It is pure unadulterated bullshit being perpetrated by a media machine that has anything but the interests of the American people in mind.
Seriously? With the mosque business? What.the.fuck. I know 68% of people out there disagree with building a “mosque” at Ground Zero, but I’m willing to bet My Left Foot1 that if the facts (not propaganda and fear tactics), the facts were presented to each person comprising that 68%, at least half of them would change their mind.
The facts are, it is not a mosque. It is a cultural center that has a mosque in it. Christians have the YMCA (it’s really fun to stay there, apparently) and Jewish folk have the JCC (Jewish peeps were smart enough not to let a dude in an Indian headdress have anything to do with a song about their community organization), right? Well, Muslims want their own community center. A community center with a basketball court and maybe a pool and whatever else community centers normally have.
I know that both the YMCA and the JCC have summer camp programs. (I went to a YMCA camp from the age of 6, until they kicked me out for smoking cigarettes on camp grounds when I was 17 years old, only to be asked back as a staff member when I was 18 years old. Drunk Good times.) And even though I’m not and never have been particularly religious, I never once felt like my summer camp was trying to shove Jesus down my throat. It was about having fun with kids my age in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. (And later, drinking wine coolers with kids my age in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.)
And you know what? I bet if the Park 51 Muslim Center were to have a summer camp program open to all kids of whatever religion, those kids who attend, especially non-Muslim kids, might learn a thing or two about Muslim culture and tolerance. They might learn that not all Muslims are terrorists. (And not all Muslims are our President.)
But, as Gladstone at Cracked.com so eloquently put it:
A mosque by definition is a purely religious structure. This is a large proposed community center, open to the public and set to house, among other things, a basketball court. Yes there will be a prayer space inside it as well, but you don’t call St. Mary’s Hospital a church because it happens to have a chapel inside it, do you? Well, maybe you do. You read about politics on the Internet from a guy who claims not to write about politics, so maybe you’re functionally illiterate. But the point is, you shouldn’t.
But “Islamic Community Center open to the public” doesn’t have the same ability to scare people the way “mosque” does. I mean, you hear “mosque” you think mosquito, you think STING! You hear “mosque” you think “mask,” you think DECEPTION! You hear “community center” you think “OK. One more place I’ll never go.” So, yeah, clearly the decision was made by those who hate you to call this the “Ground Zero Mosque” even though it’s not at Ground Zero and not technically a mosque. Why are we still discussing this? Why haven’t you already asked Sarah Palin if she’s the devil on her Twitter account? Oh, that’s right. Because the devil is supposed to be good at lying.
The Asshats on the Right have made this cultural center their electoral issue. And, with Fox News’ “fair and balanced” assistance, they have whipped the American public up into a right frenzy. And what’s more, they know exactly what they are doing, because they are cunning, and they are dishonest, and they think Americans are too stupid, too lazy, or too busy to ferret out the truth.
They repeat the same talking points over and over and over until they seep into the American consciousness and then at some point the talking points become facts and those “facts” become indisputable truth. And if you disagree, then you hate America and you want more Americans to die at the hands of Muslims who are right now at this moment planning to blow your shit up.
I got myself all worked up into a frenzy over this on Friday because it makes me extremely angry. Not angry at the people who may have had some reservations about a mosque being built at ground zero. But, angry at the people — the media — who do nothing to correct this misperception. It is not a mosque. And it is not at Ground Zero. And that is the truth.
What I find most offensive is that these purported constitutionalists — these lovers of freedom — have proven that they only love the freedom that they want. They only want the government to stay out of social issues that affect them. But when it comes to people and Constitution-ey stuff that they don’t like? All of a sudden, they are more than willing to take a giant dump on the Constitution.
Again, from Gladstone at Cracked:
But the real reason I’m writing is not just because of people like Sarah Palin, but because of shameful, spineless panderers like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Here’s a statement from each of them designed to give the appearance of being tolerant while adhering to good old-fashioned common sense values:
From Sarah Palin’s Twitter Feed:
“We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they?”
And from Harry Reid’s spokesperson:
While respecting that Muslims have a First Amendment right to religious freedom, Reid “thinks this mosque should be built some place else,” his spokesman Jim Manley said Monday.
Let me make something clear. In order to make these statements you must hate two things: logic and America. There is NO way to say that an individual has a protected right to do something and simultaneously criticize your government for not suppressing the execution of that right. There is no way for President Obama or any other president to put a stumbling block in the way of the free exercise of religion without violating the sanctity of that freedom. Should I say it more simply? OK.
You can’t legally stop people from obeying the law.
The Burlington Coat factory is private property. Those who want to build on it are private citizens. They are violating no law in wanting to build a community center. Under what authority do you propose we stop them? There is no “unless you’re a Muslim within X yards of a national tragedy exception” to the free exercise of religion. Do the Gingrichs and Palins and Reids want to start a precedent where you can compel people not to exercise the freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution provided enough people don’t like you?
So listen up, 68%. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t want to be free to exercise your religion yet at the same time want to hinder another American’s right to the free exercise of his or her religion. It’s logically inconsistent, i.e., really fucking dumb.
My point here is not just to repost most of the Cracked article (which is amazing, by the way), but also to repost snippets from a thread from my friend’s Facebook wall: [It's a long'un, but well worth reading.]