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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What are your thoughts on the stuff going on in Tennessee and the mosque that is built, but won't be open for Ramadan because they are dragging their feet on the building inspection?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36528points) July 19th, 2012

I don’t know if you have been following this story, but I think it’s not been one of our high points. A federal judge had to order them to let it open, but they’re still screwing around.

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33 Answers

josie's avatar

Since I don’t go to the mosque, I am indifferent. Hope they get it all figured out.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thanks for the heads up. Despite this taking place in my figurative back yard (Tennessee resident), I wasn’t aware of it. After reading several articles, some of the comments from the opposing side are appalling, yet not surprising.

What would be ideal is if a group of qualified people got together to help expedite the process, particularly if at least some of them were Christian. If it isn’t possible to get the occupancy permit in time, how great would it be if some offered up a bigger temporary place for this group to worship during Ramadan than what they currently have? How great of a message would it be if it was a Christian group that did this?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Amazing answer. I listened to the pastor opposing the mosque tonight and I was so so discouraged. How can we get along with that level of ignorance. I loved your answer.

Blackberry's avatar

Hmmm, let’s see: it’s the southern U.S., post 9/11. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll get around to it.

augustlan's avatar

It makes me sad. A little mad, too, but mostly just… sad.

LuckyGuy's avatar

We’re supposed to be better than that, aren’t we?

That said, I wonder how long it would take to get the plumbing permit for a new Christian Church in rural Iran. And what would happen to the people who filed the papers.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why are you surprised? This is Tennessee, after all. They passed a law requiring the teaching of creationism a couple years ago. If you aren’t christian, you have no place in Tennessee.

Buttonstc's avatar

It’s the south. What else is new. Let’s not forget that the Govt had to resort to enforcing desegregation AT GUNPOINT by sending in National Guardsmen.

But at least Muslim clergyman aren’t being jailed and threatened with execution the way that some Christian pastors are in Muslim countries……....

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Buttonstc – so you subscribe to the “two wrongs make a right” philosophy. I think that’s plain mistaken.

So what if christians are persecute in muslim countries. That is simply irrelevant. The fact is that the immediate question is about Tennessee is in the US (a supposedly free country) and an ethnic group’s rights are being violated.

We are supposed to be a better country than those muslim states. We should NOT be striving to sink down to their level.

So I think that your answer is simply off base. We (the US) should be LEADING the world in our openness, not sinking to their level.

Buttonstc's avatar

No I was not proposing that two wrongs make a right (in case you missed my critical tone in my first reminder on the history of our own southern states. Not exactly something to be proud about or feel justified for)

But in case it escaped your notice, a previous poster commented upon the difficulty of getting permits for a Christian church in a Muslim country.

That’s kind of a tit for tat type of example which preceded my comments.

But I pointed out the FACT that Christian Pastors are jailed and sentenced to death in Muslim countries. That’s a whole different level of persecution in which delayed permits and similar bureaucratic crap pales by comparison.

I don’t see much outrage about that. As a matter of fact I barely see a mention of it at all. And we’re talking about long imprisonment and death sentence for the “sin” of daring to have a Christian church in a Muslim nation.

No we have not stooped to that level at all. The south is just doing it’s typical foot dragging just as they did with desegregation back in the fifties and sixties. It doesnt make it rigjt snd im not defending it at all Its just a vase of what else is new?

But the south does not represent ALL of America and they don’t represent me.

If people can point out the horrible injustice of bureaucratic foot dragging over delayed permits, then I can certainly point out an analogous horrendous situation of the death penalty for the “sin” of worshipping the wrong God.

Shouldn’t we be better than what’s happening in Tenn. Yes absolutely we should.

And guess what? WE ARE. For I have yet to hear about any Imams here in the USA being imprisoned and sentenced to death MERELY FOR OPENING A CHURCH.

