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August 19, 2010

Comments

I'm so old I can remember when senators from Nevada and former governors of Alaska didn't tell religious organizations in New York where to build their buildings. Is it really too much to ask that we revert to those times -- in this respect at least?

I hope Grover Norquist (of all people) proves correct in his prediction that this whole foofaraw will boomerang on the Republicans because voters will be distracted from their positions on the economy, health care, and such.

Meanwhile, at the present rate of drift, by some time in late 2011 everyone in the US will think BHO is a Muslim. NTTAWWT.

each day that passes, i become less and less sure of what the Democratic Party actually stands for.

welcome to the USA Jacob.

I hope Grover Norquist (of all people) proves correct in his prediction that this whole foofaraw will boomerang on the Republicans

Except if it does, it will now boomerang on Democrats too. Democrats - as is their wont - made sure to get just enough dog poop on their shoes to a.) not make any electoral difference in their favor, but b.) give the gop cover by making this 'bipartisan'.

This is America. You can do any damn stupid thing you want as long as you're in compliance with local zoning.

Actually in some jurisdictions (the Commonwealth of MA, for instance) the desire of a religious groups to construct a house of worship can override local zoning laws. See, for instance, the Mormon temple in Mittster's home town of Belmont MA.

I propose a joint temple for Bugs Bunny* and The Esoteric Order of Dagon combined with a community center of the Young Men's Reformed Cultists of the Ichor God Bel-Shamharoth Association at the site. No satanists please (too traditional). Call to slayer twice a day (noon and midnight).

*heads to a commenter at Alternet

But but but but it's hallowed groooound!

And when construction is complete it will come with hallowed office space and a hallowed shopping complex. But a place of worship two blocks away would desecrate it!

Seconded. All of it.

See, here's the thing: even if it's true, as Roger Kimball says, that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with “foundational Western values like free speech, the separation of church and state, and equality under the law", it's not our God-given duty to insulate an entire religion from the US populace.

Even if it is a mistake to go forth with the project, it's not the duty of Americans to protect other Americans from folly. To put it a different way, it's a consensual relationship among all parties that matter, and all of those parties are legally capable of consent. Who is Congress to tell them what they can and cannot do, if no one is being harmed?

And the Democrats have been falling over themselves to be idiots in this whole issue, too. even Howard Dean whose comments are more gibberish than anything else. Like he says that building the YMIC is somehow an affront to "people who died in 9/11, including Muslims" because what?

Cripes, he talks about working with "people of good faith" (which the critics of the "mosque" generally aren't), and entirely embracing the Sarah Palin/Newt Gingrich frame of things. What happened to the Howard Dean who used to have pretty good political instincts, and wanted to fight for things?

I'd say right now we have 4 parties. We have the radical reactionary Republican block, we have the Very Serious "Moderates" who are really conservatives, we have the chicken**** Democrats who are just about getting elected, and we have some actual liberals. The reason our politics is so screwy is that the Democrats are three of the parties, and the Republicans are 1, with a TINY sprinkling of VSMs.

The other fun part about all this is how a bunch of people who claim to believe *very strongly* in private property rights seem willing to suspend that belief entirely in the name of protecting "hallowed ground" (a term they've actually been using). If that land were officially part of a national memorial, then such control over its private use might be appropriate. They never pushed for that, probably because it would imply limiting private commercial use as well and the only thing more sacred to them than 9/11 victimhood is the interests of business. Alternatively, they could have bought the land first themselves, but they never thought of that either. Having failed to pursue either course, those folks have no right whatsoever to deny *any* group the right to do what they wish with their lawfully acquired property.

Sebastian: "See, here's the thing: even if it's true, as Roger Kimball says, that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with “foundational Western values like free speech, the separation of church and state, and equality under the law", it's not our God-given duty to insulate an entire religion from the US populace."

That's very true. And also, even if this were the case (it's not), which would probably get the worst end of things by exposure to the other, that made-up version of Islam, or American culture?

That's one of the many things I don't get, the people who talk about how great and wonderful and strong American culture is, but then absolutely lose their heads over any perceived possible threat to it. US culture has been assimilating, integrating, and outright stealing from other cultures for over 200 years now, and isn't likely to stop any time soon.

Hold on.

