But now I believe that fear and bigotry were laying dormant in some Americans as we were preoccupied with oil spills and unemployment.
In the last few months we've seen some crazy fear-mongering over the so-called "Ground Zero mosque," which was quickly followed by some idiotic hillbilly pastor organizing "burn a Quran day." I can only conclude that many misguided Americans honestly believe that we are at war with the Islamic faith. It makes me literally sick to see religious intolerance becoming part of our mainstream political discourse.
We are just as irrational as ever.
The story of how one lone idiot, pimping an 18th-century brand of community terrorism, held the media hostage and forced some of this nation's most powerful people to their knees to fitfully beg an end to his wackdoodlery is an extraordinary one.I suppose that quote from Jason Linkins of the Huffington Post would make one think first of Osama bin Laden, but Linkins is of course referring to the aforementioned hillbilly pastor, Terry Jones.
Terry Jones has certainly found a way to make himself famous. Pat Robertson is surely jealous that some novice nobody trumped him on anti-Muslim rhetoric?
But what I've found most dangerous about the media's elevation of this story is the ability of one little fanatic in the U.S. to engage and enrage fanatics on the other side of the world -- bypassing all statesman, military Generals, and responsible adults. Consequently, the Secretary of Defense had to call this nimrod and tell him to shut up!
And though the Quran burning was canceled, I think the damage is done. Religious fanatics have been provoked into another round of hatred and intolerance. Haven't we learned anything?
President Obama wants us to know that "This is a difficult time for our country. And it's often in such moments that some try to stoke bitterness -- to divide us based on our differences, to blind us to what we have in common. But on this day, we are reminded that at our best, we do not give in to this temptation."