The decision about the proposed new mosque near Ground Zero in New York would be an easy decision if we are talking about religion. The First Amendment would say there is a right to build a place of worship.
The question is, “Is this mosque only a religious act or is it a political statement?”
Questions have been raised about the funding of the facility. My experience with a church building campaign involved the collection of funds and the construction of a building constrained by the financial resources of the congregation. If there is a large religious community in place to make use of such a large facility, then we can assume the purpose is simply religious.
If, on the other have, this is being financed by people other that those who worship there, the question changes. It this simply a house of worship or is it, in truth a mark of triumph, a monument marking a successful attack?
If it is actually an “in our faces” symbol of glory, the people who lost friends and family on September 11th have reason to be offended.