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Krauthammer’s Sacrilege: When Reactionaries Fire Up their Sunday Missals–and Miss

| August 15, 2010

ground zero hallowed ground sept. 11 charles krauthammer sacred

Where hallowed meets hollow. (© FlaglerLive)

I woke up this morning to a curious comment in the piece on Obama’s Ramadan message, where the president defends the building of an Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero. “After reading many of the posts on here, It’s obvious more people are against Christianity than where the mosque is being built,” the commenter wrote. She has a point: When Christianity is misrepresented as somehow either superior, cleaner or more virtuous than Islam, the record ought to be corrected. Islam’s massacres have a few centuries to go before they catch up to the genocidal graveyards of Christianity.

The commenter then reached for scriptures: the latest column by Charles Krauthammer, with the kind of headline you’d get if you cross-fertilized the Inquisition with National Lampoon: “Sacrilege at Ground Zero.” The real sacrilege was the cut-and-paste job of almost the entire column in a comment, on this site. But we’ll let that one pass: Policing idiocy is futile (and more dangerous than spreading it). Undressing it is more useful.

Krauthammer’s point is that the Islamic center should not go up “at” or near Ground Zero for the same reason that the Pope years ago told Carmelite nuns in Poland to leave a convent they’d established near the Auschwitz death camp (once again Charles, near, not at). And for the same reason that Disney’s attempt to build a theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated in 1993, or that a commercial viewing tower near the Gettysburg battlefield was taken down.

Krauthammer’s comparisons are as vile as they’re false. At Auschwitz and Gettysburg Carmelites and Disney were rebuffed for good reason: they’d have been stood out in extreme contrast to the grounds in question, which, at Auschwitz especially, are surrounded by a buffer of, let’s say it, sacred emptiness.

The Live Column

What’s Ground Zero surrounded by? Forget about two blocks away. Let’s go literally across the street and take an inventory. Let’s walk up Trinity Place beginning at Liberty Street, catty-corner from the blasted grounds. There’s a Starbucks right there, one of many in the perimeter, in the same building as a dental implants center and a bunch of CPAs. Very sacred, those. Walk up past Maiden Lane. There’s a Century 21 department store. No, not the real estate company, but the place to “turn heads this year” because the place is “here to chic you out.” Oh yes, Charlie, Ground Zero “belongs to those who suffered and died there.” Absolutely. Let’s make sure they bring their credit card. Walk up past Dey Street. Look at that: the Millenium Hilton, site of a thousand Wall Street scores a day that keep Wall Street adulteries and shareholder call girls more lubed up than Richard Simmons in his prime. Superb “lesson in respect,” all that not-so-metaphorical screwing in full, unobstructed view (viewing tower style) of the place where 3,000 souls were pulverized. Let us bow at the patriotic altar of executive blow jobs and coital ladder-climbing and by all means, “show some special sensitivity to the situation.” CEO balls are the unquestioned dribble of American business.

Let’s take a quick shower, call the wife back in Jersey and continue our little jaunt, past the Payless Shoesource. Did I mention the McDonald’s and the Majestic Pizza earlier? Did we ask for fries with that prayer to the heroes of 9/11? Here’s St. Paul Chapel along Vessey Street–careful not to fall of your ass on your road to Damascus, Charles–, and across from that, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, the acceptable kind of religious houses of worship because they’re one of us, and Christian genocide is, well, another story. Besides, the Catholic church isn’t really in full view of Ground Zero. There’s a building right there at the corner of Vessey and Church with… why, yes! It’s Jean Louis David, where you can get that botox look without the botox, and under $1,000. A look even a Carmelite would envy, mortal sins aside. Make a left on Vesey Street. Here’s the New York Department of Health, site of a million diseases, free condoms by the thousands, female condoms too (come get yours: easier finding them there than in Flagler County), convenient, too, for those cheapskates not wanting to pay for their own before going to the Millennium Hilton. It’s also where Lower Manhattan’s hardest-working women get treated for all the diseases they pick up from Wall Street’s Most Moral and Upstanding Men. Excellent location right there across from the former towers, “unlike any other place.”

And we’re just getting started. Haven’t touched on those other houses of worship lining the grounds–the banks, the law firms, the telecommunication companies, the other kind of churches (there’s an Orthodox one somewhere in the mix), the other McDonlad’s and fast-food joints, all as wonderfully sacred and hallowed as that other kind of hole–not so hallowed, necessary though it is and common to every one of us–from where asinine comparisons find inspiration.