I’m fed up with the adherents of BOTH faiths involved here not living up to the peaceful tenets of the faith which they claim to represent.
Have you?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Buttonstc – boo hoo. I have a hard time weeping for christians.

I am Jewish, and my people can’t build synagogues in muslim countries, or a lot of other countries either. Heck, people of my religion still can’t join some clubs here in the USA. My people are generally put to death for being jewish in some of these countries, if they are allowed in at all. So forgive me for not being horribly sympathetic.

But your final paragraph once again shows the flaw in your argument. You say that the US is better than muslim countries because we aren’t torturing and killing imams here. Essentially your argument is that we are better because we aren’t as shitty as they are.

This is not a morally defensible position.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Hey guys, be civil and repsectful to each other. This is just the same bullshit that’s going on in Tennessee. If you cant treat each other with respect I’ll flag the question and have it removed.

Buttonstc's avatar

And exactly which country is it that has stood by the newly formed nation of Israel from their inception until now and supplied them with both weapons and moral support to ensure that they didn’t get “plowed into the sea” as Ahmadinijad fervently wishes.

Oh yeah. That would be the USA, wouldn’t it.

I’m just fed up with all groups taking every opportunity to kill and plow each other under. I haven’t forgotten the entire indefensible rampage of the Crusades even tho long ago.

I merely pointed out that delayed permits are pretty small potatoes compared to what BOTH Christians AND JEWS ALIKE face from Muslim fanatics (and what Jewish people faced in the Holocaust)

The scales aren’t exactly equal are they now? Delayed permits? Oh double boo hoo hoo.

Buttonstc's avatar


I’m being civil and pointing out pertinent facts. I’ve done no name calling or anything.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Buttonstc I didn’t point any fingers. It was a generic request. Thanks for your responses.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well, you did ask us all for our thoughts and that’s what you got :)

I just can’t get all that worked up over delayed paperwork. It’s just the south being the south same as with desegregation. It would be nice if they could me more accomodating considering the holiday and all. But I doubt the National Guard will get called out to make them process their paperwork quicker :)

I won’t be losing any sleep over this thread. Hope you don’t either.

Interesting Q tho.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Thanks. The one thing that bothered me was the pastor claiming Islam is not a religion and various other insults. I guess I want more tolerence in the world. I can be a dreamer I guess. I’ve never lost any sleep over a thread so far, I guess I won’t start now. Thanks again.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well, I didn’t read that part. But it doesn’t surprise me that much with Franklin Graham shooting off his mouth unnecessarily several months back. I bet Billy is wishing he could slap some sense into him.

But it is a southern pastor.These guys used to use the Bible to defend slavery and segregation. Good grief.

As a matter of fact, it was Billy Graham back in the fifties who personally took down the rope separating the white and black seating sections at his crusades and flatly states “I see no Biblical justification for segregation”. That took some guts.

Too bad the apple (Franklin) fell so far from the tree in this case.

Judi's avatar

I agree with @Pied_Pfeffer. Not all Christians are right wing fanatics and it would be amazing if they came together to provide a place to worship for these folks.
It scares me when communities are so overtly discriminatory. It makes me wonder if they are going to start shunning Christians who do infant baptism next. I know plenty of them don’t think we’re “real Christians.”

Nullo's avatar

Honestly, I’m not upset about it.

I’m not sure if a Christian organization ought to help, at least not with the building, as it’s enabling someone to sin, which is Bad. Religions aren’t social clubs, and proselytism is in a zero-sum game with amazingly high stakes.

This shall prove tasty food for thought during the long shifts at work.

Judi's avatar

@Nullo, please don’t paint all Christians with the same brush. Some of us are dedicated to being tolerant of other faiths. When Jesus said to love your neighbor, we take it seriously, regardless of their creed.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Nullo I’m still trying to figure out what the sin is here?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Nullo Your statement has me curious now. Just to clarify, I’m not saying that any Christian group ought to help. It should be a choice. As @Judi points out, Jesus’ message was to love thy neighbor.

