The easy joke about Barack Obama’s bizarre, bigoted rant at the National Prayer Breakfast today is that he was trying to do Brian Williams of NBC News a favor, by taking attention away from him with a firestorm of outrage.
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. Note how he follows up his Christian-bashing with a celebration of his glorious expedition to fix India last week:
But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge — or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism — terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.
We see sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe, so often perpetrated in the name of religion…
Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. 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.
Michelle and I returned from India — an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity — but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs — acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation.
He mentions the horrors of the Islamic State mostly to excuse himself for refusing to accept the religious motivations of the savages — they can declare themselves warriors of Allah and Mohammad all they want, but the only part of their rhetoric Obama ever hears is when they piss and whine about the Crusades and Andalusia — so that he can tie yesterday’s horrors to thousand-year-old excesses carried out by armored knights on horseback. It’s all equally foolish and disruptive to Barack Obama, compared to the pure glory of the Religion of the State. Remember, he’s prone to seeing his political adversaries as reactionaries “bitterly clinging to their guns and religion.”
Also, as a minor point of order, the exact words used by Obama are monumentally stupid: “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.” The Crusades and Inquisition did go down in “some other place.” It’s not even reasonable to tie them to the 18th-century governments of Europe, but if you’re minded to do so, the country that elected Obama President was founded in revolution against those European states. Why, the Founders even made a rather big deal about avoiding the official government sanction of a particular religion. This man’s allegedly a college graduate? I think it’s long past time his records were released — so we can see what his grades looked like.
“We see sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe, so often perpetrated in the name of religion…” All of them equally? Or is there one in particular that comes up more than the others, in the rhetoric of the aggressors and abusers? Is there one that seems to have changed and grown a bit less than the others over the past millennium?
Obama also took the opportunity to repeat a favorite criticism of ISIS: “We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends.” This is a variation on his theme of ISIS as a pointless exercise in insane brutality, conducted on the “wrong side of history.” ISIS is many horrible things, but they’re not nihilistic. They intend to build something powerful, enduring, and horrifying atop the mountain of corpses they piled up. They’re evil as hell, but they’re not a mindless frenzy that will burn itself out soon.
What sheer, blind foolishness. What dangerous idiocy. It’s terrifying to think our national defense is headed up by someone so willfully blind and shallow, someone whose opinion of his own nation and its history is so bleak and slanted. He really can’t see anything beyond the unyielding borders of his ideology. I hope the Islamic reformation ends well for them, and everyone else, but until that great struggle is complete, we have plenty of mournful examples of what nations governed by sharia law look like. We saw what nations founded on the principles of amoral, atheist materialism looked like in the first half of the Twentieth Century, and the good men of the world were obliged to burn them all to the ground. And we know what a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian principles looks like. Well, most of us do.
Resolved: The future must not belong to those who would slander Christianity by endlessly harping on the Crusades.