But then, this is no run-of-the-mill church. And it is not proposed for "just anywhere."
Rather, what is proposed is a massive mosque. And it's slated for a site just two blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, where more than 3,000 people lost their lives in the World Trade Towers after an attack by Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.
Backers of the "Cordoba House" mosque complex say it will be "a prayer space for many religions" and will feature restaurants, a swimming pool, bookstores and a 500-seat auditorium.
Supporters of the proposed complex, who include Mayor Michael Bloomberg, contend that allowing the mosque is a test of our religious tolerance.
Hogwash. Americans are the most religiously tolerant people on earth. And we won't hold our collective breath waiting for the day when Saudi Arabia or Iran welcomes the construction of Christian churches.
What's at issue in the case of the New York mosque are its mission, its funding and its location.
Mosque spokesmen say the facility is meant as place to build interfaith harmony and say they reject extremism. But it's worth noting that the project's imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, has refused to condemn the notorious Palestinian terror group Hamas. Also worth noting is that while he wrote a book with the pleasant-sounding title "What's Right With Islam is What's Right With America," it was published overseas with a different title - "A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa [or proselytism] in the Heart of America Post-9/11." Rauf also told "60 Minutes" that "United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened" on 9/11.
Neither Rauf nor anyone else associated with the mosque has publicly declared where its $100 million construction cost will come from - but there's a strong suspicion that much of it may come from the same radical Saudi sources that fund educational materials routinely available in many of our county's mosques: anti-American literature that advocates the imposition of sharia law in this and other Western countries, pushes for the eradication of Israel and urges Muslims to "shed the blood" of homosexuals and adulterers.
And that brings us to the biggest objection to the Cordoba House mosque - its site. As syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer aptly put it in Friday's Tribune, the Ground Zero site is "hallowed ground," made sacred by the blood and sacrifice there. In that respect, it is little different from Gettysburg, Antietam, Valley Forge, Pearl Harbor, Kennesaw Mountain and similar places at which Americans gave their lives, willingly or otherwise, to protect our nation and defend our freedoms.
True, not all Muslims are terrorists, far from it. But those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks were Muslim terrorists, not just terrorists who happened to be Muslims. There is a difference.
And to allow construction of a gigantic mosque, the shadow of which would likely fall on the Ground Zero site, would be not just a slap in the face of the innocents who died there that day, but would be like allowing the Japanese to build a monument to their World War II dead on Ford Island beside the sunken remnants of the battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbor. At least in that hypothetical case the war in question is long over. But the war that Muslim terrorists and their enablers in the West are waging against us shows no signs of waning.
What's next? A mosque as close as possible to the Pentagon, scene of the other terror target on 9/11?
IF THOSE PLANNING THE MOSQUE truly are interested in "building bridges" between faiths, the first and most important step they could take to achieve that worthwhile goal would be to show some sensitivity and build their mosque somewhere else, not a two-minute walk from the scene of the most notorious act of Islamic terror in history.
Construction of this mosque would be seen by the millions of radical Muslims who hate America and the West as a victory for their cause - and a symbol of how weak, and how stupid, we Westerners are. And if we let them build it, we will prove them right.