So…I put in a call to a Christian conference center where I worked for several summers to ask them what they would do in this situation. The executive director isn’t in today, but will be back tomorrow. I’ll let you all know if and when I hear back from him.

Nullo's avatar

@Judi Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should be jerks. But it sort of feels like giving money to a druggie. Feels a bit wrong, you know?
I’m not sure what the loving-neighbor response would be here.

@Adirondackwannabe Worshiping false gods. At the very least, it’s a bad idea because there is no salvation in Allah.

Judi's avatar

We both worship the God of Abraham, but that’s beside the point. Some Christians believe that our mission is to be kind, live our neighbors, house the homeless….
We don’t all think it’s our job to change people. Some us believe that only God can do that.

Nullo's avatar

If it doesn’t quack like a duck, doesn’t swim like a duck, and generally doesn’t act like a duck, it’s probably not a duck. They say, they think, they worship the same God, but comparing the two doesn’t show a lot of similarity – the impression that I get is of the difference between a portrait and the actual person sitting for it.

You will notice that I’m not at any point talking about trying to get people to change. I’m pondering what the responsible course of action would be. They shouldn’t be Muslim in the first place, because of the whole eternal damnation thing, and helping them to be Muslim probably isn’t the best way to help them see that.

Judi's avatar

If you want to talk duck talk, then the Dali Lama and Ghandi are better Christians than most American “evangelical Christians.”
some of us aren’t so concerned about the eternal damnation thing, but that’s another question.

Nullo's avatar

I was referring to the one that they call “God,” not to the followers themselves. I know how people can get. From what I’ve gathered (and I’ll admit that I have not actually read the Koran), their god doesn’t sound like mine. Incidentally, about half of Christianity works out to our inability as a species to be good enough for God, with the other half being about how we don’t have to make ourselves good enough, ‘cos of Jesus and that business with the Gospels. You can see where people might take…liberties.
Very curious, considering that the Bible makes it clear that salvation is the only alternative to damnation, and that damnation is not fun.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Nullo I was hoping that you would answer @Adirondackwannabe‘s question about what the sin would be if a Christian leased or donated space temporarily to a group of another faith.

It’s not like the Christians would be worshiping another god in doing this good deed. If anything, it might provide good PR for Christians, and frankly, they could use it. More importantly though, it’s an act of peace. That can go a long way in opening the doors of where we, as people sharing Earth, need to be.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer @Judi Thank you so much for your answers. Nice to see tolerance and acceptance of views other than our own.I have no way of knowing without a doubt that what I believe is right and someone else is wrong. I love learning about other’s views. If everyone believed the same thing life would be boring.

JLeslie's avatar

I knew nothing about this story, and I live in TN like @Pied_Pfeffer although I have been out of town the last week. Since the government should not demonstrate favoritism or prevent a particular religion, this is very upsetting, if it is true. But, even with the building of the muslim center in NYC near the towers the government was part of the discussion since in the end the government represents the people.

A year and a half ago a couple Christian churches in TN opened their building to allow Muslims to worship during high holy days. An article is here about it. It was during the time people had set fire to a mosque and rec center under contruction in a different TN town. So, it doesn’t surprise me at all people might try to slow or block the permits either government employees or average citizens, and would not surpise me if a church or an owner of a large space might open his doors to allow Muslims to worship temporarily, until their own mosque is built.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The executive director of the Presbyterian conference center called back. I wish I could have recorded his answer to play for you all. He shared the mission statement of the center:

A place for discovery and renewal through worship, nurture and fellowship, inviting all to share in the grace and hospitality of Christ.

He said that they have had groups that belonged to other faiths use their facilities, and they would be open to booking a Muslim group. He went on to explain that the last part of the mission statement is key…if the point is to share the grace and hospitality of Christ, then they need to walk the talk.

Buttonstc's avatar

Good for him. I’m glad you contacted them.

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