Okay, so, this Ground Zero mosque thing. I’ve avoided writing about it for awhile for a couple of reasons. One, the majority of known Ephemera Etc. readers share my political views and nothing I say will come as a surprise to them. Two, everything original to say has already been said by people far cleverer than I. But I’d still like to say something, you know, because not mentioning it at all seems like sort of a dick thing to do.
1. The proposed “mosque at Ground Zero” is nearly four blocks away. Establishments closer than the proposed mosque site are McDonald’s, Burger King, a strip club, and numerous check-cashing joints.
2. Barring a group of people from worshipping somewhere based on their religion is EXACTLY what the zealots who caused 9/11 thought the West would do. So should we honor the First Amendment and allow freedom of religion and assembly, or should we prove a band of wingnut terrorists right and continue being evil, intolerant, decadent assholes who prefer strip clubs and Happy Meals over lofty ideals?
3. Claiming that a mosque near Ground Zero site is somehow dishonoring of the events that happened there seems awfully disingenuous, because that means that a great big fucking empty hole (ahem, the one that’s been there for nine fucking years) is somehow better representative of 9/11.
4. Also disingenuous is the assertion that a Christian church or affiliated chapel would be a better decision than a mosque. Because I enjoy lists-within-lists (it’s like Inception, only my subconscious looks nothing like Cillian Murphy’s), here’s why:
4a. It’s unconstitutional to allow one religion and not another. I mean, duh.
4b. Using a phantom of national pain to excuse your own racism is a real bastard thing to do. Stop wiping your asses with the Bill of Rights and find another outlet for your bigotry (like isolated suicide, for example).
4c. Let’s just ignore that two of the most important Christian sites in the entire world – the Temple on the Mount in Jerusalem and the Haga Sofia in Istanbul – either currently share space with or have been mosques at some point.
4d. Allaying the perpetrators of 9/11 with all Muslims is like allaying all Catholics with Mel Gibson’s dad. They are not one and the same. There is a yawning gap between regular people who practice religion and fanatical, murderous freaks who kill in the name of a warped version of God.
4e. But if the Ground Zero-ish mosque protestors are right and all Muslims are terrorists, that means all Catholics are Mel Gibson’s dad and all Christians belong to Westboro Baptist Church. In this vein, all practitioners of all religions are hateful, ultra-conservative, delusional shitheads who can’t be trusted onto public transportation, and in that case, any religious structure whatsoever would be grossly insulting to the memory of 9/11, because every single one of them is potentially a training ground for terrorism. And wouldn’t it be better that the site of any tragedy wrought by religious extremism remain free of all religion for, like, ever?
5. Finally, protestors of the Ground Zero-ish mosque, stop speaking for me. I’m an atheist who doesn’t give a shit about a mosque, or a church, or a shrine to the Flying Spaghetti Monster at or anywhere within any square mileage of Ground Zero. Know why? Because I know my Constitution. I know that it protects anyone’s right to worship in their own way and their own place, and I also know, somewhat regrettably, but I know, that you have the right to express your opinion. You can protest a mosque in New York all you want and there’s nothing I or anyone else can – or should – do to stop you. But when your opinion is that oppressing people is okay and that’s supposed to include me? Not cool. Go shove a Whopper down your throat and shut the fuck up.
Has anyone else read about the Michael Ian Black rant against some idiot who likened Obama to Hitler? It’s awesome. I wanted to propose to have his partially Jewish babies on Twitter, but I think I spelled “michael” wrong and that’s wrong for the Internet.