Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back in the saddle

Girl with pencil I’m back! Did you miss me? If so, now you gotta kiss me.

This was a ruminative vacation for me, and I won’t be writing about it or posting pictures. Suffice it to say it was enjoyable and a much-needed break from the mundane. I haven’t been pleased with myself lately, and I needed to think about why. One of the things I wanted to work on is spending less time on the computer and reading more. I did that on vacation, and it felt right. I’m not going away, by any means! And today, I haven’t stuck to that, as I’ve tried to get caught up on some things. But I think it’s a good decision to not spend as much time online and it’s always a good decision to replace some of that with reading! My blogging and Facebook friends probably noticed my conspicuous absence; Facebook posting was minimal. That was by choice, and I feel good about it. I’m still trying to find a balance between the serious and the fun. I don’t want to be consumed by politics at the expense of my sense of humor, and I don’t want to be completely frivolous in my postings, either. I want to make an effort to keep up with various blogs and feeds, but I don’t want to be beholden to having to. Can she find a balance? Will she ever come to terms with being caught up in politics but still loving to laugh? Can two such differing states of mind ever find middle ground? Tune in and find out next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel!

Today’s topic is one I visited about a month ago, the potential building of a mosque at Ground Zero. I think I expressed myself pretty well in that entry, so you can read my thoughts there. It is still in the news, because apparently the final approval has not been given, and there are many who staunchly oppose it. Many of my liberal friends oppose it. You know who else opposes it? Sarah Palin. I hope that makes my liberal friends take another look at this issue. I honestly don’t want to get into a debate with anyone about it, because I do understand why it would bother some people. Maybe I have no right to an opinion, because it wasn’t my city that was attacked; but I still think I do, because it was my country, too.

Venn conflict It looks as though Palin had to weigh in on the topic, and took Mayor Bloomberg to task for even thinking of allowing such construction. Bloomberg’s response:

Everything that the United States stands for and New York stands for is tolerance and openness and I think it's a great message for the world that unlike another place where they might actually ban people from wearing a an item or they might actually keep people from building a building, that's not what America was founded on nor is it what America should become.

I have to say, I’m with the mayor (not the Quittah from Wasilla) on this one. That has been my feeling from the beginning. We are about religious tolerance, and cannot legally discriminate on the basis of religion (or lack thereof). Palin disagreed with him and said, “This is not an issue of religious tolerance but of common moral sense” and “This is nothing close to ‘religious intolerance,’ it’s just common decency.”

This illustrates perfectly the slippery slope we’re looking at if we wish to prohibit this mosque and community center from being built merely on the basis of the religion espoused by the builders. Who defines “common moral sense” and who gets to tell others what constitutes “common decency?” Sarah Palin? Do you really want her definitions of morality and decency being implemented in our country? I know I sure don’t. The truth of the matter is that we cannot legally prohibit them from building this on a basis of their religion. I suppose officials can get around it by not issuing permits, that sort of thing, and I know that happens all the time—it wouldn’t surprise me if it happens here. But the argument that they should not be allowed to build it because of their religion is simply invalid, wrong, and unconstitutional.

As I pointed out when I wrote my previous entry about this subject, Timothy McVeigh was raised as a Catholic. Would anyone protest a Catholic church being built near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing?

Venn religion I just think we have to be really careful about how we proceed here. It’s still a raw wound for many people. I know that, and there are times that I still feel it acutely, too, when I think back to those horrible days. I believe we need to react rationally and fairly, not on the basis of emotion or hatred. We are the better for it if we can manage to do that.

One more note about Palin’s remarks. Her tweet on the subject called for peaceful Muslims to “refudiate” the project. That would be a nonsense word. I guess “refute” and “repudiate” got all mixed up in her tiny little insect brain, although neither of those would really work for what she was trying to say. Both are generally meant to be used in an debate situation, as in “I have demonstrated that your arguments in support of your position are incorrect; therefore, I have refuted your argument.” She removed the word, but defended her usage by saying that Shakespeare also made up words.

Believe me, one is ever going to confuse you with Shakespeare. There is a rhythmic beauty to his words; your tortuous and twisted cadence reminds me of the sounds made by someone running their fingertips vigorously over a fine mesh cheese grater.


