I'm realizing that I'm proudly part of this nation's political system called at different times progressive, liberal, "socialist." I believe that our country was founded on the principle that a person was free to determine their own faith stance, and not have to worry about a group in power dictating whether or not they could practice that faith - and yes, I also believe there are limits that are rightfully placed on that freedom. I believe that extremism in ANY of it's varied forms is wrong - be it Islamic, Jewish, Christian, or related to the birth gifts of an individual someone doesn't like (if they even know nothing about that person).
This morning I noted a news story about one of our nation's law enforcement organizations raiding the facilities of Christian militia - with the notation that one of those raided sites had called another to seek a hiding site. Now, why are you calling for a hiding place, IF you aren't doing something wrong? If the police showed up at my apartment and demanded to search, I would step back, because I know I'm doing nothing that would get me in trouble.
I keep listening to the political pundits from the right, yelling about the Islamic extremists, and defending home-grown terrorists who have decided murder is justifiable to support their particular politico-religious point of view. I don't care if it is someone who fires a rocket blindly into Israel, who uses tanks to destroy the homes of innocents because they SUSPECT the homes are being used for attacks, who put pipe bombs in a plaza filled with people celebrating the human spirit and enjoying the athletic endeavors of the best of the best, or someone who uses a high powered rifle or hand gun to shoot that "damned" abortion doctor - extremism is extremism, and it is wrong.
I've worked hand in hand with Jews, Christians and Muslims to address social issues in more than one of the churches I've served over my 30+ years of pastoral ministry, and found them all to be people of faith, concern and a desire for a better life. I've worked with so-called straight, gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals - again finding them just as appalled by those of any of those persuasions who abuse they positions of power to abuse persons under their care.
Face it, people, there are good and bad in every group, every nation, every persuasion. So, let's stop acting like only "my" point of view is valid, only "my" faith perspective is right. If we learn to work together, we will find a lot of this nation's problems being answered as they were meant to be answered.