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Posted on 2010.09.09 at 23:00
Current Location: 75409
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Eric Howton Bahrain 95
ehowton @ Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Bahrain 1995

The more you have to show people you are or are not something, the less or more likely it is you are that thing, in that order. For example, if you go on and on about how honest you are, you are probably a liar. If you constantly talk about hating drama, you are probably a drama queen or king. If you are holier than thou and look down upon others, you secretly know you suck as a human being. If you constantly try to show everyone what a good little (insert religion here) you are, you probably don't believe in your heart and it is all for show. Just my observations in life. ~crowy

I've taken a very long time in forming an opinion about the "Ground Zero" mosque. When sudden, out-of-the-blue, life-altering decisions aren't required of me, I enjoy contemplating my stance (and after having had a few of those in my lifetime, you start to see more clearly the folly of those who don't). I like to be prepared. I enjoy hearing the opinions of others - both those who I know judge rashly, and those who's constant worldviews are forever unchanged. I want to hear the articulation and justification of those I normally agree with, and sometimes more importantly...those I don't.

I have to say, the older I get - that is to say, the more I listen and try to understand - the less "two party" I've become. Many of you reading this have assisted me in that through your various blogs, links, and intonation of your own thoughts - for that I thank you. This exposition I feel is important to my opinion having been formed - you see, as a confirmed conservative, I enjoy listening to the occasional impassioned speech of Olbermann because his views are so completely opposite of mine. What that doesn't make him necessarily, is wrong.

The "conservative" radio host Bill O'Reilly does not claim to be a conservative just as Olbermann doesn't label himself a liberal. They both promote themselves as Americans. Why then must we go to the lenghts we do to stuff them into boxes? Can we not operate independently of each other? What mystifies me the most are those I speak with in either camp who claim to have informed opinions yet become incensed at the mention of the "other" guy - as if their ideas are bullshit before they've even heard what they have to say. How can your view be at all balanced? Or is a balanced outcome not what you seek? I've said this before but you look just as foolish to them as they look to you. Doesn't anyone else see that?

So after hearing emotional speeches on both sides, understanding our history as a Nation and perhaps more importantly - our future as one, and separating the facts from the lies designed to sway us to one decision or the other, I've finally formed one. Interestingly enough, right around the time I did, we get the Floridian pastor who wanted to burn the Korans and I have to admit - while I did not agree with his hate-filled jockeying I was appalled that in his "message" to the pastor, the President of the United States didn't say, "IT IS YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DO SO." Cause, you know...he's like that guy and all. I mean, he's the one we put in office to say just those things at the right time, to the right people. Which makes what he did say way the hell more demonstrative. So much so, in fact, that it completely nullified the pastors actions altogether. What did he say? He said,
"We're already seeing protests against Americans just by the mere threat that he's making and [the "stunt" could] endanger American lives."
I don't know about you, but I'm getting fed up with trying to not piss off the Muslims. They seriously need to chill the fuck out.

And so do you Christians. Going all medieval with trying to resurrect the Crusades in your backyard. Haven't we put this behind us yet?

So my opinion on the inaccurately-named-in-order-to-illicit-a-negative-response "Ground Zero" mosque? Let the fuckers build it. But I have a couple of caveats: Muslims, stop trying to take over the world. At some point, we're going to get tired of your shit. Christians, exempting Catholicism, you really are probably the dumbest religion in America as far as understanding your own history. Except maybe the Wiccans.

Most of the controversy as far as I can tell is nothing more than that emerald-colored whore, greed. Specifically, selfishness. My wife said it best when she said, "Wouldn't be easier to just build somewhere else?" Yes. Yes it would. But the same people who are fighting for their right to build where they want, harm Americans when someone else wants to fight for their right to burn their book? It just doesn't work that way. I understand you can't have both - its one or the other, YOU AFFORD OTHERS THE SAME FREEDOMS YOU ENJOY. What the fuck is wrong with everyone that they can't understand that?

Can't we all just get along without trying to take over the world?


Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2010-09-10 04:33 (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to make this comment about this and pretty much leave it alone:

Ultimately the problem here is that the Muslims who want to build a community center at "Ground Zero" are not the same people who are responsible for the attacks or these threats. These are people who are attempting to build something here for themselves and their families. These are Americans.

