *I*, personally, believe; this is my attempt to explain the things that I have linked on here–

    not many people believe in the ‘official’ story about what happened on 9/11. I find it interesting that people swing from “inside job” to Muslims–with little in between.

    I am not arguing that the then American government leaders took advantage of 9/11. But seldom is it all ‘black and white’–

    either ‘inside’ or ‘outside’–

    no, it’s probably SO complicated–

    the fact is that even if it wasn’t a conspiracy and was just ‘used’–then most Americans have ‘bought’ it–

    or *we* wouldn’t be in the middle east, waging immoral wars.

    Those wars are only ‘moral’ if Muslims, unified, committed 9/11.

    If Muslims, unified, did not, then why are *we* in the middle east?

    Once that foundation is discovered to be sand–

    then possibly more Americans will ‘wake up’ and see that *they* have been (we, all of *us*) snookered.

    the idea about ‘rumors’ of wars, indeed–

    what has America lost, because most Americans, because of the MSM, ‘bought’ the Muslim/9/11 connection?

    Too much.

    I am attempting to ‘reason’ with those who have not considered that 9/11 is not what the MSM and the official government report say it was–

    when I say “if”–

    I don’t believe it’s “if”–

    there are ‘false flag terror’ operations throughout the Book of Mormon.

  124. mormonlibertarian
    September 6, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    oh, and even if only Muslims performed 9/11–

    America (CIA, etc.) is complicit–

    for years of interference in the middle east.

    Even people who do not believe that 9/11 had ANY involvement from any rogue American government ‘officials’–or agents . . .

    most Americans don’t want to ask why Muslims, IF they operated alone, did it–

    don’t want to know why–

  125. Kelly W.
    September 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    The evidence of how the USA sponsors false flag attacks is now available to anyone with the courage to look into it. Operation Northwoods was a plan drawn up by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1963. Lyle Lemnitzer, the Joint Chief, submitted the plan to JFK, who did not buy into it. The Joint Chiefs at the time wanted to go to war with Cuba, but first needed to drum up citizen support, and needed such a false flag attack first. Here is what they suggested to JFK:

    They would take a military plane and paint it to look like a commercial airliner. They would equip this plane to fly like a drone (pilotless) and plant a bomb in it. When this plane got over Cuba, they would broadcast fake May Day calls and would use a radio signal to detonate the bomb on the plane. They would then claim that Cuba had shot it down. They would have false passenger lists already drawn up, and would stage mock funerals for them.

    If this sounds like some kooky conspiracy theory, all you have to do is read the official documents to see that it was, in fact, a real plan suggested by our own military and government. Just Google it.

    I’m sure that had this Operation Northwoods gone through, there would be the same opposition to the Cubans building a cathedral at JFK’s grave, even though the Cubans had nothing to do with the Joint Chiefs who planned the false flag attack.

  126. Clumpy
    September 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    By the way, mormonlibertarian, I wasn’t saying you were a kook in my previous comments. I agree with many, many of the things you said (particularly the immorality of a rationality for war against “Islam”).

    Kelly, I am aware of “Operation Northwoods” and I’m certainly capable of believing that disgusting, corrupt people who are motivated politically rather than morally would carry out these actions, though even the worst recipients of my outright scorn (Cheney really stands out here) I believe are fundamentally decent people with some pretty bad rationale for their actions, but it takes a special class of madman to stoop that low. And yes, I am aware that our recent actions are of this stripe (being dishonest about our motivations in order to win a political victory against another nation seen as an “enemy”), but Operation Northwoods really bears no evidence to a modern “false flag” attack as while the fact that people could be this evil and corrupt is certainly a given, I would need strong evidence to apply such monstrous charges in a given situation.

  127. Kelly W.
    September 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Oh, I guess those 19 Saudi hijackers were also able to Google the Northwoods documents for a pattern and example to use themselves. “Our” leaders, like Cheney, would never stoop so low as to kill 3,000 of their own citizens. Makes perfect sense now.

    But thanks for you reply, Clumpy. I will drop it now.

  128. mormonlibertarian
    September 8, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    I see both of your perspectives–

    we may all be talking about the same thing. The one thing I will not do is condemn anyone for trying to find out ‘what really happened’ in any given incident.

    NOT seeking for truth is something I cannot understand.

    Yes, I have read about Operation Northwoods. I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers, but I tend to be suspicious of anything that is ‘sanitized’–

    or any telling of any event by the mainstream media.

    I want to keep an open mind, and my principle is peace.

    I do believe that there are people in positions of power who don’t mind killing their ‘own’ people; it’s been happening for millennia; there are plenty examples in the Bible and Book of Mormon, but I find that many of my fellow Mormons don’t believe it is possible. Sometimes I think that some Mormons are too trusting. Some.
    And that isn’t meant against anyone in this discussion. I am cautious, but I am suspicious.

