Many times, when people I meet find out I’m a religion correspondent, they usually respond — that is, after the deer in the headlights stare– with something like, “Religion is very divisive,” or “Religion is the reason for all the problems in the world throughout history.”

My usual answer to those theological musings is that, “Religion is the red herring. What’s at the heart of all divisiveness is sin.” Sin is basically people either behaving badly, selfishly, or making themselves equal to a sovereign being. This is the heart of human nature. And it’s humans that practice all religions.

This response, more times than not ends the conversation. On rare occasions it launches a whole new discourse.

But with the House Homeland Security Committee hearing lead by Rep. Peter King in Washington, D.C. focusing on Islamic radicalization, once again religion itself is center stage.

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