Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque Shows Religious Intolerance, but Not Against Islam

The media chest thumping about the proposed Cordoba mosque to be built 2 blocks from Ground Zero in New York City is reaching a fever pitch. Most articles I've found show a clear support for allowing the mosque to be built. I have to agree. It's on private property. It's being funded privately. There is no legal reason I can see for stopping it from being built. Indeed, plans have been approved by New York City already.

These same New York officials seem to feel differently about Greek Orthodox Catholics, though. What is barely being covered by the mass media is the fiasco surrounding the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox church, destroyed when the south tower fell on it in 2001. The St. Nicholas parish council has been trying to get permission to rebuild it ever since. For some reason, the New York Port Authority has said no.

So, YES to Muslims, NO to Greek Orthodox Catholics.

Do you sense religious discrimination here? I do.

To be fair, there are other issues involved. Reading between the rhetoric, it seems like an issue of land use. It was originally proposed to move the site one block over because the Port Authority wanted to use the land, or at least the land underneath it, as part of a security screening point to be installed as part of the area rebuild. Now, the Port Authority is back-pedaling. A Port Authority spokesperson told Fox News, “The church continues to have the right to rebuild at their original site, and we will pay fair market value for the underground space beneath that building.”

My suspicion is that with the costs of the rebuild, and the current economic crisis, the city has decided to play hardball. I wouldn't be surprised to find an eminent domain clause being used to force the sale of the land at a rock-bottom price in the very near future, leaving the parish without a church or land to build it on.

So much for the First Amendment.

Somehow, given our “politically correct” climate, I doubt this nonsense would have happened if it had been a mosque that was destroyed instead of a Greek Orthodox church.

You can read more about it from both Fox News and the New York Times.

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