Alright - everybody has made their points…
SEVERAL DOZEN FREAKING TIMES!
How many ways can you call the right intolerant and bigoted? Or refer to the left as Islamofascist sympathizers? Or moan about the degeneration of religious liberty in America? Or warn about creeping Sharia law?
Build it. Don’t build it. Move it. Bah! Everyone has an opinion. That opinion has been expressed ad infinitum. No nuance has been neglected. No angle uncovered. No stupid, silly insult or smear has been left under the mossy rocks from which they sprang.
And yes - it’s time for a few quotes from the “Dead Parrot Sketch” (with apologies for altering the text):
Mr. Praline: “VOOM”?!? Mate, this mosque argument wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million volts through it! It’s bleedin’ demised!
Owner: No no! It’s pining!
Mr. Praline: it’s not pinin’! It’s passed on! This mosque argument is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to every blog, every newspaper, every TV broadcast, every magazine, every column by pundits both serious and unserious, it would be pushing up the daisies! It’s metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-MOSQUE ARGUMENT!!
This has not been “Recovery Summer.” It has been “The Summer of the Silly Mosque Imbroglio.” We have all weighed in on the subject several times. The debate was interesting for about 72 hours. But after that - after every conceivable argument both for and against had been made - shouldn’t we have dropped the subject and come back to reality?
That reality is certainly interesting enough without the fake wailing on both sides about loss of the “tradition” of American “tolerance” for other religions, or the threat to the “sanctified” site of Ground Zero (within eyeshot of stripper clubs).
As for the latter, the extraordinary tone deafness of the mosque builders has been exposed and the public has rendered its verdict. For the former, surely people are joking when talking about tolerance for other religions in America, right?
This would come as news to the millions of Catholics, Jews, Mormons and now Muslims who have been murdered, burned, violently attacked, and generally discriminated against in the most vicious, nauseatingly open manner throughout much of American history. I would say to my friends on the left that there is a far more colorful history of religious bigotry leading to violence in America than there is of any kind of “tolerance” for faiths other than the dominant Christian sects.
Do you think that this is something that only happened in the dim, forgettable past? In his book Making of the President 1960 - just 50 years ago - Theodore H. White relates a story about some good liberals who had gathered in an upper west side apartment in New York to discuss who they would be supporting for president. Stevenson supporters all in 1952 and 1956, these good, conscientious liberals could see that their hero was just not going to make it to the White House and they were discussing the pros and cons of backing John Kennedy.
There was a serious discussion among these Enlightened Ones about whether a Kennedy presidency would mean that the Vatican would be running the country if JFK were elected - whether a US Catholic president would have “divided loyalties.” To even ask the question is bigoted and intolerant, demonstrating a towering ignorance of the Catholicism in America (A little further removed, try reading something about the campaigns of 1924 and 1928 featuring Catholic Al Smith).
Massacres of Mormons, murdering Jews, burning witches - this pious nonsense about mosque opponents going against American “traditions” of religious tolerance is absurd. Equally nutty is the idea that the mosque represents the advance of sharia law in America, or of giving in to extremists. One conservative group has called for not only canceling this mosque project, but actually getting the government to pass a law forbidding the construction of any mosque, anywhere in the US.
One assumes they would be “tolerant” enough to allow existing mosques to remain standing.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is still jacked, business is as close to being at a standstill as possible without us falling back into recession, millions of gallons of oil is still floating around in the Gulf, Americans are livid at both parties, Iran continues to defy the world and toddle toward having the capability to build a bomb, Hezballah is threatening war with Israel, there are unprecedented, catastrophic floods in Pakistan, the heat is killing dozens in big cities, Afghanistan continues to bleed…
And - OMIGOD - the Mooslims are trying to build a mosque while the fascist right opposes the brave, tolerant, saintly left in their efforts to stand up for religious liberty, or something.
I’m not asking for people to get along. I’m demanding we get serious about what’s really happening in this country. We have a president who has taken 5 vacations this summer, leading a party that is trying to desperately hide its failures, who are opposed by another party that hasn’t had an original idea about the economy since Ronald Reagan was president. Kafka wouldn’t dare touch this fairy tale. Picasso might come up with something suitably ugly and misshapen to reflect the tragedy of this situation, but even he would be at a loss in trying to capture the utter helplessness most Americans feel right now as they watch this idiotic exercise in futility grind on and on.
As long as this story is flogged on the internet, the mainstream media will feel compelled to cover it, comment on it, and continue to whip up a frenzy about it - at the expense of highlighting the actual news of this summer of our discontent. Perhaps because of the complete collapse of the president’s policies, and the dearth of solutions offered by Republicans, partisans from both parties would prefer this idiocy to continue.
But at some point, we have to come back to earth and deal with a genuine economic crisis that is causing people to lose faith in government, faith in themselves, and faith in America.
And the building of a mosque is more important than this?