Sunday, August 22, 2010

Uh oh...I said it.

I don't usually get political in my blogs, mostly because of the divisive nature of politics in general. That's why I stay away from discussions about political agendas and activities because people get to hot and bothered about stuff and it's my opinion that there's no real way to ever know the entire truth about what our government knows and why they do what they do.
But, I was reading an article on the Village Voice's website that I found interesting about the "Ground Zero Mosque." There's something like 68% of Americans that are against this mosque being put in the same space where the Islamic terrorists devastated thousands of lives. But what I thought was interesting was that it's actually not being built in the same space. It's actually two blocks away. I took this picture from the Village Voice article.
I was just over there a couple days ago and I walked all around that part of town and let me tell you, there isn't really anything sacred or set-aside about that space. So when people say that putting this "mosque" (it's actually not a giant mosque, it's a Muslim-run community center that has a mosque in it) is going to taint the image of the memorials (that aren't even there yet...nine years later), they're not really right. There are mosques all over New York City, just as there are churches all over New York City and Scientology brainwash centers all over New York City, and new ones pop up all the time. Where are the protests about that stuff?
I just think this is a perfect example of people hearing the words "mosque" and "Ground Zero" and they've bought into whatever news analyst has said to them and they've got this idea of what's going on. This says a lot to me about what we, as Americans, believe and buy into. The fact of the matter is, this community center is being built two blocks away, further from Ground Zero than the Gentleman's Club, the McDonalds, the rows of people selling 9-11 memorabilia, the Off-Track betting centers, and the street vendors selling illegal Coach purse imitations. So, I guess if people are so concerned about having that community center there because it's going to detract from the "hallowed ground," then they also need to set their aims onto all of the other things in that area.
I do understand that the center of the issue is extremism and I agree completely that there is no place for that sort of extreme viewpoint. After all, it's that extreme viewpoint that took those towers down in the first place. So I do understand the argument, I just think that in a country where we pride ourselves on the freedoms that we have, I just don't know how they can constitutionally tell these people they can't build that there. It may not make moral sense to some people, but this is the nation that we've built. Freedom for all, even if you don't agree with who is in possession of that freedom.

Ground Zero won't ever be like a memorial in D.C. It's in the middle of Manhattan, there are buildings and apartments and businesses and Wall Street that all have to continue to function there, not to mention they are going to rebuild buildings there for industrial and retail purposes. We pick and choose our moral obligations don't we? We want Ground Zero to be a special place but next to the American flags there are posters of Nicole Scherzinger's new Maxim cover. I don't think the community center is the real problem here and I don't think it's something that can be resolved by deciding whether or not it can go there. The issue here is freedom of religion. The issue is the idealized image of Ground Zero versus the actual space that's there. But regardless, no matter how you feel on the issue and whether things go as you feel they should go on this matter, it's good to know that no matter what, you can have it your way at the Burger King inbetween photo ops at the site.