As a husband, father and public servant, I'm thankful for the counsel and wisdom of my older brothers - Bill, who was a priest, and Kevin, who is a priest.
The bottom line is this. When it comes to preventing violent extremism and terrorism in the United States, Muslim Americans are not part of the problem, you're part of the solution.
I'm indebted to the teachers who shaped me - from the Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Croix Catholic elementary to the monks of St. John's in Minnesota to my professors at Georgetown.
President Obama understands that, as a nation founded by those who fled religious persecution, freedom of religion is central to who we are as Americans. Our rights are not given to us by government, they are endowed by our Creator.
Preventing radicalization that leads to violence here in America is part of our larger strategy to decisively defeat al Qaeda.