My former landlords were Muslim. They were not trying to take over the world or blow anybody up and were just as appalled at these events as any of the rest of us were. They're just trying to make enough money to live comfortably and send their kids through college, just like every other American.

There are Christians who burn people because their skin has a high melanin content. Shall we judge all Christians by that criteria?
ehowton at 2010-09-10 04:55 (UTC) (Link)
Shall we judge all Christians by that criteria?

Ha! For brevity's sake, I'd shortened the answer; I see now I should've left it. It was very nearly word for word: "If Christians believe that `all Muslims` are bad (and not just a few bad apples) how dare [you] presume they don't think `all Christians` are anti-Muslim nut-jobs based on Koran-burning Floridian pastors."

So if we're going to be fair...Yes. Absolutes such as this sometimes help with perspective.
ehowton at 2010-09-10 13:02 (UTC) (Link)
These are Americans.

You're absolutely right. Thank you for that reminder.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2010-09-10 04:35 (UTC) (Link)
Well written old man!!!
ehowton at 2010-09-10 05:03 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It took a lot out of me and came across sounding more hateful than I wanted. There's many facets to this, and that made it difficult to articulate.
anakngtinapa at 2010-09-10 09:08 (UTC) (Link)
Ooh. Very timely. It's the end of Ramadan today. (09/10)

My country is 80% Catholic, and just around 5% Muslim.
Maybe we view Muslims differently, and I don't know enough of your country's issue. And we also have 'bad muslims' here, terrorists and all. They kill people, and is at war with the military.

But today is a holiday because we're 'celebrating' the end of Ramadan with the Muslims. Not to please them, but cause we respect that they too are citizens of the country. (At least I hope it's like that.) Like, holy week is a holiday, so why shouldn't the end of Ramadan be.

Maybe I don't have a right to say something, since I'm not American. But just saying. I don't know why it has to be so hard. That's all.
ehowton at 2010-09-10 12:57 (UTC) (Link)
I don't know why it has to be so hard either. As swashbuckler332 points out above - we're all Americans, so what's the problem?

I've narrowed it down to selfishness. Which also, if I'm not mistaken, absolutely must be the root cause of offense. How wonderful that in your country you can openly celebrate each others holidays! In my country some places don't allow Christmas Trees during Christmas, because it could offend those who aren't Christians. Its not that we seek to offend, rather the opposite - and when you don't want to offend, people start taking advantage of that.

I've been struggling with empathy here lately, and in trying to solve the world's problems whether attempting to determine whether or not multiculturalism is good or bad versus Nationalism. As it turns out, I'm not really qualified to answer that, but that's not going to stop me from attempting to discover the quickest path to stopping all this asininity.

Its an uphill battle.
panacea42 at 2010-09-10 15:16 (UTC) (Link)
The world needs more people like you.
ehowton at 2010-09-10 16:22 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for saying so. If we each proceeded more altruistically (think along the lines of forbidding Special Interest Groups, etc), I think that would minimize a lot of the conflict - or perhaps simultaneously allowing a Christian church to go up in Mecca - as a show of harmless intent? Goose/Gander?

I also sincerely appreciate all comments from Native New Yorkers. Thank you again.
ext_253389 at 2010-09-10 16:37 (UTC) (Link)


The most articulate and accurate opinion I've read about this brouhaha. Brilliant stuff - you're a genius.
ehowton at 2010-09-10 19:14 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Brilliant

Hard to say - it sounds as if you enjoyed mine about as much as I enjoyed yours -that is, if you don't mind me linking to it here - I think it further drives home some of the points I was too moderate on, and/or forgot to disentangle.

Thank you!
ehowton at 2010-09-11 02:41 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you sir. But I'm just like everyone else - only more so.
irulan_amy at 2010-09-12 18:59 (UTC) (Link)
Very well written sir. You have a gift for articulating yourself well. You've given me some points to think upon too.

And the last image is so utterly true. I wish more people would follow it.
ehowton at 2010-09-12 19:13 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Its just my two cents. I really find that until I write it all out...it doesn't exist.

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