Sen. Grantham on Banning Mosques: Where’s The Outrage?

The Colorado Independent’s John Tomasic:

“The only news is that it’s no longer news that a Republican lawmaker spews anti-Muslim bigotry,” said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Hooper was referring to the fact that state Senator Kevin Grantham, a Cañon City Republican, recently said he saw merit in a proposal put forward by lightning-rod Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders that lawmakers should ban any future mosque construction in the state…

Wilders appeared as a featured speaker at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver last week. Wilders has long campaigned to ban immigration from Muslim countries to the Netherlands and to outlaw mosque building in the country. He has compared the Koran with Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and has lobbied to have the book banned in the Netherlands.

…Grantham said he agreed with Wilders that mosques are not primarily religious buildings.

“Mosques are not churches like we would think of churches,” he told the Colorado Statesman. “[Muslims] think of mosques more as a foothold into a society, as a foothold into a community, more in the cultural and in the nationalistic sense. Our churches – we don’t feel that way, they’re places of worship, and mosques are simply not that, and we need to take that into account when approving construction of those.” [Pols emphasis]

Nearly two weeks before the Western Conservative Summit in downtown Denver was convened, we discussed the slate of speakers, most notably including controversial anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders. But this summit proceeded largely under the radar–some coverage was given to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s appearance, but nothing about Wilders until days afterward, in an excellent story in the relatively obscure Colorado Statesman.

Not that we take it personally, but let’s put this in perspective. Rep. Robert Ramirez’s self-injurious freakout yesterday over our wholly deserved critique of his laughable mail piece nets stories in the state’s newspaper of record and a major Denver television station. They were fine stories, though they didn’t turn out very well for Rep. Ramirez–that’s not the point.

State Sen. Kevin Grantham talks about banning mosques, and this does not merit a story?

Taken together, intention or oversight, these do not seem like responsible journalistic choices.

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. nancycronk says:

    To be fair, the story did make it’s way around social media — specifically facebook and twitter — yesterday. After the civil unions vote, I think some people may be numb to the bigotry of some members of the GOP in Colorado. Seems like there is another jaw-dropping story of intolerance and close-mindedness every few weeks lately. I stand in disgust and outrage with our Muslim and interfaith communities in CO.  

    • BlueCat says:

      that there is some squeamishness/cowardice/political concern on the part of Dem pols about being seen as actively supporting Muslims so they aren’t exactly knocking each other over making media attracting public denunciations or demands that Rs renounce the guy. That kind of thing would get more attention.  Sadly, Dem pols probably would rather just look the other way.

      On the Ramirez story, well that’s all fun and games for Dems who would much rather draw media attention to something like that.   Besides, horse race blooper stories are a media fave. It’s much easier to find out what the latest gaffe is than to find a detailed discussion of important issues in the MSM, especially on most local bubble head TV news.

  2. Early Worm says:

    Mosques are “a foothold into a society, as a foothold into a community,” but “Our churches” are “places of worship.”  There may a church, mosques, temple, etc. out there that does not do community outreach, community service, and other good works to increase their visibility in the community, but I am not aware of those. Every faith community that I have ever been involved with has considered it important to engage the community, “establish a foothold.” It is only when your bigotry or bias clouds your vision that you think community involvement, (by Muslims, Catholics, Mormons, Scientologists), is a bad thing. Try to be honest, the only reason to ban mosques is because you want to ban muslims.

    • abraham says:

      I’ve always suspected that Baptists were trying to gain a foothold in communities since I no longer see dancing in the streets.  I certainly did not think that mosques were such an insidious plot.  Boy, sure shows how naive I have been.

      Seriously.  Did this guy actually go to school?  Do these guys sit up at night thinking this stuff up?

      If we’re going to be concerned about religions taking root in cultures and changing them, there are a bunch of Christian churches that we can point at because of the great missionary era into the less developed world.

      • Middle of the Road says:

        and doing the work of God.

        Jews are evil because they killed Jesus. Thus they got the bulk of the blame for the last great depression. I realize those two things don’t seem to go together but just roll with it.

        Muslims are evil because they stubbornly refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Those bastards just won’t get on board with the program. And we’re in the middle of another depression. Again, I realize these things don’t exactly go together but hey, reason ain’t at the top of the Republican agenda these days. Nor is science or independent thought.

