Neither Silver Nor Actually Bullets

« August 2010 »

Memo to GOP Islamophobes: PORK IS NOT KRYPTONITE.

One thing this summer's wacky intolerance-fest has shown is that Christian Republicans have a certain... limited understanding of the other, heathen religions. Because in their fervor to stop the Not Ground Zero Not Mosque, they've dug up a long-standing running practice amongst anti-Islam commenters and beat it into equine paste. For example.

"The alert went on to question what its authors described as Islamic beliefs. It suggested that participants sing during the rally because Muslim 'women are forbidden to sing.' It suggested that rally participants bring dogs because Muslims 'hate dogs.' - The Valley News, reporting on protesters of a new Muslim community center in Riverside, CA.

"As you know, the Muslim faith doesn't look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I'm building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world." - Fox News' and Big Hollywood's favorite failed comedian, Greg Gutfeld, on why he wants to open a gay bar near the Cordoba House.

"The response for that lack of respect should be a plethera of street vendors selling pork products of every imaginable description, right in front of the Mosque, with pig statues and caricatures everywhere." - Wall Street Journal commenter Tom Hanthorne, chiming in after a Dan Senor anti-Cordoba column.

See, that's not actually how religious prohibitions work, even amongst the most radical and ignorant of a religion's believers. If it were, abortion clinics could just locate themselves next to porn shops and be free of protesters forever!

The Nazis didn't intimidate the Jews by waving cheeseburgers at them. The Amish won't actually cower from an iPhone. Catholics aren't particularly disturbed by pedophilia. People follow these ridiculous and arbitrary rules because they think it will bring them closer to their imaginary God. It's not because these things weaken them like Kryptonite weakens Superman.

I mean, in the case of the Cordoba house, we're talking about New York Fucking City. One of the largest and most densely populated urban centers in the world. There are dogs everywhere. There is pork everywhere. There are homosexuals everywhere. On any given street corner, the odds are good you can find a gay person walking their dog while eating some pork.

Yet the planes on 9/11 somehow failed to veer off as the hijackers entered one of the highest concentration of bacon, Beggin' Strips, and Abba on the entire planet. What does that tell you? That while the garlic in chorizo may protect you against a Muslim vampire, your sausage will be flaccid and useless if the Muslim is not in fact undead.

Gutfeld is especially funny, because he thinks he's being doubly clever - first with his ironic, faux-liberal plausible deniability for his plan to offend the Muslims just as much as he's pretending they've offended him, and second with the idea itself. But in truth, Gutfeld pulled the rhetorical equivalent of one of those parkour bail videos on YouTube. Because there are in fact three gay bars within a mile of the Cordoba House site. And the Muslims seem less concerned than an Alabama tourist by it.

If you're going to keep insisting that your Cordoba House obsession isn't based on bigotry or religious intolerance, then maybe you shouldn't try reducing a billion and a half people to a barely-understood stereotype, then using that stereotype to treat them like a supernatural monster. Because it might, just might, be undermining your case a smidge.

Oh, and in case this pisses you off, and you want to get me back, I won't actually melt like Margaret Hamilton in the presence of "Eat, Pray, Love" posters, so you'll need a new plan.