OK, this has gone on long enough without my throwing in my two-cents worth in there. This whole furor about the mosque being built within two blocks of ground zero in lower Manhattan. I mean, what is this all about? My visceral reaction is "Is there no end to the meanness and hatred in this country?" The answer, my friends, is no. The first thing that strikes me is that the people doing all this hollering are also the same ones who shriek about their right to arm themselves to the eyeballs in accordance with their 2nd amendment rights. People like Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. Apparently 1st Amendment rights don't count. The right-wing blogs are broiling with outrage at the desecration of the holy ground and the memory of the 9/11 victims. (Just do a blog search for "ground zero mosque" and you will not believe the vitriol and hatred you will encounter.) We've almost come to expect this kind of slavering from certain elements of the right wing, but it's a bit disconcerting to learn that the majority of New Yorkers also oppose the mosque. Outright laughable is the spectacle of the city's Museum of Tolerance--I kid you not--coming out in opposition to the mosque. The museum is an offshoot of the Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization. The Anti-Defamation League (ADF) is also opposed to the mosque. Huh?? We're in La-La Land, friends.
I know you're dying to hear the reasoning behind this. (I will take it for granted that your imagination can supply the "reasoning" employed by the hate-mongers.) Well, spokesman for the Wiesenthal Center, who echoes the sentiments of the ADF, says putting the mosque two blocks from ground zero says that the location is "insensitive" to the families of the 9/11 victims. He goes on to say: religious freedom does not mean being insensitive . . . or an idiot. Religion is supposed to be a beautiful [experience]. Why create pain in the name of religion?"
This is so logically fractured that it's irreparable. How many objections to this nonsense can you raise? Off the top of my head, I can think of half a dozen. Just for starters, innumerable idiots enjoy religious freedom.