President Obama’s comments of comparing Christianity to ISIS at the National Prayer Breakfast has stirred some controversy. He 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.”
Many people have asked if this negative attitude towards Christianity and America’s founding is really helpful and even fair? Rev. E.W. Jackson said, “The President wasn’t just wrong to attack Christians and equate our faith to terrorist acts at Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, he empowered and emboldened our enemies. Obama needs to stop apologizing for America and providing terrorists with a recruiting tool.” Here are several concerns:
1. Why Ignore those being Persecuted Today by Islamic Jihadist?
Obama seems to want to draw empathy for Islamic jihad by mentioning past sins of Christianity. But Obama diminishes and ignores the thousands of Christians who are dying around the world, and the highest percentage is caused by Muslims. The Vatican told the UN, “Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year. Other Christians and other believers are subjected to forced displacement, to the destruction of their places of worship, to rape and to the abduction of their leaders – as it recently happened in the case of Bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, in Aleppo (Syria).” Obama implies that to emphasize these evils would “to get on a “high horse.”
2. Can We Blame Christianity Alone for the Evils of the Crusades?
Even today, both Catholic and Protestant acknowledge that there have been a misuse of Christ throughout history. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Yet, to blame the Crusades as the evil led by Christianity alone is not completely fair.
I don’t think it is right for the president to bring up the Crusades done a thousand years ago, while encouraging Christians to never speak a word of negativity against evils done by Islamic Jihadist in our present time? For one, the Crusades were not led by America, but called by the Catholic Church after Islam had conquered over half the Christian world. Islam had already conquered Jerusalem, attacked Spain, Italy and France for years. Also it’s very difficult to blame all the crusades solely as the evils of Christianity. Let me give you an analogy. As an American Christian, I may disagree with the extent America’s use of atomic weapons at the Hioshima and Nagasaki bombings, but this does not mean that I would to call all of America’s WWII involvement evil. In fact, I’m very thankful that America did get involved with WWII to rescue many lives.
Likewise, if the Catholic Church would have not responded to Islam, then Islam would have taken over the entirety of Europe. If Pope Urban would not have responded with the crusades, there would be no Oxford or Cambridge. There would be no United States, if it was not for the Catholic Church fighting back Islam’s conquering of the world during the crusades. Should Pope Urban have allowed the Jihadists Turks to rape women on alters, slit the throats of priests and children and burn churches? Obama may believe that he should have “turned the other cheek.” In reply, let’s suppose that Pope Urban was completely 100 percent wrong and the Catholic’s response to Islam’s threats were wrong in every single event. Do the evils done a thousand years ago in the name of Christianity mean that Christians and Americans should be silent today about ISIS? If we speak out against the evils of ISIS, does that really mean that we are on a “high horse?
3. Why Not Acknowledge the Christians Who Abolished Slavery and Segregation?
Obama in his attempt to silence Christians, brought up racism and slavery. He spoke of, “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.” Sadly, Obama sounds very similar to some European Marxist educators of the 20th century, who want to to paint America and Christianity as the leaders of all racism. Most Americans and professing Christians today are ashamed of slavery and racism, but slavery was not invented by America. It was practiced around the world and many of America’s founders opposed it. America’s sixth president John Quincy Adams was so much against slavery that after his presidency, he continued in congress to so he could fight slavery. Although there were slave owners who misused the Bible, it was also abolitionists who appealed the Bible to abolish slavery. There were preachers like Rev. Peter Ackers who inspired Abraham Lincoln to play a part in the abolition of slavery. As far as segregation, there were many Christians, including Martin Luther King Jr. himself who appealed to the Bible to speak against racism. There were also white preachers like Billy Graham who refused to preach to segregated audiences. Graham invited King to join him for a New York Crusade. Graham even bailed King out of jail. Why doesn’t the president praise America’s leaders like King and Graham, instead of using “racism” in the name of Christianity as way to silence Christians about ISIS?
Furthermore, why pick out “Christians” as ones who “justified slavery.” For over 1,400 years the Muslims have been involved in slave trade, including African Muslims. This terrible practice continues with some Muslims today. Mohammed himself was involved in every aspect of slavery, including owning many non-Muslims women and children slaves and passing around slaves for sexual purposes. Why is it that whenever slavery is discussed we tend to ignore the horrific record of Muslims over a much longer time and single out American white Christian slave owners over two centuries? Certainly, the white Christian slave owners of the 1700’s and 1800’s were terribly wrong, but why ignore those who continue to traffic women and children in the name of Allah.
4. Obama’s “High Horse” of Religious Pluralism Excludes Anyone who Disagrees with his Spiritual Preference.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to pin point Obama’s religious views. But he seems to be a religious pluralist, who considers himself Christian. A religious pluralist is someone who says that all religions are equally true. Religious pluralism may say, “Christianity is true for you, but not true for those who disagree with you. So please keep your beliefs private and personal.” This is very common and I could argue that Oprah, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and others have said statements of religious pluralism. Obama takes it a step further with a jab, “Don’t claim that your religion is more true, or that’s a “high horse.” Born in India, Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias once said:
“We are living in a time when sensitivities are at the surface, often vented with cutting words. Philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true. Morally, you can practice anything, so long as you do not claim that it is a better way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it.
“If a spiritual idea is eastern, it is granted critical immunity; if western, it is thoroughly criticized. Thus, a journalist can walk into a church and mock its carryings on, but he or she dare not do the same if the ceremony is from the eastern fold. Such is the mood of the twentieth century.”
Religious pluralism claims to be open-minded, but is it really? When we stop and think about the claims of religious pluralism, we discover that this worldview doesn’t accept any faith expression that is not pluralistic. Even though pluralism is touted by the President and also at many universities as “open-mindedness,” it’s actually just another form of religious exclusivity. Why? Because it excludes anybody who doesn’t believe it. Therefore, Obama’s religious pluralism excludes the beliefs of hundreds of millions of Christians who claim that Jesus Christ is the only way for salvation (John 14:6).
Interestingly, it’s not just Christianity that claims to be exclusively true. Muhammed, the founder of Islam, claimed Islam to be the true religion, and the teachers of Hinduism say it is the true religion. Then some Hindus decided to reject certain teachings of Hinduism, so they split off and started a new religion called Buddhism. Even the Dali Lama’s form of Tibetan Buddhism is distinct from hundreds of sects, each of which has its own set of spiritual beliefs. Obama’s religious pluralism may seem open minded, but it’s really a “high horse” of relativistic pluralism that rejects orthodox Christianity, Sunni Islam and host of other religions that contradict his religious preferences of the day.
5. Obama speaks of “Terrible deeds done in the name of Christ” but this is the same president who went to the largest abortion fundraiser and in the name of God, “Blessed” Planned Parenthood’s terrible deeds of slaughtering 327,653 children.
Planned Parenthood’s own website records that Obama was the first sitting president to address the nations largest abortion provider. In their 2014 report, Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions. This does not even include early abortifacients, but these are murdering by suction, chemical and dismemberments of unborn children. When Obama speaks of “Terrible deeds done in the name of Christ,” I can’t help but think of what could be worse than saying “God Bless You” to an organization that earns more money from the slaughtering of children than any other procedure. In 1994, Mother Teresa spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. She courageously said, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today – abortion which brings people to such blindness.”
Would Obama think that Mother Teresa is on some “high horse?” If so, maybe that’s a “high horse” that more Americans need to get on to protect our children and to speak out against the evils of abortion, Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
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