HOWARD MEGDAL: Dear Harry Reid, I just wanted to thank you for weighing in by opposing the Ground Zero Mosque that is neither at Ground Zero nor a mosque. As a Jew to a Mormon, I can’t imagine creating a climate of religious intolerance can come back to bite either of us! Bravo.
Your brave statement issued through a spokesperson was a tribute to the kind of work you’ve so often done in the United States Senate- saying the impolitic thing to extend a story, then caving when it came to things like holding President Bush to timetables on the War in Iraq, for instance.
But after having no better friend than President Obama, hanging him out to dry while needlessly extending the Ground Zero Mosque story- a creation of the right intended to derail candidates running this year (hey, that’s you!)- your combination of political tone-deafness and qualified disregard for the freedom of religion might well have been a new level of Harry Reid-ness. And look, politics is all about creating a personal brand. Well done!
There’s even better news, of course. I am certain that the bigots whose votes will actually be determined by the Ground Zero Mosque, as opposed to, say, the economy, will be persuaded to vote for you over Sharron Angle based on your tepid statement that followed hers. And there must be so many of those voters! One can’t imagine anyone in Nevada would be more concerned about issues like housing- not when the foreclosure rate is so low in your state. No, what will matter is a building thousands of miles away that contains a gym.
So march on, Harry Reid, and make certain all the good work you’ve done- and make no mistake, from shepherding health care and financial reform through the Senate to strong early re-election advertisements and fund-raising, you have plenty of accomplishments and reason for optimism- is tempered by a single statement.
For what is more statesmanlike than using your words toward such a powerful end? Somewhere, Daniel Webster is turning over in his grave. With envy, of course.
DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: Dear Harry Reid: Despite the massive uptick in ER patients complaining of whiplash after your mosque-related comments, I absolutely could not agree more with your statement that the “Ground Zero” “mosque” should be built “someplace else.” In fact, as a Wiccan Shaman Druid who is New Age through and through, I believe I speak for all my siblings in Gaia when I say that Park 51 – like all other places of actual or potential worship – should be built “someplace else.”
You see, long before an angel descended upon a humble human prophet out in the boondocks and commanded him to take dictation, there was our Mother, the Earth. And frankly, we’ve been cluttering up Her prime sacred real estate with tax-exempt buildings for just a little too long. I demand you take a stand immediately for protecting humankind’s “traditional religious values” in the form of ancient Goddess worship. And would it kill you to wear a robe and pointy hat now and then? I realize it’s not what all the cool kids are wearing, but let’s face it – neither are Temple undergarments.
It is past time we moved these newfangled places of monotheistic Abrahamic worship where they belong. I don’t know where that is, but it’s not here. And don’t even think about putting them on the Moon. What are you trying to do, mess up six billion horoscopes?
Oh, and don’t sweat it that the “Ground Zero mosque” is neither at Ground Zero nor a mosque. The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire – but no one knows that, either.