And then Krauthammer’s climax: the Aulaqi slander. (“Who is to say that the mosque won’t one day hire an Anwar al-Aulaqi — spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood shooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and onetime imam at the Virginia mosque attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?”). It’s the classic smear of 1.5 billion Muslims with the terrorism of a few fanatics who have as much in common with Islam as Krauthammer does with intellectual honesty.

Krauthammer might get his head out of his Aulaqi and look at the American scene around him, its 6 to 8 million Muslims and reigning champion-victims of double standards especially. When he writes columns like that, those Muslims are more American than he is on his best Fox-waving day.

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24 Responses for “Krauthammer’s Sacrilege: When Reactionaries Fire Up their Sunday Missals–and Miss”

  1. Kevin says:

    “Islam’s massacres have a few centuries to go before they catch up to the genocidal graveyards of Christianity.” …No more than those created by wars pushing back the invading Muslim hordes begining around the deterioration of the Byzantine Empire times through today.

    Why is it the past actions of Christians and for that matter man in general, during times when they were of a barbarian and uncivilized mindset is referred to when addressing current and forward looking issues? The facts of the matter indicate that currently and looking forward to the future, Islamic extremism is a very serious and growing problem globally. In today’s modern times, where are the so called “moderate Muslims” to condemn the violence erupting around the world based on the instructions of Muhammad?

    So while I agree the past genocidal graveyards of the Christian past exists, they pale in relative comparison to the atrocities we see being committed today because we live in a modern and significantly more enlightened world. Yet the world sits idle allowing the followers of the Quran and Muhammad , to act in a barbarian fashion, in plain view for the world to see. Given the elevated level of thinking and knowledge of modern day man, why shouldn’t we forcefully and passionately be vocal and active in our disdain for what we clearly see is a major problem, supported by evidence in other countries that now suffer internal turmoil due to Islamification?

  2. NortonSmitty says:

    Kevin, just when did Christianity move into this modern and enlightened phase? I must have missed the memo. Was it after the Pope ignored or even condoned Hitlers final solution? Or after the Serbs (Orthodox) and Croats (Catholic) finally came together after centuries of fighting to exterminate the Turks (Muslims) of Kosovo just a few years back?

    The ebb and flow of religious power has gone on forever. The spread of Christianity to the New World was funded by the plunder of Incan gold by the Spaniards and tobacco and cotton by the British. That’s why South America is almost exclusively Catholic and the North is mostly Protestant of course, but we don’t even think about the why anymore.. (Come to think of it, it might be the reason the Red State fundamentalists are more upset about a Mexican invasion than if they were Canadians.)

    Islam is feeling it’s oats these days because at about 1500 years of age, it’s the same unruly teenage we Christians were at our Crusade. And like us, they are defending and expanding their beliefs because they have the ability to finally fund it, with oil. So it’s their duty to spread their Word, now that they’re able. The Koran says so just as the Bible gave us our marching orders in about 1500 Anno Domingo.

    Almost every major flashpoint and atrocity in the world these days is where Islam bumps against non Muslim. Kosovo, Rwanda, Kashmir, Darfur, Chechnya. Or where we have Economic Interests that are claimed by Muslims. Iraq/Iran for oil, Afghanistan for a Pipeline, Etc. We will know it’s getting serious when they start fighting in Saudi Arabia.

    They also have a belief that it is a Holy War where the Islamic world is the last holdout on a planet otherwise totally dominated by a Banking/Corporate/Media/Government entity that is controlled by the Jews, a point of view that we rarely hear about here in the States. Go figure.

    We’ve always had religious wars. If there is ever a time in my life there isn’t, I’m going to look around and see who won. And get very worried.

  3. kmedley says:

    Have any of the places of business and/or places of worship been built since 9-11? Are any of them funded by radical extremists? Would those organizations open their financial ledgers if asked? Would any of them contribute to the Free Gaza movement or help with the latest flotilla to be named The Audacity of Hope?

    The terrorists struck at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and possibly either Congress or the White House (we will never know thanks to those brave souls that gave the ultimate sacrifice in a field in Pennsylvania) for a reason. The Towers represented our economic strength and power in the world. The Pentagon is our military strength and either Congress or the White House represent our liberties.

    How many journalists, Congressmen, Senators and members of the Bush White House urged Americans to get back to our lives before 9-11 because to do anything else would dishonor those that died? Of those businesses named in the trip down Ground Zero Memory Lane, how many were originally housed in the Twin Towers or in some other part of the World Trade Center complex? How many of their businesses were destroyed and they have simply rebuilt?

