The tragic news from Orlando dominated the week's media, as once again someone with easy access to military-style weaponry takes dozens of lives. According to Donald Trump and John McCain, this is all Barack Obama's fault (of course). Personally, we think if you want to go back and point fingers, you'd have to include George W. Bush.
For Donald Trump or anyone else to single out the negative, destructive, and, yes, evil passages of the Quran (or how some sects or cults within Islam co-opt, distort, and attempt to hijack the overall messages) without doing so as well with the holy books of Judaism and Christianity demonstrates a hierarchical double standard.
They say that America is the land of the free. It's a principle upon which our nation was built, enshrined in the First Amendment and the national anthem taught in schools. But as I hiked into the woods to find a place to hide my sacred eagle feathers out of fear of being arrested, I wondered how free we really are.
The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by Governor Mike Pence last week, is one of the most biased pieces of state legislation we've seen in our modern era. The fact that it is cloaked in the name of religious freedom is particularly offensive to me as a member of the clergy who has been engaged in ministry and social justice work my entire life.
It is time for Muslim imams to lead their flocks in recognizing free speech and free exercise of religion as integral part of Islam. It is time for Western societies to stop asking Muslims what they feel every time radicals perpetrate yet another spectacular act of violence. Only then will "Je suis Charlie" find real meaning.