Everybody is an Extremist

Are you a Catholic or evangelical Protestant? Then, according to the Defense Department, you’re an extremists:

The Defense Department came under fire Thursday for a U.S. Army Reserve presentation that classified Catholics and Evangelical Protestants as “extremist” religious groups alongside al Qaeda and the Ku Klux Klan.

The presentation detailed a number of extremist threats within the U.S. military, including white supremacist groups, street gangs, and religious sects.

I’m sure a lot of people are confused about this classification since Catholics and Protestants aren’t known for committing violent acts (now that the Crusades have concluded). The reason for this classification is simple:

More than half of all Americans identify themselves as members of those two Christian denominations. National Public Radio reported in 2005 that 40 percent of active duty military personnel were evangelical Christians.

The state has a keen interest in labeling everybody a criminal. With so many Americans identifying with Catholicism or Protestantism it gives the state leverage over a large portion of the population if those people are considered extremists. In addition to leverage the state has never taken too kindly to religions that compete with statism, which is likely another reason for labeling people who identify with other religions as extremists.