In Cairo, an angry mob stormed the embassy grounds, ripped down the American flag, and put up their own flag that read, "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet."
Prudent adherents to other faiths might counter, "We'll have to agree to disagree."
Ironically, it's the American and western world view that allows us to accept divergent opinions that further inflame Muslim radicals.
Lawrence Wright, writing in The Looming Tower, said "modern values - secularism, rationality, democracy, subjectivity, individualism, mixing of the sexes, tolerance, materialism" are viewed by some in the Muslim world as completely incompatible with Islam.
The idea of murder in the name of God is nearly incomprehensible to modern societies, yet radical Muslims use their religion as justification for "holy wars" against enemies.
In messages to his followers Osama bin Laden frequently called Westerners "the crusaders," harkening back to religious wars of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.
Who knows where all this leads? The great ongoing conflict between the West and radical Islam has been described as a clash of civilizations.
However, that's only half true, since one side rejects the freedom and open-mindedness valued by civilized societies.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.