Last Sunday, President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, and proceeded to infuriate conservatives and the Christian religious right. It seems that this group does not like to have their religious history, in all its historical glory, aired for all to see,
Obama did demonstrate a huge amount of guts to speak against some of Christianity’s darkest historical realities, such as the brutal Crusades and even America’s history of slavery.
Specifically, Obama reminded the audience that the Islamic State’s (IS, ISIS, or ISIL) burning to death of a captured Jordanian pilot on January 3rd, 2015 (but not reported until almost a month later when the video was released online) was barbaric and awful, but that IS is not the only group that has murdered and brutalized in the name of religion.
He spoke about the Crusades, which were 10 or more imperialistic missions launched by the Roman Catholic Church, which was the precursor of virtually all modern-day Christian religions. These missions involved inhuman brutality, barbaric torture and the horrific death of countless helpless victims, as well as the acquisition of land and riches for the church.
He also spoke to the Inquisition, which was an action by the Holy Roman Catholic Church to “cleanse” Europe of heretics, Jews, Muslims, and even Christians who challenged the teachings of the church. Torture, long-term imprisonment under horrific conditions, and death by burning or drowning, among other barbaric and inhuman acts, were rampant during this era.
Obama also mentioned slavery and subsequent Jim Crow laws in the USA as another example of people acting in the name of their religion and/or religious beliefs, despite the fact that those actions were often on a par with what the IS is doing today.
The president’s point, which he made clearly, was:
“We see faith driving us to do right,….We also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge, or worse, sometimes as a weapon…..We have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, profess to stand up for Islam, but in fact are betraying it,”
Everything Obama spoke to was the historical truth, and his point about using faith to justify brutality and barbarism as being a religious distortion, the sole purpose of which is to justify the unjustifiable, was spot on.
So why are conservatives and religious right extremists so upset with Obama for making these comments?
Andrea Mitchell, who works for NBS News, said ““He’s the president and you can’t really go back to 1095.”
Dr. Ben Carson, a religious right extremist republican who believes that every word in the bible is true, and who is running for president (no less!) had nothing good to say about Obama, In true Sarah Palin style, Carson’s days as a presidential candidate are number, anyway.
Various other right-wing pundits have alternatively said that Obama insulted Christianity (by telling the truth), adding that they, personally, are all hugely insulted by his (truthful and historically accurate) remarks.
Then there are those who say that his remarks prove that Obama is really a Muslim Kenyan. Donald Trump, who STILL believes that Obama was born in Kenya, must be having the time of his life right now.
Wait a minute!
Didn’t Obama call the Islamic IS a “terror organization” that must be eradicated from the Earth? Didn’t he label the IS as a brutal and inhuman group of thugs who commit unspeakable atrocities? Hasn’t he ordered punishing airstrikes against IS for mouths now, and provided over 3000 US servicemen to assist in the effort to destroy his “fellow Islamists”??
Didn’t he send to congress just today a draft proposal to wage war against the IS?
It seems that the more into religion one is, particularly those who favor biblical stories over the science that disproves them, the more offended and insulted over Obama’s truthful remarks at the Prayer Breakfast they are. That actually parallels IS’s belief that any action is justified by their warped religious faith. Even though burning people to death is prohibited by their Qur’an, they believe that their mission is in line with the teachings of, and justified in the name of, the prophet and true Islam.
This form of thinking is much in line with the belief system of people who refuse to vaccinate their own children because they believe that God owns all of us and will take care of us, and vaccinations are an interference with God’s ownership of us.
A belief system such as that can justify ANY action, whether its torturing innocent people to extract a confession, burning them at the stake in the name of righteous faith, or setting them on fire in a cage to suffer an unimaginable, inhumanly painful death, And by the way, that was the same action committed against many African-Americans all the way into the 20th century by righteous Christians, including those in the KKK.
People who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it…That’s why Israel is such a strong country despite it’s tiny size…Its motto is NEVER FORGET.