I don't know what I was thinking. I ventured into the comment sections of this and this (much better) article on the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" (which is neither at Ground Zero nor a masjid) and I think I've been driven to the edge by the complete rejection of both reason and reality on display by many of the commenters.
So, I issue a challenge.
I challenge anyone to explain to me why this community center shouldn't be built at this location, using 500 words or less. You must (unlike anyone I've read or heard who so far who objects to this) take these five actual, factual points into account:
1) The proposed building is not just a mosque, but a community center that will include a restaurant and a gym.
2) The proposed site is not at "Ground Zero" but in fact several blocks away, and you can't even see it from the WTC site.
3) Dozens of the New Yorkers (and, if I recall correctly, at least one of the people on the planes) murdered on 9/11 were Muslim, and their families deserve the same respect as the other victims.
4) It's private property owned by this group, and as long as all proper building codes are followed they're allowed to build whatever the fuck they want.
5) Republican politicians (and celebrities like Sarah Palin) are using this as a wedge issue to motivate their base to vote for them in November, as a distraction from the successes of the Obama administration and the previous eight years of Republican failures.
Seriously. 500 words or less. I'll send you a free Viking Fish t-shirt.
I don't expect any takers, because a) no one reads my blog anymore, but more importantly b) once these five points are addressed you don't have much of an argument beyond, "I hate Muslims because television and the Internet said I should."
Hm, I kind of like this idea. Maybe I'll try it next for those who oppose gay marriage.