Throughout the world, idealism and brutality keep company. Materialism and fundamentalism battle for body and soul of the disinherited. In America, the separation of church and state is eroding. Religion and politics are converging, mediated by popular culture. Religion is politicized. Politics has become religion. Ideology does not require intelligence, only allegiance. Any form of coercion, no matter how trivial or inspired, threatens the principles of human freedom, and the social intercourse necessary to preserve it.