    At least the ladies of the Millenium Hilton are honest about what they do. Can you say the same for this Imam? The ladies provide a service for which they are paid. It’s called capitalism and it’s the oldest form of capitalism.

    The scenario Krauthammer presents, “Who is to say that the mosque won’t one day hire an Anwar al-Aulaqi — spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood shooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and onetime imam at the Virginia mosque attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?”, is a plausible consideration. How long did the 9-11 terrorists lay in wait and blend in with our society before they launched the planned attacks? Wouldn’t it be convenient if they had a “community center” that looked down upon Ground Zero to use as their training, I mean spiritual center?

    Finally, as much as Progressives would like to erase this from our history, our country was founded upon Judeo-Christian values and beliefs. The preface to the Bill of Rights, which includes the First Amendment, is that Congress shall make no law ……… There were 9 official religions at the time of the ratification of the Constitution, many of them were official state religions. The Federal government could not make any law that would infringe upon the guarantees outlined in the Bill of Rights, but the states could.

    This Imam seeks to institute Sharia law and the eventual formation of an Islamic State. How many are comfortable with the teachings of Sharia law and with New York being an Islamic State? Keep being tolerant and turning the cheek every time we are slapped in the face and that’s what the poor misunderstood radical followers of Islam will attain.

  4. Pierre Tristam says:

    What do you have against the “free Gaza movement”? Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza is a crime against humanity, unforgivably tolerated and in part financed by the United States. If you want to stir-fry any analogies with terrorism as far as Gaza is concerned, Israel is the terrorist, not Gaza’s population. You should be lining up to free Gaza, not piling on with silly analogies. The rest of your comment would take too much time to refute, and I have a few articles to put out yet, so I’ll leave it to others to do the refuting, except for one thing: enough falsehoods about that Imam, who’s got more credentials as a peace-monger in his little finger than any majority of Congress since the Truman administration. If you believe that business about the Imam’s dreams of an Islamic state in the United States, I have some great Enron stock to sell you real cheap. A sure thing, too. Thanks for the perspective though. Smitty, he’s all yours.

  5. notasenior says:

    There is a Catholic church one block from Ground Zero. It was the first Catholic church built in New York. It is the first because of the anti-catholic sentiment in the colonies. Just what have we learned from the many examples of intolerance history has offered us? If you listen to the right wing nut jobs – not much.
    Their leader, Glenn Beck, is now on a crusade against churches that teach “social justice.” He says “social justice” is no where in the Bible. If that’s true just what were all those refences in the O.T. about helping widows and orphans referring to? And Jesus may not have used the term “social justice,” but I could have sworn that I have read a gospel or two about helping others.
    Daily I despise the right, and their hateful vitrol, more and more

  6. kmedley says:

    So was the US blockade against the Soviets during the “13 days” of the Kennedy administration illegal? That’s how Israel feels, only Hamas is closer than 90 miles offshore. Israel is an independent country and as such has every right to defend its borders and its people. Hamas and Hezbollah, along with backing from Iran seek the destruction of Israel, not to live side by side in peace and harmony. Israel allows humanitarian needs through, much as Egypt does through its borders. But why should any country allow a flotilla, filled with arms designed to hurt its citizens, to dock and unload its cargo? “Israel is the terrorist”, tell that to the Israeli families that live with rockets launched into their neighborhoods every day and night.

    If the “falsehoods” about this Imam are as you say, then there shouldn’t be any problem with the Imam providing a full disclosure of his connections with the flotilla and the complete accounting for the funding of the mosque should be made public. What acts of peace has this Imam brought about? He wants to build a bridge; yet all he does is to continue to poke his finger in the eye of America.

  7. Kevin says:


    Yes, you missed the memo because of persons like yourself subscribe only to the most topical and negative generalizations about the church be honest. Are you able to admit that it also has spread hope, peace,and help to millions more this century than pain as haters of the church often report?

    If I’m not mistaken the marching order did come much earlier somewhere around 1060 AD to reject the oncoming armies of the Muslim crusaders of the first of many crusades. I’m no expert though…

    Notasenior: Glenn Beck nails the pin on the head with a sledgehammer when it comes to his analysis of social justice according to what I have heard from him and some very articulate individuals that have commented on the issue as well. It seems the truth hurts more when your way on the left and tres gauche as you sound:) Don’t hate the right for being…right.

  8. Anita says:

    “What if they . . .?” ” Suppose they . . .?” ” Do you think they might . . .?” ” . . .how many (businesses) were housed in the Twin towers?” “How many were rebuilt?” Conjecture! Supposition! Guessing!