  1. Timothy McViegh was not practicing any faith at the time of the bombings or when put to death. Those who flew the planes into the Towers on 9-11 with their last breath cried out; "allah is great!" Thier actions were faith driven, Mciegh's were not. And with family who live in New York and amoung the protesters, friends who went up as part of the National Gurad to help out those weeks and having lost several folks as a result of the towers coming down, I too agree that near Ground Zero is not the place for a mosque to be builded.

  2. I have made the argument to people who don't want the mosque built ["Mulsims are terrorists," they say] that, following that line of reasoning, since many many MANY Catholic priests have been arrested for, and accused of, molesting children, I do not want a Catholic Church, or Catholic facility of any kind, built near any place where small boys might be.
    Let's punish the whole for the actions of the few.

    BTW Welcome back Evil Twin!

  3. After watching the events of 09/11 live on my TV, I got in my truck and drove from my home in Nevada back to my NY/NJ life. I am a retired Port Authority of NY and NJ Police Lieutenant (You know the folks who owned the WTC). I lost 37 friends and coworkers (plus one K9) that day during rescue operations. I spent 5 weeks working "On the Pile" or at the PAPD HQ. I am disgusted at anyone from the USA who can consider tolerance in any form for a mosque anywhere near the "Ground Zero" Property, for any of the supporters of the atrocity of 09/11, or those of any religion who participated in it's undertaking. I actually believe that the only form of religion that should be allowed on the site is ONE multireligional Chapel where anyone from any religion can silently pray for those all nations who perished during the 09/11 attacks.

  4. Will that woman ever learn to keep her stupid mouth shut??

  5. Beth, glad you are back and are well rested! I applaud your decision to blog and FB less, read more, and make yourself happy. I'm at that place too.:)

    People need to grow up. They need to learn to separate issues from emotion. No sound decision was ever made fueled by an emotion.

    It is ok for people to be angry. It is ok for people to be distraught. I can understand people still being terribly hurt, but the people who forged that hurt died in those planes. No one will get resolution from staying in that moment, in that place. It is time move on, to move ahead. Look to the future.

    A great wrong was done to many people in this nation that day in September, but great wrongs happen in this world every second. Are we to hold every person that eats accountable for every child that starves? Must every man be accountable for every rape that a woman must endure. Must all who exist in relative freedom be held accountable to those that are slaves and have no control over their lives? Expecting everyone from a group to be responsible for the actions of a few is not justice, it is misguided retribution. Take one step more and you are at the home of revenge.

    Beth I'm sure you know I'd like to see no religious representation at the site, but I also know that spirituality has the ability to heal the human spirit when all else fails. Perhaps the Mosque needs to be on site if for no other reason than to be a testament to our rule of law, a celebration of our global collective soul, and as a sign of forgiveness.

  6. "..someone running their fingertips vigorously over a fine mesh cheese grater." That graphic has real staying power!

    The USA has fared poorly in the global opinion for some time and with good reason. We've not been faring all that well in our self-evaluation either. The only way back on both counts is to relocate and dedicate ourselves to our highest human moral sensibilities, not pander to our most "common," knee-jerk ones. Kyle said it so well.

  7. This whole issue is becoming a talking point for the pointed head crowd, of which the ever so wingnutty Miss P fits in nicely. That media whore will say anything as long as it gets her applause from her minions and her mugshot on the nightly news. This guilt by association, or by 1 or 2 degrees of separation is just insane. But the real insanity is that there are people who will be rabble roused over this event. It's co convenient to hate those that think differently, but when the light is shined on our own actions, it somehow is different... acceptable...logical...just.
    This kind of nonsense has got to stop.

    Glad you're back, by the way. Write on!

  8. I agree that the mosque would send the strongest message of tolerance possible.

  9. I think that your comparison regarding McVeigh is a solid analogy, as is the comment regarding the pedophile priest scandal. At some point the focus has to be on tolerance and reconciliation. Maybe McVeigh wasn't a practicing Catholic as one commenter notes, but those who have blown up family planning clinics and murdered doctors who perform abortions have done so allegedly in the name of God and their faith and I've never heard anyone suggest that there should be any restrictions as to where Catholic churches are built.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?