The problem I have with religion is that it causes people to think they are superior to those outside their religion.

Take David Wood, for example, who believes the First Amendment only applies to Christian extremists.

Wood and a group of missionaries who call themselves Acts 17 Apologetics were arrested outside an Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan last month for essentially expressing their First Amendment rights.

The above video proves that.

It shows Nabeel Qureshi, a former Muslim who converted into an Apologetic, standing outside the festival having a civil exchange with a group of Muslim youths while Wood and another member of the group videotape.

Suddenly, a group of cops come up and arrest them, charging them with that old standby they use when no laws have been broken, disorderly conduct.

The four arrested members have pleaded not guilty and will go to trial in September.

Naturally, the group is pretty pissed off. Especially since Dearborn Mayor John O’ Reilly issued a statement saying they were trying to disrupt the festival.

Whether that was their intention or not, the Muslim youths in the video do not seem disturbed by the group, only amused.

However, that wasn’t the case at last year’s festival when they angered some Muslims, which led to them getting accosted by a group of aggressive security guards who continually slapped at their cameras. The group did a good job on keeping at least two cameras rolling, ensuring multiple angles of the confrontation.

Wood believes they were persecuted on those two occasions because of their religion, which is a First Amendment violation in itself regardless of the cameras.

The problem is, Wood – who comes across as a smug asshole in his videos – has embarked on his own fear mongering persecution of Muslims, accusing them of being “good citizens in public, not so good citizens in private.”

In the video below, he comes out strongly against the construction of a controversial Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero, calling it an Islamic plot to take over New York City and turn it into another Mecca.

It’s the same kind of talk I hear from so-called libertarians who want to militarize our borders because they fear the Mexicans are going to take over the country and force us all to speak Spanish and eat burritos.

His extreme views and tactics have even marginalized other Christians, who accuse Wood and his group of being “antagonistic.”

Loon Watch, a site that focuses on exposing “anti-Muslim loons, wackos, and conspiracy theorists” has responded to each and every one of  the allegations Wood makes in the video below here and here.

It also reports that Wood once admitted he spent time in a mental institute after trying to bludgeon his father with a hammer. Wood is also supposedly a former atheist who is a teaching fellow at Fordham University, a private Catholic university in New York, so go figure.

Regardless if Wood is an instigator, an asshole or an oedipal sociopath, the videos do not indicate he and the others were breaking the law. So yes, their First Amendment rights were violated.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment gives Wood the right to speak his ignorance, even if it spewing his hate for Muslims, whom he claims he loves on his website.

But it is hard to sympathize with him when his views contradict the essence of the First Amendment, which is tolerance for all religions, even if you think they’re all full of crap.