In which I annoy the heck out of people

This is doubtless going to upset some folks, but no one ever got anywhere useful in life by ignoring injustice for the sake of avoiding conflict.

I want to put yet another post out there about the Ground Zero Mosque issue. The controversy has been covered in detail elsewhere by people smarter than me. China Miéville and N.K. Jemisin, to name two. There’s also this lovely supporting visual from Ghost of Mifune.

I won’t get into the minutia of the “debate” on this one. If you want to read up on it, then please follow those links, and for the love of all that’s holy please actually READ what’s there. I’m not writing this to repeat what’s been said.

I’m writing this to call out the Republican Party. Yes, if you’re a republican, I’m calling your political party out on this one. You guys are dropping the ball, bigtime.

This is a textbook case of two fundamentally republican issues: State’s Rights and Religious Freedom. This is other states telling New York how to run it’s affairs, and this is non-Muslims telling Muslims where they can PRAY TO GOD. *

You can’t write a better scenario for the mobilization of the Republican party. And what response do we get? Conservative republicans support the bigots, while moderate republicans turn a blind eye. Why? Because they’re cowards.

Yes. Cowards. You heard me. They don’t speak up about this because they’re scared of losing votes. That’s cowardice, and it makes me sad for the state of politics in the US. The Republican party should be going to war over this. It’s not a liberal issue.

I just… Agh.

* – Fun factoid for the uninformed, do you know who gave the Koran to Mohammad? The Archangel Gabriel. Yes, the same one from the Bible. That guy. Allah is not a different god. If you’ve prayed recently, then you were praying to Allah, because Allah is another name for God. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.


  • Which Koran? As there are two documented in History and they contradict each other heavily. While I agree with the civil right to practice ones religion, I also know the historical habit of Islam.

    Not attempting to integrate where they immigrate to. Extreme violence against those they view as unbelievers is justified by their belief system. If you and those who wish to support the community center in NY, you may. Only how do you stop the direct or indirect funding of intention violation of law by very large section of that society. Sharia courts are illegal in the US but do exist.

    • Tangent about the bad behavior of religions and the vagaries of translations follows:

      You’re referring to the Sana’a manuscripts. The Sana’a manuscripts contradict the claim that the Koran is the unchanging word of god. There’s differences between it and the modern version of the Koran, but they both agree that Mohamed was given the text by the Archangel Gabriel. The differences aren’t fundamental, they’re minor translation and linguistic shifts.

      As with all holy texts, changes have been introduced with translations and transcriptions. Consider the Bible. Oral History -> Sanscrit -> Greek -> Latin -> Old English -> Modern English. Yet you have individuals within our nation who claim that the King James version of the bible is the perfect word of the Creator without any mistranslation or error.

      As for the history of Muslims? If we judge a faith by the most extreme elements of a faith, we can easily see all faiths as evil. Christians can be blamed for any number of atrocities both personal and grandiose. But anyone who’s dealt with the christian faith knows that Christianity is not a monoculture. Tell me, do you agree with everything that people who share your faith claim is part of your faith? Consider the Westboro Baptists, who protest soldier’s funerals as a way to push their political agenda. Should we blame all baptists for their horrid behavior? What about people who bomb abortion clinics, committing “justified” murders because they’re only killing sinners? Better protest all NY churches now, huh?

      No, of course not. I refuse to blame good people for the actions of the loudest and ugliest members of their faith. I chose to see the best in Christianity, and I believe other faiths deserve the same. I have some serious concerns regarding Islam, but I also have serious concerns regarding Judaism and Christianity. That doesn’t mean I’m going to go around protesting Synagogues and Churches.

      At the end of the day, I have to abide by the most fundamental tenant of the nation of my birth: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

      So it’s not a question of weather or not you approve of Islam. It’s a question of which is more important to you; Your distrust of Islam, or your allegiance to the United States and it’s Constitution. If you want to put the first amendment aside just because it’s applying to a faith you dislike, then consider your complaint about putting Sharia law above the courts. You’re blaming them for the same crime you are yourself committing. Which way is it? Are you loyal to the law even when it’s inconvenient, or only when it suits you?

    • Really, my previous post is one gigantic tangent to my main point. My but I do go on sometimes. My real point is about the Republican platform. If the Republican party is, as it so often loudly and vigorously claims, a party built on small government, strict constitutional interpretation, states rights, and freedom of religion, then the Republican party isn’t holding up its platform. They’re ignoring their principles in favor of political convenience.

      Honor is doing things that turn your stomach, because they’re the right thing to do. Honor is a black police officer guarding a KKK protest. Honor is sticking to your principles even when it means supporting Islam and pissing off your Christian voting base. Honor is putting the constitution ahead of your concerns about the behavior of a faith, because the constitution outranks your prejudice.

      In short, the Republican party isn’t being very honorable right now, and I find that frustrating.

  • Not attempting to integrate where they immigrate to.

    Because Christians integrated so well into the existing societies and cultures of the Americas.

    Extreme violence against those they view as unbelievers is justified by their belief system.

    You mean, like, the Army Of God blowing up a gay bar in Atlanta? Or white, anglo-saxon, protestant Tim McVeigh destroying a federal building and child care center in Oklahoma City? Or perhaps you’re referring to U.S. Army Chaplain Ltc. Gary Hensley, who preached to U.S. troops that their job if Afghanistan is to hunt people down for Jesus?

    If you went to a place where people were only passingly familiar with Christians, it would not be hard to convince them that Christians are everything you just accused Muslims of being. You could say, “Look at how many genocides Christian nations have visited upon the world! Look at what the British did when Iran invited them with open arms into its oil fields! Did they not abuse the people? Did they not refuse to integrate? Did they not steal from them? Did they not tell other Christian nations lies about them? Did their ally the United States not assassinate Iran’s duly elected leader?”

    “Look at their holy book,” you could say. “It condones slavery (Leviticus, Exodus)! It says that women are less than men! Their god commands them to conquer and murder those who don’t believe as they do (1 Kings 19)!”

    And because the people you were speaking to weren’t familiar with Christians, except knowing that some Christians had acted in very hateful ways, they’d have no way to know that you were cherry-picking your way through the bible and through history. They’d have no reason to go and learn about Christianity from actual Christians, or follow the current events of the western world closely enough to learn just how broad and diverse the beliefs of actual Christians are.

    Cordoba House is a project about religious tolerance–about giving people the opportunity to have an actual dialogue with their neighbors (New Yorkers have quite a few Muslim neighbors). There are already two other Mosques in that neighborhood–have been since long before 9/11. There are community centers like Cordoba House in major cities across the United States.

    Go have a look at what the puritans thought of the Quakers–every wave of immigrants to the US has been accused of refusing to integrate. And yet Hollywood and apple pie march on unharmed, and the long arc of the universe still, often in spite of us, leans towards justice.

    We are not America because we zealously guard ourselves against all external influence. We are America because we say bring it. Bring us your holidays, your cuisine, your clothes, and your sports. And yes, bring us your churches. Bring us your music. Bring us your celebrations. Bring us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses. We’ve left a light on for them.


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