In the past I blogged about four myths about the Crusades, but for our purposes, the most important is that the Crusades at least started out as defensive reactions to the conquest of Western lands by Islam.
Anyway, here’s a reaction to Obama’s moral equivalence from Investors Business Daily.
First, what Obama did:
In remarks at a prayer meeting Thursday, President Obama implied Christianity, just like Islam, is filled with people who “hijack religion for their own murderous ends.” This is the progressive disease of moral equivalence at its worst.
In recent days and weeks, the world has watched grimly as the horrific barbarity of fundamentalist Islam has been put on full display.
With routine beheadings, crucifixions, tortures, mass killings of civilians, burying children alive, and, most recently, burning a prisoner alive and filming his death agony to the approving yells of onlookers, it’s clear something is horribly wrong within Islam.
And yet, apart from rather routine denunciations of the savagery, Obama used his appearance at a National Prayer Breakfast to upbraid Christians for their sins.
“Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
The remarks aren’t merely insulting. They betray a deep ignorance of Western Judeo-Christian culture and its history.
No one claims Christians haven’t done terrible things, some in the name of religion. But this is a straw-man argument.
Obama, for instance, talks of the Crusades. But far from being about conquest, the Crusades were a counter-reaction to the Muslim jihad that swept Christian lands in the Mideast, North Africa, Spain and Balkans.
Nothing less than Western civilization was at stake. Not much has changed today.
According to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List for 2015, “Approximately 100 million Christians are persecuted worldwide, making them one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world.”
And who are the persecutors? “Islamic extremism is the main source of persecution in 40 of the 50 countries” that make up Open Doors USA’s watch list, the report says.
Meanwhile, how are Muslims in the West treated? With visas, welfare, legal protection, even special speech codes to protect their religious sensibilities, along with copious apologies by people such as Obama. Even terrorists at Gitmo are given Halal meals, prayer mats and Qurans.
Obama’s done this before. In a speech in Cairo in 2009, he also suggested the Christian West had much to answer for.
In point of fact, the West’s Judeo-Christian heritage has led to tolerance, justice, women’s rights and the abolition of slavery.
Neither slavery nor Jim Crow laws were “justified” by the U.S. Christian mainstream. Indeed, as history shows, Christians were the driving force behind the anti-slavery movement in the U.S. But slavery is still found in the Muslim Mideast and Africa.
Terrorist murderers won’t be appeased by Obama’s cringe-worthy remarks. They’ll be encouraged. As such, they aren’t merely wrong — they’re dangerous.
I’ve noticed this “reasoning” that Obama is employing before when discussing social issues with feminists. I produce facts showing that children are least likely to be abused when they grow up with their own parents in a married home. And they say that there exists some child who was abused by his married parents. As if the existence of one counterexample negates the probabilities or the relative frequencies in different situations. What Obama is really saying is this “because you defended yourself from Muslim conquerors 900 years ago, that justifies kidnapping underage girls into sex slavery after you murder their parents in front of them”. Should we have elected a President who is incapable of basic reasoning about history and about ethics? Well, we did.
7 thoughts on “Obama responds to Islamic State terrorism by saying Christians are just as bad”
The President’s message is important, though. The Islamic State has convinced a small portion of the Sunni Arab population that the West is at war with true Islam. Do the President’s remarks take into account the geopolitical realities of the Crusades? Of course not. But they serve to break down the Islamic State narrative, and that is a worthy goal.
If we don’t win the PR war against the Islamic State, it will not matter how many bombs we drop. We will fail.
WK, the conclusion you draw — “What Obama is really saying is this ‘because you defended yourself from Muslim conquerors 900 years ago, that justifies kidnapping underage girls into sex slavery after you murder their parents in front of them'” — does not follow. That would be unconscionable. His conclusion, as stated, is that, even as we recognize and oppose such savagery, we shouldn’t get up on our high horse in view of our own very checkered past. I think your conclusion misrepresents what Obama said in this case.
The Crusades are not a good parallel for several reasons. First, they were defensive in nature. Second, they were 900 years ago. Third, they targeted armed combatants, not civilians. So his argument is garbage, and comes from a mind diseased by moral and cultural relativism.
To the extent that I am sufficiently literate about the Crusades, I agree. And I don’t see the need to address the need for humility in the same conversation as the need to fight the evil of ISIS. Nevertheless, as a hermeneutic point, I think you misrepresented the point Obama was making. He most definitely was not “justifying” the acts of ISIS and Boko Haram. No need for a straw man here. There are plenty of legitimate objections to raise against Obama.
Dude. He is trying to tell us that we are not in a position to judge. That is immoral. We are in a position to judge.