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Letter of the Day: Are we too tolerant?

  • Why did surviving Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, allegedly attack innocent Americans? Evidence is pointing to the same thing that influenced the Pakistan-born Times Square bomber and the Fort Hood killer... radical Islamist ideology.

Are we too tolerant?

EDITOR: Was journalist Christopher Hitchens right? Does religion poison everything? Maybe author Sam Harris is right? Perhaps religion does provide cover for the cancerous growth of radical extremism justified by the "will of God."

My sainted grandmother was a devout Quaker and often took me with her to church. How could Harris conflate her kindly devotion with acts of terrorism? Richard Dawkins, the British author, would no doubt consider my grandmother deluded and, because of our American sense of fair play and tolerance, we as a nation are deluded to consider all religions equally good or even good at all.

Our country, founded on the principle of religious freedom, as well as the biblical assertion that slavery was OK, may have finally reached a point at which we can no longer indulge our religious fantasies because of the cover it provides evil-doers in the name of religion. We did manage to find our way clear to rid ourselves of slavery so, to paraphrase Bill Maher, another critic of unreasoning faith, perhaps it's time to grow up, and let the fantasy of pie in the sky join slavery in the dustbin of bad ideas.

PHIL ARNOLD

Santa Rosa


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