For all his failings as a national leader, President Obama has been a great gift to moral clarity. The progressive worldview is on ostentatious display in everything he says and does, and his eagerness to divide people against one another is truly breathtaking in its gargantuan cynicism. The latest of his string of apparently deliberate offenses toward normal Americans, if you haven’t heard, is a scolding he gave at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, an action that would be astonishing in its arrogance if it came from anyone else, but which is par for the course for Obama.
As you may know, we’ve had a serious problem of Islamic terrorism in the last several decades, resulting in much loss of life and limb and distortions in our daily lives, all to no discernible positive end. President Obama took the occasion of this annual breakfast gathering largely of Christians to warn the assembly against self-righteousness, or something of that sort, when thinking or speaking about modern Islamic terrorism. Here is his thesis, such as it is:
Lest we get on our high horse and think this [Islamic violence] 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.
Dennis Prager called this comparison an evidence of “moral idiocy,” the tendency of the left to fight evil with claims that we should not in fact fight evil because of an alleged moral equivalence between evildoers’ actions and our own history. Columnist Jonah Goldberg pointed out the salient fact that Obama was comparing very old apples to spanking-new oranges:
It is perverse that Obama feels compelled to lecture the West about not getting too judgmental on our “high horse” over radical Islam’s medieval barbarism in 2015 because of Christianity’s medieval barbarism in 1215.
With tongue firmly in cheek, Louisiana Governor Gov. Bobby Jindal offered this brilliantly sardonic reply to the president: “The Medieval Christian threat is under control.”
At the American Spectator, Scott McKay points out, “Engaging in military action against the Muslim world was seen as a defensive effort to save Christians” during the Medieval era. In point of fact, McKay notes, the Crusades were decidedly not initiated by power-hungry Christian rulers against hapless Muslims.
On the contrary, Muslim armies had invaded Europe, pillaging and taking over whatever they could. Obama seems to forget that Spain was in fact taken over by Muslims, and that much of Eastern Europe was either under Muslim control or in direct danger of becoming so when the Crusades were undertaken. The Muslims were invaders, and Europeans defenders. To consider the two as morally equivalent is utterly reprehensible.
The editors of the Washington Examiner wrote that the far more offensive comment of Obama at the prayer breakfast “is the historically illiterate statement about America—an attempt to place slavery and Jim Crow under a Christian banner.” As many articles about the speech have point out, it was in fact a Christian minister by the name of Martin Luther King who fought, and died, in the Christian-led effort to end Jim Crow.
Peter Wehner at Commentary thought the timing of Obama’s statement was a bit more than suspect:
The president went to the National Prayer Breakfast to call attention to the long-ago sins of Christianity in the aftermath of a particularly savage and brutal killing by the Islamic State, in which they doused a Jordanian pilot in flammable liquid and put him in a cage before burning him to death. Beheadings, it appears, are passé for jihadists. Decapitation isn’t vivid enough for them.
It is important to bear in mind that the president chose to make these indefensible calumnies against Christianity at the National Prayer Breakfast. He could not manage to turn off the politics even at such a solemn occasion. This, it is clear to see, is a direct result of the U.S. press’s refusal to be as critical of him as they would of any other president. What they fail to realize is that their pampering of Obama has made him increasingly reckless in both words and actions, as he knows that they will run interference for him. (It has also destroyed their credibility, but they do not seem to realize that.)
Of course the president’s allies in the media complex tried to come to the rescue, but they couldn’t save their hero from the simple fact that claims of moral equivalence between Christianity and terrorism constitute a disastrous political strategy, especially in the face of the sadistic ugliness of ISIS and its radical Muslim allies. This fundamentally anti-American reflex, however, is nothing new for the modern Democratic Party, even if they had hidden it fairly well before Obama rose to the fore. He is the gift of moral clarity that keeps on giving.