  129. Erin Sol
    September 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Anyone interested in facts about 9/11 should look up http://www.9/11truth.org.
    Check report of Danish scientist, Niels Harrit on You Tube. He did the analysis
    proving the presence of NANO-THERMITE in the dust of the WTC. Nano-thermite is a cutting edge, extremely high tech explosive available only to the military of the world’s only remaining super-power. Questions: How many tower fell that day? Three. What brought down WTC-7 if no debris from the planes fell over there? How did the Buildings fall when the melting point of steel is 1500 degrees & jet fueled fires (which were going out) are not capable of generating temps that hot? Why was all the steel sent to (ASIA?) immediately to be melted down & recycled? How was it that the Patriot Act was acted on by Congress within days? etc..etc…etc…

  130. Erin Sol
    September 8, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    #51 Reply
    That is correct . Japan was trying to surrender. We had spent vast amounts of money developing the atomic bomb. It was necessay to justify all that spending. Also the military was specifically interested in the effect of the bomb on the population of a city. There were plenty of military targets that could have been hit but we bombed the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  131. Carissa
    September 9, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Imam Rauf shares his vision for the Cordoba House after all the controversy:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/opinion/08mosque.html?_r=3&hp&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1283947711-JTn5LyKcCOSanzXgJMHmCw

  132. mormonlibertarian
    September 9, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    this isn’t proof that 9/11 was an ‘inside’ job or any of the grey areas between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’; this is commentary, but the following link is, I think interesting for anyone who believes that the official version of 9/11 is valid–

    (as I said before I question the official version; I immediately listened Dr. Jones, our own former BYU physics professor)

    Erin, nano-thermite is a cutting edge technology that could only be found in the hands of a sophisticated defense department, etc., so yes–

    but–

    this is about blowback. Even if 9/11 happened as *we* have been told by *our* government, blowback is very real:

    http://www.chris-floyd.com/articles/1-latest-news/2021-provocative-behavior-pertinent-concerns-over-the-burning-of-korans.html

  133. Kelly W.
    September 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    In today’s Yahoo news, Senator Gravel is quoted:

    Senator Gravel notes, “Critically important evidence has come forward after the original government building reports were completed.”

    The evidence Gravel is talking about is that all three WTC skyscrapers were brought down by controlled demolition.

    Here is the URL:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20100907/pl_usnw/DC60870

  134. Frank
    September 16, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    This is NOT a matter of freedom of religion. It is a matter of people sewing the seeds of American destruction. The seeds are the innocent muzlims who stream to mosques. There they they get brainwashed by the real power boys, represented by the imams, to sew havoc. THAT IS their “religion”. They want to Muslimize the world, first by stealth, then, when their demographics prevail, by force, by hook or by crook. You must know your enemy. Their “religion” you must know before you deem the word equivalent to what you believe the word defines.

    You said not a word about their imam and what he espouses. Why? Why not listen to his words said on other occasions, as when he says we did the 9/11 job, or that suicide bombing can’t be all bad, and the like. See too how he takes taxpayer money to travel to Arabia to fund this offensively-placed mosque, when the great majority of, mind you LIBERAL, New Yorkers oppose its placement. Read how the placement itself represents a real milestone in their war against the West. None of this came out in your appeal to the irrelevant freedom-of-religion plea.

    You only looked at OUR view of things. Not theirs. It behooves you to look into THEIR views, from THEIR perspective. We have a war on our hands with terrorists, and you unwittingly are abetting the enemy with you blindfolds.

  135. Sheri
    September 16, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Frank, if this country is indeed the land of the free and the true melting pot what do you suppose we do with people of other cultures? Your fear of those who are Muslim (and probably anyone who is gay or different at all) is the really scary thing, and the very idea that will turn us into a fascist state. I hope you open your eyes to what your ignorance does to peace loving people. You and the entire tea party are destroying the very thing they seek to preserve.

  136. Jim Davis
    September 16, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    I almost agree with Sheri’s comment. I’d edit the last line to read:

    You and much of the tea party are destroying the very thing they seek to preserve.

    Also, Frank, comments like yours make the freedom movement lose credibility.

  137. Frank
    September 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    What’s interesting is how you avoid the very substance I spoke about. That in itself, that you avoided discussing the crux of the matter that I raised, brought me to the realization that I am on a “liberal”-minded forum, as defined by Savage. Speaking about gays, look how your fellow Muzlims, once they get hold of this country by the throat, if G-d forbid the liberal agenda continues its juggernaut of depraved culture, they cut their heads off – in an instant.

    As for the tea-party movement you slander, it was the very one, originally, that gave this country to us as we know it for its freedom, the freedom that you too enjoy today – and, hopefully, because of it – again, tomorrow too.

