Another Open Letter to Steve Elliot of Grassfire Nation

Dear Steve,

It's been months since I've heard from you! How are you? How goes Grassfire Nation? I hope the fire that you've been metaphorically lighting under your fellow conservatives has empowered your politics, burdened your purse with extra cash and impregnated many thousands of your women-folk with proud  American fetuses. Imagine my surprise to find that things are apparently absolutely awful:

Jonathan,

New York City planners have paved the way for an Islamic
mosque to be built at the very site where more than 3,000
Americans were murdered by Islamic radicals during the

9-11 attacks on our nation.

Point of correction, Steve: Cordoba House is not a mosque, it's a community center. And even if it was strictly speaking a mosque, what of it? There are plenty of churches and synagogues in downtown Manhattan already, one more house of worship won't hurt. Also, the center is not being built on top of Ground Zero–it's being built several blocks away.

Why a mosque at Ground Zero?

President Obama would have you believe that Muslims are
free to worship anywhere – including Ground Zero. Many
in the liberal media would have you believe that it is
merely a coincidence that the mosque is being built on
hallowed 9-11 ground…

That's not true.

      This is a calculated move by the Muslim world – a
      move suggesting victory over our nation that would
      resonate around the globe. As Rush Limbaugh suggests,
      "They are planting a flag of victory with this mosque."

And because our President refuses to acknowledge what is
so painfully obvious to the rest of America, we who clearly
remember the horror of 9-11, must stand up and put an end
to this madness by collectively saying "NO!" to the Islamic

"victory" mosque at Ground Zero.

Hmm, good questions, Steve. There is a lot to cover here, so I'll take the points as you've written them. First, I have to repeat, it is not a mosque. Secondly, it is not on Ground Zero. I think you'd have to watch the word "hallowed", too, unless the ground you're talking about has actually been blessed by a priest or some other religious figure, like, say a cemetery.

Why exactly do you consider Ground Zero a cemetery?

A much more important point is the fact that the President is correct. That bit in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment about how "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof" proves it. That is still in effect, isn't it? I mean for everyone besides you and the people you like, right? If so, then great, and you're wrong about President Obama (somehow, writing that never gets old) being wrong about it. If not, then you and I somehow woke up in different countries this morning, which I find a fascinating prospect.

I confess I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh very often, but I don't think he gets the nature of the Muslim world particularly well if he considers the project to be "planting a flag of victory" for the Muslim world. See, Muslims are not a rank and file group of people. They're roughly 1.5 billion individuals living all over the world who rarely agree with each other on anything. In terms of segmentation and sects, the Muslims are fighting each other over religious views and practice far more than they are us or anyone else. The idea that they are somehow all in synch with each other is just dumb. Hell, the idea that  Christians are all in synch is dumb. The idea that a Sufi is the same as an Islamist is insulting to Sufis.

What do you remember about 9-11, by the way? I remember 9-11 because I was there. I don't remember a lot of flag waving or holding hands and singing the national anthem they way you might, but I do remember police and firefighters risking death and bodily harm to evacuate what few people could be evacuated from the towers before they crumbled. I remember a lot more of then, as well as civil engineers, construction workers, FEMA employees, and EMTs busting their humps trying to dig people out of the wreckage hours, days, and weeks afterward. Many of them literally have not been in good health since. I especially remember choking on the smells of crud, blood, and death as my wife and I walked across the 59th street bridge to Queens, then rushing to Elmhurst Hospital to donate blood. I even remember George W. Bush visiting the site a few days later, hanging onto a fire chief for a photo op thereby preventing him from doing his job.

I do not remember seeing you there. Where were you that day, exactly?

Equally disturbing is the fact that YOUR tax dollars are
helping to make the "victory" mosque possible!

      Grassfire Nation has learned that the man behind the
      mosque is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a man with known
      terrorist associations who publicly blamed U.S.
      policies for the 9-11 attacks. He has been hired
      by the U.S. State Department to travel to throughout
      the Middle East (on your dime) trying to foster
      better Muslim/U.S. relations.

