Sunday, February 8, 2015

Those Bad Christians

St.Louis IX lands in Egypt
As ISIS burns an innocent prisoner alive, the American people are lectured by their President about all the ways in the past millennium that Christians have shown themselves to be as bad or worse than the murderers in the Middle East. Mr. Obama said:
And lest 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. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.
Dr. Charles Krauthammer responded with wise words:
I was stunned that the president could say something so, I mean, at once, banal and offensive. Here we are from an act shocking barbarism, the burning alive of a prisoner of war, and Obama’s message is that we should remember the Crusades and the Inquisition. I mean, for him to say that all of us have sinned, all religions have transgressed — it was adolescent stuff. Everyone knows that. What’s important is what’s happening now. Christianity no longer goes on Crusades. It gave up the Inquisition a while ago. The Book of Joshua is knee deep in blood. That story is over too. 
The story of today, of our generation, is the fact that the overwhelming volume of the violence and the barbarism that we are seeing in the world from Nigeria to Paris all the way to Pakistan and even to the Philippines, the island of Mindanao in the Philippines is coming from one source, and that’s from inside Islam. It is not the prevalent idea of Islam. But it is coming from Islam. As many Islamic leaders including the President of Egypt and many others have admitted. And there needs to be a change in Islam. It is not a coincidence that all of these attacks on other religions are happening. All over the world, in a dozen countries, two dozen countries, all in the name of one religion. It’s not a coincidence. And for the president to be lecturing us and to say we shouldn’t get on our high horse and to not remember our own path is ridiculous. The present issue is Muslim radicalism and how to attack it. A lot of people are dying.

From Obama’s first speech at West Point in December 2009, ironically announcing the surge in Afghanistan, you could tell that his heart has never been in this fight. Never. He’s the Commander-In-Chief and yet he announces one sentence after he talks about the surge, he talks about the day to withdraw. Everyone in the region knows that. Everyone in the Middle East knows that he took on the fight on ISIS only because of the public reaction to the video of the beheading of the two Americans. He never would have lifted a finger otherwise. He hasn’t helped the rebels in Syria. He has not given the weapons that Jordan needs. The Kurds who are actually able, courageous and well and committed to the fight against ISIS still cannot get direct arms from the United States. The world knows this. Our enemies know it, an our friends know it.
 Dr. Krauthammer is correct. Everyone knows, and each sincere Christian knows most of all, that being a Christian does not exempt one from sin, and that as sinners Christians have committed crimes throughout history. But that has nothing to do with the current crisis which has imploded in the Middle East and threatens our own citizens as well as our national security. As for Obama blaming Christians for slavery and Jim Crow, it was Christians who led the abolitionist movement, who organized the Underground Railroad (Harriet Tubman was a devout Christian), and who participated in the Civil Rights movement (such as Reverend Martin Luther King.) One tires of the twisting of historical facts to fit political agendas.

When we speak of the Crusades we speak of several different campaigns ranging over the course of several hundred years; it is not accurate to lump them together as if they were a single entity.  Yes, there were wicked Crusaders but there were also holy ones. They were responding to the manner in which Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land were repeatedly kidnapped and sold into slavery by the Muslims. Women and girls would be placed in harems and men and boys would be castrated and made into slaves called eunuchs. Also, the fact that the major Christian shrines, such as the Holy Sepulcher, were in Muslim hands was another reason the popes called for Crusades. Each Crusade was different and had different players, motives, and results. They began as a defensive war against the violence of Islam. St. Louis of France went on crusade twice and was greatly admired by the Muslims for his courage and courtesy. The Carmelite Order was founded as a result of the Crusades, and spices and trade routes were introduced to Western Europe, as well as advances in medicine. There were great triumphs, great courage and heroism, as well as the most vicious barbarism. For instance, the sack of Constantinople by the Venetians during the Fourth Crusade was one of the most disgusting events in history. Usually when people such as Obama refer to the Crusades as crimes against humanity, it is principally the horrors of the Fourth Crusade that they are thinking of, acts which the pope at the time condemned.

In the meantime, here is another reaction to the President's speech, from Breitbart:
Stunned and horrified Americans, and indeed Christians around the world, not to mention victims of Islamist horror from every religious background, will be trying to process Obama’s idiotic words for days to come.

Yes, folks, the President of the United States just told the civilized world it has no moral standing to criticize the head-choppers, child-crucifiers, slave-takers, and auto-da-fe enthusiasts of the modern world, because the Crusades happened a thousand years ago.

The basic concept here is nothing new. Lazy, arrogant liberals have been babbling about the Crusades and Inquisition ever since Islamist terrorism became a big problem for the Western world. I’m sure some of these tools whined about the Crusades while one of the World Trade Center towers was still standing. It’s the sloppiest intellectual dodge imaginable, a cheap and easy way to sound impartial and high-minded: hey, all of those knuckle-dragging religious types are prone to violent outbursts.

It’s also a way that an arrogant leftist such as Barack Obama positions his own religion, the glory of the State, above all others. Obama’s world-view holds that everything prior to his own enlightened reign was a time of darkness and ignorance. Notice how he goes out of his way in these comments to bash not just the Crusades, but also Christianity’s alleged defeat at the dawn of tolerant New Leftism: “In our own home country, slavery and Jim Crow were all too often justified in the name of Christ.” So was everything Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said and did, you callow fool. Try looking up William Wilberforce and digesting what motivated him.

To say that every strong belief system, religious or otherwise, can be abused by those hungry for power, or eager to justify their worst impulses, is such a banal observation as to be unworthy of utterance at any significant event, let alone the President speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast. The issue on the table is whether there are particularly dangerous belief systems at work in the world right now.  Not only is Obama obscuring that issue, he’s actually saying Christianity is worse than Islam, because he accepts at face value the notion that Islamist atrocities have absolutely nothing to do with the religion cited to authorize them, but he holds Christianity totally and perpetually responsible for the Crusades.

It would be a frustrating waste of time to try educating someone like Obama on the actual origin of the Crusades as a defensive war against aggression; he’s probably at least dimly aware of that, but it’s an inconvenient fact of no use to his ideology, so he casts it aside. The story he wants to tell is of benighted, ignorant, crude humanity raised up by the glorious wisdom of the secular State and the moral colossi who command it, among whom Barack Obama stands as the greatest titan of all. He came to the National Prayer Breakfast to call for worship of himself. (Read more.)


Barbara Martin said...

One would think that President Obama is unprepared for making appropriate comments with respect to the news of ISIS. Perhaps in the future, Obama ought to be more considerate of the nation he represents and how his comments reflect upon the citizens of the United States.

Radical behaviour of any religion or faith is not to be tolerated, under any circumstances. The problem of the antics of the ISIS need to be addressed in an intelligent manner with a solution to rectify the situation.

elena maria vidal said...

I totally agree, Barbara. I, for one, am tired of being scolded for things that happened a thousand years ago, or even 100 years ago.