Intellectual laziness? Lack of basic cultural knowledge? Or is it simply that he hates Christians? US President Barack Obama has committed a terrible faux-pas last week when, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, he first talked about the crimes committed by ISIS and Boko Haram and then went on to draw a moral equivalence between Christianity and radical Islamo-Fascism:
“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…. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Well – as the most pro-abortion and pro-gay US politician ever, Obama is hardly a point of reference on moral issues. Nor does he seem to be well-read on history, philosophy, or theology. Besides everything else, the man also seems to be an ignorant.
Two points should be noted:
– First, Crusades and Inquisition were many centuries ago, – and those who, unlike Obama, are acquainted with the historic facts would never make the rash and undifferentiated judgment on them that the President seems to be implying. Slavery certainly has no basis at all in any Christian doctrine, and Christianity played a pivotal role in overcoming it. By contrast, the mass murders of ISIS and Boko Haram are today.
– Second, the question is not whether in the course of 2 millennia of history any crimes have been “committed in the name of Christ” (it would indeed be strange if that weren’t the case…). Instead, the question is whether claims that the Gospel provided justification for those crimes actually holds true.
If the Gospel could be used in the past to justify crime and violence, it could be used that way also today or in the future. But then it should be possible to identify which part of the Gospel actually contains any such justification. Does Obama believe that there is no difference between Christian and, say, Muslim doctrine with regard to what each religion has to say about violence against non-believers? Maybe he should then take the time to inform himself – after all, the issue is not without some political importance. There are many passages in the Quran in which Muslims are explicitly invited to kill non-believers – but is there any such statement in the Holy Gospel? If so, could the President kindly provide quotations? Is Obama aware that Mohammed came as a warrior and conqueror, whereas Jesus came as a Redeemer?
In the case of the world’s most powerful politician, ignorance and bigotry are not just a personal problem, but an international calamity.