Saturday, August 21, 2010

Does Muslim center project test religious tolerance for some?

Has the proposed Muslim community center project in Lower Manhattan tested the limits of the American public's tolerance? AP National writer Allen G. Breed questions U.S. society's commitment to "freedom from bigotry or prejudice."

As the Muslim community center project takes center stage in the media, Americans are now forced to examine how truly tolerant they are – or aren't.

In 1790, a letter to newly-elected President George Washington from Rhode Island's Moses Seixas concluded "God's hand" was in the establishment of a government free of bigotry. In reply, President Washington assured the Jewish leader that the United States represented a new chance for people to enjoy freedom and respect.

American history is resplendent with examples of religious tolerance, some unparalleled in human history. So, does the Muslim community center project represent a change of some American attitudes, or values, on any levels?

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to diversity, religious tolerance, social justice and faith. The mission of the seminary is to train men and women for careers in ministry.

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