President Obama Caves In...

At an annual dinner in the White House State Dining Room celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, President Obama said, "As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," weighing in for the first time on a the Cordoba House controversy in New York City. He added, "That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable." Mr. Gingrich said that the proposed Cordoba community center would be a symbol of Muslim “triumphalism” and that building it near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks “would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust museum.” CNN news performer Erick Erickson later in twitter compared it to America supporting “human sacrifice” by the Church of Satan. If Republicans don't like separation of Church and State then why don't they simply propose that we throw out the Bill of Rights that our founders fought and died for. On 9/11 there were Muslims, Jews, Christians and atheists killed as well as other religions. It wasn't anymore an attack by Islam, then Timothy McVeigh blowing up the Oklahoma federal Building was an attack by Christianity. It wasn't war, It was a crime, and it's funders and collaborators should have been hunted down and thrown in jail by international police forces. Then we'd have closure instead of endless war. Sadly, Obama made an "about face" comment this weekend, after essentially caving in to the right wing attacks. Now with Obama's clarification, N.Y. Congressman Peter King has accused Obama of "trying to have it both ways" on the Cordoba House, and tragically Peter King is right. The big picture here is that President Obama has an opportunity to help heal this nation by sticking to his words of truth Friday night and leading this nation and world towards peace and embrace the Cordoba House. It was an opportunity to revisit the time after 9/11 when George Bush had an opportunity unite this country and instead he declared war.


sugarchai's picture
sugarchai 13 years 44 weeks ago

Here are three articles offering both some facts--including the name change for the center--and some insights into the controversy.

nemediaoc's picture
nemediaoc 13 years 44 weeks ago

We must be living in the post nuclear neocon-modern dark ages.

MugsysRapSheet's picture
MugsysRapSheet 13 years 44 weeks ago

Thom, Google the number of Christian churches in Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

I'm getting tired of this Adminstration allowing the Conservative minority to bully it on every issue. Obama is in serious need of a spine transplant.

Anatomy of a One-term President. A cautionary tale.

dhavid 13 years 44 weeks ago

America has its Fundamentalist Christians, Islam has it's Fundamentalist Sects. A Fundamentalist will admit to being wrong only one time - the one time they thought they were wrong. Fundamentalism is closely tied to Nationalism. Fundamentalism is a disease.

It seems the whole world has lost it's mind with the "old" religions. Perhaps it's time for a new paradign.

MugsysRapSheet's picture
MugsysRapSheet 13 years 44 weeks ago

NOT. A. MOSQUE. -----------------------

A "community center" with a swimming pool and a gymnasium is not a mosque. It has more in common with a YMCA than a church. Stop calling it a "mosque".

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 44 weeks ago

I believe that the fundamentalist Christians are running frightened because Islam is a growing religion in the United States of Numb Nuts. My articles on Thom's Blog, August 16, 2010, reveals that Christianity is in a free fall away from their principles.

sugarchai's picture
sugarchai 13 years 44 weeks ago

And not just Christians. I sat with a group of Jews Saturday morning after a Torah study class on justice, no less, and heard venom and bigotry based on irrational fear the likes of which I haven't seen since the South of the 50's and 60's. Unfortunately hysteria and irrational fear can't be quelled by rational discourse.

Jon in Sacramento's picture
Jon in Sacramento 13 years 44 weeks ago

"Don't we live in the same objective world?" a disciple once queried his guru. "Yes," his master replied, "but you see yourself in the world, and I see the world in myself. This minor perceptual shift makes all the difference between freedom and bondage." (Deepak Chopra)

MugsysRapSheet's picture
MugsysRapSheet 13 years 44 weeks ago

Nation of Islam isn't a "nation" any more than "Fox Nation" is a country.

rladlof's picture
rladlof 13 years 44 weeks ago

President Obama?!?!? Not standing up for principles?!?!? Who woulda thunk it? . . .

Standard Operating Procedure for our great DLC President.

IndyJean's picture
IndyJean 13 years 44 weeks ago

Newt Gingrich wants to be the Head Prophet of Enuresis Nation. He has tons of under(thebed)prophets, but me? I refuse to pee at their behest.

paulirwinmagerkurth's picture
paulirwinmagerkurth 13 years 44 weeks ago

Newt Gingrich: The word "Nazis" tells me all I need to know about the strength of your argument.

bowenje's picture
bowenje 13 years 44 weeks ago

I believe that President Obama's intention was in his first statement on Friday to emphasize the right to worship, which he did effectively. Perhaps the purpose of his second statement (if you listen to the exact meaning of his words) was to clarify that regardless of anyone's opinion (his own or others) the rights of Muslim citizens are supported in the constituion. Although the second statement seems to be a weak statement, I don't believe his intention was to back off of his first statement.

