Religious Freedom for Ground Zero Mosque But Not 911 Destroyed Church

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Left has tried to make the Ground Zero mosque (too-close-to-Ground Zero-mosque, to satisfy those who want to argue over the title) an issue of religious freedom. Americans already know this isn't about the First Amendment but about decency and sensitivity. As I've heard a few people say lately, "Since when has the Left ever stood up for religious freedom?" The Left's objective is to remove faith from public life, unless bringing it up suits their own agenda. (Remember Nancy Pelosi talking about "The Word"?)

Let's look at the facts. If there was such love and tolerance for all people's right to worship, as seems to have sprung up with the plans for building the mosque, why hasn't there been a great outcry about St. Nicholas Church? This church was destroyed when one of the Towers collapsed, but they have not been allowed to rebuild. Judson Berger reports:

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America accused New York officials on Tuesday of turning their backs on the reconstruction of the only church destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, while the controversial mosque near Ground Zero moves forward.

The sidelined project is the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a tiny, four-story building destroyed in 2001 when one of the World Trade Center towers fell on top of it. Nobody from the church was hurt in the attack, but the congregation has for the past eight years been trying to rebuild its house of worship.

While the mosque project cleared red tape earlier this month, negotiations between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the church stalled last year -- and will not be revived, according to government officials. Though the particulars of the two projects are completely different and on the surface unrelated, the church and its supporters see a disconnect in the way the proposals have been handled.

An archdiocese official said Tuesday that the situation has created "consternation" for those still struggling to jump-start talks over the church.

"We have people that are saying, why isn't our church being rebuilt and why is there ... such concern for people of the mosque?" Father Alex Karloutsos, assistant to the archbishop, told He said "religious freedom" would allow a place of worship for any denomination to be built, but accused officials with the Port Authority of making no effort to help move the congregation's project along.

"Unfortunately, they have just been silent -- dead silent, actually," said Karloutsos, whose father was ordained at St. Nicholas. "They just simply forgot about the church."


"I don't understand it," Pataki said. "Why the Port Authority now has so far put roadblocks in the way of its reconstruction is beyond me. It's not the right thing to do."


"For the last year, the Port Authority has refused to meet with church officials and is now reneging on its commitment to rebuild the church," [George] Demos said.

Read the full article here.

Josh Painter says it well:

In our opinion, the fact that NYC officials are giving the church the runaround while going into full submission mode to those behind the Ground Zero mosque, totally deflates the left's argument. Though none of St. Nicholas' congregation or clergy were killed in the 9/11 sneak attacks, a consecrated house of God was destroyed and the city bureaucrats won't let it be rebuilt. The people of the parish, who have been without a church home for almost a decade, are just more victims of the jihadist attacks.

Sarah Palin is right. The push to build this mosque is insensitive to the victims of 9/11 who all lost someone or something in the attacks.


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