Certain anti-Islamic wingnuts are proposing that the (not at) Ground Zero mosque be welcomed into its Manhattan neighborhood with the opening of various other business establishments. Faux's Greg Gutfield suggested a gay bar:
I am planning to build and open the first gay bar that caters not only to the west, but also Islamic gay men. To best express my sincere desire for dialogue, the bar will be situated next to the mosque Park51, in an available commercial space.
This is not a joke. I've already spoken to a number of investors, who have pledged their support in this bipartisan bid for understanding and tolerance.
As you know, the Muslim faith doesn't look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I'm building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world.
National Review's Jonah Goldberg followed up with pork products and free puppies:
Numerous readers say they wanted to open a strip club across the street. Others: A pork store (like Satriales in the Sopranos). I for one don't see why you have to pick just one. A strip club/gay bar with many pork dishes on the menu (and elsewhere) might work just fine. Bonus: They could give away puppies!
Andrew Sullivan (usually a voice of reason on the Right) has begun a Name That Bar contest, calling the idea not facetious, but "fantastic:"
That's exactly the right response to an expression of religious freedom: the expression of freedom for gay people as well. In fact, it's such a great idea that it could be followed across the country: gay bars right next to churches and mosques that condemn homosexuality
The alliterative punster in me suggests "Burqas, Booze, & Bacon" or "Eat Pork and Get Porked" as suitable--if snarky--names.
The idea that we could build Planned Parenthood clinics next to Catholic cathedrals or a brewery next to some Baptists brings to mind a recent news story where the Columbus Dispatch reports that strippers are counter-protesting a bunch of busybody Bible-thumpers. Pastor Bill Dunfee of the New Beginnings Ministries church offers the conciliatory declaration that "The word of Jesus Christ says you cannot share territory with the devil."
Every weekend for the last four years, Dunfee and members of his ministry have stood watch over [Tom] George's [strip] joint, taking up residence in the right of way with signs, video cameras and bullhorns in hand. They videotape customers' license plates and post them online, and they try to save the souls of anyone who comes and goes.
One hopes that New York's Muslims will be more agreeable to living in a pluralistic society than Ohio's Christians.
update (8/11 @ 9:46am):
Pandagon's Amanda Marcotte points out that there are already gay bars in the vicinity of Park51, although it's unclear whether or not they cater specifically to an Islamic clientele:
If you look at this picture, and you're not too stupid to breathe (sorry, wingnuts!), you should immediately see two things that make this whole "let's put a gay bar by the Cordoba House and see liberal heads explode!" wishful thinking look even stupider than it is on its surface: 1) There are three gay bars within .1 mile of the Cordoba House and 2) They are all as close or closer to the Cordoba House than the WTC is.
So, wingnuts, remember this when trying to craft "jokes" in the future. Just because you're so uptight and repressed that the mere idea of seeing the front door of a gay bar makes your blood pressure rise in a combination of bigotry and sexual excitement that you fear ever speaking aloud doesn't mean that everyone else shares your freakishness. Especially not in New York.