Puzzling Out the American Voter 2016

Donald Trump’s “Locker Room Talk” tape wasn’t released until after this panel discussion, but even based on his other past behavior, it is incredible that Trump outscores Hillary Clinton by far on the question, “does the candidate share your religious beliefs?” Is it possible to make sense of the attitudes and preferences of American voters this year? The National Museum of American Jewish History presented a panel of journalists and academics to explain “Religion, Politics, and the 2016 Election.” [Read more…]

North Carolina State Religion Bill Alarms Jewish Democrats

— by Aaron Keyak

The bill proposed in North Carolina that would assert that states are not bound by the separation of church and state is very alarming to those of us who understand the utmost importance of this constitutional value, including American Jews. If this bill is seriously considered or becomes law, it will have consequences for all Americans and those who believe that government should not be making laws that show preference to some religions over others. We call for this bill to be completely rejected in North Carolina and withdrawn from consideration.

Tomorrow: Multi-Religious Pray-In For Climate At The White House

— by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

The Interfaith Moral Action on Climate will hold tomorrow (Tuesday) a multi-religious Pray-in for the Climate at the White House. The Pray-in will gather at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, three short blocks from the White House. Speakers there will include

  • Jacqueline Patterson, IMAC steering committee and climate point person for the NAACP;
  • Imam Johari Malik, the “Green Imam” of Washington;
  • Diane Randall, exec of the Friends Committee on National Legislation;
  • Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and
  • Rev. Bob Edgar, former Congressman, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches, and now CEO of Common Cause.

More after the jump.
At the White House Pray-in itself, leaders of various religious communities will speak from their spiritual truth and from diverse Scriptures in a ceremony that will move from Calls to Prayer into three aspects of religious commitment:

  • Celebration of the Sacrednss of Earth
  • Lamentation for the Wounds of Eath
  • Commitment to Healing Action

Some will then choose an act of prayerful civil disobedience, while others will choose a stance of prayerful witness.

For months, various politicians have been warning us of the dire effects on our grandchildren of the federal deficit and insisting that when the Fiscal Cliff arrives this winter we must drastically cut Federal spending on schools, our infrastructure of bridges and sewers and railroads, medic aid, and renewable energy.

For me, grandchildren are not a political abstraction. I have five of them, ranging from three years old to twelve. When I imagine their futures, I am much more worried about how empty-headed education, worsening health, a rotting infrastructure, and especially more disasters like Superstorm Sandy will affect them.  

Much more dangerous than the Fiscal Cliff is the Climate Cliff we are facing, as the growing number of extreme weather events — superstorms, fierce floods, drastic droughts — wound us and warn us.

Our religious communities should join with labor unions, small businesses, PTA’s, coops, neighborhood associations, and our college faculty and students to demand a set of changes that will sow the seeds of greater change, by cutting the power of the Carbon Lords and committing the President and Congress to vigorous action. If we go over the Climate Cliff now, my grandchildren — our grandchildren — will live in misery and suffering.

Florida Jews Say “Feh” To Republican Primary Candidates

— David Streeter

Editorial Note: Florida is one of the most Jewish states thanks in part to the many Jewish retirement communities there. 3.4% of Floridians are Jewish according to the 2011  survey. Historically, Jews are very politically engaged and turnout to vote at higher rates than gentiles. For example, in 2008, Jews represented 4% of the vote in the general election.

Nate Silver wrote in The New York Times’ 538 blog last night that there is little evidence supporting claims that Jewish voters in FL are switching their support to the Republican Party.

There has been some speculation that Democrats could struggle to hold the Jewish vote in 2012….

But there is no sign tonight of Jewish voters switching their registration over to the Republican side in Florida. According to early exit polls, just 1% of voters in tonight’s Republican primary identified as Jewish. That’s down from 3% in the Florida Republican primary in 2008, which also might mean that Jewish Republican voters in the state are not terribly enthusiastic about this group of candidates.

