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Standards of sensitivity

August 19, 2010 - Jim Anderson

Have you ever heard of the Westboro Baptist Church?

They’re the hate group, based in Topeka, Kan., known for picketing funerals and desecrating the American flag.

Most people have the good sense to differentiate between this so-called Christian group and the actual Baptist religion.

In the name of shorthand, do we ever call the Westboro Baptist Church an extremist Christian sect? Rarely. They’re merely a pathetic hate group.

Why, then, aren’t Muslims afforded the same attitude?

Is it because some Muslims are viewed as hostile to other faiths? That would seem to be Newt (there are no churches in Saudi Arabia) Gingrich’s logic.

Yet Gingrich and others who argue against a mosque near ground zero say their objection isn’t an exception to America's great tenet of religious freedom. Rather they claim it's an appeal for sensitivity.

Muslims in New York, they say, should be sensitive to the feelings of aggrieved Christians, among others.

That’s a thought. But who ever tries to hold Baptists accountable for the actions of Westboro Baptist Church?


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