Hallowed Ground

by Thomas Sugrue

Finally something new in the tiresome debate about the "hallowed ground" that supposedly encompasses the proposed Burlington Coat Factory mosque near the World Trade Center.

For those of you more than a subway ride away, take this fabulous photo tour or this one of a neighborhood full of shrines to America's one true civil religion: unchecked capitalism in all of its excesses (Wall Street) and all of its tawdriness (the businesses that cater to Wall Streeters after hours).

In a walk of the streets within three blocks of Ground Zero, the Daily News counted 17 pizza shops, 18 bank branches, 11 bars, 10 shoe stores and 17 separate salons where a girl can get her lady parts groomed.

Not a lot of signs of The Divine in lower Manhattan, whether He (or She) be Christian or Islam or something else altogether.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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