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George Allen: No Plans to Leave Church That Loans Space to Mosque

Candidate says other issues are more important than Aldersgate's decision

said he will continue to attenddespite criticisms of the pastor’s decision to allow members of a nearby mosque to hold Friday prayers at its facility.

The issue was brought up by a local blogger, not affiliated with Patch, who pointed out Tuesday that Allen’s membership in the church might not sit well with “evangelical conservatives” who would be critical of the church’s decision.

“Lost in all of this coverage of Aldersgate United Methodist Church was one key fact- this is also the church of Former Senator and Governor George Allen,” wrote the blogger on Not Larry Sabato

Just before 6 p.m. on Wednesday, the post had garnered 36 comments and caused a spike in Fort Hunt Patch traffic on Tuesday. Patch automatically publishes links to local bloggers in its "Around the Web" section, which is powered by Outside.In.

In a statement to Fort Hunt Patch, George Allen argued that the church’s decision was an internal matter and other issues like gas prices, jobs and the nation’s debt should take center stage in the campaign.

“We understand that good people will have differing opinions on this, but as I stated when entering this Senate race I will endeavor to focus on the concerns that I hear from Virginians,” he said.  

The Allen family has been attending Aldersgate since they first arrived to the Mount Vernon area almost 10 years ago. Earlier this year, , which raised thousands of dollars for the church’s mission trips.

Allen said his two youngest children were confirmed in the church and many of his family’s friends worship there.

Aldersgate first allowed members of a local Islamic Circle of North America mosque to hold Friday prayers in the church’s around Labor Day.  Since then, the decision has gainedsparking critics to send angry emails and phone calls to Aldersgate pastors.

A “handful of folks” have left the church since then, said Rev. Jason Micheli, a pastor at the church.

“We said 'yes' because we thought it was the right thing to do,” said Micheli.

Tiffany June 02, 2011 at 01:14 AM
Good job folks. That is a real Christian attitude. I wish more did that!
Sajeda June 02, 2011 at 01:25 AM
I am a muslim woman who is so touched by the action of this church and thank Allah( God) for your kindness of my brothers and sisters in a time when we are being called names and some are even fearful of what is going to happen in the future. May Allah ( God ) give you much blessings for your actions and care for another human who wants nothiing more then to worship Allah ( God ) ... Ameen......... you have made me feel good to be an American once again that yes there is hope out there for all ... Sajeda
Christopher H Lynt June 02, 2011 at 02:55 PM
If those 'evangelical' haters, who complain and harass the church for this decision, would examine the facts they would learn that the Qur'an reveres Jesus and Mary as being favored by God. Further, the Torah (Old Testament), is considered the word of God according to the Qur'an. What irony that Jews, Christians and Muslims, who all worship the same God, the God of Abraham, should be at each others throats so often. If only they would put into practice what their prophets taught, do unto others, love thy enemies, turn the other cheek, etc. Imagine that. Christopher
Michele June 05, 2011 at 04:14 PM
why does the media always focus on the negative, I am sure there are plenty of people who support such Inter-Faith efforts of cooperation. Our local Islamic school started out renting space in a local church. We also host InterFaith dinners in our Islamic center and are home to several multi-faith girl scout troops.

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