9 Tishri - Year 5771
Seems that a lot of column inches and on-line chats have been dedicated to the Islam/Christianity divide lately. What's been happening, you ask?
Well.....first, there was a whole lotta kerfuffle in New York City. A local imam was planning on setting up an Islamic cultural centre a few blocks from the site of the former World Trade Center. A bunch of right-wing dunderheads seized upon the plan to spew more of their paranoid drivel. I watched one 'Merican senator, or pundit, or whatever he "is" on NewsNight, actually say that the five or six blocks surrounding where the towers collapsed is 'sacred ground'. Nothing like a little hyperbole to churn up the emotions, eh? Me, I don't really care about a mosque being housed in a run-down building in New York. I'm not going to be visiting it, or donating to it. It seems some Americans can't get enough of religion, as long as it's not one practised by brown people. Nevermind that people of many different nationalities and religious choices died in the explosions in 2001....it's those brown people that shouldn't have religious freedom in America of 2010. I'm generalising, of course - but I don't think I'm too far off on this one.
Then...in Florida (of course), a pastor called Terry Jones (no, not the bloke out of Monty Python) decided that to commemorate September 11th--he would be burning copies of the Qu'ran. Yep, you read that right. He runs a very small church, with maybe fifty parishoners. What a tolerant Christian! Now, I know that an argument based on numbers doesn't mean that the side of the mob "is" correct...but sometimes I think that the popular opinion does have some merit. Jones refused to back down - until his demand that the N.Y. mosque plan be stopped. He flew to New York to meet the imam...and I'm not sure what went down, but suddenly, he called off the burning. Having played the media like a Stradovarius, he's back to obscurity. I suspect the heads of Fox (Faux) News were creaming themselves during the whole thing.
If that weren't enough, ol' Pope Ratzo is in the midst of his first visit to the UK. It's being called a 'state visit', but if I recall--the Vatican 'isn't' really a state. Maybe I'm wrong - but then, I don't have 'papal infallibility'. The other thing that's sticking in my craw is that taxpayer money is being used to fund this fiasco. He's schlepping around in his 'Popemobile' and the media are in fawning mode. I was hoping for huge prostests - but it looks like only Londoners got in the spirit with a large-ish one. He even apologised for the sexual abuse and other crimes of the church...awww, isn't that nice? Any word on prosecutions...helping the authorities catch the errant priests? No? Thanks, your Popiness--off you trot, back to Catholic Cuckoo Land.