Posts Tagged ‘ground zero’

Big Lies

18 August 2010

Dear J-

Much has been made of the proposed mosque at Ground Zero, now made consecrated ground by the events of 11 Sept 2001. Self-styled conservatives are the ones making the loudest noises of protest, precisely on the grounds that letting “those people” worship at that site is sacrilege. Barring the mosque would be unconstitutional (it would be struck down by any judge with a rudimentary knowledge) and therefore indefensible by anyone in government.

America was founded by people who were fleeing religious persecution; the founding fathers were all Christians, but they had the foresight to ensure that no persecution would be tolerated, no matter how foreign the religion, by refusing to declare a national preference for religion and keeping it out of the government. This is critically important to remember for the conservatives, who would have you believe that the constitution is their guiding principle. Unlike the right to bear arms, this is clear and unambiguous: anyone telling you that it’s become freedom from, not of, religion has got their head in the wrong place and is only trying to make political hay out of nothing.

Besides which, isn’t it time we stopped blaming others and playing the victim? Tell the lie often enough — as it has for the past millennium, dating back to the Crusades and probably before — that Islam is a religion of violence without any redeeming qualities — and anyone is bound to believe it. Let’s not forget that Goebbels was a big proponent of the Big Lie: the more exaggerated, the more truthful it sounds. And his government did its best to blame the woes of the country in enemies within (both religious and social: Jews and homosexuals) and without (the Allies and the Treaty of Versailles), too.