Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hallowed ground? Really??

Given the brouhaha about the "mosque" (Actually a community center) being proposed near ground zero in NYC, there's been a lot of incredible claims about Ground Zero being "hallowed ground". According to dictionary.com, to be "hallowed" is to be "regarded as holy; venerated; sacred". Isn't this more than a bit hyperbolic? Yes, Lincoln used such florid wording regarding Gettysburg when he dedicated the cemetery there during the Civil War, so I suppose it's natural to expect politicians to exaggerate for the sake of their political well-being, but is this ground really sacred now? Really??

There have been proposals for new commercial buildings to be erected on the site, so it seems to me that the site where the World Trade Center (WTC) once stood can't be all that sacred. Where were the priests of this "holy" site, whipping the masses into a frenzy when those proposals were being discussed? I note that no one has proposed putting a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the Gettysburg battleground site - it's been preserved more or less as it was in 1863. They didn't put a Radio Shack into the location where the OKC Murrah Building once stood - rather, they made it a national memorial. That is secular consecration. Just how "venerated" can the WTC site truly be if we can countenance erecting commercial buildings there? This should be a complete non-issue, and it would be just that were it not for the crass behavior of politicians, using religious terminology to mold public opinion.

Somehow, we're supposed to be outraged by a Muslim community center being built many hundreds of yards from the WTC site. The putative "holiness" of the site where this community center is to be built is on pretty tenous footing. It used to be a coat factory, for pete's sake! The absurdity of this nonsense is simply a reflection of the christian nationalist party (CNP - aka republicans) and its media cheerleaders (Faux News) seeking to make political capital of this non-issue. The intentionally religious tone of this campaign transparently seeks to pit the christians (the majority) against the muslims (a minority). The majority christians are being manipulated to repudiate our Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom - a very dangerous first step toward the breakdown of our traditional American separation of church and state. For the sake of political gain by the CNP, Americans are being encouraged to sanction the same sort of state-supported religious persecution that muslim theocracies visit on their people. Shouldn't we be held to a higher standard than those theocracies? I guess it's the biblical "eye for an eye" policy, but it puts us on equal footing with them, right down there in the barbarous dirt. Ignorant Americans are being encouraged to commit hate crimes and visit mistreatment on all muslims here in the USA. This is simply shameful.

I'm not that big a fan of islam, in the name of which many barbarous acts have been committed, anymore than I'm a fan of christianity, which has its share of barbarity to rationalize - however, the emotional manipulations of the CNP and the so-called "tea baggers" in this episode are both illogical and detestable. The non-radical muslims have themselves to blame for some of this, unfortunately, by failing to repudiate, in the strongest possible terms, the actions of their religion's extremists, which is typical of all religious moderates, it seems. But that's no excuse for what's happening in this sorry episode. Assuming our freedoms can survive this current attack, we'll look back on it the same way we now feel about our treatment of Japanese-Americans in WWII ... with shame at allowing our emotions to overcome our reason.

How much confidence do we really have in our nation and its ideals if we can't tolerate the building of a place of community activities at the site of a former coat factory? The whole point of protecting the rights of minorities, even minorities who would repudiate our values if they came to power, is that we believe freedom is the highest political value. If we believe that, then we have no need to fear the rantings and denunciations of some radical group. We have no basis for this irrational fear, unless we've lost confidence in the very ideals that are the foundation for this nation. Some politicians (and their media allies) are exploiting our fears to incite the mob for political expediency. Democracy without protection of the rights of minorities becomes the tyranny of the majority, which our founders recognized and hoped to prevent. Sacrificing our freedoms because we're afraid is handing victory to the terrorists! This is precisely what they want!

Calling the WTC site "hallowed ground" is irrational and disgusting, done cynically and with intent, simply to whip the great unwashed masses into a frenzy and sweep the CNP into power in the next election. Wake up, people!! You're being used. And our freedom is in danger, not from the terrorists and certainly not from muslims in general, but from the fear being used by politicians for their own selfish ends.


superstreamingtweetingfacebookingstormchaser said...