  138. Sheri
    September 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Frank,
    Your comments are “fear” based not “love” based. I don’t buy into the rhetoric of fear. I use common sense and rational critical thinking to determine what’s real (not the words of fear mongers like Beck, Limbaugh and Palin who have something to gain if they can keep you in that state of fear.) When people start spouting conspiracy theories and asking me to use my 2nd ammendment rights, a red flag goes off and I seek the truth. The truth always ends up being, “Love they neighbor as thyself.” When we follow this one simple commandment ALL else falls into place. It’s hard to do that when you see everyone “not like you” as the enemy. I mean no disrespect, I just find it ironic how so many people are attempting to destroy the very foundation that makes this country great – our diversity.

  139. Sheri
    September 17, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    “One thing we can do is make the choice to view the world in a healthy way. We can choose to see the world as safe with only moments of danger rather than seeing the world as dangerous with only moments of safety.”

    – Deepak Chopra

  140. mormonlibertarian
    September 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Frank,
    I mean no personal offense when I say to you (and to others who feel the same way you do) that it doesn’t seem that anything *I* can say will make any difference.
    Once a person has a particular mindset or paradigm, it is almost impossible for that person to accept the opposite or even a different paradigm–
    The one difference, as I happen to know it, is that *I* used to believe as you now do. Perhaps *you* once believed as I now do; I don’t know, but I don’t think that is as common.

    I feared Muslims. And then I met Muslims. I realized that I had given in to ‘propaganda’–

    not just concerning Muslims but concerning many different religious groups.

    When I began to study, I made a discovery: There are violent ‘scriptures’ in almost every world religion, scriptures that appear to be a justification for one particular religious group to ‘oppress’ other groups–

    yes, there are those who believe that such scriptures have been used in the past, especially during the Crusades, from our OWN Bible!

    As an LDS, I don’t believe that is what those verses mean anymore; I believe that it has to do with mistranslation and even deliberate corruption of the original text–

    Islam is not the only religion that has passages of ‘scripture’ that imply that destroying those who do not believe the same way or who do certain things are to be destroyed; the Children of Israel ‘stoned’ people who committed various forbidden acts–

    There are those who believed that the authorities were correct to remove all the children from the Fundamentalist Mormon ‘ranch’ in Texas several years ago, because there were some who believed that violent things were being perpetrated on children and women. There were even ‘witnesses’–
    I am not saying that these things haven’t happened, but how much control “dare” *we* exert?
    Before freedom is lost to everyone?
    I don’t happen to believe, though I know there are religious fanatics in ALL major world religions and many minor ones, including our own–

    but I don’t happen to believe that that is the greatest danger that faces *us*, as Americans or as Mormons or as Christians or as . . . peaceable people–

    What I am going to ask you and others on here who truly believe that Islam, as a religion, is a threat of Book of Mormon proportions to do is to search the Book of Mormon and find justification in there for ‘fearing’ Islam.

    Yes, there were the Nehors (an order that taught that no bad behavior could keep anyone out of heaven); there were those who followed Korihor who denied the Christ, etc.–

    but find a Book of Mormon scriptures that tells us that *we* are to protect ourselves against a religious belief and not immoral or illegal actions–

    I don’t think you are going to find it there. What a man believed (paraphrasing) was not a crime; only crimes committed could be punishable by law, even in the Book of Mormon–

    stirring people up to fear did seem to be something the apostate Nephites who went to lead the Lamanites liked to do–

    and there was bloodshed when Zeniff didn’t want to kill Lamanites because he saw “good among them”–

    yet there were others who wanted to ‘wipe them out’, just because they MIGHT be a danger–

    Look to the Book of Mormon for justification in ‘fearing’ another religion–

    What *I* see, and I read the Book of Mormon carefully daily–

    is apostasy among those who have had a fullness–

    not a warning against those whose beliefs are different–

    My chief concern about Glen Beck (and yes, I know that it’s been recommended that I listen to him, though I do not feel a desire to do so; I have seen a few youtubes of him; I do not, actually, have access to a television, and I did hear one of his radio shows, and it sounded crass to me)–

    is that members of the church, because he is a MEMBER are listening to him and not studying, in depth, the Book of Mormon–

    thousands of LDS went to Washington, D.C. to listen to him–

    I really think that sort of honor and respect should be reserved for the prophet or especially for Jesus Christ, whose words, written by ancient prophets, can be found, so easily, in the Book of Mormon.

    That is my challenge to everyone on here who believes that Muslims are to be feared and that *we* as a nation are right to be fighting against them in a country that did us no harm–

    In fact, one of the Taliban said, “we are fighting to protect our homes, our families, our religion”–

    who said THAT in the Book of Mormon?

    Also, in the Book of Mormon the prophets warned the people that if they left their OWN lands to meet an enemy in HIS country . . . they could not be promised success in battle–

    this is truly disturbing; America HAS left her own land and fought an ‘enemy’ (though why they are an enemy when there were no Iraqis or Afghanis who did 9/11, if Muslims did it)–in THEIR country–

    how can we expect the blessings of heaven for this when the ancient Nephites were told they could not expect the blessings of heaven for doing the same thing.

    Read the Book of Mormon and turn off Fox News–

    please–

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