Being of Jewish origin during the revival of the Nazi movement the whole Mosque debate stirs up great emotion for me. When I was a 3 year old my mother put me in a cooking class at the local JCC (Jewish Community Center – which is very much the same as this proposed center which will be primarily a community center with Muslim religious affiliations) and while I was taking the class there the Nazis actually lit a bomb at that center. Luckily, no one died. However this act of terrorism took me out of my connection to my roots and made my mother fearful of having me and my brother participating in our culture of origin.
I actually lived in the area where the Nazis in the 70s marched through, a mini-series of the event was called “Skokie.” The same polarization that exists now between the Muslims and the Tea-Bagger McShaggers, are the same sort of people who participated in the anti-Semitism I experienced as a child against the Jews in the Chicago area where I grew up. Those idiot Nazis where actually given a permit to have a rally and parade through Skokie (an entirely Jewish area of Chicago at the time.) However, back then, during my childhood it appeared we as Americans knew what our forefathers had fought and died for – the rights that are part of our constitution. The 2 great wars were but a couple of generations away and we seemed generally to tolerate one another in a way we don’t anymore. Those who were the Nazis back then were marginalized and given no power and were the butt of people’s scorn and jokes – there’s actually a reference in the Blues Brothers movie which sums up the general feeling people had for those sorts of intolerant jerks, it goes something like, “Nazis, I hate Nazis” and they run the Nazis parading on a bridge off and into the water.
We have always had those who were scared sick of the “pinkos,” or the anarchists, the witches or whatever other version of silliness people felt threatened by. This mentality leads to the believe that all people who participate in the Muslim religion – a giant organized religion (1 of the 3 largest in the world) are all terrorists. It’s as stupid as thinking Catholics are equivalent to all Christians, and they are all evil tortures due to the abhorrent and evil deeds done during the Spanish Inquisition by the Catholics (who killed about 25% of all women during the middle-ages, serious genocide there.) If one were to say that would be beyond absurd, yet it seems to be the mantra of the extreme right. All organized religions have different sects and operate under a generic umbrella.
Christianity for example can be preached to by someone who has no formal education about the bible and has been ordained through the mail, drinks poison and lets snakes bite him while talking in tongues oppose that style with a Christian who sits tidily in a row of austere wooden benches and is preached to by a minister (with a doctorates degree in religious studies) about the abstract meaning of some remote passage of the bible. Those are pretty different experiences of the “same” religion. The same could be said of the orthodox or Hasidic Jewish people compared to those who uphold the religion as more of a cultural experience and/or are reformed Jews.
I personally am not fond of any sort of religious zealotry no matter what color or shape it comes in, as it always seems to include violence – the natural antithesis of spirituality. I believe the enemy of any religious or spiritual system is intolerance of others belief systems as this leads to hatred, violence and ultimately away from God.
If I were the people who were starting the community center however my fear would be that some horrible zealot would do what happened to my JCC back in the early 70s in some sort of bizarre retaliation for 9/11 – despite the fact that there is NO relationship. This property isn’t actually even that close to the actual site, the whole thing is just a bunch of right-wing racist, fascist scare tactics and we as Americans should stand against this disgusting behavior of the far right nut jobbers.
It’s really getting old our tolerance for allowing these idiots to have such a huge cultural impact on our America. Their America resembles Nazi Germany and if I could build a time machine and send them back there, I’d do it. They seem to think the past was where the glory days lie. I think they’d find that it was really not too glorious, especially for the moronic women of the right who would find their collective voice of stupidity silenced, relegated to the jobs that perhaps befit them best, being home makers and child bearers and nothing more. I think this is where Dr. Laura (Dr. of physical education that is) should be, she should go back to being a mean gym teacher and practice the BS she preaches. Why are we listening to what she has to say? Or the narcissistic, quitter Sarah Palin? After all they have lady parts which make them inferior according to the line they supposedly tow.
One can not be a patriarchal woman of power without being a hypocrite and a moron, both of which disqualify them for giving advice. Oh, and Dr. Laura is Jewish and I doubt very much she’d like it if someone repeated the word Kike repeated over and over again at her while the other person pretended that they didn’t understand the difference between trying to take the piss out of a word by those who are called that name and those who say those words with hatred and violence in the context of a history of murderous hatred. And if she doesn’t get that, I just feel sorry for her inferior intellect.
We all know Dr. Laura is a “morally inferior person” (by her standards) who yells at other people for her own perceived weaknesses – being that she’s had at least one known affair while married and has herself been divorced and I believe has been estranged from her mother and has done everything she has railed on against on her show while presenting herself as if she were an expert on morality and a trained psychologist. She is a despicable human being whom I’m happy to see leave the public specter.
But going back to the debate about the community center several blocks away from ground zero. If I were in the position of running that organization my main concern would be for the people who would be serviced by my organization. Frankly, I would be worried about their safety which is ironically a form of terrorism! And I would point this out in the public sphere, explaining in the most rudimentary way how the right-wing crazies are stirring the hatred pot and are in effect doing the very thing we were supposed to be against – terrorism.
The right-wing are trying to block people’s rights like gay marriage, blocking this community center and taking federal law into their hands in Arizona illegally – kind of like having to wear a star of David on your outfit at all times, and countless other insane and uncompassionate policies, including trying to make it seem like “taking back America” is anything more than an anachronism for having only white presidents, or the evil thing of trying to disallow a person’s right to citizenship when they were born on this soil.
And where were all these right-wing fruit cakes when the boarders were opened and they could exploit the truck loads of illegal immigrants, creating a new slave class? Oh, yeah they were all for that. They’ve used propaganda, hatred, racism and all the awful things we supposedly have fought for, and turned it back around onto other innocent people.
Who is going to use that community center? Primarily children and are they expected to be responsible for what some idiot zealot did before they were even born? We have to stop the madness of grouping human beings together as a unit based on color, creed or religion – because we are all individuals – isn’t THAT the AMERICAN WAY? And how can one fight for pulling oneself up by their own bootstraps if we can’t even agree that we are individuals with the potential to think, feel and move apart from our class, race, color, creed or religious affiliation? It’s all just so insane and ridiculous.
I ask only this – When will we evolve into human beings? Because right now those who show no tolerance or empathy are nothing more than shadow people.
May the light prevail through our darkness,