Krauthammer's Sacrilege: When Reactionaries Fire Up their Sunday Missals-and Miss

I woke up this morning to a curious
on reactions to Obama's Ramadan
, where the president defends the building of an Islamic center and
mosque near Ground Zero. "It's obvious more people are against Christianity than
where the mosque is being built," the commenter wrote.

I woke up this morning to a curious
on reactions to Obama's Ramadan
, where the president defends the building of an Islamic center and
mosque near Ground Zero. "It's obvious more people are against Christianity than
where the mosque is being built," the commenter wrote. She has a point: When
Christianity is misrepresented as somehow either superior, cleaner or more
virtuous than Islam, the record ought to be corrected. Islam's massacres have a
few centuries to go before they catch up to the genocidal graveyards of

The commenter then reached for scriptures: the latest column by Charles
Krauthammer, with the kind of headline you'd get if you cross-fertilized the
Inquisition with National Lampoon: "Sacrilege at Ground Zero." Policing
idiocy is futile (and more dangerous than spreading it). Undressing
is more useful.

Krauthammer's point is that the Islamic center should not go up "at" or near Ground
for the same reason that the Pope years ago told Carmelite nuns in
Poland to leave a convent they'd established near the Auschwitz death camp (once
again Charles, near, not at), for the same reason that
Disney's attempt to build a theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated in
1993, or that a commercial viewing tower near the Gettysburg battlefield was
taken down.

Krauthammer's comparisons are as vile as they're false. At Auschwitz and
Gettysburg Carmelites and Disney were rebuffed for good reason: they'd have been
stood out in extreme contrast to the grounds in question, which, at Auschwitz
especially, are surrounded by a buffer of, let's say it, sacred emptiness.

What's Ground
surrounded by? Forget about two blocks away. Let's go literally across
the street and take an inventory. Let's walk up Trinity Place beginning at
Liberty Street, catty-corner from the blasted grounds. There's a Starbucks right
there, one of many in the perimeter, in the same building as a dental implants
center and a bunch of CPAs. Very sacred, those. Walk up past Maiden Lane.
There's a Century 21 department store. No, not the real estate company, but the
place to "turn heads this year" because
the place is "here to chic you out." Oh yes, Charlie, Ground Zero "belongs to those who suffered and
died there
." Absolutely. Let's make sure they bring their credit card. Walk
up past Dey Street. Look at that: the Millenium Hilton, site of a thousand Wall
Street scores a day that keep Wall Street adulteries and shareholder call girls
more lubed up than Richard Simmons in his prime. Superb "lesson in respect," all
that not-so-metaphorical screwing in full, unobstructed view (viewing tower
style) of the place where 3,000 souls were pulverized. Let us bow at the
patriotic altar of executive blow jobs and coital ladder-climbing and by all
means, "show some special sensitivity to the situation." CEO balls are the
unquestioned dribble of American business.

Let's take a quick shower, call the wife back in Jersey and continue our
little jaunt, past the Payless Shoesource. Did I mention the McDonald's and the
Majestic Pizza earlier? Did we ask for fries with that prayer to the heroes of
9/11? Here's St. Paul Chapel along Vessey Street-careful not to fall of your ass
on your road to Damascus, Charles-, and across from that, St. Peter's Roman
Catholic Church, the acceptable kind of religious houses of worship
because they're one of us, and Christian genocide is, well, another story.
Besides, the Catholic church isn't really in full view of Ground Zero. There's a
building right there at the corner of Vessey and Church with... why, yes! It's Jean Louis David, where you can get
that botox look without the botox, and under $1,000. A look even a Carmelite
would envy, mortal sins aside. Make a left on Vesey Street. Here's the New York
Department of Health, site of a million diseases, free condoms by the thousands,
female condoms too (come get yours: easier finding them there than in Flagler
County), convenient, too, for those cheapskates not wanting to pay for their own
before going to the Millennium Hilton. It's also where Lower Manhattan's
hardest-working women get treated for all the diseases they pick up from Wall
Street's Most Moral and Upstanding Men. Excellent location right there across
from the former towers, "unlike any other place."

And we're just getting started. Haven't touched on those other houses of
worship lining the grounds-the banks, the law firms, the telecommunication
companies, the other kind of churches (there's an Orthodox one somewhere in the
mix), the other McDonlad's and fast-food joints, all as wonderfully sacred and
hallowed as that other kind of hole-not so hallowed, necessary though it is and
common to every one of us-from where asinine comparisons find inspiration.

And then Krauthammer's climax: the Aulaqi slander. ("Who is to say that the
mosque won't one day hire an Anwar al-Aulaqi -- spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood
shooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and onetime imam at the Virginia mosque
attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?"). It's the classic smear of 1.5 billion
Muslims with the terrorism of a few fanatics who have as much in common with
Islam as Krauthammer does with intellectual honesty.

Krauthammer might get his head out of his Aulaqi and look at the American
scene around him, its 6 to 8 million Muslims and reigning champion-victims
of double standards
especially. When he writes columns like that, those
Muslims are more American than he is on his best Fox-waving day.

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