I am in principle firmly in favor of Muslims being permitted to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero or anywhere else zoning laws permit.
I'm also fearful that building the mosque there will result in violence. Lunacy has become a major growth industry in America.
My solution is to use the proposed mosque site for another, related purpose. Use the space to display a large, elegant sculture (or another suitable symbol) commemorating Muslim contributions and good will to America's life and ideals. It could be a striking monument of sorts to all those American Muslims who have acquitted themselves so well as citizens of this country.
Then build the actual mosque somewhere else.
Nobody would have to lose face, a Muslim presence at the scene could be preserved and violence could be averted.
The AP sorry found here.
Perspectives on the mosque that is to be built near the World Trade Center site abound. One that is particularly worth reading comes from a deacon in Albany.
Writing for The Evangelist, the diocesan paper of Albany, N.Y., Deacon Walter C. Ayres asks a simple question: "Do we identify with people who are persecuted, or with the ones who do the persecuting?"
More from the deacon's piece:
We can begin by acknowledging that not all Muslims are alike, just as all Christians and all Catholics are not alike — nor even amicable. Go to some Catholic websites to see vitriol among people who profess to love one another.
There is much talk about helping people out of poverty through one program or another. One hurdle everyone faces, especially the poor, is the credit score system. A good score helps in lowering borrowing costs for large items like furniture, a car, major appliances and a mortgage. A bad credit score means (a) that sometimes businesses won't lend at all, or (b) a borrower cannot get favorable terms on their loans - that is, everything costs more for those with bad credit.
So a key question is this: What goes into the credit scoring system that banks and businesses use to judge one's creditworthiness?
This story explains the five components that make up the FICO credit scoring system and should become familiar to everyone from the poor, to college students, to the middle class.
Believe it or not, bad credit scores can prevent you from getting a job.
And here's another story to add to the sex abuse list.
The News-Times, a daily newspaper in Danbury, Conn., is reporting today that Douglas Perlitz -- a young man known for his creation of a program in Haiti to help homeless boys -- will plead guilty today of sexually abusing a boy.
From the report:
The government intends to recommend a sentence of 188 to 235 months inprisonment for Perlitz, while defense attorneys were seeking a sentence of between 97 and 122 months.
Perlitz, 40, formerly of Bridgeport and Fairfield, received funding from the Order of Malta, a Roman Catholic charity and collected donations from wealthy Fairfield and Westchester County Catholics to create Project Pierre Toussaint, a three-stage program in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, the country's second-largest city, to prepare abandoned boys for adult life.
The Rapid City Journal reported yesterday that Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City, S.D. had an emotional goodbye to his diocese on Sunday as he celebrated his last Mass before moving to the Diocese of Spokane.
From the piece:
Osnes said it has always been obvious to him that Cupich had "greater talents than the needs of this South Dakota diocese."
That those "Nebraska-born, Dakota-grown" gifts would be shared with the people of Spokane didn't make saying goodbye to Cupich any easier for Julie Mousel, who attended her second Mass of the weekend just to bid her shepherd farewell.
"I'm sad. I'm so sad," Mousel said.
Last April, when I attended a Tridentine Mass in Washington and wrote a critical commentary on it for NCR, I knew it would provoke some interesting reader reaction.
But I was a bit surprised to find a reference to it four months later in a petition by gay and lesbian alumni of the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College seeking official recognition of their alumni club.
When shopping for organic food, consumers often report sticker shock and turn away, dismayed at the notion of paying $4 a pound for tomatoes. They're used to the lower prices at the local megasupermarket down the road.
The popular notion of someone who eats a local, organic diet is a food nut with an income sufficient to afford organic and who can afford to deliberate about food choices because the more expensive option will not break them.
Yet unless a significant number of people of all income levels have access to locally grown and organic ingredients, sustainable agriculture will never take hold and have a decisive impact on our health and on the environment to make a difference.
Why is the cost of local and organic foods often higher than prices at the big supermarket? Because it is based on the true price of producing food, unaided by government subsidies of commodity crops, cheap oil, and underpaid (and under-benefited) workers. We pay more for our food than we realize because at tax time we pay for those subsidies. Small family and organic farms rarely get the subsidies, and they often pay their workers a living wage.