Freedom of religion, not freedom to build
I am writing in response to the article concerning the mosque being proposed in New York ("United Methodists address mosque conflicts"). I am disturbed that we (as Methodists) are equating religious freedom with "building freedom." If we are equating the two, we have totally misunderstood the concept of religious freedom. If the mosque is built elsewhere in New York City, it is not infringing on Muslims' freedom of religion. I think in our zeal to have "open doors, open minds, open hearts," we are taking stands that have nothing to do with spread of the gospel (unless we are going to try and offer them Christ by planting a Methodist church next to the mosque).
I know this is a complex issue but help me understand how encouraging and supporting the building of a mosque at that site is going to reach them for Christ. Are we going to actively witness to these folks as they enter to pray? Are we going to offer bible classes that get to the differences between the bible and the Koran? While Christ did not come into the world to condemn, he did not teach that whatever we want to believe and however we want to conduct ourselves religiously is okay. Even in his compassion, he was steadfast in preaching and teaching God and our adherence to God's commandments. In that preaching, he was firm that he is the only way to God.
Elaine W. Anderson
Compromise with Satan
Is it not wonderful that we appreciate each other's differences! The issues I see are that they seem to represent the position of Satan by killing their adversaries and then "planting their flag" on the conquered land. I certainly am not against their right in the U.S. to have a mosque but in giving a little space to America in light of the attack on 9/11 to the twin towers, a symbol of America, I as a Christian and an American am definitely for this space and against the mosque. I believe my chosen denomination has copped out in order to be politically correct. Christ came to set us free and not compromise with Satan.
Johnson City District