While reading the Trib on 8/11 I noticed an interesting and unintended juxtaposition of stories. The first concerned the depraved legal story that is Warren Jeffs’, the so-called leader of the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS). The second was Kathleen Parker’s column, which included a brief reflection on Mitt Romney’s life as a member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
The only connection between the two articles was the subjects’ relationship to the Mormon church, with Jeffs clinging to a distortion of its past and Romney exemplifying its present. But what struck me was the fundamental tag attached to Jeffs’ cultish version. Religious fundamentalists, a term now synonymous with extremists, can be found in virtually every religion incuding Mormonism. These extremists have formed many splinter groups, many of whom have taken their message abroad through violence.
But in this post 9/11 world we are all well aware of that fact. However, in our chase for the boogeyman, a male subject of dark complexion, Arabic origin and Islamic persuasion, we often overlook violent examples whose appearance is strikingly similar to the one staring back from the average American mirror.