In all the discussion of last weekend’s deadly shooting in Orlando, much has been made of the shooter’s purported religious affiliation, and once again, Donald Trump has renewed calls to ban all Muslims from the country.

Apart from being racist, illegal, impractical and ultimately ineffective (since the Orlando shooter was a U.S. citizen who was born in New York), this specious argument is remarkably hypocritical and amnesic.

It has only been a short few short months since mass shooter Robert Lewis Dear Jr. attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs because of his twisted individual interpretation of radical Christianity. No one, of course, suggested then – nor are they suggesting now – that all Christians should be barred from entering the United States or that they should be put on a watch list.

Yet it is clear that certain radical so-called Christians are just as likely as certain radical so-called Muslims to act out violently and with deadly force against those who do not share their particular beliefs. Indeed, anyone can use a twisted interpretation of almost any religion as a pretense to commit violent acts, but that is not grounds to condemn an entire faith.

In fact, last weekend’s horrific mass shooting in Orlando is a stark reminder of the dangers of intolerance carried to its logical and lethal extreme. It is also a reminder that it is far too easy for mentally unstable persons with criminal backgrounds to get access to deadly assault weapons in this country.

Janet Lynch


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