    Because much of what passes for news lately is pure speculation, innuendo and outright gossip, some of us have begun to believe our conclusions based on “what ifs” and mob inspired fears are rational. I find it fascinating that people who never visited NYC and have no plans to do so, as well as legislators who voted against funding for disability payments to First Responders suffering the ill-effects of the rescue efforts are suddenly so concerned with the “sensibilities” of the families of 9-11 victims, among whom were Muslims. Okay, so you “sensitive folk” sit around and count your fears if you wish, but before you attempt to occupy the high ground, think about this:

    The core of Judaism is written in the TEN COMMANDMENTS, period, end of sentence. The rest is crap.

    The core of Christianity is even more elegantly simple: DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU. Not exactly rocket science is it? Difficult ? Yes! Requires effort? Absolutely!

    Less fear and more faith in the God you endlessly refer to would make your motives and your words a hell of a lot more convincing.

  9. notasenior says:

    It’s really sad that you have to rely on others to form your point of view. It’s alright to research things for yourself. That’s what us grown ups do. So just open the Bibble, just about any page will do, and then try and tell me that Glenn “I am the lord” Beck is correct. The right is wrong!!!

  10. J.J. Graham says:

    Glenn Beck is the Anti-Christ.

  11. notasenior says:


  12. NortonSmitty says:

    The Cuban Blockade illegal? It was a friggin act of war! That’s why the Nukes almost flew. Any blockade is according to universally recognized international laws, conventions, treaties and the UN. For centuries. Israel ignores this and technically is not breaking the law only because it will not let the Palestinians become an independent state with international recognition. To be fair, the Palestinians could have had a state years ago, but were pigheaded enough to want all their land back, not just the worthless parts. The blockade is strangling the Gaza, the children are suffering from malnourishment according to all respected relief agencies including the Red Cross. In the words of the Israeli Prime Minister, “We don’t want to starve the Palestinians, but we do want to put them on a diet.” Ha Ha.

    The Twin Towers represented financial power all right, but not ours. They were the US headquarters of all the European banks, insurance and industrial concerns, the majority Jewish owned, that’s why they’ve always been a target for Muslim extremists. Although you would never read that anywhere in this country.

    As I posted on another topic, all religions have their fringe groups, their nutcases that distort the Message. Jews have the Kahane Movement, Hindu’s have Pramod Mutalik-Desai who blew up a courtroom full of Muslims petitioning for more rights in India. Christians have too many to count and every Islamic sect has their own brand of Looneytunes that blow things up to defend the thousands year old beliefs that are under attack.

    By linking the terror attacks to the Mosque to Islam we are playing right into the radicals hands. Because nothing will livey up the crowd and get those donations rolling in like telling them their under attack, whether they’re in Pews or on Prayer Rugs, works every time. Just ask Pat Robertson (War on Christmas anyone?)

    Saying that building a Mosque near the Towers is a defamation of hallowed ground because of the actions of the fringe only will strengthen that fringe. It is the same as saying that we must never have a Christian Church on a Military base because it’s an insult to our brave soldiers. Haven’t you seen the crazy Christians from the Westboro Baptist sect picketing their funerals? Those Christians are all nuts!

    That’s your reasoning in a Nutshell.

  13. Kevin says:


    Maybe you should call yourself notareader because all I said was I agreed with what I’ve herd GB say on the matter of social justice. Did I “form an opinion on the matter” on only his analysis only or say such? No.

    Read, read, read my secretive-hater friend.

  14. Rafael says:

    @Kevin: WTF? The minute you cited Glenn Beck as a source is the minute you lost any and all credibility to make a rational comment.

  15. BW says:

    The point I think that gets lost in all of this because of the religious aspect is the plain and simple fact that we are a country that by law doesn’t discriminate. For the protect-the-Constitution-at-all-costs people, these issues cause a dilemma. Because these issues fall under constitutional protections, but these are the issues that expose those same people for the hypocrits they are. In all honesty, the Constitution is defended only when it is convenient for their arguments.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but those opposed to this feel that the government should step in and deny this group (forget they are Muslim right now) their rights to build on the land they own within guideline of New York? You feel that the government should make this decision?

    The fact of the matter is that freedom comes with costs. People such as Beck and their agendas would actually deny freedom not protect it. Their ideas are formulated around imposing their values on others, and if they actually achieved that . . . you would have to impose controls. Welcome to the real communist movement. Not the one they try to pin on President Obama.

