The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

How did it come to this?

I know I'm really late to this game, but I just watched the video of anti-Muslim hatred in Orange County. I was in tears within 30 seconds.

How long until everyone looks back on this period of history with disgust? How long until this senseless persecution is publicly aligned with that of the Red Scare or of Japanese internment camps? This is absolutely ludicrous. People are screaming at the top of their lungs that which they believe to be truth about people they don't know anything about. People they've never even stopped to consider as fellow human beings.

How much hate has to be spread across this country before the Tea Party is stopped? There were elected officials at this event, there to support these protestors. There to support this disfigurement of what it is to be a patriot.

"I don't even care if you think I'm crazy anymore," Councilwoman Deborah Pauly says. And the fact that her son is a Marine, and that he and his Marine friends would be happy to kill some innocent people, is proof that we should take her seriously. And the audience laughs. Did you notice? They laugh out loud at her death threats.

And have you noticed that Tea Partiers are the only ones claiming that Sharia is taking over the constitution? Tea Partiers are the ones spreading the messages of hate. Where does the constitution that they hold so dear, where does the scripture that they cling to so irrationally, where do those things tell them to go out and hate those whom they fear?

I want to criticize this video point by point, sentence by sentence, but I just can't even express how wrong it all is. I feel like I need to spend every day of my life saying, "Muslims are people. They are not terrorists. Their God is your God. They are Americans, just like you." until everyone understands.

I am so disgusted. I am so angry. I am so afraid. We are hurtling toward the 2012 elections at a frightening speed. How did it come to this?


Keeping the Faith