Apparently they think that putting hearts and butterflies on the new stamp will
Obama: 'Muslims have the right to practice their religion as anyone else' J. Scott Applewhite / AP
President Barack Obama hosts an iftar dinner, the meal that breaks the dawn-to-dusk fast for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, Friday in the White House State Dining Room.
Obama said the American tenet of religious freedom means the freedom of Muslims to build a mosque near ground zero in New York City.NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 8/13/2010 10:23:23 PM ET
-WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday endorsed plans for a Muslim mosque two blocks from ground zero in New York City, declaring that "Muslims have the right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country."
Speaking at a White House dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Obama said all Americans have the right to worship as they choose.
"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, Obama said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable."
Ho / Reuters
An anti-mosque advertisement juxtaposes a plane about to crash into a flaming World Trade Center with a viwe of a proposed mosque near ground zero. The ads will begin appearing on New York City buses as soon as next week after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) relented and approved them on Monday.Obama emphasized the point as New York City is immersed in a deeply sensitive debate about whether a mosque should be built near the site of the World Trade Center's twin towers.
His remarks drew agreement and vilification.
It was the president's first public remarks about the mosque controversy. The White House previously called the matter solely a local one.
The dinner was attended by over 100 guests, including two Muslim-American congressmen and ambassadors and officials from numerous Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.
Obama acknowledged the fiery emotions the planned mosque and cultural center have stoked.
"Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground," the president said.
"But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. 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.
Obama said Islam is not the enemy, al-Qaida is.
"We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who led our response to that attack — from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today," he said.
"Our enemies respect no religious freedom. Al Qaida's cause is not Islam — it is a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders — they're terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children. In fact, al Qaida has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion — and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11."
Obama said that Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America.
"The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan — making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago."
The New York mosque would be part of a 13-story, $100 million Islamic center that would feature a 500-seat auditorium, a swimming pool and a gym. It's a project of the Cordoba Initiative, an advocacy group that promotes improved relations between Islam and the West.
Obama's stance runs counter to the opinions of the majority of Americans, according to polls. A CNN/Opinion Research poll released this week found that nearly 70 percent of Americans opposed the mosque plan while just 29 percent approved.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the project and praised Obama's remarks Friday night.
"Two hundred and twenty years ago this week, the Father of Our Country penned his famous letter to the Jewish Community of Newport Rhode Island or, as he called them, 'the Children of the Stock of Abraham.' President Obama's words tonight evoked President Washington's own August reminder that 'all possess alike liberty,'" Bloomberg said.
"As I said last week, this proposed mosque and community center in Lower Manhattan is as important a test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime, and I applaud President Obama's clarion defense of the freedom of religion tonight," he said.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., disagreed.
"President Obama is wrong," King said. "It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of ground zero. While the Muslim community has the right to build the mosque they are abusing that right by needlessly offending so many people who have suffered so much."
The mosque has drawn vocal opposition from many relatives of Sept. 11 victims and local and national Republican leaders. The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group, is also opposed.
Conservative politicians such as former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, a Republican former Speaker of the House of Representatives, also have called for the project to be scrapped.
Mark Williams, a spokesman for the conservative Tea Party political movement, said the center would be used for "terrorists to worship their monkey god."
New York Gov. David Paterson said Wednesday that the developers of the cultural center have rejected his offer to help them find a different site.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Iran continues to thumb its nose at the U.S. - this time by ridiculing President Obama's new nuclear strategy.
In a speech to thousands of Iranians, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "Mr. Obama, you are a newcomer to politics. Wait until your sweat dries and get some experience.... American officials bigger than you, more bullying than you, couldn't do a damn thing, let alone you."
He was referring to Mr. Obama's new nuclear policy - in which the U.S. pledges to stop developing new nuclear weapons and not to use existing weapons to attack non-nuclear states that follow non-proliferation agreements.
The administration believes the greatest threat to security is no longer nuclear attacks between nations... but instead nuclear terrorism by extremists.
To that end - they're singling out states like Iran and North Korea... saying that if they don't play the rules "all options are on the table"... which is probably the part that punk in Iran was whining about.
Some experts suggest that by targeting Iran and North Korea, the U.S. could unintentionally strengthen hard-liners in those countries who say nuclear weapons are the only way to protect themselves.