E. Bowen

ditillman's picture
ditillman 13 years 44 weeks ago

I think you are missing a big issue with Islam. I was married to a very educated Muslim for 10 years and learned a lot about Islam. What I learned is that fundamental to Islam is Shariah Law regardless of which version of Islam you are dealing with. Shariah Law is in direct contradiction to US Constitutional Law and the two cannot co-exist. Women are given rights in US Constitutional Law that they are denied in Shariah Law which allows men to have 4 wives. In Shariah Law women are not allowed 4 husbands. So if a Muslim man wants another women he can just marry her unless he is at the limit of 4 wives. If a Muslim woman wants a different man she can be stoned to death. I think the State Department is missing these facts as well.

rladlof's picture
rladlof 13 years 44 weeks ago


Herbert Weldon's picture
Herbert Weldon 13 years 44 weeks ago

It's more disappointing to those like you and I who who assume the good intentions of the center than it even being close to a cave. He defended their right to build there in both instances. Sure it may not be a shinning endorsement or out right slam to the intentions of the center, but it is consistent. You almost always a fair guy, but in this instance I worry you may be proving Gibbs right.

rede_7's picture
rede_7 13 years 44 weeks ago

I wish Obama and his advisors would stop watching Fox news. I thought they didn't like cable news? Anyway, I also wish Obama would just have quoted from constitution regarding the Mosque and leave it at that. Something like, "if you are truly believe in the constitution, then the constitution's first amendment says, etc etc."

TimFromLA 13 years 44 weeks ago

Does that mean the Mosque in the Pentagon must be gone too?

Beau's picture
Beau 13 years 44 weeks ago

Every single argument against this Center is based on the ignorant, disrespectful, wrong-headed assertion that Islam and Al-Qaeda are the same thing.

Even those who simply say "maybe it wouldn't be wise" or "it would be disrespectful" or "even if they have the RIGHT to do it, it doesn't mean it should be done" -- these arguments also require the mental association of Islam and 9/11 in a way that punishes Islam as a whole for the action of a few crazy people who were Muslim.

Any level of intellectual thought on the topic leads to the same conclusions I've reached -- the people who are pushing this story are at war with intellect itself.

david472's picture
david472 13 years 44 weeks ago


Regarding the flap over our president's Cordoba statements, I always like to consider the obverse position, to see if it is defensable.

In this case, if president Obama had said effectively, 'The Muslim owners have a right to build anything they want on their commercially zoned property, but I will oppose it on grounds that it violates local, Christian sensibilities.'

JUST THINK of what a malestrom of invective that statement would elicit from the likes of Newt and Rep. Peter King! They would be all over him with accusations of bigotry, etc.



Luke_Orsborne's picture
Luke_Orsborne 13 years 44 weeks ago

It was heartening to hear Obama's initial remarks about the community center. What happened the second time around?

robdasugarloafer's picture
robdasugarloafer 13 years 44 weeks ago

Would you beleive these is actually a shinto church two miles from Pearl Harbor.

Check out the google map location:,+HI+96817-3343+US&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=1239+Olomea+St,+Honolulu,+HI+96817&gl=us&ei=FpFpTKvAJ4GOOImJzbkF&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ8gEwAA

leave newt and these nut jobs to ignore the FACTs. While the shrine was shutdown during the war it was restored in 1947 less than 2 years after the war.

Brenhin's picture
Brenhin 13 years 44 weeks ago

Thom, I get it.

You believe that, in the face of the "Professional Right" and its media machine, we have to extra vigilant and supply the public support for the progressive agenda we elected him for.

What your hearing people call in and say here is, how is the headline "Obama's base upset with him again over fill in the blank," helping? We can see how that is playing into the Rights agenda, and want to push back against the Professional Right by supporting him, and correctly identifying any obstructionist activities to those responsible. As opposed the false narrative; "Dem's have a majority & cant get anything done, & Obama isn't making congress do his bidding enough!"

If your trying to push back, push back with;

"Obama supports religious freedom, and cites constitutional freedom to practice religion in response to Conservative Cafeteria Constitutionalists critical of religious rights in America."


OglalaLakotaWicasa's picture
OglalaLakotaWicasa 13 years 44 weeks ago

Remember Wounded Knee? 300 mostly Lakota woman and children slaughtered/massacred and buried in a mass grave on what is now the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Home of the Oglala Lakota). Well, there is a Christian church 200 feet from the mass grave. Keep in mind the Lakota and other indigenous people were not Christians at the time, although many are now, the U.S. Government working with the quakers came up with a policy to dole out various indian reservations (indian agencies) to various sects of christianity for conversion and "salvations". This is how some are Episcopalian and other are Catholic etc... basically a lottery to win "heathen savage" souls for conversion Where is the outrage?