"The majority of christians are being manipulated to repudiate our Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom"

So is there a chance that the majority of Muslims are being manipulated to believe in "Fight them (infidels) and Allah will punish them by your (muslims) hands" And if we are going to be using degrading terms like "teabaggers" to describe Americans what degrading term would you suggest we call Muslims? Or can we not do that because we must be tolerant except for when it comes to christian teabaggin foxnews republicans haha!

The Queen Mother said...

Thanks for putting the wording down that eloquently describes the fear that I have for our country. The very values that we use to advertise our justification in invading Iraq and Afghanistan are now under attack here.

If our Educational system devoted as much time to civics as we devote to athletics maybe there wouldn't be an issue as this has become because the fearmongers would have no teeth.

Chuck Doswell said...


What muslims do or do not do is irrelevant to my point, which you've quite evidently failed to grasp.

As for "teabaggers" ... sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you. Are you feeling offended by "teabagger"? Check out my previous blogs.

superstreamingtweetingfacebookingstormchaser said...

Haha! No the "teabaggers" thing did not offend me! I am neither a "teabagger" or a "hope and change person". Just saying if I had the choice of living in a neighborhood of "teabaggers" or "muslims" you can figure out which one I would choose! Which one would you choose? Keep in mind most of those "teabaggers" water their grass haha!

Chuck Doswell said...


You seem enormously amused by your own humor. What's the sound of one hand clapping?

superstreamingtweetingfacebookingstormchaser said...

I am amused easily! Just pushing your buttons Chuck! You and I would probably be best friends if we were neighbors haha! Of course my grass would look better than yours! But you are about a 1000 times smarter than I will ever be when it comes to science/weather so I promise I will never try to argue those points with you! So back to the sticks and stones thing, what should I call muslims since it will never hurt them?

Chuck Doswell said...


I'd prefer you not waste my time (and that of my readers) with "pushing my buttons", thanks. Do you really need my help to dream up pejorative names for muslims? Somehow, I doubt that.

===== Roger ===== said...

It may surprise you that I, as a Christian and also a strict constitutional constructionist, have no legal or constitutional problem with that mosque being built there.

Is it insensitive and thoughtless to pick a spot so close to where their comrades, who (as you alluded) they are not condemning forcefully enough if at all, committed horrifying crimes of mass slaughter, and so soon afterward? To me, yes. Being a jerk isn't unconstitutional, however. They do have a right to do so, much as that gaggle of deranged pseudo-Christian assholes from the so-called "Westboro Baptist Church" has the constitutional right to picket funerals from public rights-of-way (via freedoms of assembly, speech and religious expression).

What do you think of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League's rationale for opposing the mosque (which shares some similarities with the other groups you mentioned/disparaged, but not exactly the same)? See

I agree with them, at least on this issue. It's not an argument of rights, but about what's right.

Chuck Doswell said...


I see it as something of a stretch to call the islamic terrorists "comrades" of the folks wanting to build a muslim community center near ground zero. Of course, religious moderates have their own issues to consider as I (and you) have pointed out.

I just shared a link on my FB profile to an editorial by Keith Olberman on this subject which nicely summarizes my position.

Regarding the ADL's comments ... given the controversy, it might be expedient for the local muslims to slink away and find another site. I wonder if they'd be allowed to build their community center anywhere within the confines of their community? However much I feel for the victims of the WTC attack, though, the issue of fear-mongering and fanning the flames of religious hatred in this country is more important, imho. And the ADL might not be the most dispassionate voice in this dust-up.

superstreamingtweetingfacebookingstormchaser said...

"I'd prefer you not waste my time (and that of my readers) with "pushing my buttons", thanks. Do you really need my help to dream up pejorative names for muslims? Somehow, I doubt that"

I really do need your help dreaming up a pejorative to describe muslims!! Obviously you came up with “teabaggers” and did not get that from “faux cnn” so help me out! And I am one of your readers and have been for a long time!!

Chuck Doswell said...


I'm glad you're a fan, but ... I'm not going to help you with this. Go search out the teabagger sites. I'm sure they have some nice terms for muslims.

superstreamingtweetingfacebookingstormchaser said...

Ok! I really went to google for help in finding a pejorative for Muslims using "teabaggers web sights" as a search term. The only thing that came up was a really bad thing that I won't even discuss here! Do those teaparty people really engage in that type act? That is disturbing! Do they know that is what they stand for? WOW!