Let's start with some basic facts. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf wants to build a cultural center, which contains a mosque, a couple of blocks from Ground Zero. He can build on this property as a matter of right, with no approval necessary from the city or any other agency. His goal is to create a space of worship and education. Big fucking deal. Except that American bigots fear all Muslims, and view this as a slap in the face to those who perished during 9/11. These bigots seem to view all Muslims as terrorists, and therefore view the Cordoba House as some kind of terrorist clubhouse.
Now, most opponents at least acknowledge the simple fact the developers have every right to build on the proposed site, but they just should have the decency to not to do so. Just because one can, doesn't mean that they ought. Jon Stewart and his sidekick John Oliver pointed out the stupidity of this argument by saying that you could build a Catholic church next to a playground, but should you?
But some ignorant, half-witted fool named Jonah Goldberg has taken it a step further:
Let's start with the incandescent idiocy of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. If Bloomberg had a scintilla of foresight, he would have prevented anyone from ever hearing the words "ground zero" and "mosque" in the same sentence.
Bloomberg is not only the mayor. He's also a billionaire with massive sway in the city's media, finance and cultural institutions. Moreover, the Big Apple is a Hieronymus Bosch hellscape for landlords and developers. Rent control, historic preservation, zoning, environmental impact, community protests, union delays -- not to mention plain old red tape and corruption -- offer enough tools to stop any project before it starts (Heck, ground zero is still a gaping hole, and everyone has wanted that land to be developed, fast).
The notion that Bloomberg couldn't have quietly stopped this in New York is like saying Satan is powerless to do anything about the heat in Hades. He could have kept the molehill from becoming a mountain with an afternoon's worth of phone calls. The center would be built, just not so close to ground zero; no big deal
But instead of quietly extinguishing a controversy, Bloomberg said it was as important a "test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime."Yeah, that's right, Mr. Jonah "Fuck the Constitution" Goldberg thinks that Mayor Bloomberg should abuse the powers of his office in a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to halt the Cordoba House. Perhaps Jonah "No Religious Freedom" Goldberg has forgotten that part of the greatness of our country is our Bill of Rights, and the freedoms it guarantees us. Including the freedom to build a mosque where ever one damn well pleases.
Now, I thought that most people wouldn't give Jonah "Islamaphobe" Goldberg's pathetic and callous calls for the perversion of our constitution much heed, until I saw this:
So, Carl "I'll Say Anything to Get Elected" Paladino promises to use eminent domain to seize the Cordoba House building site in a frightfully unconstitutional attempt to discriminate against a particular religion. Is this man so stupid that he doesn't realize that any court would rule against him, or is he just ass-kissing the bigots of New York so he can grab a few more votes?
Frankly, I am disgusted by this whole controversy. America is a country of religious freedom, and we should do everything we can to protect that freedom. If the Goldbergs and Paladinos want a country with a single, state sponsored religion, perhaps they would prefer Iran.
A couple days later now, and I realize that I must sound like a complete dick here. I do apologize, but this issue makes me very angry. With all of the problems facing this country, why are so many people so worked up over a community center in downtown Manhattan? These people have a constitutional right to build it, and that should be enough. This is America after all. Though, that said, I certainly should have been politer and much more eloquent. I'll do better in the future.