Dreamsmith's picture
Dreamsmith 13 years 44 weeks ago

To say that the President of the United States is the "head of the Muslim nation" is an insult to all who believe in Islam. That would be like saying that Saddam Hussain is the "head of the Christian Church."

dwalker81's picture
dwalker81 13 years 44 weeks ago

Wow, Mr. Hartmann. Listening to the show late on my Podcasts. Respectfully, I am not impressed with you telling those who disagree with us that they are not American.

I got a lot of love for ya, Mr. Hartmann, and you always maintaining the high ground is why. The position you took today is reminiscent of the conservative ultimatums demanded by conservatives during the Bush Administration.

Maybe you were cranky, maybe it was a bad night's rest. Maybe it was that pain in the butt, regular conservative caller, Michael from Long Beach, who broke the last straw. But "doing Bin Laden's work?"

C'mon, Mr. Hartmann, we better than that. And honestly, no one has taught me that better than you.

Frankly, I disagree greatly with these individuals just as you. Spent a lot of this weekend having a Facebook debate on this subject. But do you know where a majority of my arguments came from? Your "Founders Confront Judge Moore" article.

And that brilliant article should be the foundation of our debate, not challenging the opposition's patriotism.

With the utmost respect,

David Walker

bmayaz's picture
bmayaz 13 years 44 weeks ago

I am outraged by all of the outrage!

Nobody proposed a ban on building churches after Christians Timothy McVey, Terry Nichols, and Michael Fortier bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Nor was there a similar ban offered in Jasper Texas after the Christian right lynched alleged homosexual James Boyd Jr. What a bunch of self righteous hypocrites!

ElleH's picture
ElleH 13 years 44 weeks ago

It is more intriguing to ask why the mosque must be built so close to TWTC? When did we as Americans choose the rights of some over the humanity for others. The rationalization of religious freedom is comparable to owning a slave merely because it was your right. We as American Democrats are often willing to give away the rights of Americans just for the thrill of patting our own backs that we are open minded but really just self righteous pencil heads. We choose the rights of illegal immigrant over the well being of American citizens. Hey Thom, maybe you think we should get rid of "Meagan's Law" because it violates the rights of convicted child molesters??? In America there are words we do not say, things we do not display and actions we do not take, for no other reason than our unwillingness to hurt and offend. The argument is the same. The building of the mosque is not about religious freedom, it is about respecting human pain and not wanting to further inflict.

Thom, Dems better wake up. I am a Dem and am outraged by recent events that have led me to believe that the extreme left is tying to take over. Let us try a little common sense and a lot of compassion.

Lastly, get your facts right. Tim Mcveigh acted out of outrage over Wako, not as a Christian. He hoped to insight a revolt against a "tyrannical federal government."

tupetewalker's picture
tupetewalker 13 years 44 weeks ago

As a progressive Christian, I'm just so sorry. So sorry for all of the fucked up rhetoric literally destroying our country, our culture, and the world around us. I am thankful for President Obama's compassion and eloquence in addressing complex issues. I too am disappointed in his "clarifying statements," but they certainly aren't surprising.

I don't have a problem criticizing our president, from the Left, for not being progressive enough. But I believe my job is to try to subvert the homogenous, pseudo-Christian filth spewing from the right, in hopes the principalities and powers of fundamentalist Christian nationalism can be brought down with their own language and paradigms: Jesus of Nazareth did not live and die for a bunch of fear-mongering, corporate-owned assholes.

Someone here posted a comment about Christianity going down. As a Christian, I sort of hope so. No religion maintains ideological or ethical purity once it has access to wealth, weapons, and the intoxication of social dominance.

Citizen K.'s picture
Citizen K. 13 years 44 weeks ago

Thom's response is as predictable as the sunrise and as lame as Tiny Tim. The last time I checked, the president did not move an inch off of his assertion that the 1st Amendment protected Islam the same as any other religion.

Thom, quit aligning yourself with yahoos like Peter King.

danleahy's picture
danleahy 13 years 44 weeks ago

I've listened to the Friday and Saturday Obama statements over and over. I don't hear any backing away or caving in. I agree with Thom that it would be great if the Prez would explain that by supporting the "mosque" Americans are actually sticking a finger in the eye of al Qaeda. Unfortunately he hasn't made that case, as Thom and others have done quite well.

But Obama didn't offer direct support for the project on Friday night, he defended freedom of religion and the constitution. And he didn't change that stance on Saturday, when he was asked for clarification and gave it. It's not like he called in the press to make some competing statement. We shouldn't back away from criticizing the Prez when appropriate. But I don't think it's constructive to go after him on some (mis)interpretation of a nuance.