Meanwhile - critics, including some Republicans, believe just the opposite - that the president isn't applying enough pressure on these state supporters of terrorism. They have a point. Remember Obama's so-called deadline for Iran's nuclear program that came and went last year? Iran ignored it. We did nothing.
The announcement of this new strategy comes just days before Pres. Obama is set to sign a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia - that would reduce both countries' nuclear weapons stockpiles.
Patriot Nation Applaudes These Words From Andy Rooney
I myself have been grumbling and wondering how a handful of people have been able to take our right to pray in public places away from us.
So, agreeing with Andy, I GLADLY will forward this message AGAIN, AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Folks, this is the Month that we RE-TAKE AMERICA Get Ready
Andy Rooney and Prayer
Andy Rooney says:
I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.
I don't agree with Darwin , but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution.
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.
So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.
Yes, and this is the United States of America , a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1.
So what would you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna?
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem , I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer...
If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad , I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.
If I went to a ping pong match in China , I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.
And I wouldn't be offended.It wouldn't bother me one bit.
When in Rome .....
But what about the atheists? Is another argument.
What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand.
Call your lawyer!
Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do.. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights.
Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep.
Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.
God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me..
The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want. It is time that the majority Rules!
It's time we tell them, You don't have to pray; you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him.
That is your right, and we will honor your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!
God bless us one and all ... Especially those who denounce Him.
Patriot Nation On Senator John Glenn
SENATOR JOHN GLENN:
Things that make you think a little:
There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq in January.
In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the Month of January. That's just one American city, About as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq
When some claim that President Bush shouldn't Have started this war, state the following:
A. FDR led us into World War II.
B. Germany never attacked us; Japan did. From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost ..An average of 112,500 per year.
C. Truman finished that war and started one in Korea . North Korea never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost ...An average of 18,334 per year.
D. John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us.
E. Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost ..An average of 5,800 per year.
F. Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent. Bosnia never attacked us.
Clinton was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three Times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on Multiple occasions.
G. In the years since terrorists attacked us , President Bush Has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled Al-Qaeda, put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran, and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.
The Democrats are complaining About how long the war is taking But It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno To take the Branch Davidian Compound.
That was a 51-day operation.
We've been looking for evidence for chemical weapons In Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find The Rose Law Firm billing records.
It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick
It took less time to take Iraq than it took To count the votes in Florida !!!!
Our Former Commander In Chief, George W. Bush, did a HARD JOB !
The Military morale is high!
The biased media hopes we are too ignorant To realize the facts
Patriot Nation update...The Liberal Media elected a Socialist to be our Commander In Thief. Barack Obama Is No Commander in Chief.
New Pledge Of Allegiance
WRITTEN BY A 15 yr. Old SCHOOL KID IN ARIZONA : New Pledge of Allegiance (TOTALLY AWESOME) !
Since the Pledge of Allegiance And The Lord's Prayer Are not allowed in most Public schools anymore Because the word 'God' is mentioned.... A kid in Arizona wrote the attached
NEW School prayer :
Now I sit me down in school Where praying is against the rule For this great nation under God Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites, It violates the Bill of Rights. And anytime my head I bow Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be pink, purple, orange or green, That's no offense; it's a freedom scene. The law is specific, the law is precise. Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall Might offend someone with no faith at all. In silence alone we must meditate, God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks, And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.. They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible. To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen, And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King. It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong, We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls, Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles. But the Ten Commandments are not allowed, No word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess, When chaos reigns the school's a mess. So, Lord, this silent plea I make: Should I be shot; My soul please take! Amen
If you aren't ashamed to do this, Please pass this on. Jesus said, 'If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father.'
Obama Again Disrespects Our Veterans
If the below statement bothers you, just drop down and see our Commander in Chief's comments. I beleive you will then agree.
THAT SON OF A BITCH!
THIS HAS GOT TO BE THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS STATEMENT EVER MADE BY A PUBLIC OFFICIAL LET ALONE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.. AND THIS GUY IS OUR "COMMANDER IN CHIEF".
HE IS A DISGRACE.
UNBELIEVABLE PRESIDENT???HERE IS HIS RESPONSE WHEN HE BACKED OFF FROM HIS DECISION TO REQUIRE THE MILITARY PAY FOR THEIR WAR INJURIES.
WHAT AN EMPTY HEADED PERSON HE MUST BE....
