Should politics and religion mix in the world of today? We must take a serious look at recent events and what is happening in the world today. Underway around the world is a battle going on about two great religions, Islam and Christianity. It is being presented as a war of differing beliefs, but in reality, it is nothing more than a hatred of a political system and a way of life. Extremists on both sides of this question are putting their views as the mainstream way of thinking about both religions. The everyday person does not think that way. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not fought for religious ideals, but against brutal dictatorships and oil. I doubt if Mohammed and Jesus would recognize either of their religions today.

If we look at the growing hatred of western society around the world, it is not about religion, but about economics. The haves versus the have-nots. We must also consider the state of Israel and the taking of Arab land. This hatred has been going for several thousand years. The west is an easy target for the extremists because of their support for Israel. But in the end, it boils down to economics. The Arabs realize that they are sitting on the largest oil reserves in the world and now have the economic clout to control the west. This was presented in the gas rationing of the seventies and now we are paying for the years of the west dominating this part of the world. While dominating this part of the world the western culture ignored the Arabs history and culture. The west tried to convert their Arab neighbors into the Christian way of thinking. We westerners think our way is the only way.

The Arabs have been nomadic tribes with kings and leaders; meanwhile the west has found democracy. These two political philosophies differ in a very big way. The Arab societies cannot understand this way of life and the west does not trust this form of government. Add in the differing religions and the Israelis and the proverbial pot is nearing boiling over.

Now move forward to the 21st century and put into office a re-born Christian in the only remaining super-power and you will begin to see where we are today. Mr. Bush believes that he should dictate morals and beliefs in every part of the world. We can just look at his recent state of the union address. He wants to regulate our daily life including whom we should marry and a women's right to choose. He wants the power to hold any dissenters without any justification, all in the name of security.

The recent battles in the world are over differing beliefs and economics. These questions have been around since man first became man and will continue until man is no more. We as humans must not let our leaders tell us what to believe. We must think for ourselves. These conflicts can be resolved once the silent majority let their leaders know that this is not the way of Mohammed, Jesus or Moses. Religion is part of politics, but only if we let it be. It starts with understanding and not exploitation.