200-Year-Old Echoes in Muslim Center Uproar

Many New Yorkers were suspicious of the newcomers’ plans to build a house of worship in Manhattan. Some feared the project was being underwritten by foreigners. Others said the strangers’ beliefs were incompatible with democratic principles.

Concerned residents staged demonstrations, some of which turned bitter.

But cooler heads eventually prevailed; the project proceeded to completion. And this week, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Lower Manhattan ”” the locus of all that controversy two centuries ago and now the oldest Catholic church in New York State ”” is celebrating the 225th anniversary of the laying of its cornerstone.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., City Government, History, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

8 comments on “200-Year-Old Echoes in Muslim Center Uproar

  1. therecusant says:

    This is beyond stupid.

    Remind me the circumstances around which Catholics murdered 3,000 Protestants, thus triggering the opposition?

    Remind me the instances in which non-Muslim Americans have attacked Mosques and either tried or succeeded in burning them to the ground.

    What’s that you say? The Catholics, in an attempt to be peacefully tolerated, voluntarily moved the location of their church, while the Muslims refuse to do so?

    I could go on and on. The circumstances are only similar on the surface, and barely at that.

  2. Katherine says:

    Two hundred years ago there were still some serious questions about the political influence of the Catholic Church on national governments. That influence was declining, and Catholics have been able to integrate successfully into the American experiment.

    Today, there are serious questions about the intersection between political Islam and Western nations and political systems. The influence of radical, political Islam does not appear to be declining among Muslims here or abroad; unfortunately it appears to be rising.

  3. upnorfjoel says:

    Good points #2, but there are really no “questions” about Islamic politics are there? Islam is not about a seperation of Church and state, quite the opposite.

  4. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Well said, Katherine (#2).

    Recusant (#1),
    Have you forgotten about the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre? More than 3,000 Huguenots (French Calvinists) were ruthlessly slaughtered in 1572, mostly by hysteria-driven Catholic mobs. No one really knows just how many Protestants were killed (probably 5K to 10K, according to Wikipedia). So the comparison isn’t as totally ridiculous as it may seem.

    But I agree that the claimed parallel is quite a stretch. After all, St. Peter’s in Manhattan was started in 1785, more than 200 years after the horrendous massacre of thousands of French Protestants. On the other hand, prejudice is inherently irrational and need not be based on real threats, just perceived ones.

    As the saying goes, [i]”it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you.”[/i] Militant Islamic terrorism is not just a figment of fearful American’s imaginations.

    But as Archbishop Dolan has aptly pointed out, Catholics were willing to move their proposed church in 1785 (to what was then outside the city limits, as this article notes). The Muslims should be willing to do the same.

    David Handy+

  5. therecusant says:

    Mr. Handy,

    No, I haven’t forgotten the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. While I have no interest in defending the outright murder of thousands of innocent men and women, I must note that the situation is a bit more complicated than you make it seem (as the very Wiki article you cite makes clear). But it is ridiculous for the reason you note. Two hundred years had passed since the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Hardly a very strong nexus.

  6. Dave B says:

    Can’t help but be remined that the Muslims use the crusades as an example of Christian excesses not recognizing other issues including increased Muslim militancy etc..and the crusades were over 600 years ago!

  7. therecusant says:

    Dave B.,

    Yes, and the Crusades were a series of defensive wars against Muslim aggression.

  8. Larry Morse says:

    in fact, the Crusades were undertaken for plunder,power and possessions. The religious aspect was largely a smoke screen. They were NOT wars carried on to advance an aggressive Christianity, they were carried on because there were places like Constantinople waiting to be sacked and there were kingdoms to be established. And that is precisely what happened, isn’t it? Larry