Monday, August 16, 2010

"Because it is bitter, and because it is my heart."

Newt Gingrich:

Newt Gingrich plays the Nazi card: "You know, Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center."

An American flag waves briskly in the breeze beside a Shinto shrine on the major freeway leading from Honolulu to Pearl Harbor. Just five miles away is the spot where Japanese planes dropped their bombs on the American fleet. Few tourists rushing between Pearl Harbor and Waikiki realize the deep irony that flag symbolizes. But for those who fought in World War II or know the history of that encounter, the sight of an American flag at a shrine so closely associated with the adversary calls forth a whole complex of reactions.
An American flag flying beside a Shinto shrine on the freeway to Pearl Harbor! An incredible sight one can encounter only in America. And only in Hawaii could it happen at such breathtaking speed.

Fox News

Islamic center opponents outnumbered supporters 35 to 11. A Media Matters review of Nexis transcripts of Fox News' evening programming from May 13 to August 12 showed that nearly three times the number of guests who opposed the construction of the center than those who were supportive of such efforts.
A group of 40 prominent religious leaders have expressed their support of the proposed Islamic center near the former World Trade Center while denouncing the “xenophobic and religious bigotry” that has come out over the project.

The leaders, hailing from evangelical, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim backgrounds, said they were “troubled” by remarks from politicians such as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, who called the proposed center an “insult” and a “provocation.”

The group also blasted Fox news for airing a “steady stream of irresponsible commentary and biased coverage that reduces what should be a civil debate into starkly combative terms.”
It's August, for at least another two weeks.


  1. Thanks for this. It is particularly irksome to an adopted New Yorker!

  2. I find particularly troublesome the animosity of many within the Jewish community toward this. No matter how one feels about the situation in the Middle East, the idea that Muslims building a mosque is provocative is frightening. It wasn't that long ago that when we Jews built synagogues it was considered "provocative".

    Yes, Muslim religious fanatics killed so many people on 9/11/2001. But we must remember that for over a 1000 years most of Christendom sincerely believed that we Jews killed Jesus, and some Christians still believe this. Should we Jews not have a right to build a synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem because it is too close to Calvary?

    Indeed, part of what we who tend to take a pro-Israeli view of things celebrate about Israel (and the more hardline pro-Israeli types tend to celebrate it even when it is not quite true) is the degree to which Israel affords religious freedom more than other nations in its neighborhood. In fact, one of the key arguments for keeping at least the Old City of Jerusalem in Israeli hands is that (except for issues of access by liberal Jewish denominations to the Western Wall) Israel, whatever else you say about them, has done a pretty good job of maintaining access to holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem ... something that by the standards of the anti-mosque crowd, Israel should not be doing (e.g. it shouldn't allow Jews to pray so near Calvary).

    I think, though, that some people have forgotten Hillel's golden rule of "what is hateful to you, do not do to others".