      Another "unofficial" function of the trip is to

      fund-raise for the "victory" mosque at Ground Zero!

My tax dollars fund a lot of things I don't agree with: megabank bailouts, two unnecessary foreign wars and 1000+ redundant military bases around the world, for starters. In any case, Steve, you must watch your increasingly histrionic tone. It's getting to the point where if you say something I start to imagine that you're misrepresenting it or outright lying to get money from people, and that is dishonest, to put it lightly. For example, calling the FBI a terrorist organization is a bad idea. Imam Rauf's work at improving relations with the Muslim world go back to well before 9-11 (which George W. Bush might have prevented if he'd paid attention). As to his visits to Qatar, Bahrain and The United Arab Emirates, Steve, we like those countries.  The State Department has a long, long history of hiring people to visit our friends to maintain friendly international relations (they are generally known as "ambassadors.") That's its job. Deal with it. 

And that was what I found out just from ten minutes of looking through Wikipedia.

In other words, Steve, from one American to another: stop being a racist fuck.

Jonathan, this is an abomination that should motivate

EVERY American to take immediate action against this move.

I am taking action. I've written you this letter and begun shopping
for appropriate clothing to wear at Cordoba House's ribbon cutting ceremony. My conversion to Islam can wait. Anyway, putting up buildings in lower Manhattan is not an abomination–my grandfather did that for forty years. Eating shrimp, however, is.

That's why Grassfire Nation has launched our petition – to
give citizens from across the nation an opportunity to sound

off in opposition of this "victory" mosque in the shadows of 9-11.

Why exactly do "citizens from across the nation" think that they get a vote on how NYC does business within its own borders? Turning on right wing talk radio usually just gets me an earful on how New York City is hell on Earth. If you live here, even part-time, that's another story. How many signatures have you gotten from people with addresses in the five boroughs?

Please take a moment to add your name to this petition by

clicking below:

http://www.grassfire.net/r.asp?u=31138&RID=14353679

No.

Not taking swift action would be an affront to the memories

of those who were murdered and those who are still today
fighting to keep future terror attacks from coming to our

shores.

No it isn't. Not taking action is merely an affront to you and the self-righteous politicians you routinely stump for.

So when House Speaker Pelosi calls for an investigation into
those Americans who are opposing the mosque, she should be
shouted down by hundreds of thousands of grassroots citizens
who refuse to sit silently while an Islamic "victory" flag

is hoisted and flown at Ground Zero.

Well, maybe–God knows that Nancy Pelosi is not my favorite person–but as I just wrote, those hundreds of thousands of grassroots citizens can, in my opinion, get back on the big red bus and go home to the big wide terror- and job-free states where they live. They have no more business trying to tell New Yorkers how to handle their affairs than President Obama (I love writing that!) does.

As soon as we reach our goal of 200,000 petitions, we will
get them into the hands of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
(who also supports the mosque), New York Governor David Paterson

and other key officials.

Bloomberg and Patterson will also tell you to get back on the big red bus and go home. You're welcome to try, though. Get 200,000 signatures from conservatives who live in the five boroughs or New York state as the case may be, then you may have something interesting to show them. Actually, now that I think about it, Bloomberg may care if he wants another term as Mayor. Patterson will almost certainly not be running again, so he probably won't.

Our nation is under siege, and we are calling on YOU to take

action with us right now.

Yes but it's under siege from bigoted PAC-men like you, not the people engaged in Cordoba House's affairs.

Thank you in advance for standing with Grassfire Nation and in
honor of the memories of those Americans who were murdered
on 9-11.

Grassfire Nation

Thank you for your time and attention, Steve. I look forward to hearing from you again soon. Your letters are always educational and entertaining.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Frater

P.S.: President Obama!

P.P.S.: President Barack Hussein Obama!

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