EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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September 15, 2012

Column: Middle East chaos shows need for American energy

(Continued)

Someday, Islam may develop a hide thick enough to bear the sorts of artistic depictions that Christians endure. Monty Python’s 1979 picture, “Life of Brian,” generated huge laughs by satirizing Jesus Christ. While some Christians criticized or boycotted the film, they retaliated by killing exactly zero people.

Today’s Broadway hit, “The Book of Mormon,” makes “The Life of Brian” resemble a College of Cardinals consistory. While Mormons may find this musical more blasphemous than hilarious (it is both, in spades), their reviews have not been homicidal.

Artist Chris Ofili infamously attached elephant dung to his painting of the Virgin Mary. Christians objected, and a believer named Dennis Heiner splattered white paint on this canvas. But neither Ofili nor anyone else was murdered for such infantilism.

So long as free speech remains a fundamental human right, free people can and should say what they will about Islam. And until that faith’s most fervent adherents learn to count to 10 before commencing carnage, one objectionable YouTube video or bothersome charcoal sketch could sever America’s vital supplies of petroleum.

Against this backdrop, the United States should end this dangerous game and move urgently to increase supplies of North American energy. We should capitalize on the vast hydrocarbon resources literally beneath our toes and under our oceans. With all deliberate speed, U.S. oil should be drilled, natural gas should be fracked, and the Keystone Pipeline extension should be approved at once.

Henceforth, “foreign oil” should refer to petroleum from our calm, peaceful and relaxed neighbors in Canada, a NATO ally. Keystone will create some 20,000 private-sector jobs at no cost to exhausted American taxpayers. It should tell voters plenty that President Barack Obama torpedoed a privately funded shovel-ready project that would decrease U.S. unemployment, increase American national security and redirect petrodollars from the Middle East to middle Edmonton.

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