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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Not Seeing Is Apparently Still Believing

We are, by and large, a visual culture. We thrive on being able to "see" something in order to believe that it's not only true but that it is in important to us. This aspect of our existence has taken a very peculiar turn in recent years, as many of us are relying heavily on what others tell us is or isn't there. Many of us are no longer "seeing" what is actually around us but are merely "believing" what we are being told is there.

Early this morning Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight had a post that clearly illustrated this point as it relates to the alleged "Ground Zero Mosque" in New York City - Cordoba House. And while this is not specifically a "mosque" and most certainly NOT at "Ground Zero", the perceptions of far too many have been distorted by the likes of Fox"News" as far back as May, but has been disseminated throughout the conservative blogging realm by the likes of Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, to Sarah Palin.

Those that are against this Muslim center seem to be ignoring not only the facts surrounding it, but the realities of other buildings that are near "Ground Zero" that you can't see right away.

Recently, I came across a posting at Bob Cesca's blog that talked about a strip0-club that was located the same approximate distance that Cordoba House would be located from the former site of WTC Towers 1 and 2. And as the author of the piece rightly points out, where is the outrage surrounding the "exploitation of women" near such hallowed ground?

I can almost hear conservatives complaints that strippers and Muslims can't be compared, but I think this is also a matter of perception versus perspective. Not all strippers are coked-up floozies that take drugs and leave their children in seedy hotel rooms while they turn tricks and spread diseases. Likewise, not all Muslims are willing to strap a bomb vest on and charge into a building filled with children and blow the structure into dust in order to further their religious beliefs.

Modern American thought, and most certainly that since Sept. 11th 2001, toward Islamic faith is that everyone that practices it hates America and all that dwell within her borders. To be blunt, this is a complete load of shit. The ironic flip side to this is that modern American thought, most expressly shown by the conservative movement of the 21 century, is that Christianity is pure and untarnished, even though this is the religion that is used to excuse all manner of actions against gays, lesbians, members of other religions, or even how the average American - regardless of specific orientation - is treated do they not follow the socio-political guidelines of conservative teachings.

Conservatives of the modern era have become more and more susceptible to openly and unflinchingly embracing misleading information and outright lies surrounding a variety of subjects. This is troubling because their vision is being obscured by those they are framing the narrative they are following. Why is it that conservatives lack the ability to walk around their world and look at what is really there? I'm sure they would find that much of what they are being told doesn't match up with what they see.

As an aside, one can but wonder how people like Malkin, Hannity, or Palin would react if a Baptist church was build just a few blocks from a Planned Parenthood building that was attacked by an unhinged conservative.

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