Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There is a bottom line here.

The following ProPublica article is something that I wanted to republish, because the principle is so very important.  The principle to which I refer is enshrined in the Bill of Rights Amendments to the U.S. Constitution:
Article I - Freedom of religion, speech, of the press and the right of petition. -- Congress shall make no law respecting the 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.

Experts: Argue All You Want, Mosque Project on Firm Legal Ground

by Marian Wang ProPublica, Aug. 17, 2:58 p.m.
For all the anger, political strategizing and stabs in the heart that the plans to build a Muslim community center near ground zero may have brought about, land-use and zoning experts say opponents of the project have very little legal basis on which to rest their argument.
The discussion draws in First Amendment arguments about the constitutional right to freely practice religion. But on a more basic level, the community center must adhere to zoning laws, as none other than Rush Limbaugh has noted.
On zoning, here2019s what New York University law professor Rick Hills had to say about the proposed site, 45 Park Place in lower Manhattan, two blocks from ground zero:
Focus for a moment on basic rule of law: 45 Park Place is located in a C6-4 zoning classification ("General Central Commercial") where houses of worship are allowed "as of right." Assuming that this particular proposed house of worship meets the setback, height, and bulk requirements of the Lower Manhattan special zoning district, the city's denial of a zoning compliance permit would be flagrantly ultra vires: Building inspectors, after all, cannot simply fabricate a new "honor-the-9/11-dead" zoning district on the spot.
The New York City Department of Planning confirmed with me that the proposal is 201Cas of right,201D meaning it 201Ccomplies with all applicable zoning regulations and does not require discretionary action" to get approval. (What The New York Times described as a 201Clocal zoning dispute201D was an effort by some to get the city2019s Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the building now at the site2014previously an old Burlington Coat Factory2014as a landmark, to prevent it from being torn down and replaced by the proposed Islamic center.)
Other land-use experts pointed out that if the city were to try to block the mosque based on zoning, its actions could be illegal based on a federal law that was passed unanimously by both houses of a Republican Congress in 2000.
201CIf the City of New York denies the zoning approval sought for this site, it will blatantly violate [the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act] and expose the city to one whopping lawsuit that is extremely likely to succeed,201D as Chicago attorney Dan Lauber told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet. "A federal law adopted by a Republican Congress makes the denial the Republicans seek blatantly illegal."
Several high-profile opponents of the mosque plan2014including the American Center for Law and Justice and the Anti-Defamation League2014have in the past defended the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, arguing that it 201Cprotects religious land uses from discrimination."
Marci Hamilton, a professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, is opposed to the federal land zoning law, saying it 201Chas been a hammer that has been held by one religious developer after another.201D In her view, the First Amendment is sufficient to 201Cplainly prohibit201D such discrimination against the mosque project. She admitted, however, that if the zoning law serves to protect the project, it 201Cmight, this once, actually be doing justice."
Other useful references:
  • A link from my regular contributor, Jon: A Fox News co-owner funded the ‘Ground Zero mosque#,  according to a report at The Raw Story.  There is enough hypocrisy in this whole shameful episode to fill another Great Lake on our northern border.  The bottom line is that the New York mosque can be built on the private property of choice, as long as the owners follow the law.  No if's, and's or but's.


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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.