Bad press, including major mockery of the plan by comedian JonStewart, led to President Obama abandoning his proposal to requireveterans carry private health insurance to cover the estimated $540million annual cost to the federal government of treatment for injuriesto military personnel received during their tours on active duty. ThePresident admitted that he was puzzled by the magnitude of theopposition to his proposal.
"Look, it's an all volunteer force," Obama complained. "Nobodymade these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice? Itdoesn't compute..." "I thought these were people who were proud tosacrifice for their country, "Obama continued. "I wasn't asking forblood, just money. With the country facing the worst financial crisis in its history, I'd have thought that the patriotic thing to do would be to try to help reduce the nation's deficit.I guess I underestimated theselfishness of some of my fellow Americans."
Please pass this on to every one including every vet and theirfamilies whom you know. How in the world did a person with this Mindset become our leader? I didn't vote for him!!!
REMEMBER THIS STATEMENT... "Nobody made these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice?"
If he thinks he will ever get another vote from an Active Duty,Reserve, National Guard service member or veteran of a military servicehe ought to think it over.. If you or a family member is or has servedtheir country please pass this to them.
Please pass this to everyone.I'm guessing that other than the 20-25 percent hardcore liberals in theUS will agree that this is just another example why this is the worstpresident in American history. Remind everyone over and over how thisman thinks, while he bows to the Saudi Arabian king.
Snopes has somewhat dubunked this statement, but there is no denying that Barry Soetoro AKA Barack Hussain Obama Brought Forth The Idea Of Our Wounded Military Veterans Should Pay For Their War Injuries. Read the Snopes Review
Barry Soetoro is an absolute disgrace.
This important message is brought to by the Patiot Nation blog before we lose our Nation to this Socialist, Muslim Usurper
Patriot Nation In God We Trust Not Obama or The USPS
WRITE IT ON THE BACK OF YOUR ENVELOPES or front
WE THINK THIS IS A GREAT IDEA. WE'LL START WRITING IT ON THE FRONT OF OUR ENVELOPES, TOO! ----------Including Bills
You may have heard in the news that a couple of Post Offices in Texas have been forced to take down small posters that say
'IN GOD WE TRUST,' The law, they say, is being violated.
Anyway, we heard proposed on a radio station show, that we should all write 'IN GOD WE TRUST' on the back of all our mail.
After all, that's our National Motto, and ----- all the money we use to buy stamps. We think it's a wonderful idea.
We must take back our nation from all the people who think that anything that offends them should be removed.
If you like this idea, please pass it on and DO IT. The idea of writing or stamping.......... 'IN GOD WE TRUST ' on our envelopes sounds good to us .
SOME PEOPLE ARE HAVING A STAMP MADE TOO......... lets use it as our signature on e-mails, too!
It's been reported that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, we have a very hard time understanding why there's such a mess about having ' In God We Trust!' on our money and having God in the pledge of Allegiance .
Could it be that WE just need to take action and tell the 14% to 'sit down and shut up'?
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's advisers plan to remove terms such as "Islamic radicalism" from a document outlining national security strategy and will use the new version to emphasize that the U.S. does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terrorism, counterterrorism officials say.
The change would be a significant shift in the National Security Strategy, a document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventive war. It currently states, "The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century."
The officials described the changes on condition of anonymity because the document is still being written and is unlikely to be released for weeks, and the White House would not discuss it. But rewriting the strategy document is the latest example of Obama putting his stamp on U.S. foreign policy, as with his promises to dismantle nuclear weapons and limit the situations in which they can be used.
The revisions are part of a larger effort about which the White House talks openly, one that seeks to change not just how the U.S. talks to Muslim nations, but also what it talks to them about, from health care and science to business startups and education.
That shift away from terrorism has been building for a year, since Obama went to Cairo and promised a "new beginning" in the relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim world. The White House believes the previous administration based that relationship entirely on fighting terrorism and winning the war of ideas.
"You take a country where the overwhelming majority are not going to become terrorists, and you go in and say, 'We're building you a hospital so you don't become terrorists.' That doesn't make much sense," National Security Council staffer Pradeep Ramamurthy said.
Ramamurthy runs the administration's Global Engagement Directorate, a four-person National Security Council team that Obama launched last May with little fanfare and a vague mission to use diplomacy and outreach "in pursuit of a host of national security objectives." Since then, the division has not only helped change the vocabulary of fighting terrorism, but also has shaped the way the country invests in Muslim businesses, studies global warming, supports scientific research and combats polio.
