Sikhism is a monotheistic religion and spiritual practice founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region of India. The word Sikh translates as discipline or student. It is the fifth largest organized religion in the world with almost 30 million Sikhs woldwide. It is also one of the most steadily growing. The Sikh system of religious philosophy is known as Gurmat (wisdom of the gurus). Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) is located north of Dehli, in the city of Amritsar, near the Pakistan border. The kitchen of the Golden Temple feeds up to 100,000 people a day, for free, regardless of background, religion, caste, or creed. In the temple's Langar Hall, all people sit and eat together. Punjab, India is the only region in the world with a majority Sikh population.
Yesterday morning, a gunman walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creak, Wisconsin, a suburb south of Milwaukee and opened fire, killing six worshipers and wounding three others. The mayhem ended when one of the first police called to the scene shot the gunman dead.
Why did a thing like this happen? Maybe this happened because the idiot gunman believed that these worshipers were Muslim (If they ain't Christian, it's all the same, right?). Maybe it happened because they have brown skin and wear funny hats. Maybe this happened because good ol' gun-totin' Joe had grown tired of seeing his white, blue collar, good-ol-boy community infiltrated by towel heads from other countries who wear weird clothes and speak with silly accents and eat funny smelling food. Maybe this happened because in certain parts of the U.S. of A. the words anti-American and terrorist have become synonymous with foreigner, or liberal, or educated, or same-sex marriage.
Ultimately, violent tragedies like this happen because of ignorance and bigotry. The only thing that these peaceful Sunday morning worshipers were guilty of being is the worst thing that anyone could possibly be: different. It's surprising that hate-fueled bloodbaths don't happen with more disturbing regularity in light of contemptuous, divisive, elected officials like Michele Bachmann, Alan West, and Jan Brewer, and the incendiary, hate-fueled vitriol that they spew in the name of America and of Jesus. Couple the cacophony of blasphemous hate-mongering with fanatic delusional readings of the second amendment, and we discover the perfect recipe for domestic terrorism and hate crimes.
As the dog days of summer approach, and the Republican convention ramps up amid ceaseless imbecile cries of "U.S.A!, U.S.A!, U.S.A!" I fear what may be lying just up ahead. I can't help but think that Chick-fil-A appreciation day was only a small preview of the moronic malignancy that's rapidly infiltrating this once great nation. A huge overhauling of firearms regulations notwithstanding, until the disturbed lunatic antics, the likes of Bachmann, West, Brewer, and others are censured and condemned, we should expect to see a rise in domestic terrorism and hate crimes wrapped in a star-spangled cloak of patriotism. The sad and ironic truth is that these self-important fabricators are precisely what they've accused others of being: anti-American and unchristian.