The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein wrote:

For all the campaign attention paid this past week to Israeli politics and-towards the end-Mitt Romney’s handling of kosher meal budgeting in Massachusetts, few if any Jews appeared to vote in the Florida GOP primary.

According to Fox News exit poll, just 1% of the state’s primary voters identified as Jewish. 31% said they were Catholic and 59% said they were protestant or ‘other Christian.’ 4% said ‘something else.’

The Jewish Journal’s Shmuel Rosner wrote:

A week ago I wrote that the most interesting question about the Florida Jewish vote is that

‘If the percentage of Republican Jews is higher this year than in 2008; if more than 4% to 5% of the Republican Florida voters are Jewish.’

The answer to this question is now clear: a resounding no. According to exit polls only 1% of Republican voters were Jewish – that’s not more but rather less Jewish voters than the number of 2008.

… I don’t know how Tuesday’s results could be interpreted in ways favorable to Jewish Republicans. Clearly, the Jews of Florida aren’t moved by the candidates, they aren’t moved by the party, and they aren’t moved by Obama’s policies – not enough to switch party registration and vote for their candidate of choice.

More after the jump.
The Forward’s Nathan Guttman also explained:

Exit polls could not provide data regarding the split in Jewish votes between Romney and Gingrich but it is largely believed that Romney had a stronger showing among Jewish Republicans. His supporters in Florida put together three events in recent weeks and all were well attended.

What exit polls do show, however, is that only 1% of Republican primary voters identified as being Jewish, down from 3% in 2008.

That means there was no shift of Jewish voters to the Republican side.

And Guttman’s Forward colleague Josh Nathan-Kazis — who reported directly from Florida prior to the primary — surmised:

… [F]ewer Jewish voters in the primary could correlate to a lack of enthusiasm among Jews for the Republican field.

Florida Jews Say “Feh” To Republican Primary Candidates

— David Streeter

Editorial Note: Florida is one of the most Jewish states thanks in part to the many Jewish retirement communities there. 3.4% of Floridians are Jewish according to the 2011  survey. Historically, Jews are very politically engaged and turnout to vote at higher rates than gentiles. For example, in 2008, Jews represented 4% of the vote in the general election.

Nate Silver wrote in The New York Times’ 538 blog last night that there is little evidence supporting claims that Jewish voters in FL are switching their support to the Republican Party.

There has been some speculation that Democrats could struggle to hold the Jewish vote in 2012….

But there is no sign tonight of Jewish voters switching their registration over to the Republican side in Florida. According to early exit polls, just 1% of voters in tonight’s Republican primary identified as Jewish. That’s down from 3% in the Florida Republican primary in 2008, which also might mean that Jewish Republican voters in the state are not terribly enthusiastic about this group of candidates.

The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein wrote:

For all the campaign attention paid this past week to Israeli politics and-towards the end-Mitt Romney’s handling of kosher meal budgeting in Massachusetts, few if any Jews appeared to vote in the Florida GOP primary.

According to Fox News exit poll, just 1% of the state’s primary voters identified as Jewish. 31% said they were Catholic and 59% said they were protestant or ‘other Christian.’ 4% said ‘something else.’

The Jewish Journal’s Shmuel Rosner wrote:

A week ago I wrote that the most interesting question about the Florida Jewish vote is that

‘If the percentage of Republican Jews is higher this year than in 2008; if more than 4% to 5% of the Republican Florida voters are Jewish.’

The answer to this question is now clear: a resounding no. According to exit polls only 1% of Republican voters were Jewish – that’s not more but rather less Jewish voters than the number of 2008.

… I don’t know how Tuesday’s results could be interpreted in ways favorable to Jewish Republicans. Clearly, the Jews of Florida aren’t moved by the candidates, they aren’t moved by the party, and they aren’t moved by Obama’s policies – not enough to switch party registration and vote for their candidate of choice.

More after the jump.
The Forward’s Nathan Guttman also explained:

Exit polls could not provide data regarding the split in Jewish votes between Romney and Gingrich but it is largely believed that Romney had a stronger showing among Jewish Republicans. His supporters in Florida put together three events in recent weeks and all were well attended.