How do we know Terri Schiavo was not communicating via her few remaining neurons and her eye movements (always to the right -- I can't remember whether it was to HER right, or to Newt Gingrich's right) that no Muslim facility should be permitted anywhere near the WTC site?

Her communications with us reminded me of a Death Palin tweet -- originating with God, Presidential, deeply refudiating.

I'm wondering whether or not any Republican Party facility -- campaign office, literature kiosk, etc. should be permitted within a 1000-mile radius of me.

I hope Newt Gingrich is not planning on moving his residence anywhere near me, because the local zoning commission is going to have its hands full escaping my wrath.

After all, who knows what kind of terrorist actions they might be plotting in there. They could be planning to cancel HCR and murder those Americans with pre-existing conditions or starve the children of the unemployed by denying their parents unemployment benefits.

The only reason the Republican Party protested the death of Terri Schiavo was because they wanted to keep her alive until she had the freedom to die of natural causes -- via the cancellation of her Medicare benefits as God intended.

I have faith that Ms. Schiavo would have made it though; she'd have shopped for private insurance and found a reasonable rate in the private market.

Grover Norquist can kiss my arse. If his wife believed in higher marginal tax rates instead of Allah, he'd be waving a gun around in her face. If the IRS wanted to open an office two blocks from Ground Zero, he'd be gassing up the planes as we speak.


Nate, you attributed your quote to Sebastian, but it was Slarti who said that.

Jacob, great post.

This whole thing is so deeply stupid and pointless that it literally (meaning "literally") makes my head hurt to think about it. (My effing head hurts. Vector calculus is like taking aspirin in comparison to this.)

Julian: Gah, that's what I get for posting before being totally awake in the morning. Sorry Slarti, Sebastian.

a joint temple for Bugs Bunny* and The Esoteric Order of Dagon combined with a community center of the Young Men's Reformed Cultists of the Ichor God Bel-Shamharoth Association

And the inscription above the entrance will read, "What part of ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn don't you understand?"

Sorry Slarti

No harm, no foul. I need more coffee, myself. Time to fire some up.

And the inscription above the entrance will read, "What part of ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn don't you understand?"

Exactly! And there are http://www.cthulhulives.org/store/images/phnglui-model.jpg>t-shirts.

Peter wins the thread.

russell: welcome to the USA Jacob.

I'm hoping this F.O.B. shtick still works when I'm 95.

"I'm so old I can remember when senators from Nevada and former governors of Alaska didn't tell religious organizations in New York where to build their buildings. Is it really too much to ask that we revert to those times"

They say that you tend to become more conservative over time. I know that as the years go by, I wish more and more that this country would rediscover the wisdom of our ancestors on subjects such as religious liberty, graduated income tax and many other things, so I guess it's true.

I'm hoping this F.O.B. shtick still works when I'm 95.

Fractional Orbital Bombardment? Que?

Nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Fresh Off (the) Boat I'd assume

From my point of view, the "Cordoba Institute" is a bit of religious entrepreneurialism, like Bob Jones University or Pat Robertson's piety channel. All of them offend MY sensibilities. If ANY of them proposed to build a 13-story building across the street from my favorite strip club, I'd be agin it.

Having made absolutely clear that I "support" the Park51 project in the precise and limited sense that I oppose the opposition to it, I need to say something about hurting people's feelings.

Cartoons of The Prophet hurt some people's feelings.

The now-eerily-quiet George Bush has garnered some grudging praise (from liberals!) because he called for "tolerance" toward Islam back in the day. "Tolerance" means acquiescence to the doings of people who do things that you would not do, e.g. build a "mosque". It means putting up with things that hurt your feelings, e.g. about "hallowed ground".

Now, it was the SAME George Bush who (at least through his then-spokesman Ari Fleischer) made it clear that it wasn't a "good idea" for American publications to reprint, or American TV to show, the Danish cartoons. Neither Dubya nor Ari ever questioned their RIGHT to do it, mind you. But the message was clear enough: the sensitivities of "Muslims" deserve respect. Just as, we are told, the sensitivities of "the 9/11 families" do.

I mean, we DO have a 1st Amendment, but c'mon!