Before diplomats go abroad, they hear from the Ramamurthy or his deputy, Jenny Urizar. When officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration returned from Indonesia, the NSC got a rundown about research opportunities on global warming. Ramamurthy maintains a database of interviews conducted by 50 U.S. embassies worldwide. And business leaders from more than 40 countries head to Washington this month for an "entrepreneurship summit" for Muslim businesses.
"Do you want to think about the U.S. as the nation that fights terrorism or the nation you want to do business with?" Ramamurthy said.
To deliver that message, Obama's speechwriters have taken inspiration from an unlikely source: former President Ronald Reagan. Visiting communist China in 1984, Reagan spoke at Fudan University in Shanghai about education, space exploration and scientific research. He discussed freedom and liberty. He never mentioned communism or democracy.
"They didn't look up to the U.S. because we hated communism," said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, Obama's foreign policy speechwriter.
Like Reagan in China, Obama in Cairo made only passing references to terrorism. Instead he focused on cooperation. He announced the U.S. would team up to fight polio with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, a multinational body based in Saudi Arabia. The U.S. and OIC had worked together before, but never with that focus.
"President Obama saw it as an opportunity to say, 'We work on things far beyond the war on terrorism,'" World Health Organization spokeswoman Sona Bari said.
Polio is endemic in three Muslim countries — Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan — but some Muslim leaders have been suspicious of vaccination efforts, which they believed to be part of a CIA sterilization campaign. Last year, the OIC and religious scholars at the International Islamic Fiqh Academy issued a fatwa, or religious decree, that parents should vaccinate their children.
"We're probably entering into a whole new level of engagement between the OIC and the polio program because of the stimulus coming from the U.S. government," said Michael Galway, who works on polio eradication for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also began working more closely with local Islamic leaders in northern Nigeria, a network that had been overlooked for years, said John Fitzsimmons, the deputy director of the CDC's immunization division.
Though health officials are reluctant to assign credit to any one action, new polio cases in Nigeria fell from 83 during the first quarter of last year to just one so far this year, Fitzsimmons said.
Public opinion polls also showed consistent improvement in U.S. sentiment within the Muslim world last year, though the viewpoints are still overwhelmingly negative.
Obama did not invent Muslim outreach. President George W. Bush gave the White House its first Quran, hosted its first Iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan and loudly stated support for Muslim democracies like Turkey.
But the Bush administration struggled with its rhetoric. Muslims criticized Bush for describing the war on terrorism as a "crusade" and labeling the invasion of Afghanistan "Operation Infinite Justice" — words that were seen as religious. He regularly identified America's enemy as "Islamic extremists" and "radical jihadists."
Karen Hughes, a Bush confidante who served as his top diplomat to the Muslim world in his second term, urged the White House to stop.
"I did recommend that, in my judgment, it's unfortunate because of the way it's heard. We ought to avoid the language of religion," Hughes said. "Whenever they hear 'Islamic extremism, Islamic jihad, Islamic fundamentalism,' they perceive it as a sort of an attack on their faith. That's the world view Osama bin Laden wants them to have."
Hughes and Juan Zarate, Bush's former deputy national security adviser, said Obama's efforts build on groundwork from Bush's second term, when some of the rhetoric softened. But by then, Zarate said, it was overshadowed by the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and a prolonged Iraq war.
"In some ways, it didn't matter what the president did or said. People weren't going to be listening to him in the way we wanted them to," Zarate said. "The difference is, President Obama had a fresh start."
Obama's foreign policy posture is not without political risk. Even as Obama steps up airstrikes on terrorists abroad, he has proven vulnerable to Republican criticism on security issues at home, such as the failed Christmas Day airline bombing and the announced-then-withdrawn plan to prosecute self-described 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York.
Peter Feaver, a Duke University political scientist and former Bush adviser, is skeptical of Obama's engagement effort. It "doesn't appear to have created much in the way of strategic benefit" in the Middle East peace process or in negotiations over Iran's nuclear ambitions, he said.
Obama runs the political risk of seeming to adopt politically correct rhetoric abroad while appearing tone-deaf on national security issues at home, Feaver said.
The White House dismisses such criticism. In June, Obama will travel to Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, and is expected to revisit many of the themes of his Cairo speech.
"This is the long-range direction we need to go in," Ramamurthy said.