Debate continues surrounding the proposed Ground Zero mosque in New York. President Obama appears to support plans for the mosque. House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina told reporters on Capitol Hill:
I think the president articulating constitutional principles upon which this country was founded and calling for tolerance on the part of its people is a presidential act worth exercising.
Clyburn says community standards should determine what’s allowed to be built where.
The decision for permitting on any building, whether it be a mosque, or a church, or any place of worship, or a grocery store or liquor store, I think should be left up to community standards and I think that is what the president has made clear.
Clyburn’s father was a Pentecostal minister. Clyburn says he learned a lot from that church and,
One of the things I learned was religious tolerance. And you know, now Pentecostals are now considered much more mainstream than they were. I think over time, we will be able to view the broad array of religious freedoms in this country.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg sided with Muslims who want to build the Islamic Center, saying Muslims are as much a part of New York City and the United States as the people of any faith and they’re as welcome to worship in lower Manhattan as anyone.
Republican strategist Karl Rove told reporters that the Muslims should be more sensitive, since there are plenty of other places where the mosque could be constructed. He says the issue could even drive more Republicans to get out and vote in November.