I do not like Donald Trump.
I do not like Hilary Clinton.
I do not like the people they associate with.
I do not like the lengths to which they will stoop to serve their own selfish needs.
I do not like the level of disrespect our culture tolerates.
I do not like that Al Gore invented the internet which breeds malice so prolifically.
I do not like that what I know to be true about vulgar locker room talk is suddenly disavowed as having never existed in the first place.
I do not like politicians pandering to corporations for the money necessary to buy elections.
And most of all...
I do not like attacks on anyone's religious beliefs by anyone.
I am Catholic.
I am also of Prussian heritage which means I often find myself being a passionate and angry Catholic.
I do not understand how anyone can commit acts of violence in the name of any religion.
(ISIS, I'm looking at you.)
In the past I have spoken to friends and family in unkind ways about those who practice the Muslim faith.
In my re-examination of personal beliefs, I must now apologize for that.
It was wrong of me to act so impulsively as to blame violence on religious belief.
The problem is not with religion, it is with those who use it as a justification for hate.
It's not just an ISIS problem.
This is a picture taken in Austria in 1955, after my Mom and Dad got married.
The priest seated next to my Mother is Father Richard.
It is remarkable that he is in this photograph.
As a Catholic Priest that opposed the Nazis, he was placed in Dachau and his name written on a death list.
He was just one of many Catholics persecuted by the Third Reich.
As history teaches us, religious persecution is a fire that grows swiftly from a single spark.
This is why I am concerned.
In 2008 Barack Obama described a beleaguered electorate facing little prospect of jobs or wealth by saying this.
"They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
The POTUS himself equated violence with religion.
Hillary Clinton's campaign staff joined that discussion, and in recently leaked emails are seen persecuting Catholicism and it's detriment to their political goals.
The other side springboards off of religion too.
Donald Trump's campaign is well known for turning it's sights on those who practice the Muslim faith.
It is a situation I find deplorable.
My faith carries me through when life's circumstances seem unbearable.
Why attack my faith?
Why attack any faith?
Please just stop.
Until you do, I'll be over here, praying.