What exit polls do show, however, is that only 1% of Republican primary voters identified as being Jewish, down from 3% in 2008.

That means there was no shift of Jewish voters to the Republican side.

And Guttman’s Forward colleague Josh Nathan-Kazis — who reported directly from Florida prior to the primary — surmised:

… [F]ewer Jewish voters in the primary could correlate to a lack of enthusiasm among Jews for the Republican field.

A Soul is Like a Play: New Jerusalem at the Lantern Theatre

  • All we get is the poetry of a Jewish fruit peddler and a heap of vanishing figs.  — Baruch Spinoza
  • You will be greater than all of us, but not as a Jew. — Rabbi Mortera


Reminiscent of intellectual dramas like Copenhagen, New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656 is an ambitious new drama by David Ives, known for his evenings of one act comedies called All in the Timing and Time Flies.  Playing through November 6th at the Lantern Theater Company, this heady play directed by Lantern’s Artistic Director Charles McMahon is based on true events in the life of the philosopher Baruch de Spinoza.  This recent off-Broadway hit challenges traditional political and religious thinking with passion and wit.  

The production’s action takes place in the Amsterdam synagogue where the 23 year old stands trial for his revolutionary thoughts about God, nature and human life.  Sam Henderson’s Spinoza, donning a black leather bomber jacket, (costumes beautifully designed by Maggie Baker with lighting by Shon Causer) is arrogant but humble, witty and rakish.   The favorite son of the rabbi’s heir apparent, (played by David Bardeen) Spinoza refuses to remain silent about his revolutionary thoughts, and is accused by political leader and Calvinist Abraham van Valkenburgh ( played by Seth Reichgott) of heresy.   The audience becomes part of this trial as we witness Spinoza refuse to silence his radical beliefs, denying the divine origin of the Torah which sits in the Ark of the Covenant, that provides the effective and sparsely designed backdrop for the action (designed by Nick Embree).

More after the jump.
Accused of atheism, Spinoza protests, “I know a few things about God no one else does.”    Accused of loving a Christian woman, Clara van den Eden (played beautifully by Mary Tuomanen) Spinoza insists she tell the truth when she is questioned, for her “essence will not allow her to lie.”  His petty and vengeful half-sister Rebekah de Spinoza, (played by Kittson O’Neill) who early in the play betrays her brother, marks one of the weaker plot points as later in the play she professes great loyalty.  Her kvetching (from the audience where she glares at her accused brother on trial to be excommunicated) while intended to provide some comic relief, strikes one of the few false notes of the evening.  

The most convincing and moving relationship we witness is that between the Head Rabbi of Amsterdam, Mortera, and Spinoza, whom he considers like a grandson.    While Spinoza is intoxicated “by God and mathematics”, the rabbi must think about the community of faithful Jews whose religious freedom is being threatened.   Will the Rabbi remain faithful to his most gifted student or will he turn his back on him for the sake of the Jewish community’s survival?  

Ives manages to write an engaging courtroom drama full of complex philosophical ideas from Descartes’ dualism to the Mishneh Torah.   If questions like: is there immortality, is there a God, what are the moral implications of a world without God, interest you — you will spend two riveting hours at the Lantern Theater Company.   Remember, when Albert Einstein was asked about his belief in God, he responded, “I believe in Spinoza’s God.”   To find out what he means by this go see New Jerusalem at the Lantern Theater Company.

On Saturday, October 22nd at 2 pm there will be a Panel Discussion on the Lantern Main Stage called Out of Order! Courtrooms as Theatre, Courtrooms in Theatre featuring Vince Regan, Assistant Chief District Attorney of Philadelphia, Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham.  

New Jerusalem runs through November 6th.

  • Lantern Theater Company at St. Stephen’s Theater
  • 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • Adults: $20 – $36, Students: $10 – $26, $10 student rush tickets available 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID; cash only. Special discounts are available for seniors and groups of 10 or more.
  • Phone: (215) 829-0395

Old City Jewish Art Center

   

John O. Mason

The Old City Jewish Art Center, located on 119 North Third Street, is a Jewish-themed art gallery in Old City which hosts Shabbat services, including services and a meal,  during the traditional First Friday exhibits among the galleries in the area.