OglalaLakotaWicasa's picture
OglalaLakotaWicasa 13 years 44 weeks ago

Hey I got another example of the American Nation being disrespectful. The shrine of democracy smack dab right in the middle of the Sacred Black Hills of the Lakota and other peoples. Those 4 heads remind us indigenous people everyday of reality. The oppression, colonization and genocide wrought on us by the U.S. is unprecedented. In light of this how can anyone complain about a Islamic Center that has a Mosque in it? The muslim people are citizens and fall under the protection of the constitution like any other. Those opposing this Islamic Center should walk for a time in the shoes of the Indigenous people of this continent.

CAREEN's picture
CAREEN 13 years 43 weeks ago

The right wing is so predictably hypocritical. Most of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia - are we at war with the Saudis? No, Bush II literally kissed up to them begging for cheaper/more oil. The right wingers never seem to be too concerned about real life, just what can by hyped up against Obama.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 13 years 43 weeks ago

Is NAZI becoming another N-word, in which only right wing fascists can use it?


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 13 years 43 weeks ago

If 16 year olds were allowed to vote, even a greater percentage of youth would not vote.


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 13 years 43 weeks ago

Why not lower the voting age to 14, the same average age that people enter high school.


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 13 years 43 weeks ago

Right wingers don't have the cognitive ability to vote either, so should we outlaw them from voting.


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 13 years 43 weeks ago

@tuptewalker, my god man you're practically a heretic with your progressive idealism. What did you do, did you actually read the Gospels and take they words at face value? It says a lot that you say you're a "Progressive Christian" used to be redundant to state it that way.

Well good on you for having worthy principals, and yes may the corrupt and twisted lose their hold on both the christian churches and houses of Government... the world round.


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 13 years 43 weeks ago

Why is it the people who don't want 16 year olds to vote, also think people in their 20's aren't capable of voting? 14 yr olds are old enough to be taught algerbra, I can extrapolate from that that they are capable of critical thinking.


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 13 years 43 weeks ago

Hey what about the other side of the argument, how about puting an age limit on voting. Noone over the age of 65 can vote. So from age 18 through 65 you can work and vote.


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 13 years 43 weeks ago

If you lowered the voting age to 16, then put an initiative to lower the legal age to have sex to 16, I bet you'd have an enormous turn out for the election. 15 -17 year old boys would probably go on 24 hr canvasing sprees. :-)


Norenforsenate's picture
Norenforsenate 13 years 43 weeks ago

I am running for US Senate in 2012 and am not someone to flip on issues when the Lobby money talks

Please check out my web site. I'm not cookie-cutter but you'll see that if you help get me in, we'll be better off than with our current corporate Democrat

lancek7's picture
lancek7 13 years 43 weeks ago

NYC "Mosque" - I haven't heard anyone ask what would be happening now if the Islamic Community Center existed in that same spot before 9-11. Would people be insisting that they move? I think nothing would have been said about it. I certainly don't think any gov't would have forced them to move.

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 13 years 43 weeks ago

Which looks like Obama was right in ( The Constitution ) accepting the proposal for the Islamic "Cultural Center" but the timing of the proposal is imprudent on the part of the committee of folks that want to begin construction when it is still uncertain how far reaching the aspirations of the like of Osama demand Islam to war against the West. Obama is true to the Red White and Blue, enough so that he recognizes that building the "Cultural Center" while still in the Midst of Bushes War's only serves to further polarize the political landscape that continues to divide and confuse the country . Strange times indeed.

hal tapkins's picture
hal tapkins 13 years 43 weeks ago

The constant Republican attcks and lies have put President Obama on the defense and he needs to go on the offensive and show the country how un-American the Right Wing really is. I was sure that the Radical attack on the First Ammendment by these forces had given the President his chance to get back on message, energize his base, and defend our constitution against these insidious attacks! The Right-wing media had surely obviously overreached by attacking this Moslem community center!! And on Friday, I thought Obama was going to tun the tide. But, after comments by Harry Ried and now Hoard Dean, I am oncne again desparing of the fate of our country. How can he demonstrate the bankruptcy of their ideas, and take advantage of this opportunity when Reid and Dean don't see this as an attack on the First Amendment? Oh well, I'm sure the next over-reach by these Right-winger will be even more outrageous--I just hope that it is not too late!!

The Real Socialist Pig's picture
The Real Social... 13 years 43 weeks ago

I can't believe this post is still up. What hyperbole. Here is a fellow lefty that agrees with me that Obama did not endorse the building of the mosque. Thererfore he could not have done an "about face" as you so incorrectly wrote in this worthless post.

Thanks for listening,


rpullman's picture
rpullman 13 years 43 weeks ago

The ground zero Islamic center is a bad idea. Why did they choose that location? Why not one of the outer boroughs? They must have wanted to provoke hostility. They sure have mine, and I am not at all prejuediced against Muslims. Freedom? Nonsense. Lower Manhattan is a commercial zone. No one goes there to play basketball or socialize.

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