Most religious traditions have produced extremist movements whose members believe that their faith and value system is superior to other beliefs. This concept of the “one true faith” has been used by many fundamentalists to justify violent intolerance on behalf of their religion. Religious terrorists are modern manifestations of historical traditions of extremism within the world’s major faiths.
Modern religious extremism is arguably rooted in faith-based natural law. Natural law is a philosophical “higher law” that is theoretically discoverable through human reason and references to moral traditions and religious texts. In fact, most religious texts have passages that can be selectively interpreted to encourage extremist intolerance. To religious extremists, it is God’s law that has been revealed to and properly interpreted by the extremist movement.
In the United States, government response to the problem of religious extremism is fraught with politically and socially sensitive issues. This is because the free exercise of religion is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Nevertheless, local law enforcement agencies, such as the New York Police Department, and federal agencies, such as the FBI, have engaged in monitoring activities directed against some religious institutions.
Does faith-based natural law justify acts of violence, please support your position?
What, if any, policies should be adopted by law enforcement agencies to monitor religious institutions?