Thursday, July 15, 2010


This ad is pretty shocking. Probably not in the way they intended, though.

It'd be almost comical if it weren't so sad. The Don LaFontaine-esque action movie narration of the situation is really one of the more offensive 9/11-related things I've seen, since it's actually supposed to be taken seriously. "ON SEPTEMBER 11TH. They declared war against us... NOW they want to build a mosque. At GROUND ZERO. (directed by Michael Bay)"  The "sacred ground" claim seems a tad melodramatic as well.  Aren't we planning on building something else there?  As wonderful as this new building will surely be, I don't know if it will really live up to the whole "sacred" thing.  Just saying.  Might not wanna throw down that gauntlet.

But anyway.  I'll put my cards on the table; I'm not too high on Islam.  I think it's got plenty of inherent, significant problems.  I don't know if I accept the whole "it's a religion of peace" thing.  But that's not really even the issue to me.  See, I'm a big fan of personal responsibility.  You do something bad, it's your fault.  It can be useful to look into the factors that contributed to that action, but it's still your fault.  Always your fault, first and foremost.  When someone kills someone else, don't blame it on Islam, don't blame it on Christianity, don't blame it on Marilyn Manson, don't blame it on violent video games -- blame it on the killers.  There is no way to divert the blame when we're talking about such a major atrocity.  It takes much more than just bad beliefs or bad hobbies to drive someone to that.

I actually don't support the building of a mosque at Ground Zero, though.  Not because Muslims don't have the right to do it, or because "they" attacked us.  Just because, y'know, it's pretty inappropriate and insensitive.  It's not their fault, but it's still inappropriate.  I can appreciate the idea that we're this progressive society that can leave our emotions at the door and use perfect logic to conquer all, but we ain't robots.  You can't just say "ISLAM-NOT-RESPONSIBLE-FOR-SEQUENCE#911 -> EXECUTE-COMMAND_BUILD-MOSQUE".  Sometimes you simply have to respect boundaries.

Let's say you're a Christian, and you have an agnostic friend whose parents were beaten to a bloody pulp by an ultra-conservative Christian group because they were doing stem-cell research or something.  (I suppose this isn't a particularly common occurrence, but I hope the analogy works.)  I think most Christians in that situation would avoid blasting Christian rock music when that friend is around.  (Or even in general!  But that's another issue.)  It's not like you're compromising your faith or anything; it's simply not a good idea, and is more likely to drive that friend away than win him over.  What happened to his parents isn't your fault or Christianity's fault, but you have to respect that it's a sore point for him.  It doesn't mean you can't have cool-headed, rational discussions about your beliefs, but waving a big banner around isn't doing anyone any favors.

(This of course is assuming "mosque" is not a gross overstatement... which it's starting to sound like it is.)

Thankfully, this ad probably isn't actually going to air anywhere.  And even though the group that made it is called "The National Republican Trust", they do not in any way represent the Republican party as a whole.

...but I guess we should blame the entire Republican party for their actions, right?

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