This is utterly insane. For years liberals and atheists used the separation of church and state as a means to push Christianity out of the public square. Today, however, we read that the Ground Zero mosque could qualify to receive $70 million dollars in
taxpayer money public financing*. Of course, this story breaks on Friday night.
The Muslim center planned near the site of the World Trade Center attack could qualify for tax-free financing, a spokesman for City Comptroller John Liu said on Friday, and Liu is willing to consider approving the public subsidy.
The Democratic comptroller’s spokesman, Scott Sieber, said Liu supported the project. The center has sparked an intense debate over U.S. religious freedoms and the sanctity of the Trade Center site, where nearly 3,000 perished in the September 11, 2001 attack.
“If it turns out to be financially feasible and if they can demonstrate an ability to pay off the bonds and comply with the laws concerning tax-exempt financing, we’d certainly consider it,” Sieber told Reuters.
Spokesmen for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor David Paterson and the Islamic center and were not immediately available.
The proposed center, two blocks from the Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, has caused a split between people who lost relatives and friends in the attack, as well as conservative politicians, and those who support the project. Among those who support it are the mayor, civic and religious groups, and some families of victims.
The mosque’s backers hope to raise a total of $70 million in tax-exempt debt to build the center, according to the New York Times. Tax laws allow such funding for religiously affiliated non-profits if they can prove the facility will benefit the general public and their religious activities are funded separately.
Why am I not surprised that the Democratic comptroller is considering it? What makes this even crazier is that there’s already another mosque only two blocks away.
Yet, the folks at St. Nicholas, a Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed by the radical Islamists on 9/11, say they have asked the port authority to rebuild their church at Ground Zero but are being ignored.
And what about the 9/11 memorial that is supposed to be built? What’s the status of that?
This whole thing stinks to high heaven. Something is rotten in the city of New York.
*The mosque is getting $70 million in public financing, and while not identical to receiving taxpayer money, it is just as outrageous. The citizens of New York City do not want that mosque being built at Ground Zero, but not only will it be built, it will be publicly financed. What a slap in the face. Will the people of New York overhaul those who run city government at the next election as a result? With representatives like these, who needs enemies?