Stereotypes are harmful not only because they demean an entire group, but also because they can lead people to translate their mental prejudices into hateful behavior and various forms of institutional discrimination.
When the trumped-up passions of "Innocence of Muslims" cool, burnt-out buildings will be repaired, diplomatic dances will reboot. But who will stand up for the freedom to disbelieve, to criticize and to mock?
When I first heard that there was not a shred of evidence discovered in the Sinai Desert that a large number of Jews had wandered for 40 years, I thought that wasn't such a big deal. I mean, it's a desert, right?
Standing for religious liberty as well as the freedom to question and even refuse religion as an absolute or inevitable path often "ordained" at birth, is not always a symptom of being radical or even a rebel by nature.
Advent is a season of hope. The DREAM Act has been before Congress for the past 10 years. The time for waiting is over. It is time for the Senate to give hope and a future to hundreds of thousands of other DREAMers across the US.
I am reminded once again that the fate of my community is inextricably bound up in the fate of all others. In the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., "We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny."
Put aside the crazy "Obama's a Muslim" idiocy -- assume John McCain had won the presidency instead. Do you really think the Senate would confirm a Muslim candidate right now, even a conservative right-wing one? I don't.