Religious extremism is on the rise in America, the Orlando shooting is just a sign of how extremism is highly rooted in America today. This seem to be dividing people against religious lines as pointing fingers and blame game increases. This is also supported by the fact that many young Americans have been reported to have joined jihadist groups like ISIL and Al Shabab.
Yes, religious extremism is on the rise in America. From my viewpoint, the country is going through what must seem to many like a series of dramatic shifts in priorities and attitudes. For example, the turnaround in opinion on same-sex marriage happened in less than a generation. There are many ways to react to these changes, and for social conservatives, re-entrenchment in what they consider "core values" (which are usually religious in nature) is an expected reaction. When the goals of religious sects do not align with the prevailing trends of the secular world, sometimes their members can assume a siege mentality.
It's always shocking to me that man can take the holy scriptures and use it to destroy rather than build. We have limited time on this planet and our job should be to leave it a better place than we found it. There are religious extremists all around the world because the devil has influence over the word from which he confuses and seeks to divide and conquer.
The economic, cultural, and political dislocations in recent years have given rise to an increasing amount of religiously motivated agitation and violence in the United States. While events like the Orlando shooting, the Islamist attack in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, and even 9/11 stand out, these are only the most extreme examples of a growing problem. Other groups may not resort to violence, but they are increasingly fanatical and unwilling to compromise. The Westboro Baptist Church, for example, continues to disrupt the funerals of servicemen as they protest homosexuality in the US. The seemingly never-ending tension over abortion has hardened conservative Christians into a potent political block, one that sees no point in compromise. Couple this with the expected turn towards more extreme forms of religion to help provide meaning in a world of uncertainty and we can only expect to see further examples of theologically motivated intolerance and even violence in the future.
There's a good chance it is, but there is a better chance that it has been massively exaggerated. Even if religious extremism dwindles to near non-existence, the media will find examples anywhere they can to sell their stories and agendas. Not to discount the current events of this country, but the media is getting ridiculous