President Barack Obama offered the nation a lesson in moral relativism at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, when he admonished Americans not to “get on our high horse” about radical Islam because “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” including here in the United States. Obama’s statement was both immoral and insensitive, and appeared to excuse the grotesque atrocities carried out by radical Islam, as well as his own passivity in responding.
Obama’s moral equivalence–immoral equivalence, really–between medieval Christianity and contemporary radical Islam points to the fundamental reason that he has often refused to identify terrorism as more than “workplace violence”, and “extremism” as something other than radical Islam. Obama’s focus is to transform America, and to do that he first needs to humble America, to convince Americans that there is nothing innately better or exceptional about our chosen values.
While it is true that history is replete with examples of people carrying out atrocities in the name of nearly every faith and ideology, in the context of our present circumstances, where the jihadists of the so-called Islamic State are taunting the world with their brutality, to declare that “it’s not unique to one group or one religion” is to abdicate any pretense at moral leadership in rallying the nation and the world to stop what is happening–and to prevent it from spreading elsewhere.
Instead, Obama called on Americans to “start with some…humility.” He told Americans to “not be so full of yourself and so confident that you are right” and that “somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.” Not only does he often fail to take that advice, but his self-righteousness about his own moral relativism is self-contradictory. He has shown more passion in admonishing Americans than condemning terror. Worse than insulting, his remarks are a disgrace to the office he holds.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak