After every major terrorist attack committed by Muslims, some of my xenophobic facebook acquaintances passive aggressively question why moderate Muslims don’t speak out. The implication is that the actions of a few radical extremists speak for the entire religion. Of course, countless moderate Muslims do speak out against the violent radicalism. But that doesn’t fit the narrative, so it is ignored.
I’m no fan of Islam (or religion in general). I abhor particularly its sexism, propensity towards violence against those who leave or criticize, and general lackadaisical attitude for progressing human rights. But I find it incredibly hypocritical that many Christians lambast Islam for not doing enough to combat Islamic terrorism while simultaneously ignoring Christian terrorism, which is both frequent and deadly. Attacks against health clinics like Planned Parenthood are reprehensible, yet are largely ignored by right-wing conservatives in their war against Islam.
The most recent example is from Mormonism itself. Though the religion has a long and storied history of violence, culminating in one of the deadliest terrorist incidents in United States history, it is perceived in recent times to be a peaceful religion. Yet active, believing Mormons such as the Bundy’s continue to break the law and attempt to get into a violent shootout with government agents.
Yesterday’s news that two Bundy’s illegally occupied a federal building in Oregon and plan on defending themselves by killing any federal agents is frightening. But it leaves me wondering why the Mormon church, both its members and its leaders, are not speaking out against such threats and actions. When women like Kate Kelly are excommunicated simply for wanting gender equality, why are the Bundy’s treated with institutional silence and allowed to remain members?
My tongue is firmly in my cheek of course, but does this mean that the Mormon church endorses and encourages such violent, illegal measures?