“this is America, & our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable”

The President hosts an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room

“That is not to say that religion is without controversy,” he said in prepared remarks. “Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities – particularly in New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

“But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same 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. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.

“We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who have led our response to that attack – from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us always remember who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for. Our enemies respect no freedom of religion. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam – it is a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders – these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion – and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.”

21 Responses to ““this is America, & our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable””

  1. August 14, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Wow Chipsticks you are so “on the ball”

    I just commented about this in another post.

    • August 14, 2010 at 2:25 am

      Hey Donna, I honestly think this speech is one of the President’s finest moments. It will probably cost him dearly, you can just imagine how it will be interpreted by the hate mob and right wing nutjobs in the media…you know, the very people who want to ‘defend’ a constitution they’ve never actually read. The President could have added 5 points to his approval rating overnight by announcing he opposed the building of the Mosque, but he chose to do and say the right thing. Tonight is a measure of the man, his integrity is utterly uplifting.

      • August 14, 2010 at 2:43 am

        Agreed on all counts, Chipsticks. I’ve already come across some of the backlash, and it’s extremely disheartening, though – sadly – not surprising.

        • August 14, 2010 at 3:25 am

          Hi Saadia, thank you for dropping in. The backlash is really disheartening, but it’s so utterly predictable as well – you know what they say, ’empty vessels make the most noise’. We just have to keep the faith and remind ourselves that America elected this man, despite the best efforts of the hate mob. They screech so loud the media is convinced they’re the majority – if they were, Sarah Palin would be Vice President. Gulp.

          • August 14, 2010 at 6:08 am

            “They screech so loud the media is convinced they’re the majority”

            And this is what keeps me up at night! It’s hard for my faith to not be stirred by this seemingly endless din of hatefulness. Thankfully, there is some sense and reason in the world, and I’m glad to have stumbled across your blog, despite the many, many hostile and offensive ones discussing this very topic.

  2. August 14, 2010 at 2:28 am

    President Obama is indeed a great man.

  3. August 14, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Thanks so much for posting this!

  4. 8 avpmom
    August 14, 2010 at 7:09 am

    President Obama is simply the best; You’re so right Chipsticks, it would have been so much easier to oppose the project as the media contends 70%(?) of Americans do.

    Some New Yorker was on t.v tonight spouting off, saying the President should “stay out of local & State matters…”.

    What a laugh!!! These are the very same people who blame him for high unemployment in their cities and States, closure of school libraries and are mad he hasn’t personally plugged the well, restored industry and saved the sea life.

    It’s all just so crazy, but as you say Chipsticks, none of it unexpected.

    May God continue to bless and protect President Obama.

    • 9 graciouslady
      August 14, 2010 at 7:16 pm

      …and solved the world’s problems, and put everybody in an eternal state of euphoria in 20 months. Oh my gosh he must not be the Messiah as some have said he is.

  5. 10 Anniebella
    August 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Oh I’m sure they are going to let him have it, they always do. Right now I’ve decided not to even bother reading anything they have to say, I am just getting over the fake outrage over the First Lady’s trip to Spain, and I don’t want to hear all the hate wish I know will be coming the President’s way for making the decision he did. Finally in closing let me say, May God continue to be with our President and his family.

    • 11 Chi
      August 14, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      You have to not to worry about it; I stopped reading and watching quite a while back and I’m healthier and happier for it!

      I say starve the beast! Stop giving them hits and ratings – that’s what spurs them on. It’s really not about conviction or the truth or even ideology – it’s all about the money.

      So no matter how tempting or how much you want to “see what they are saying” – resist! Ignore them all including the very miserable Maureen Dowd who essentially thrives on the negative attention her cruel and hateful posts elicit.


  6. August 14, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Chipsticks,

    Here is a cnn video of President Obama on NY Islamic center comments.


  7. 14 CR
    August 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Pres Obama was a Constiutional lawyer that is why he supports the freedom of religion for Americans as it is in our US Constitution.

    The United States Constitution addresses the issue of religion in two places: in the First Amendment, and the Article VI prohibition on religious tests as a condition for holding public office. The First Amendment prohibits the federal government from making a law “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” This provision was later expanded to state and local governments, through the Incorporation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

  8. 15 globalcitizenlinda
    August 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Very proud that this President (whom I unapologetically support), once again stood up for what is right rather than what is politically popular!!

    Once again President Obama demonstrates that he is the most kind. reasonable and smartest person in the rooms of the political class. time and time again the world sees why he alone with his calm demeanour, empathy and deep intelligence could have been President of the United States at this troubling time – the right genetleman at the right time in history

    Of course the hate-merchants will continue to attack President Obama and his family NO MATTER what tehy do.

    Ps. thanks a lot as usual for Keeping The Faith with President Obama!! Please know that although we may not leave a comment there are many of us who use your site regularly as the first site of reference for “everything Obama”. Do you know that this is my first update and last for the day about Team Obama’s goings on? I have never commented before but I am deeply grateful for ALL you do and you will need to “surgically remove” my total interest in your site!!!!

  9. August 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Hey guys fond some photos of the first family playing golf and at the beach in Florida today.


  10. 18 graciouslady
    August 15, 2010 at 12:24 am

    President Obama is trying to take the American people from the ridiculos to the sublime. We don’t read; most of us let other people read and interpret and the intrepretation is generally slanted towards what the intrepreter believes, thus the Tea Party. This man is so far above the average American and the Media. I saw, today, him trying to explan to Ed Henry, CNN,what the wisdom of his speech was. As you, explained, CR, we are taking what he said as “he approves of the builing on the site” that is not what he said at all. what he was trying to direct us to was the 1st Ammendment of the Constitution. The republicans and all his adversaries have no idea what he was trying to say. It just sounded like he was choosing sides, ugh. These naysayers are constantly spouting the Constitution; They have absolutely no idea what some of those Ammendments mean–because they are spouting what someone else has said. That probably ticked them off even more because he is intelligent. And as you say, CR, a Constitutional scholar. You go, Mr.President Barack!!!!

    • 19 avpmom
      August 15, 2010 at 5:42 am

      Ed Henry is nothing but a gossipmonger. He only seeks to prod President Obama until he can find anything even slightly controversial to throw out to further flame the fire.
      These people aren’t journalists and they especially do not care about this country.

      • 20 Anniebella
        August 16, 2010 at 6:54 am

        I do not like Ed Henry, and to be honest those people over there at CNN is getting just as bad as those idiots over at FOX. The media loves the word controversy, conflict, and instead of talking about the purpose of the President’s trip to Florida, all they wanted to talk about how President Obama put his self in the mix of the Mosque situation. People like Ed Henry are like tabloid journalists. I can understand why the President don’t want to talk to them. But I understood what he was trying to say, and that is people of all religion have the right to practice their religion where they want to, he was not making a decison if where the people wanted to put that place was a wise decision. But the sorry media jumped all over it. I have family members from N.Y.,who witness the attack, who used to go in the World Trade Tower and they say it doesn’t bother them one bit the location where the Muslims want to put their place at. And they mean no disrespect to anyone who lost loved ones, but all Muslims are not alike. And those terrible terrorists committed 9/11, not all Muslims.

  11. 21 vitaminlover
    August 16, 2010 at 2:32 am

    I hear you guys!!

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