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Religious tolerance discussed as 9/11 anniversary nears
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With the approach of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Christians are reminded to forgive the religiously inspired radicals who brought grief and destruction to our country. 
That’s part of the message of a leading spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention in a broadcast event this week on public radio WCPI 91.3.
Restoring the perpetrator as well as the victim of bullying must be the task of school counselors, teachers and parents committed to the fight against abuse, harassment and social cruelty. Eastside Elementary School counselor Shawn Palombo joins student anti-bullying crusader Logan Taylor and Warren County school resource officer Bobby Pennington in examining the causes and possible treatments for this potentially deadly menace stalking the nation’s youth.
A lighter tone finds its way into a third broadcast special this week as WCPI 91.3 visits Viola Valley Homecoming and talks with local historians, antique farm engine restorers, model railroad enthusiasts and out-of-town visitors who discovered part of America they had not imagined.
Dr. Richard Land, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention headquartered in Nashville, is the interview guest of WCPI volunteer producer Bill Zechman for an installment in the station’s New America series this Monday at 1:05 p.m. and again this Wednesday at 5:05 p.m.
Asked how a Christian should relate to people of other faiths, especially Muslims, Land told Zechman, “As an American I believe in religious freedom … Muslims have a right to have a place of worship where they live, the same as anybody else does.”
Should the murderous 9/11 hijackers be forgiven by Christians? Zechman posed that question, and without hesitation Land answered: “Sure. We were commanded to. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be punished.”
In WCPI’s weekly “Focus” talk show, school counselor Palombo joins Putnam County High School student Taylor and Warren County school resource officer Pennington in an investigation of the causes of bullying and approaches to dealing with the problem. In some cases where bullying was not properly addressed, victims developed avoidance mechanisms to stay away from school or sank into deep depression. In some cases nationwide, emotionally battered teens took their own lives.
Abuse is sometimes physical, the panelists said, but very often it is verbal, including communications by wireless texting and e-mail. Social exclusion is another hurtful form of bullying.
The “Focus” program will air this Tuesday, 5:03 p.m.; Wednesday, 5:10 a.m.; Thursday, 1:03 p.m. and Friday, 1:10 a.m.
The third special broadcast will be an audio kaleidoscope from Viola Valley Homecoming. That program will air on FM 91.3 this Monday at 5:03 p.m., with a re-broadcast Wednesday at 2:05 p.m.