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The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” (1) A corollary to this statement might be “base your opinions on facts.” Let’s explore the differences between facts and opinion.
A fact is a verifiable piece of information. Example: The President is Barack Obama. An opinion, on the other hand, is “a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty or a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.” (2)
In a Time opinion poll in August 24% of the respondents said President Obama was a Muslim. (3) This poll also revealed that 28% thought that Muslims should not be on the Supreme Court and nearly a third thought a Muslim should not be allowed to be President. While these are opinions, they reveal ignorance. Obama is a Christian. The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion. (4) George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson were all clear that the “freedom of religion” clause included people of all religions including Islam, not just Christianity as some today would have us believe. (5)
Former Speaker of the House and President wannabe Newt Gingrich said, “The folks who want to build this mosque, who are really radical Islamists, … don’t have any interest in reaching out to the community. They’re trying to make a case about supremacy.” (6) Then he compared this proposal to the Nazis having a memorial near the holocaust museum, a very disturbing comparison. The Nazis were the ones who conducted the holocaust whereas only a tiny radical group of Muslims were responsible for the attack on 9/11.
opinion is not supported by facts. The builders of the Park51/Cordoba House
project, which includes a mosque, are Sufi Muslims, the mystical tradition in
Islam. Muslims already gather at the site for worship and for cultural
understanding. The building has been declared a landmark so any changes will be
The Time poll also showed that
about two thirds opposed the Project because they thought “the plan would be an
insult to the victims of the attacks on the
Glenn Beck had billed a rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28 as an effort to “reclaim the civil rights movement”. (9) Using this phrase is either a display of monumental ignorance of historical fact that the civil rights movement was entirely a struggle by black people for equality or it is a deliberate effort to revise history. In either case his opinions lack credibility. It makes me think that some people believe that if they say something often enough or yell it loud enough, it becomes a fact.
Camp wrote in an article on July 18 in the Midland Daily News, “President Obama
and the Democrats repeatedly told Americans that if they liked the health plan
they have, they can keep it.” Then Camp added, “ Sounds good. Too bad it's not
true.” (10) The first statement is a fact.
The health care reform act does not require anyone to drop their coverage. Camp’s second comment is an opinion based on
bad logic. An insurance company dropped group coverage in SC and another
company is thinking of dropping coverage in
Opinions are the basis for decisions both great and small whether in our families business or government. It is important therefore that opinions are based on reality and facts as well as logic to the extent possible.
Brainy Quote, Daniel Patrick Moynihan “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
“TIME Poll: Majority Opposes Mosque, Many Distrust Muslims”, Time, August 19, 2010. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2011799,00.html?xid=newsletter-daily
Quote from article:
Opponents of the planned Islamic community center and mosque
near Ground Zero in
Yet the survey also revealed that many Americans harbor lingering animosity toward Muslims. Twenty-eight percent of voters do not believe Muslims should be eligible to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Nearly one third of the country thinks adherents of Islam should be barred from running for President — slightly higher than the 24% who mistakenly believe that the current occupant of the Oval Office is himself a Muslim. In all, just 47% of respondents believe Obama is a Christian; 24% declined to respond to the question or said they were unsure, and 5% believe he is neither Christian nor Muslim.
Jon Cohen and Kyle Dropp, “Most Americans object to planned Islamic center near Ground Zero, poll finds”, Washington Post, September 9, 1010.
This was a Washington Post-ABC News poll, conducted August 30-Sept 2, 2010.
Quote from article:
Two-thirds of those polled object to the prospective Cordoba House complex near the site of the former twin towers, including a slim majority who express strongly negative views. Eighty-two percent of those who oppose the construction say it's because of the location, although 14 percent (9 percent of all Americans) say they would oppose such building anywhere in the country.
US Constitution, Amendment 1, “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.”
Parvez Ahmed, “What Would Our Founding Fathers Say About the 'Ground Zero Mosque'?”, The Huffington Post, August 23, 2010
George Washington, in a letter to the Jews of Rhode Island,
affirmed the essential nature of
In 1784, George Washington, seeking to hire craftsman for
Ben Franklin wrote in his autobiography, "[S]o that
even if the Mufti [Imam] of
Thomas Jefferson, who owned and read a copy of the Quran, wrote in 1816, "The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens." Today government officials are dictating where private citizens should erect their houses of worship.
When] the [
-- Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, 1821
Ben Franklin, he says quite a bit of good stuff about Muslims in his book. .
Steve Krakauer, Gingrich Compares Ground Zero Mosque To ‘Nazi Sign Next To Holocaust Museum’ August 16th, 2010
There have been plenty of tremendous and troubling leaps made when trying to express outrage over the Islamic Center proposed near Ground Zero (this weekend with Sarah Palin, who called it the “9/11 mosque” on Twitter, for example), but Newt Gingrich may win the award for most offensive analogy.
Building the mosque near Ground Zero, says the former
Speaker, is like putting a Nazi sign near the
Gingrich has made this comparison for a couple days now, including this morning [Augusst 16, 2010]on Fox & Friends, when he said:
“The folks who want to build this mosque, who are really
radical Islamists, who want to triumphfully (sic) prove they can build a mosque
next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists. Those
folks don’t have any interest in reaching out to the community. They’re trying
to make a case about supremacy… This happens all the time in
“The pens of anti-Muslim conservatives impact N.Y.C. mosque debate mightily”, The Washington Post, August 19, 2010.
Kathleen Parker’s column in The Washington Post:
“Dear Muslims, let's all agree to reject hatred”
Sunday, September 12, 2010
A column by Tariq Ramadan: “Even now, Muslims must have
Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies
at St. Antony's College at
“Muslim Americans Under Attack As Far Right Fights To Deny Them From Building Their Own Places Of Worship”, Think Progress, March 26, 2010.
For a partial list of Muslims killed on 9/11 see:
This list includes names of thirty Muslims.
Jane Mayer, “Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama”, The New Yorker August 30, 2010
Quote from column:
“This is a moment,” said Glenn Beck three months ago on his radio program, “… that I think we ‘reclaim’ the civil rights movement. It has been so distorted and so turned upside down. … We are on the right side of history. We are on the side of individual freedoms and liberties and damn it, we will reclaim the civil rights moment. We will take that movement, because we were the people that did it in the first place!”.
Beck was promoting his “Restoring Honor” rally, to be held Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial, 47 years to the day after Martin Luther King Jr. famously spoke there.
Dave Camp, “Americans being forced out of health plans because of ObamaCare”, Midland Daily News, July 18, 2010