Wednesday, August 18, 2010

U.S. Church Groups on the "Ground-Zero Mosque" Controversy: The Sound of Silence

I blogged on Sunday and Monday about the Republican-engineered controversy re: the Islamic cultural center being considered for the ground-zero site.  In my first posting on this topic, I noted that Sarah Palin is seeking to exploit this manufactured controversy in order to appeal to Christian supremacists who regard only Christianity as a valid and legitimate path to God.

Today at the TPM site, Brian Beutler looks at the response (or non-response, as the case may be) of key U.S. religious groups to this controversy and the demonization of Islamic people that those stirring the controversy wish to elicit.  While Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has weighed in on the issue (he's predictably opposed to the construction of the cultural center at the ground-zero site), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Association of Evangelicals, and United Methodist Church have made no statement at all. 

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston has, however, stated, "Having a mosque near the site of the attack can be a very important symbol of how much we value religious freedom in this country."

As Martin Luther King noted, American churches have a penchant for being the tail-light when issues of serious moral importance make claims on the conscience of the nation--the tail-light rather than the headlight, as these issues are discussed and addressed.