An understanding of what God's representatives said to people who decided to sell their souls can bring compassion for Satanists and magicians, particularly if they are gay!
Perhaps we can have compassion for those who have been beaten or abused by father figures or priests passing on their fear of God from generation to generation.
This fear of God can create terrorists like Osama Bin Laden.
What is said from the pulpit is vital.
The virulent sermons in Uganda have resulted in a demand for the death penalty for homosexuals in that country.
Fear drives this demand.
The religious right in America derives from a particularly fearful form of Christianity.
Their violent rhetoric and action is a response to violence attributed to God in the Bible.
But it is fear that drives them. Fear of judgment. Fear of hell. Fear of being punished.
Perhaps they were punished as children by their parents or priests.
Certainly the Catholic Church goes to great lengths to terrify children.
May we have compassion for them even as their violence affects us.
May we see the fear that drives them.
May we have understanding and sympathy for those who attack us.
And we pray that we can overcome and transcend our fears.