How Individuals Like Ben Affleck Help Our Nation Transcend Fear

Earlier this month, Ben Affleck courageously took a stand on Bill Maher’s show, Real Time. He questioned Maher and his guest panelist, Sam Harris, for making sweeping generalizations about the majority of Muslims.


As the world looks with horror and disgust at the barbaric acts of extremists in Iraq and Syria, it is understandable that people of good will are justifiably searching for answers. When we witness evil, all humans have a fundamental need to label it. By categorizing it, we hope we can eliminate evil from our midst.


When we attempt to categorize the evil of one or a few, we invariably brand most, if not all, with the sins of the few.


Unfortunately, our very human characteristic—to notice difference and categorize entire groups of people based on it—can be exploited by those who have other agendas.


That can include Fox News, which knows that fostering anti-Muslim attitudes not only spikes ratings, but advances their political agenda. It also includes Bill Maher, who is suspicious of all religions, and who has a particular contempt for Muslims and Islam.