        I’ll just sum up for Grantham and save the dude some time–Christianity is the one true religion. Everything else is voodoo. There. That was easy enough. (Wonder who he’ll vote for since Mormonism clearly falls into the voodoo category.)

  3. MADCO says:

    Match these quotes with the credited speaker:

    A. Ghandi

    B. Tutu

    C. Dali Lama

    D. R. Reagan

    “I know that we share a belief that all people, no matter where they live, have the right to freedom of religion. This is not a right that is any government’s to give or to take away. It’s our right from birth, because we’re all children of God.”

    “I believe that faith and religion play a critical role in the political life of our nation — and always has — and that the church — and by that I mean all churches, all denominations — has had a strong influence on the state. And this has worked to our benefit as a nation.”

    “The truth is, politics and morality are inseparable. And as morality’s foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related. We need religion as a guide. We need it because we are imperfect, and our government needs the church, because only those humble enough to admit they’re sinners can bring to democracy the tolerance it requires in order to survive.”

    A state is nothing more than a reflection of its citizens; the more decent the citizens, the more decent the state. If you practice a religion, whether you’re Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or guided by some other faith, then your private life will be influenced by a sense of moral obligation, and so, too, will your public life. One affects the other. The churches of America do not exist by the grace of the state; the churches of America are not mere citizens of the state. The churches of America exist apart; they have their own vantage point, their own authority. Religion is its own realm; it makes its own claims.

    We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief, to apply moral teaching to public questions.

    I submit to you that the tolerant society is open to and encouraging of all religions. And this does not weaken us; it strengthens us, it makes us strong. You know, if we look back through history to all those great civilizations, those great nations that rose up to even world dominance and then deteriorated, declined, and fell, we find they all had one thing in common. One of the significant forerunners of their fall was their turning away from their God or gods.

    The United States of America is and must remain a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. Our very unity has been strengthened by this pluralism. That’s how we began; this is how we must always be. The ideals of our country leave no room whatsoever for intolerance, anti-Semitism, or bigotry of any kind — none. The unique thing about America is a wall in our Constitution separating church and state. It guarantees there will never be a state religion in this land, but at the same time it makes sure that every single American is free to choose and practice his or her religious beliefs or to choose no religion at all. Their rights shall not be questioned or violated by the state.

    First, let me say I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration (regarding arms sales to Iran and  illegal funding of the Contras).

    I occasionally  think how quickly our differences, worldwide, would vanish  

    if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.

    She has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.

  4. Arvadonian says:

    I think I was actually more shocked that this position wasn’t featured as a centerpiece of the Republican Platform.

  5. Half Glass Full says:

    Here’s not just some two-bit, back-benching bozo like Grantham but the former Majority Leader of the Colorado Senate, saying that every single Muslim American is a threat to America:

    Former [Colorado] Senate President John Andrews, who heads CCU’s Centennial Institute, didn’t mince words when he introduced [Geert] Wilders and another speaker known for his opposition to Islam.

    Saturday afternoon’s topic, Andrews said, would be “the existential threat to the United States of America posed by Islam.”

    Pausing for a moment to let his words sink in, he continued. “I didn’t say ‘radical Islam,‘ I didn’t say ‘extremism.’ After you hear from Frank Gaffney and our friend from across the Atlantic, Geert Wilders, you’ll know why I just say ‘the threat of Islam.'”

    It’s disgusting. John Andrews is a pig. I saw him once in a grocery store and didn’t say anything to him. If I ever see him again I will tell him to his face that he’s an un-American, bigoted traitor to the very Constitution he professes to care about.

    I think of the Boy Scouts including Eagle Scouts who are proud Muslims and proud Americans, proud to live in a country that (supposedly) doesn’t discriminate against people based on their religion. I think of proud, patriotic American Muslim soldiers, and teachers, and legislators. And then I think of an idiotic, bigoted jerk like John Andrews and am ashamed for my country.

  6. Libertad 2.0 says:

    blame the Democrats for not making a bigger deal of this story. The reason why the Ramirez story got legs was because the Republicans decided to turn it into the story. If the Colorado Democratic Party decided to make a big deal out of Grantham’s comment, there would have been a story.

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