What is a ‘Religious Extremist’? This Lefty Weekly Sure Doesn’t Know

-By Warner Todd Huston

For the Independent Weekly of Durham, North Carolina, writer Sam Wardle proves that he hasn’t a clue how the phrase “religious extremist” is properly defined. But, I’d suggest that his confusion is endemic in the far left and proves to show why so many in the west don’t understand how to face and defeat the real religious extremism of radical Islam.

In a story about Representative Sue Myrick (R, NC) and her association with The National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools as juxtaposed with her condemnation of radical Islam, Wardle sees no difference between a radical Islamist that might blow himself up with a suicide vest or cut off the head of a helpless captive and a Christian American that wants to use properly constituted law to have the Holy Bible used in the classroom.

Certainly you can disagree with having the Bible used as a text in the classroom, but to say that a person that does want the Bible in the classroom is no better than a terrorist is, well, just plain stupid. It is also intellectually vapid. Unfortunately, Mr. Wardle is all too representative of the vapidity of the left that so often comes to this intellectually dishonest conclusion.

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Wardle reveals his hatred of all things Christian in his IndyWeek piece titled, “For Rep. Sue Myrick, Islamic moderates are extreme, Christian extremists are moderate,” wherein he equates Rep. Myrick to a religious extremist.

Wardle start his piece straight on with an attack on Rep. Myrick:

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) is one of North Carolina’s staunchest defenders from Islamic extremism. When it comes to Christian extremism, though, the record is more mixed.

Wardle says that Myrick’s “defense against Islamic extremism” itself borders on the extreme.

Those are pretty serious charges, of course. So what does Wardle show as his proof to bear out the finger wagging at Myrick? One of the first of Wardle’s accusations would take an Olympic gymnast’s back-bending performance to agree with. In short it is weak as heck.

However, Myrick’s concern over religious extremism seems relegated to practitioners of one religion. At the forum, she pointedly avoided applying the label of “terrorist” to Joseph Stack, the 53-year-old Texan who flew his airplane into an IRS building in Austin in February.

Whether Stack should have been termed a terrorist by Myrick or not is one question, but what it has to do with the subject of religion is anyone’s guess. Austin IRS building attacker Joe Stack had no connection to any religion whatever. He did not perpetrate his act of terror in the name of religion so Wardle’s usage of Stack as his religious foil for Myrick is insensible. But such is Wardle’s hatred for both Myrick and Christianity that any stretch is excused, apparently.

Then Wardle goes on the attack against The NCBCPS, a “right-wing evangelical group” in Wardle’s terminology. Wardle reports that the NCBCPS’ goal is to “bring a state certified (sic) Bible course (elective) into the public high schools nationwide.” He says that the group claims that it has gotten its curriculum in 532 schools in 38 states.

Wardle counters that success by revealing that this group’s school texts have been criticized as containing “shoddy research, factual errors and plagiarism.” Wardle also lays out all the other groups and Media outlets that have attacked the veracity of the NCBCPS’ offerings.

But one thing is completely missing from Wardle’s piece. Any actual “extremism.” Apparently just the fact that the NCBCPS wants to get its curriculum in a school is enough to be classified just as extreme as al Qaieda to one such as Wardle.

But implicit in the whole discussion (but only implied because Wardle does not say it) is the fact that if the NCBCPS did get its curriculum in schools in 38 states it must have done so through the legitimate process of appealing to school boards and having those schools agree to accept the program. In other words, the NCBCPS followed the same legal procedure that every other education advocate has followed.

Notice how the NCBCPS didn’t win over those schools by cutting off administrator’s heads, bombing public buildings, or killing students thereby using intimidation and violence to get its way. So, while this Christian group is certainly seriously active, to act as if they are somehow just as extreme as Islamic Radicals is idiotic.

But this is the empty logic that befalls the far left in this country. Any religion, all religion is classified as “extreme” to these people. No logic need apply.

(Originally posted at BigJournalism.com)

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