Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

It is Not Thee

Ask Not for Whom the Liberty Bell Tolls, It is Not Thee
© 2010 Ross Williams

Muslims are all in a tizzy. First, they want to build a mosque and community center on part of the land destroyed on 9-11 in lower Manhattan. Most Americans – around 200 million – don’t want them to.

Of course some Americans, predominantly the sympathy junkies, do. And a few of these people, those who had once been to school and taken an American history class and vaguely recall a thing called a “Constitution” which describes something called “rights”, have taken to criticizing the majority of Americans who don’t want a muslim anything built on the land destroyed by muslim hooligans nine years ago.

Their claim? Preventing muslims from building a mosque and community center where they want to build it would deny them their freedom of religion. Besides, it’s more or less a coincidence that the land procured is 9-11 land.

On the surface [and only on the surface] this makes some amount of sense: Both a mosque and islam have something to do with religion. But beyond that, the Constitutional connection is extremely tenuous. The American freedom of religion does not convey a freedom to build a church any place desired. If muslims wanted to buy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and erect a mosque in its place, would denying them the permits and zoning – let alone refusing to sell the property – be construed as interference with their freedom of religion?

Of course not. So let’s just shovel the pretentious shinola out of the discussion right now and drop the whole fatuous “freedom of religion” argument.

The issue is completely one of zoning and permitting. Religious buildings and institutions have the same inane rules and bureaucratic caprice to deal with as anyone else, and I can say with zero fear of meaningful contradiction that Christian churches have been denied building permits and necessary zoning waivers all over the country and for as long as building permits have been required. Denied, often, for no discernibly rational reason, as that is the way most courthouse ninnies operate. This issue rests entirely upon Manhattan’s building and zoning commission.

And they did their job. The Manhattan officials who control such matters voted 29-1 to allow the construction of the mosque and community center; they did so for an outright political reason: “community harmony” ... in a community which, interestingly, does not want it built. So does that settle it?

Usually it would, yes, even under protest. Except that word of the proposal got out to the rest of the country, and word also got out that Manhattan officials are operating at odds with the Manhattan voters they claim to serve, and, ... well, it just blew up on them. Manhattan officials are going to have some ‘splainin' to do to their voters over the next several years as their seats come up for re-election. But in the meantime, unless there is a proper review of the zoning and permitting of the project – as hurtful and incendiary as it may be to a great many Americans – the mosque on the quote hallowed ground endquote is a go. Those in this country who don’t like it can do what those in this country who don’t like something always do: write sniveling and mopey letters to the editor and whine about it.

As the sympathy junkies mentioned above would tell us [and have told us repeatedly], this is the strength of our American character: we can tolerate, we must tolerate, that which we don’t like in our midst because that is our political philosophy. If what we don’t like is a mosque built on the dust of a few thousand Americans’ bones in lower Manhattan, killed by mosque-attending muslim zealots, then so be it. We are strong; we can take it.

Thus sayeth the sympathy junkies.

The sympathy junkies have some amount of short-term memory loss, however, as the same cadre of dimwits concoct a completely ‘nuther story regarding a related topic. Terry Jones, the gun-totin pastor of a teeny tiny church near Gainesville FL is going to hold a “Burn the Koran Day”. On September 11th. I’m sure it’s as much of a coincidence as the location of the mosque is.

Not content with a local protest, he’s declared his church social to be an “international” event. Delusions of grandeur? or is he simply a child of the Casey Kasem generation – “keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars”? Cue the chorus of High Hopes.

In any event, muslims are all in a tizzy. It is “intolerance”, it is “religious discrimination”, it is [every other sympathy junkie code word]. As a result, the sympathy junkies have abandoned their “We can take it” campaign and adopted their more usual facile rationalization posture.

Oh, gosh, muslims don’t like their holy book being burned, it’s an insult to them ...” Yeah? And building a mosque in lower Manhattan isn’t an insult to two-thirds of Americans? Weren’t we just strong a few minutes ago; weren’t we able to take it a little while back? What happened to the smug worldview, guys?

Gainesville fire and safety bureaucrats are threatening to enforce city ordinance on open fires. They presumably believe that a city ordinance trumps the First Amendment right to protest. It doesn’t – try stopping a group of muslims from burning the American flag across the street in counter-protest. ACLU’s loyyers would swarm like flies on a pile of fresh pasture pie before the first ratchet on the handcuffs clicked. And Gainesville officials know it, so they have to stop the spectacle before it gets that far: by preventing a rightful protest that the ACLU loyyers don’t support.

Most muslims view an American burning their Koran as an insult and sympathy junkies claim we must stop it, even though political protest is a cherished and tangible right in this country. Most Americans view building a mosque on 9-11 land as an insult and we are admonished by those same sympathy junkies to allow it as a preposterous on-the-spot extension of religious freedom.

There would seem to be some fundamental disconnect in the thinking pattern [sic] of the sympathy junkies on this – almost certainly based in hypocrisy and fear. But the subtext flows as follows: muslims annoyed by a charred Koran are a minority in this country while the roughly 200 million Americans upset with a mosque on 9-11 land are a majority. If you hold the Constitution on its side, squint real hard, and apply some Illuminati cipher to it, the document clearly declares that a minority can create rights out of thin air, but that the majority’s tangible rights are held ransom to the sufferance of that minority – who seem to be unable to write sniveling and mopey letters to the editor the way others can and are expected to.

Or, in terms the sympathy junkies might use: it is only the majority who needs to be “strong” and compelled to “take it”; minorities can be weepy, weepy crybabies if they wish, and demand a binky.