Back then, Sarah Palin was a bigshot only in Wasilla, and Newt Gingrich was not running for president, so if they had anything to say about the Danish cartoon controversy I missed it. But Howard Dean was a candidate for the Democratic nomination. I'm sure HE spoke on the subject, and I bet my bottom dollar he basically took the "but c'mon" line then, too. (You'd have heard about it, if he hadn't.) So his recent statement doesn't shock me.

It takes a certain amount of "sensitivity" to be shocked, after all, and I hope I've made clear that I'm an insensitive bastard. Muslims, Christians, and 9/11 cultists can all probably agree on THAT.

--TP

Argh, ugh, ick.

Seriously. Once of the really really really really good things about the way this country works is that lots of people from different religions get along ok here. Like way better than even Europe.

Let's not give away our competitive advantage, right?

The government doesn't get discriminate against a building location by religion.

The idea is that simple.

The government doesn't get discriminate against a building location by religion.

The idea is that simple.

Yes, it is. Now convince a nontrivial portion of the country that this is so.

The majority percentage of the American electorate who currently think government should block the Cordoba project is a prime example of exactly why the Establishment Clause exists.

Should you have ANY OPINION AT ALL on what religious practices do or do not take place in a particular building in Lower Manhattan?

Great post, but in all fairness isn't there a difference between an opinion and what you think the law should be? As in, I think X is dumb, but you're legally allowed to do it.

I think that was the point Obama was trying to make--he seems to question the wisdom of the project, but he's fully supportive of the Constitutional freedom to do it.

It's American to have an opinion and express it (with incoherent signs & screaming!), but that doesn't mean that opinion can be law.

Islam is fundamentally incompatible with “foundational Western values like free speech, the separation of church and state, and equality under the law"

Realistically you could say the same thing about the Catholic Church.

I think that was the point Obama was trying to make--he seems to question the wisdom of the project, but he's fully supportive of the Constitutional freedom to do it.

What does it mean to "question the wisdom of the project?"

Whether or not it is wise seems to me to be entirely up to those building the center, not you or me or Obama. I mean, if Rauf calls any of us up before things get under way and asks whether we think it's a good idea we should tell him what we think (I'd tell him to go ahead), but beyond that I don't see why the wisdom of the project is anyone's business.

And what exactly might make it unwise, anyway? That some people won't like it? Guess what, lots of those people won't like it if you build it five blocks, or five light-years, away. So f*** 'em.

Ironically a few years ago the same Kristians(TM) that now lament about lack of legal means to prevent the 'GZM' loudly celebrated a legislative victory. They had achieved changes in NYC zoning laws etc. in order to prevent discrimination against religious institutions (like churches).
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/perfectly-exposing-utter-hypocrisy-heart-rights-anti-mosque-crusade>This is not the link I was looking for but it points in the same direction.

I propose a joint temple for Bugs Bunny* and The Esoteric Order of Dagon combined with a community center of the Young Men's Reformed Cultists of the Ichor God Bel-Shamharoth Association at the site.

No, to commemorate the frothing impotent fury surrounding this business, it should be Daffy Duck.

"He's kind of an ancient Egyptian God of Frustration" - Michael Garibaldi.

Apropos of that, if you look up "Great Old One" in Wikipedia, you will find that

"The Great Old Ones are ancient extraterrestrial beings of immense power, and most are also colossal in size. These entities seem to have a physical shape, but being cosmic lifeforms from beyond our space-time continuum means they are not based on matter in our definition of the concept, yet their forms are built on principles similar enough to those of true matter that they appear to be material in their nature. They are worshipped by deranged human cults"

and after the last sentence, some aggrieved wikipedia editor has added the splendid parenthetical comment

"[neutrality is disputed]"

I love wiki sometimes.

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[Strong with the Engrish this one is, yes, mmmm - Ed]

Mr Davies I hope you are not insulted if I infer (from prose style alone) that you are, in fact, Daniel Davies and just pretending to live in Alameda so you can insult us using the word "we".

I mean really, I'd be very flattered if someone suspected that I am Daniel Davies using a pseudofirstnym based on my prose style alone.

Oh sorry Jacob. I was assuming that you are English (or welsh or whatever) and should have understood that you might not be familiar with the word pseudofirstnym. The English translation is pseudochristiannym (although, like daniel Jakob is a bit more Jewish than Christian)

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