Monday, August 16, 2010

I don't think that means what you think it means

So, today I saw an interesting post at

This blogger took photos of things in NYC the same distance from Ground Zero, and has come to the conclusion that it is "not hallowed ground."

I'd post what that blogger wrote, but I can't because I am using a poxy microsoft internet browser (ver 7.0), which won't allow me to cut from one web page and paste into another so I will sum up the photos and the gist:

Street vendors, nudie bar, dunkin donuts, irish pub, BBQ place, McDonalds, Off Track Betting.

The main idea of this author is that anyone who opposes the mosque on the grounds that it is "hallowed ground" is a fool, and anyone who opposes it because it's a muslim ediface are bigoted, cowardly, and utterly indefensible.
big·ot [ bíggət ] (plural big·ots) noun
Definition:  intolerant person: somebody with strong opinions, especially on politics, religion, or ethnicity, who refuses to accept different views
So, (I think I understand this correctly) if I don't want a cordoba mosque going up in the neighborhood where a bunch of moslem fanatics killed 2993 Americans, I am a bigot (because I oppse the idea.)  You, who have strong views about me, religion, ethnicity and refuses to accept MY views, are...

what's the word I am looking for?

(reads definition above)

There is the argument (with some validity) that the people going to worship at the mosque have nothing to do with the hijacking, any more than the pope has to do with priests playing "kiss the bishop" with altar boys.  I totally get that.  I get that they want a place to meet, congregate, pray to their god, observe holidays and ceremonies during whichever lunar cycle they are under (assuming they aren't lycanthropes) and otherwise live in domestic harmony while debating the merits of their peaceful loving religion

It begs the question though, of these devout, humble and merciful people... where do they go to pray now?
How about the many mosques within easy walking distance already in Manhattan?  I believe they even have a pretty thorough public transit system in case you'd like to go elsewhere.

This mosque isn't a monument to the good of islam, it is a further monument to the intolerance of moslems and their utter lack of respect and understanding of the culture they are immersed in.  If moslems REALLY wanted to show how they understand and respect the feelings of others, they would be protesting against the construction of this mosque, not because they don't believe they have a right to build at that location, but because they know that it would seem callous and uncaring to others.

I would rather my neighbors understood the right thing to do, instead of the "strictly legal" thing to do.  I have a right to practice my religion.  They have a right to practice theirs.  However, if I go to a friends' Catholic wedding, I don't take communion because I am not Catholic.  If a Buddhist comes to my house (not bloody likely) I will not make any special efforts to appease their diet--they can eat what I eat, or starve.  If I went to their house, I would not expect them to be serving steaks, and wouldn't complain if I didn't like whatever they were serving.  Hundreds of thousands of Japanese tourists visit the USS Arizona/Pearl Harbor memorial every year (far more than our own countrymen.)  They don't come singing and dancing and yelling "Banzai!"  They are overwhelmingly respectful and reverent (and we parked the USS Missouri nearby in case they get any ideas.) 

We unquestionably conquered Iraq, a moslem nation.  We've built roads, schools, government buildings, bridges, dams, hospitals, clinics, fire stations, polling places and police stations.  Yet we have never built a church, even on our own FOBs.  We erect no crosses nor steeples.  We do not have easter parades or play Chrismas Carols.  We celebrate Hannukah, passover, and Diwali.  We observe our holidays in our tents and non-descrepit buildings, far from the moslem eye, so we don't offend anyone.  And I think that is what this is all about.  Maybe it isn't hallowed ground.  Maybe it is absolutely allowed by law.  But a community isn't just a group of people held together by laws; it is a group of people who contribute for the common good.  It is a group of people who pay school taxes though they have no children, who participate in Youth sports programs well after their children have grown and moved away.  A Community is a group of people who will care for each other after a disaster, lend a helping hand to a neighbor, make room at the table even though there isn't really enough for those already present.  In a community, people have vastly different belief systems and social norms, but they still all participate in the community for the same reason: because the alternative is living somewhere that you don't know your neighbors, you can't trust anyone, and are never secure in your own home.  When one group in a community stops caring about the opinions, feelings, and needs of the others, and places their needs above the needs of the community, the system fails, and fails miserably.  The idea of "I've got mine" and screw the rest of you pervades these communities, and soon, all you have left is... Detroit.


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