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Debate Heats Up Over Jedi Church At Ground Zero
NEW YORK (CAP) - Lost in the shuffle of the controversy over a proposed mosque near the so-called Ground Zero location comes word that the New York City Department of Buildings has approved the construction of a Jedi Church less than 500 feet from the center of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This marks the building's final hurdle in a long two-year process.
"I believe that this is as important a test between the Force and the dark side as we'll see in our lifetime," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in announcing his support of the project. "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to construction delays."
Church leaders are hailing the decision as a step in the right direction to "pay proper homage to the good people of Alderaan." They say the church's proximity to Ground Zero also allows them to provide the Big Apple that extra layer of protection from the Muslims setting up shop down the street.
"Being a Jedi is more than just a belief in high personal ethics, it speaks to an individual's purpose and sense of morality within their personal Force," said Jedi Knight Chrad Mojam. "With that said, if those Islamic extremists even look at New York wrong, me and my trusty lightsaber are going to go radical on their Muslim ass."
However, despite promises to keep New Yorkers safe from things they can't be bothered to take the time to understand, the Jedi are finding themselves under fire from community activists who think the church will add insult to injury for the families of Death Star victims. A coalition of local businesses dubbed the Special Interest Talking Heads has vowed to appeal all zoning board decisions.
"Their intentions may be great, but what sort of element will they be bringing in?" asked SITH spokesperson Julie Campbell as CAP News caught up to her picketing outside the proposed church location. "We don't need stormtroopers descending on Lower Manhattan, let alone a visit from Lord Vader himself.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go use the Force," Campbell added.
One local business owner who asked not to be identified told CAP News that the SITH's efforts are not entirely altruistic, saying their opposition to the church is born out of frustration that a proposed shopping plaza was denied a construction permit. SITH President Donald Trump has promised he would build Darth Mall in memory of the 9/11 victims, not in spite of them.
"Mourn them do not. Miss them do not," said Trump. "Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is. And I know greed. And a little bit about jealousy, too, I suppose."
Jewish leaders had come out in favor of the church but later backtracked when they realized it was being created for Jediism and not Judaism. Calling it "just another day" in a lifetime "marked with persecution and typos," religious leaders likened it to the time they believed a new juice bar was being built specifically for their people to meet and mingle.
Jedi officials said once the church is built, they will then present their list of demands and requirements to complete their "full inclusion" into society. Among the items on the list are an exemption from property taxes, recognition of Feast Of The Ewoks as a (paid) holiday for practitioners, and the freedom to subjugate willing females dressed in the slave Leia costume from Return Of The Jedi.