“Sometimes you have to stand up and say, this is wrong — the wrong place… It’s a slap to the American people… There are some places where cheap political tricks should not be allowed.” – Bill Press on the Glenn Beck rally at the Lincoln Memorial
“There’s only one reason to oppose this mosque, and that is to paint Islam as an evil religion and to paint all Muslims and equate them with a 19 terrorist [sic] who’s flew into that building.” – Bill Press on the Cordoba Mosque
“In this case, [Bill] Press is not condemning an entire group of people for the actions of a few, but rather demonizing an entire group of people for the actions of none of them.” – Doug Powers
At this point, I’m pretty sure I’m shouting into the ether at my personal blog – at this point in my writing career, almost no one is interested in my political and religious opinions. That’s my assumption, anyway. I don’t really look at my stats on my personal blog anymore, but judging by my comment count, I don’t get a lot of activity actually on the site. Maybe people are reading it and they’re just too timid to have their name associated with what I’m saying when it comes to politics and/or religion.
Either way, that’s fine. I’m still going to write them down. It’s more about me than it is anyone else, I suppose.
I was reading Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson’s comments at his blog today regarding the Cordoba House. He praised himself as being “brave” to come out and say that he believes the construction of the mosque should go forward (… which of course implies that to think otherwise is cowardly; I’ll let that slide for now).
As is often the case at Fred’s blog, the comments were more fascinating than the post itself. If you get the chance, check out the comments from Morgan Warstler in the very deep comment thread. As I said on Buzz the other day, it’s “one of the most potentially offensive but unassailable commentaries on the Muslim mindset in Western society.” In particular, the very rational and even-handed responses from actual Muslim believers are worth reading as well.
This isn’t really about them, though. This is about me and my feelings on the topic.
The debate has centered around two things.
The first thing is whether most of America wants a mosque at Ground Zero. The answer to that is a resounding no.
The other thing is whether the government should stop it. To be completely honest, when I wrote my first post about it, I didn’t really consider whether the government should step in and say no to this. I can’t remain intellectually honest and say that the government should step in on the building of this mosque. The government doesn’t own the property, and if clearance and zoning has been properly provided for, then they should have the right to build the mosque.
That doesn’t mean I have to like it. It also doesn’t mean most Americans are going to be as well mannered as I am with their displeasure.
Many liberals have suddenly “found religion” when it comes to quoting Former President George W. Bush recently. If you’ve followed this story at all, you’ve probably seen the following Bush quote trotted out a few times:
“When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that’s made brothers and sisters out of every race — out of every race. America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect. Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear cover must be not intimidated in America. That’s not the America I know. That’s not the America I value.”
– George W. Bush On The Toleration Of Islam 9/17/01
They’re strong words in defense of our Muslim US citizens. They were spoken at a time when they were most needed; emotions ran high and people behaved irrationally out of grief and a desire for immediate revenge.
It won’t be long before words like these from a President are needed again, because while time has healed many wounds with regard to 9/11, building a symbol of Muslim faith at the site of a disaster perpetrated as an act on behalf of that same religion will inflame those wounds.
“In fairness, we’ve been building ‘ground zeros’ near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.” – @jasonmustian
“A ground zero mosque data point? U.S. Marine Air Station Iwakuni was placed near Hiroshima. U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo is near Nagasaki.” – @declanm
I’ve enjoyed all the cute little comparisons of 9/11 to wars the United States has engaged in over the last several decades. I really enjoy that CNet writer and editor Declan McCullagh equates the sacrifice of my grandfather’s bunkmates in World War II to the sacrifice of 19 assholes from Saudi Arabia. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Essentially what Declan is saying: “The United States committed a horrible atrocity to end a war costly in terms of human life. That is exactly the same thing that these Muslim ‘freedom fighters’ did when they killed 3,000 US citizens in New York City. 9/11 was a horrible atrocity, but it served an obvious higher purpose.”
As warm and fuzzy as that makes me inside, I imagine it makes my friends who actually fought in Iraq feel warm and fuzzy to know that some Americans think that they’re engaged in the wanton slaughter of Iraqi citizens. By warm and fuzzy, of course, I mean completely rethinking the wisdom behind the constitutional right to free speech for functional retards.
I think we all need to get a grip here. We should probably not be calling for the government to block the building of this thing.
I think we also need to stop condemning folks for having emotions. You’re not racist for being offended. Heck, you’re not even evil if you think building the Cordoba House at Ground Zero is a good idea.
You’re just an asshole.
And it will always be perfectly constitutionally legal to be an asshole. Just know that most of the country wishes that you’d, you know, stop being such a douche.