Recently, I wrote a research paper on Christian extremists in America for my Terrorism and Genocide Sociology course specifically focusing on bombings of abortion clinics and the lack of U.S. acknowledgment of these terrorist crimes. Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, hatred and stereotyping of Muslim Americans dramatically increased, leading to the stigmatizing of an entire religion.
Hardly ever is light shined on acts of terrorism here in the United States. Shelley Shannon, a Christian extremist from Grants Pass, Ore., committed multiple terrorist crimes on individuals and abortion clinics in 1993. Cardinal Timothy Dolan from New York recently compared Christian extremists to the terrorist group ISIS. This was an interesting connection, given this country’s Christian-based values, we often fail to acknowledge that Christian extremists are almost as dangerous as Muslim extremists.
As Americans, we must recognize that such groups and individuals live among us and promote intolerance and hatred in the name of God. Another important thing to point out: every religion has a small segment of extremists, but we should not allow that small group dictate our laws and promote intolerance.
Huber Munoz, UC Merced undergraduate, Merced