    Is Islamic extremism an issue globally? Absolutely. In fact, the victim angle they continuously use to keep it fueled is the same tactic far-right Republicans like to use too. Fortunately, the Republicans are too lazy to actually do anything that is other just being annoying. But it is not ok in my values system to brand everyone who is Muslim as a terrorist (or a future one). How can one actually expect respect for themselves if they have no respect for others especially those that are different.

  16. some guy says:

    I still do not see the peolpe (lib or onserv) who do not want this thing built on this spot so close to the isamic terrorist atack on our nation asking for our law to stop it. They are asking the muslims to find another spot and asking why in that spot so close to all that happend??? They have picked that spot BECAUSE it is so close. So close that parts of one of the planes hit that spot. I find it disgusting that some are trying to add blame for this to others (jews Christians Bankers ??/). The blame is and should be on the ones who did it planed it financed it and danced in their streets after it was done ALL muslims. All muslims are not bad but all where and are muslims. I agree that our LAWS should not stop this but it should not be. the dominant voice and face of islam is no friend to freedom or the U.S.A.

  17. Kevin says:

    I see there is a mosque merely two blocks from the planned site…I guess there is a need to have one every other block as they do in various places in other countries. Let’s ask the people of England how this has worked out for them. Sometimes common sense is needed to solve a problem.

  18. NortonSmitty says:

    Isn’t it sacrilegious to mention common sense and religion in the same sentence?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Having faith doesn’t equate into a lack of common sense. Humans are inclined to be spiritual because of search for explainations for their lives and their surroundings. The mysteries of life and the unimaginable cosmic possibilites both seen and theorized, lead the majority to believe in some type of supreme power or Being in our universe.

    Is there anyone who at least once in their life didn’t have something so profound happen to them, feeling as though their Maker watched over or was protecting them? I understand there are those also that feel that man is here because of hundred of millions of years of combining elements and a shred of genome created us and that is fine. However I chose to believe as I do and other because every day I awake to the knowledge of the miracle of the human body with its various infinitely amazing systems interacting together. I choose what you see as fantasy because I believe that there is something greater than just us, instead of those who intellectualize and pimp-out this fine world for their own reuptake, using more than they need, and also giving back less than they took.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Christians seek to bring other’s to Christ through their example and service to others. Muslims wish to conquer the world either peacefully or by the sword. Christians do not kill those who refuse to convert, Muslims do. This is not what Christianity is about at all. Muslims are known in these times for their zeal in spreading their religion, whether by peaceful means or by the sword.

    Under Islam, land once possessed by Islam, if subsequently lost to an invader, remains land that is holy to Islam. It is especially imperative that such lost lands be restored to the rightful rule of Islam. Considering this it becomes patently obvious to me why this and other locations spawn like a virus throughout the globe.

    While I support any individual’s right to worship any deity in accordance with the dictates of their own heart, as it is by their own heart’s conviction they will be judged before an Almighty Creator. Any religion that commands conversion through whimsical tyranny and man-made dogma and total submission or death to the infidel is not a religion but a metasticizing cancer of the soul, preying especially on the poor and impovershed, and a danger to any society as a whole. The more you learn of the true nature of Islam the less sacred it will expose itself to be.

    Where are those vocal souls that are quick and loud in their attacks on Christianity when it comes to the crimes of Islam? There comes a time when a society, relying on common sense, must be nimble enough not to chose courses of action that are detrimental to it.

  21. Pierre Tristam says:

    Anonymous, at least have the courage to sign your name to your anachronistic tripe.

  22. Kevin says:

    Anachronistic? Pierre, there is nothing anachronistic about my comments. They may be poorly written but the basis of my comments is quite current.

    Now I feel you’ll never want to say hello should you meet me:)


    Me (Kevin)

  23. Bob K says:

    Israel’s blockade of Gaza is a crime against humanity? What do you call it when you give the Palestinians the West Bank and Gaza strip as a good start for a peace process, and they use it to bring rockets closer to Israel? What do you call it when Hamas uses their new, closer vantage point to fire said rockets more accurately, then hide behind women and children in neighborhoods in the hope that they will be killed so they can use their mangled bodies for propaganda? I don’t know what you CALL it, but I think a blockade is a reasonable response which prevents Hamas from obtaining more rockets, while saving the lives of the innocent women and children that the Hamas members would happily sacrifice for their cause. Now THAT, is safeguarding humanity.

  24. JIM R says:

    Anytime I watch the Krauthamer , I watch him as you would a great deadpan comedian, surely no serius person would say what he says except in jest or to mock his audience.

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