Artists whose works have been exhibited include Rita Ackert, Steve Belkowitz, Linda Dubin Garfield, Liliana Life, Carla Goodstein, Peter Reich, and Mordechai Rosenstein, Mickie Rosen, Hinda Schuman, Susan Leonard, Kathryn Pannepacker, Else Wachs, Paulette Bensignor, Susan Forbes, Rachel Issac, B.Leah Palmer, and Barbara Rosenzweig.

More after the jump.
Rabbi Menachem Schmidt, founder of the gallery,  was born in Irvington, New Jersey,  and grew up near Highland Park, near Rutgers. “I grew up in a Conservative synagogue,” he says, “and I became involved with Lubavich (or Chabad Hasidism) when I was about twenty. I was a Television and Radio major at Syracuse University, and I (had) a dual major in Art History.” After graduating, Schmidt attained shmicha (rabbinical ordination) and he was asked by Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, regional director of Chabad activities, under the guidance of the Lubavicher Rebbi, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to organize the Lubavich House at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is still Executive Director.

The gallery, says Schmidt, ” is a resultant project of a lot of (Lubavich) programs.” Of the center’s mission, he says, “Art is a very valuable expression of  Judaism, it’s a valuable expression in order to express ideas in Judaism, in order to bring people together. It also creates commonality between all kinds of different people.”

The artists featured in the gallery, Schmidt adds, “are al different in terms of their connection to Judaism, in their own personal observance, and to me that’s very exciting.”

As for the gallery’s First Friday programs, Schmidt says, “We live in Center City, and I’m involved in a lot of the projects in center City, and I always have my eye on First Friday. Before we opened, there was never anything Jewish happening on First Friday. It’s not only Jewish, it’s also something that brings people together besides commerce, it’s (also) something that’s creating a community, which is a message of Judaism. We didn’t really know if there would be any interest in it. My daughter lived close by and I asked her to see if she could find any empty art galleries or any empty spaces that we could squat in, and we’ll see how it goes. Yehudi Bork owned this space, and he was happy to let us use it.”

One of the people active with the center is Diane Litten, an artists whose makes jewelry, hats and scarves, which she calls “fine art accessories.” “They needed somebody here(at the center),” she adds, ” and I needed a studio, so we made an arrangement.” Litten takes part in setting up the center for shows; she calls that arrangement “excellent, wonderful.” Her work does not have a religious or Jewish theme, “but it’s an arty theme.”  

Cynthia Blackwood, a member of the Board of Directors of the center, speaks of the theme of the center’s October show, based on the 27th Psalm, which is said on Elul before Rosh Ha-Shona: “This is a show I wanted to put together. Rabbi Schmidt and I worked out a theme, and I called artists in to do a piece relating to the 27th Psalm, and they did, all thirteen artists. I did the calligraphy (with the Psalm in Hebrew), so you’re walking in and that’s the Psalm. I wanted you to feel like you’re wrapped in the Psalm.” The art works in the exhibit, adds Blackwood, “relate to the feelings that the artists have while reading the Psalm.”

Painter Barbara Rosin says of her works in the exhibit, “I’m a professional artist,  and Cynthia (Blackwood) is my framer, and she’s very familiar with my work. She invited me to participate, and she sent me material about the 27th Psalm and the month of Elul. It was extremely interesting, a lot of commentary, it was very interesting for me to work on.

“I’m a landscape painter,” Rosin adds, about her painting her work, “and the psalm made me think of very serene places, sanctuary, (being) free from harm.”
     

I Guess They Don’t Teach Constitutional Law at Hogwarts

Christine O’Donnell says the United States Constituion means a lot to her. She claimed to have studied “Constitutional Government at Claremont Graduate University”

Then, in last week’s debate, Christine made a big deal about her beliefs not meaning anything, if she goes to Washington, it will be to support the Constitution.

