Friday, January 9, 2015

Religious fundamentalism and guns: A dangerous mix in Paris

The dangers of religious fundamentalism and guns need to be addressed.

By Lara Spenzak

Much of the world has reacted in horror to the violence in Paris, France this week. People armed with guns and apparently driven by religious fundamentalism attacked and killed journalists at Charlie Hebdo magazine.

This is perhaps the ultimate act of intolerance.   Charlie Hebdo often made humorous critiques of the dangers of religious fundamentalism.  The violence in Paris brings back dreadful memories of right-wing Christian attacks in Oklahoma City and on reproductive choice centers throughout the United States.

Extremists are intolerant and religious extremists are prone to acts of hate and violence.   Some groups like the Westboro Baptist Church have only been deeply offensive and hateful so far.  But what if they had guns? They could easily commit an act of violence such we have seen in Paris.

We cannot and should not accept guns in our society.  Guns only have one purpose:  to hurt and kill people.  To create fear and violence.

Religious fundamentalism needs to be rooted out.   We need to enforce the rule of Separation of Church and State.   Tax dollars should never be used to support religion or the building of churches.

A truly just and progressive society can and should work to stamp our intolerance and violence.

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