February 06, 2015

Obama compares ISIS to Crusaders

The latest manufactured "controversy" by Fox News:

Fox Hosts Explode At Obama For Talking About The Crusades At Prayer Breakfast

By Brendan JamesThe hosts of "Fox & Friends" were not amused on Friday by President Obama's reminder to Christians that the Muslim world has not been the only corner of the globe to deal with deadly religious extremism.

"How shocked were you," Brian Kilmeade asked viewers, "about the President's remarks yesterday at that prayer breakfast, equating the Crusades in the year 1095 to what we're experiencing today and witnessing with ISIS and their brutality?"

The three co-hosts then angrily talked over each other while introducing the clip of Obama speaking on Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast.

The footage showed Obama discussing the Islamic State terror group and religious violence more broadly by mentioning the Crusades, initiated by Pope Urban II. The President said Christians should not get on a "high horse" about religious barbarism.
"So he's saying the Catholic Church was the ISIS of its time," said Doocy. "So try telling that to the pope who is going to visit Washington, D.C."

Give me an audience with the pope and I'll be glad to tell him. We can discuss the papal bulls about converting the "savage" Indians.

Right-Wing Christians Angered By Obama’s Comparison Of ISIS To The Crusades

The Foolish, Historically Illiterate, Incredible Response to Obama's Prayer Breakfast Speech

A history of Christian terrorism

Sorry, Fox: Obama Was Right About Christianity's 'Terrible Deeds'

By Christia MercerConservatives across the country are freaking out about President Obama’s claim that “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ” at the National Prayer Breakfast. Everyone from Rush Limbaugh and Jim Gilmore to Megyn Kelly and the hosts of Fox & Friends is venting about it. Unfortunately, the president is exactly right.

Every century in the history of Christianity is full of examples. But one of the most vivid cases of Christian-motivated bloodshed is what was happening exactly four hundred years ago, in the winter of 1615. Long-standing religious hatred and political tensions were escalating across Europe. When spiritual leaders incited violence, their followers were keen to comply. The means of killing were gruesome and imaginative. Arms were ripped from living torsos, writhing bodies stretched on racks, and men’s severed genitalia burned before their dying eyes. Kings, princes and politicians employed draconian measures to squelch criticism and halt change.

A century before that, Martin Luther’s attempt to purify Christianity of its papal poisons led to decades of struggles across Europe. More than 100,000 poorly armed farmers were slaughtered in 1524-25 when they took Luther’s teachings to imply greater social justice. Over the course of the 16th century, villages were razed, schools closed and disease left unchecked. By 1615, the continent was teaming with terrorist plots, counter-plots, and spies. But when Catholic councilors were sent to Prague and summarily tossed by the Protestant assembly out palace windows, a line was crossed. The so-called Defenestration of Prague of 1618 marks the official start of the Thirty Years’ War.

In 2015, longstanding religious hatred and political wrangling are again sweeping Europe with their own shadowy sources in the last century. Kings, princes and politicians again employ draconian measures to control criticism and stop change. In this global struggle, villages have been destroyed, schools bombed, and disease left unchecked. Nor have our contemporaries lacked imagination in their violence. Schoolgirls have been kidnapped, journalists beheaded, and interrogation methods enhanced. Our cycle of violence is much the same as that of our predecessors. Unchecked power and ignorance promote loathing, leading to increased viciousness, intolerance, and more hatred. Chérif Kouachi, one of the men responsible for the Charlie Hebdo massacre, was first moved to radicalism by images of American soldiers humiliating Muslims at Abu Ghraib prison. Brutality and stupidity beget more of the same.
Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive: White Americans Did the Same Thing to Thousands of Black People

The United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as least as gruesome as the "medieval" punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes.

By Chauncey DeVega
ISIS burned Muadh al Kasasbeh, a captured Jordanian fighter pilot, to death. They doused him with an accelerant. His captors set him on fire. Muadh al Kasasbeh desperately tried to put out the flames. ISIS recorded Muadh al Kasasbeh's immolation, produced a video designed to intimidate their enemies, and then circulated it online.

ISIS's burning alive of Muadh al Kasasbeh has been denounced as an act of savagery, barbarism, and wanton cruelty--one from the "dark ages" and not of the modern world.

American Exceptionalism blinds those who share its gaze to uncomfortable facts and truths about their own country.

For almost a century, the United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as least as gruesome as the "medieval" punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes.
When America behaved like ISIS: Jesse Washington and the Bible Belt’s dark history of public lynchings

How dare ISIS emulate racist Americans from the last century?!

What would happen if Obama stated, "George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves," or "US soldiers massacred Indians at Wounded Knee"? Censure, hearings, perhaps impeachment?

A president could get in trouble for reading a history textbook aloud. Seriously.

And a relevant tweet:Retweeted Murtaza Hussain (@MazMHussain):

Its too bad Obama couldn't have made this point but its clear the last Crusade was in 2003, not ~800 years ago: http://t.co/KsWc7Ngzsa

Donald Rumsfeld's holy war: How President Bush's Iraq briefings came with quotes from the Bible
Christians aren't to blame?

In the following, Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said, "The evil actions that he mentioned were clearly outside the moral parameters of Christianity itself and were met with overwhelming moral opposition from Christians." Wow, that's roughly 100% wrong.

Why Obama Is Right About Christian Violence

By Jack JenkinsJackson and Limbaugh’s dubious claims to Christianity notwithstanding, the two main assertions underlying most of these arguments are both absurd and, arguably, unChristian. The first—that violence committed in the name of Christ is somehow exempt from criticism because it happened in the past—ignores history and reality. Like it or not, horrendous torture happened during the Inquisition and the era of slavery, both of which were justified using biblical scripture. And the argument that the Crusades—which resulted in the deaths of untold thousands—were only in response to Muslim provocation is highly contested among historians.

More importantly, while these events are long past, these critics are apparently tone deaf to the numerous modern examples of violence perpetrated by people claiming to represent Christ. In 2011, Anders Behring Breivik, a self-professed Christian, launched a horrific assault in Oslo, Norway to defend “Christian Europe,” using an arsenal of weapons to kill 77 people—most of whom were teenagers. In November of last year, suspected Christian terrorist Larry McQuilliams mounted a full-scale attack on Austin, Texas, firing off more than 100 shots in the city before embarking on a botched attempt to burn down the Mexican Consulate. And in central Africa, the Lord’s Resistance Army (which, similar to ISIS, seeks to establish a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments) forcibly recruits child soldiers, terrorizes local villages, and is thought to be responsible for the deaths of 100,000 people in Uganda and the displacement of 1.7 million in the greater region, according to the United Nations.

One wonders if Jackson and others would be so willing to “defend” Christianity’s apparently sinless history to the faces of those 60,000 to 100,000 child soldiers, youngsters who were ripped from their homes, tortured brutally, and forced by the LRA to run needlessly into battle—all ostensibly in the name of Christ.

In addition, the second argument directed at Obama’s statements—that violence in the name of Christ was always met with overwhelming moral opposition from Christians—is only true when examined through the lens of several centuries of history. Few senior members of the Catholic church would defend the Crusades today, but they were waged with broad support in their time, and the institution of slavery took centuries to dismantle.
More Christian atrocities

The Right-Wing Doesn’t Want to Talk About Christian Atrocities, So Let’s Talk About Christian Atrocities

Tens of thousands of Muslims flee Christian militias in Central African Republic

Comment:  For more on Christian terrorism, see Report Documents Right-Wing Terrorism and The Logical Conclusion of Extremism.

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