Yesterday’s debate at the Widener Law School shows the Constitution to be a document she obviously has not read with any amount of comprehension.

“Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?” O’Donnell asked him.

When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O’Donnell asked: “You’re telling me that’s in the First Amendment?”

Her comments, in a debate aired on radio station WDEL, generated a buzz in the audience.

“You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp,” said Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone, adding that he thought it raised questions about O’Donnell’s grasp of the Constitution.

Note in the video how O’Donnell keeps on gleefully repeating her ignorant misunderstanding of the Constitution. She is convinced she is right and has Coons in a “gotcha” moment. She understands that someone in the room is an idiot, but unfortunately does not realize that she is it.

After that debate my team and I we were literally high fiving each other thinking that we had exposed he doesn’t know the First Amendment, and then when we read the reports that said the opposite we were all like “what?”

Love and Hate

Crossposted from DemConWatch

I've been thinking a lot about hatred and bigotry, in light of the comments on this post. It seems that we all have some latent, if not blatant, inherent bigotry. Last night, Scott posted a link to Ron Paul's comments about why Park51 should be allowed near Ground Zero. Scott picked one quote, I pick this one:

Defending the controversial use of property should be no more difficult than defending the 1st Amendment principle of defending controversial speech. But many conservatives and liberals do not want to diminish the hatred for Islam–the driving emotion that keeps us in the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia. 

I have been thinking about my lifelong, absolute, defense of First Amendment rights. In case you have forgotten, there are five: 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And yet, I am somehow disquieted.  It's because of the Preamble to the Constitution, which says:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (emphasis mine)

What do we say about religions, and religious “idealism” that deny liberty to those amoungst us? How do we balance the right to practice one's religion when members try to force some parts of that religion down other people's throats? 

Much more after the jump. 

My friends Tim and Victor are getting married. Victor published this:

We waited two years for the order striking down Prop 8 in California. When it happened Tim and I immediately started making  plans to fly back and finally get married like we were supposed to before this this illegal piece of legislation. Then we waited till we understood the order. And then we waited to see if an appeal would happen before August 15th….well, as you know the order was stayed, and it will likely be next year before the appeals court hears the case. We waited long enough, we're not waiting any more.

Marriage for everyone is legal in 5 states. New Hampshire is one of them. We have a dear friend in New Hampshire who is a lawyer and not only that, she's a Justice of the Peace. Come this October Tim and I (and our faithful companion Cybil, the Wonder Dog) will pile into the car and make the 7 1/2 hour drive to the Live Free or Die state (how appropriate is that???). On October 14th we are getting married.

We'd like to apologize in advance for all the heterosexual marriages that will fail or be devalued because of us and for the end of civilization as we know it.

In my heart, I cannot abide those who work tirelessly to deny this couple, who have been as “married” as anyone, except in the eyes of the law, for so very many years. Marriage is, in many ways, a blessing of liberty: why should Tim and Victor, and Mike and Jim, and Debbie and KJ, and Wendy and Jill, and all the others be prevented from this? You won't find a single agnostic or atheist who is opposed. 

Why does political action in the name of religion trump basic human rights? This is not a rhetorical question: I've wondered for years, and no one has been able to give me an answer of why and how a country based on freedom of religion uses it as a stick.  

And I come back now to the Park51 project. I defend to the death the right for the project to be built. Without question. I don't, however, think it's a terribly smart idea because there is no doubt in my mind that there will be clashes there, and violence, and possibly killing. I do not believe, as the Time poll indicated 46% of Americans believe, that people born into Islam are more likely to do violence to others in the name of religion. There is too much history of violence in the name of all religions to believe that. I am, however, disquieted by how Islam treats women. I don't expect in America to see stonings, and virtual home imprisonment, and women being denied the right to drive a car, or even to be on the street without a male family member accompanying them. But that certainly goes on in Muslim nations. I am haunted, for example, by the 15 school girls made to die in a fire because they lacked the proper attire. The sect Mormons with plural marriage are not much better to their girls and women. How do I integrate in my heart supporting the rights of people under the First Amendment, when they lead lives in violation of the Preamble? I don't have a good answer. I want everyone to be allowed to practice his/her religion, but I want religion to never trump law. Is there some way to make sure that the religious “beliefs” stay internal to those religions? If so, there is no problem with Tim and Victor getting married (gift is on its way, boys!) and no problem with making sure that all women, in all areas, have the same basic rights to liberty as men. 

