Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Imagine a congressional hearing titled, "Christianity and GLBT Hate Crimes" or "Radical Christians and the Murder of Abortion Providers." I'm guessing that many of us would feel more than a bit perplexed at the premise of those hearings, not because there has never been any relationship between Christian beliefs and those acts of violence, but because the government is heading down a very troubling road when they start to investigate -- and hold up for public shaming (?) -- the religious traditions that may provide the impetus for certain individuals to engage in the objectionable conduct. So how should we as Christians respond to Rep. King's hearings on "Radicalization in the American Muslim community?" Especially in today's climate, when anti-Muslim hysteria appears to be growing in some circles, I fear that these hearings will create more heat than light. At the same time, I don't want the government to turn a blind eye to the power of any group, religious or otherwise, to form "true believers" who will engage in evil acts. So as Catholics committed to both religious liberty and the common good, how should we advise Rep. King?