A Mosque near Ground Zero?

The Anti-Defamation League has a record of sticking up for religious freedom, but they are speaking out against the “Ground Zero Mosque”. Various Jewish groups are praising or condemning the ADL for this stand. In joining forces with the right-wing ,is the ADL taking a stand against terrorism or selling out their long held principles?  

The ADL issued the following statement regarding the proposed Corboda Islamic Center in Manhattan:

We regard freedom of religion as a cornerstone of the American democracy, and that freedom must include the right of all Americans – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths – to build community centers and houses of worship.

We categorically reject appeals to bigotry on the basis of religion, and condemn those whose opposition to this proposed Islamic Center is a manifestation of such bigotry.

However, there are understandably strong passions and keen sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center site.  We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel – and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001.  

The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process.  Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.

In recommending that a different location be found for the Islamic Center, we are mindful that some legitimate questions have been raised about who is providing the funding to build it, and what connections, if any, its leaders might have with groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values.  These questions deserve a response, and we hope those backing the project will be transparent and forthcoming.  But regardless of how they respond, the issue at stake is a broader one.

Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam.  The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong.  But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.  In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.

Nate Silver actually scouted out the construction site to see what was up. He reports:

There’s not going to be some huge, ostentatious mosque with some minaret or some giant crescent located “at” Ground Zero, nor within clear sight of it, nor even on the way (in terms of virtually all natural paths a commuter or tourist might take) to Ground Zero. Rather, there’s going to be a mixed-use retail building that contains some kind of reformist mosque, located somewhere in its general vicinity — as there already is now. It would not impose upon or offend anyone unless they were going out of their way to be imposed upon or offended.


Does the ADL argue that Ground Zero is sacred ground and a mosque in Lower Manhattan would be a sacrilege? Actually there is already a mosque in the neighborhood, along with strip clubs, straight and gay bars, sex stores and escort services.

The ADL describes itself as “the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry,” yet they oppose the construction of a place of worship because of the faith they adhere to. As Adam Serwer writes in The American Prospect:

It is inconceivable that the ADL would argue such a position if the building in question happened to be a synagogue, and the builders happened to be Jews.

Let’s be clear. This is not about the proposed Islamic Center. There is already a masjid in the neighborhood, and it’s been there for decades. This is about giving political cover to right-wing politicians using anti-Muslim bigotry as a political weapon and a fundraising tool. By doing this, the ADL is increasingly eroding its already weakened credibility as a nonpartisan organization.

I learned a very important lesson in Hebrew School that I have retained my entire life. If they can deny freedom to a single individual because of who they are, they can do it to anyone. Someone at the ADL needs to go back to Hebrew School.

As the grandson of a holocaust survivor, Jed Lewison writes How to surrender the moral highground in one easy step:

Even if you have no intention of ever setting foot inside such a center, you should still stand up against the campaign of irrational fear-mongering being waged against the facility — especially if you are part of a group whose mission is to fight all forms of bigotry. Whether or not the proposed Islamic Center is politically popular is besides the point: the bottom-line is that you can’t put an asterisk next to tolerance.

Finally, Mayor Michael Bloomberg concludes as follows:

If somebody wants to build a religious house of worship, they should do it and we shouldn’t be in the business of picking which religions can and which religions can’t. I think it’s fair to say if somebody was going to try to on that piece of property build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming. And the fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it too. What is great about America and particularly New York is we welcome everybody and I just- you know, if we are so afraid of something like this, what does it say about us? Democracy is stronger than this. You know, the ability to practice your religion is the- was one of the real reasons America was founded. And for us to say no is just, I think, not appropriate is a nice way to phrase it.